Q. Servilius Caepio (M. Junius) Brutus Silver Denarius
Rome mint, (54 BC).
Obverse: Bust of Libertas facing right; LIBERTAS downward behind.
Reverse: Consul L. Junius Brutus, between two lictors, each carrying axe over shoulder, preceded by accensus, all walking to left, BRVTVS in exergue.
Crawford 433/1; BMCRR Rome 3862; RSC Junia 31.
4 grams, 19mm.
Attractively toned with a pleasing portrait, a bold good very fine.
*Struck a decade before the assassination of Julius Caesar and recalling the legendary expulsion of the Tarquins from Rome in 509 BC by L. Junius Brutus, his ancestor and the consul of that year, Brutus here uses the reverse type to illustrate his strong republican views, while the presence of the goddess Libertas on the obverse was particularly prescient of his participation in the events of 44 BC, the word 'libertas' reportedly being the watchword with which Brutus signalled the all-clear to his fellow conspirators.
When he became consul in 54, Brutus' full name was Quintus Servilius Caepio Brutus, on account of his having been adopted by his uncle, Quintus Servilius Caepio. Having reverted to his birth name for a time, following Caesar's assassination Brutus revived his adoptive name in order to illustrate his links to another famous tyrannicide, Gaius Servilius Ahala, from whom he was also descended.