The E-Sylum:  Volume 10, Number 2, January 14, 2007, Article 7


Regarding Jeff Reichenberger's review of his book, "Double Daggers",
author Jamie Clifford (an E-Sylum subscriber) writes:

"In regards to Jack Weston using the denarius as a ballmark -- as a
lover of history and numismatics I would probably agree with you that
it would be almost inconceivable to use the coin in such a callous
fashion. Looking back when I wrote that chapter I think I used Jack
as a scapegoat for all the greed and stupidity that was occurring on
Wall Street and in the corporate world at the time.  The Tech bubble
had burst and the Enron, Worldcom, Tyco etc scandals were going on so
I think I took it out on Jack Weston.

"Full disclosure -- I don't want to sound hypocritical because I have
been employed in the Investing Banking Industry for 16 years so the
industry has been good to me but it still astounds me how much money is
just thrown around or wasted sometimes. Maybe, I'm just envious or mad
because it never gets thrown to me...

"Also, thank you for pointing out that it was Zsa Zsa's sister Eva on
Green Acres.  I always liked Eva better than Zsa Zsa, so I can't believe
I overlooked that! The publisher expects a third printing in March and
that fact will be corrected."

[Thanks again to Jeff for his review and congratulations to Jamie on
reaching the third printing milestone.  He's sending Jeff a signed
hardcover copy of the book. -Editor]

Leon Worden writes: "I have just begun to read "Double Daggers," James
R. Clifford's historical novel about the EID-MAR coin, discussed in the
last E-Sylum. So far, I would agree that it is a fun read that meshes
with historical accounts of the period. However, I am confused by the
author's account of the coins' manufacture.

"Clifford writes that production began at the mint in Rome on the day
Brutus and others assassinated Julius Caesar (March 15, 44 B.C.).
Clifford makes no mention of subsequent production, instead implying
that all of the EID-MAR coins were made at the mint in Rome under
Brutus' authority during the three-day period following Caesar?s
assassination -- after which time Brutus fled east and Marc Antony,
Brutus' enemy, controlled Rome.

"This does not jibe with my information. For a story that appeared in
the November 2006 edition of COINage, I discussed the manufacture of
EID-MAR coins with Greek government officials. According to the Hellenic
Ministry of Culture -- which backed up its statements with numerous
numismatic texts -- all known EID-MAR coins were struck two and a half
years later, in the late summer and fall of 42 B.C. (Brutus died in
October 42 B.C.)

"Moreover, Ministry officials said, the coins were not made in Rome;
rather, they were struck at a mobile mint that traveled with Brutus
while he was in Macedonia. Brutus issued the coins in payment to his
troops, and the coins bore the "double daggers" design to remind them
what they were fighting for.  (It was more than two years later. Can
you say 'quagmire'?)

"A spokesman for Greek Culture Minister Giorgos Voulgarakis explained
to me: "They had an army, they were moving here and there, and while
they were moving, they were issuing these coins. At some point, they
were in the region of Dr?ma [in northern Greece] and they wanted to
settle there and build a fixed facility to make the coins. It didn't

"Clifford identifies the Roman coiner as Mettivus; however, the coins'
own inscription, L PLAET CEST, identifies the coiner as Lucius Plaetorius
Cestianus, the manager of Brutus' mobile mint. (Clifford identifies
Lucius as Mettivus' son.)

"Now, I recognize that Clifford's book is a novel, but given the fact
that his other accounts of events in 44-42 B.C. seem to ?work,? I am
assuming he intended to be accurate in his description of the manufacture
of the coins.

"Thus I ask: Does any E-Sylum reader have credible information about
the coins' manufacture that differs from (or, for that matter, validates)
the account provided to me by the Hellenic Ministry of Culture?"

Leon adds: "I suppose I should mention why it matters. If the EID-MAR
coins were made in Rome, they're Italian. If they were made in (Greek)
Macedonia, they're Greek. My COINage story dealt with the fact that the
Greek government recently used a European Union rule on cultural property
to "recover" an EID-MAR coin from a private party -- on the supposition
that the coin was Greek."

  Wayne Homren, Editor

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