ANCIENT - ROMAN IMPERATORIAL Brutus, d. 42 BC Koson, price on request

Gorgeous gold stater over 2,000 years old! This facinating gold coin has been known since 1520, when the Dutch scholar of Renaissance humanism Erasmus of Rotterdam tried to explain it.

Obverse: Three people walking. In center, Roman console, surrounded by a lictor (bodyguard) on either side holding an axe on shoulder. At bottom, the word KOSON is raised. Koson was a king in the area of Thrace, who was loyal to Brutus.

Reverse: Roman imperial eagle with spread wings, standing on a scepter. In it's right talon it is holding a laurel wreath. 

Marcus Junius Brutus (85 – 42 BC) adopted son and murderer of Julius Ceasar paid his soldiers with these gold slaters. 

It is the only gold coin minted in Dacia (today northern Greece or Romania). 

This beautiful coin has a most fascinating history. Minted by Brutus about 44 - 50 BC, who had just participated in the assassination of Julius Caesar. He fled Rome, and put together an army in his bid to take power in Rome. And this coin was minted to pay the troops. Interestingly, the design of the coin was a bit of propaganda. Brutus grandfather was L. Brutus, and he had returned the country back to a Republic when he did away with the ruling emperor. He as seen as the hero among the people, and was one of the first members (consul) of the Roman Senate. So Brutus copied a coin design his grandfather had used, and the center figure on the obverse is his grandfather, L. Brutus. He was trying to align himself with his grandfather - one being the founder of the Republic and the other as the savior Republic.

Underneath the three figures is the word KOSON. This evidently is the name of king at that time in the area of Thrace (Greece) who was loyal to Brutus. Possibly he donated gold for these coins.
The coins were minted to pay Brutus army. It was customary at this time that the troops had to be paid immediately after battles. So the army would bring bars of gold with them while traveling from battle to battle. And before battles, they would melt the gold into planchets and strike the coin with dies to make the coins. Then the coins were buried and only the leader (Brutus in this case) and a few trusted advisors knew the secret location.

Well, as history tells us, Brutus lost the battle. Then he committed suicide by falling on his sword. Most likely the advisers who knew of the secret cache were also killed. So most of the coins had remained buried for centuries.

Additional Reading: B Constantinescu, D Cristea-Stan, A Vasilescu, R Simon, D Ceccato, "Archaeometallurgical Characterization of Ancient Gold Artifacts from Romanian Museums using XRF, Micro-PIXE and Micro-SR-XRF Methods," Proc Romanian Acad 13:19-26, 2012.

Coin Details: ROMAN – BRUTUS, 44-42 BC, AV Stater (ca. 8.52 g), NGC Grade: Choice Uncirculated, Obverse: Roman Consul with two Lictors, KOSON in exergue, Reverse: Eagle on scepter, holding wreath, References: RPC 1701B; BMC Thrace pg. 208, 2; BMCRR II pg. 475, 50.

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