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The E-Sylum:  Volume 9, Number 27, July 2, 2006, Article 39

RARE ROMAN COIN RETURNED TO GREECE

According to a BBC News report June 26, "A rare Roman coin has
returned to Greece from Britain after a landmark settlement,
which Athens hopes will bring back more classical treasures."

"A year ago, the London coin dealer Classical Numismatic Group
paid 12,500 ($23,000) for the silver denarius, minted by Brutus
in 42 BC after he participated in the murder of the emperor
Julius Caesar.

Eric McFadden, director of the dealership, said they made the
purchase from two Greeks, in good faith.

But the Greek embassy in London proved that the coin had been
illegally excavated, probably from the Roman city of Philippi,
in the province of Macedonia.

Mr McFadden's dealership handed the coin to the Greek embassy
earlier this month, after Athens successfully invoked a European
Union directive which demands that stolen cultural objects be
returned to the country of origin."

"Mr McFadden argues that confiscating antiquities without a
reward is a prime reason that so many ancient treasures are
either melted down or sold to private dealers.

He says there is no incentive to report important historical
discoveries and has urged the Greek government to start paying
finders the market value, as usually happens in Britain with
treasure trove."

To read the complete article, see: Full Story

Arthur Shippee forwarded a link to a related Associated Press
story in The New York Times:

"The tiny coin, a denarius issued in 42 B.C. by Brutus, the
chief assassin of Julius Caesar, is one of only 58 in the world...

The coin was issued by a mobile military mint used by Brutus
to pay his soldiers during the wars that followed Caesar's
assassination in 44 B.C. by a group of his friends and proteges
-- immortalized in Shakespeare's play, ''Julius Caesar.''

Decorated with the head of Brutus on one side and a pair of daggers
flanking a cap on the other, the denarius carries the inscription
Eid Mar -- short for the Ides of March, or March 15, the date of
Caesar's murder."

To read the complete article, see: Full Story

  Wayne Homren, Editor

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