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The E-Sylum: Volume 20, Number 41, October 8, 2017, Article 21

DECIMUS ALBINUS: THE “OTHER BRUTUS”

On October 6, 2017 CoinWeek published a short article by Lorie Ann Hambly of Heritage Auctions about the "Other Brutus" who stabbed Caesar. A nice coin related to a lesser-known part of history. -Editor

Coin of Decimus Postumus Albinus Brutus

On the Ides of March, 44 BCE, Caesar at first declined to attend the Senate meeting on account of his wife’s having dreamt of his assassination. Decimus, however, shamed him into attending, a scene immortalized by Shakespeare. He accompanied Caesar to Pompey’s Theater, where the Senate was meeting, and deftly whisked him past Mark Antony, who was planning to warn Caesar about the plot, but was purposefully detained by another conspirator. A few moments later, some 60 Senators surrounded Caesar, produced daggers, and stabbed him to death in a frenzied, bloody scene.

Decimus Brutus was possibly the last man to thrust his dagger into his former mentor; the historical novelist Alan Massie proposes that it was Decimus, not the more famous Marcus Junius Brutus, that Caesar addressed with his famous final words, “you too, my son?” After the deed, during the short-lived detente between the assassins and Caesar’s supporters, Decimus rushed to take up the governorship of Cisalpine Gaul and proceeded to raise an army, anticipating the coming civil war. Before long Antony forced the Senate to renounce Decimus’s governorship and award it to him. Early in 43 BCE, Antony raised his own army and headed north to confront Decimus.

Next came a series of bewildering events and head-spinning shifts in fortune that are all but impossible to relate in a logical, coherent way.

See the complete article for a timeline of events. -Editor

Our coin of Decimus Postumus Albinus Brutus was struck while Brutus held the office of moneyer in Rome, circa 48 BCE, while Caesar controlled the city. The obverse bears the head of helmeted head of Mars, looking rather young and clean-shaven – perhaps a reflection of Decimus himself at this stage of his career? The reverse shows two crossed Celtic war-horns, or carnyces (carnyx singular), with Celtic shields above and below, reflecting Caesar’s recent conquest of Gaul and the active role Decimus played in it.

To read the complete article, see:
Ancient Coin Profile – Decimus Albinus: The “Other Brutus” Who Stabbed Caesar (https://coinweek.com/ancient-coins/ancient-coin-profile-decimus-albinus-brutus-stabbed-caesar/)

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Wayne Homren, Editor

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