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The Caesarians. Julius Caesar. Late 48-47 BC. AR Denarius (19mm, 3.87 g, 6h). Military mint traveling with Caesar in North Africa. Diademed head of Venus right / Aeneas advancing left, holding palladium and bearing Anchises on his shoulder; CAESAR downward to right. Crawford 458/1; CRI 55; Sydenham 1013; RSC 12; BMCRR East 31; Kestner 3577-9; RBW 1600. Light iridescent tone. Choice EF. Removed from NGC Encapsulation 6057647-001, graded Ch AU, Strike: 5/5, Surface: 5/5.

Julius Caesar traced his descent all the way back to the Trojan hero Aeneas, legendary founder of the Latin race. Aeneas, in turn, was the product of a sexual liaison between the goddess Venus and Anchises, a herdsman who was related to the Trojan royal family. In a scene recounted by Virgil in the Aeneid, when the Greeks torched Troy, Aeneas escaped from the burning city carrying the aged Anchises on his shoulder and the sacred Palladium, a cult statue of Pallas Athena rescued from the household shrine. The scene is depicted on the reverse of this denarius of Caesar, struck in 48-47 BC, at least two decades before the Aeneid was composed. Venus, the mother of Aeneas (and thus the divine antecedent of Caesar) appears on the obverse.