Divus Julius Caesar, † 44 BC. Denarius (Silver, 20 mm, 3.75 g, 7 h), Q. Voconius Vitulus, moneyer, Rome, 40. Laureate head of Divus Julius Caesar to right. Rev. Q•VOCONIVS / S - C / VITVLVS•Q• / DESIGN Calf standing left on ground line. Babelon (Julia) 121 and (Voconia) 1. Crawford 526/4. RBW 1813. Sydenham 1133. A superb piece, lightly toned, very well centered and with a spectacular portrait of outstanding artistry. Nearly extremely fine.
This wonderful denarius was struck amidst the Perusine War of 41-40 BC, in which Octavian besieged Mark Antony's wife Fulvia and his brother Lucius in Perusia. After the fall of the city, Octavian pardoned Fulvia and Lucius, but he had the city council and more than 300 senators and equites executed on 15 March 40 on the altar of Divus Julius Caesar. According to a famous passage in Sueton's De vita Caesarum, the wrathful triumvir drily answered every attempt to beg for pardon of one of the doomed men with just two words: moriendum esse = 'You/he must die' (Suet. Aug. 15).