A famous and pristine example of the The “Ides of March”, the 90% silver denarius that was struck by Marcus Brutus, brought a hefty $546,250 at the Long Beach Numismatic Auctions in Long Beach, California. The sale represented the most ever paid for a Roman silver coin. The event celebrated on the coin is, of course, the murder of the Roman dictator Julius Caesar who was stabbed (23 times) to death at a meeting of the Senate on March 14, 44 BC. The coin, about the size of a dime, shows on its obverse the likeness of Marcus Junius Brutus, one of the murderers himself, while the reverse displays a dome-shaped liberty cap, two drawn daggers and the Latin inscription “EID MAR” (Ides of March - the day on the Roman calendar that corresponded to March 15. This day was a religious holiday as well as the Roman deadline for settling debts). Ironically Brutus, who was characterized as both a hero and a traitor, used the same dagger that he used to murder Julius Caesar to take his own life following a demoralizing military defeat on October 23, 44BC.
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