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Sacred Palladium

489955. Sold For $1500

The Caesarians. Julius Caesar. Late 48-47 BC. AR Denarius (17mm, 3.76 g, 6h). Military mint traveling with Caesar in North Africa. Diademed head of Venus right, wearing necklace / Aeneas advancing left, holding palladium and bearing Anchises on his shoulder; CAESAR downward to right. Crawford 458/1; CRI 55; Sydenham 1013; RSC 12; RBW 1600. Near EF, lightly toned.

The Palladium was an archaic wooden statue of Pallas Athena (or Minerva, as the Romans called her) that was rescued from a burning temple in Troy by the hero Aeneas, and carried by him to Italy, eventually finding its way to the Temple of Vesta in Rome. On this denarius, Caesar depicts his Julian family’s distant ancestor Aeneas carrying the Palladium along with his aged father, Anchises.