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Woods, D;
On Caesar's coinage in 48BC
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According to the standard catalogue by Crawford, Caesar's second issue of coinage during the civil-war with Pompey consisted of an aureus (RRC no. 452, ), three slightly different varieties of denarius (RRC no. 452, 2 (fig. 1), 4, 5), and a quinarius (RRC no. 452, 3 (fig. 2)) (1). These all display the same basic reverse-type, the legend CAESAR across a trophy. While the details differ slightly in each case, the presence either of a long-haired, bearded captive at the foot of the trophy (RRC no. 452, 4, 5) or of a Gallic shield or carnyx on the trophy itself (RRC no. 452, 1, 2), reveals that this trophy was intended to celebrate Caesar's conquest of Gaul. As for the obverse, the aureus and the denarii all display the same female head, facing right, adorned with diadem, wreath, ear-ring, and necklace, while the quinarius displays a different female head, facing right also, but veiled. In each case, however, the only obverse-legend consists of three letters or numerals at the back of the neck, usually read LII, the number 52 in Roman numerals, where what looks like a reversed letter T is read as the older form of the numeral L (2). Hence Crawford comments : 'The figure LII can hardly be taken as a reference to anything other than Caesar's age ; since the Romans seem to have regarded a man as 30 when 30 years of his life were completed and since Caesar was born on 13 July 100, this issue belongs after 13 July 48. Its failure to appear in hoards which contain the issues of moneyers striking since the beginning of 48 is no surprise' (3). Crawford traces this reading of the brief legend back to Elberling in 1860, and this interpretation has dominated since (4).

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