Gaius Iulius Caesar, as Dictator of the Roman Republic 49-44 BC, Silver Denarius (3.93g, 17mm), military mint travelling with Caesar in northern Italy circa 49-48 BC. Obverse: Elephant stands facing to the right, with pronounced, oval eye and vertically oriented ear, serpent below trunk, exergual-ground line below, “CAESAR” in exergue. Reverse: Selection of emblems of the Pontificate, from left to right: simpulum, aspergillum, securis (surmounted by wolf’s head), and apex. Crawford-443/1; Sydenham-1006; RSC-49; Sear-1399. An ever popular and well-loved type, the ‘elephant’ denarius of Julius Caesar is understandably one of the most recognized types of the Imperatorial series – the offered piece, exhibiting a ‘standing’ elephant with straight legs, is far less often seen then those struck with the ‘walking’ elephant die; deeply toned with a gunmetal patina and choicely centred on the obverse, certainly a collectible piece, good Very Fine, reverse Very Fine.
“He led his army south through Northern Italy and crossed the Rubicon, entering the heartland of the Republic in defiance of the Senate and beginning his long civil war against Gnaeus Pompeius Magnus and the Optimates – ālea iactā est, the die is cast.”