Portrait of a Moneyer

This is just fun.

C. 101 (Mattingly) or 104 (Crawford) this novus homo makes a VERY conservative coin (RRC 318/1) (gorgeous specimen though!):


By 94 he’s consul.  And Cicero’s brother is using him as a positive exempla by the late 60s:


Then his son (so Crawford, I think perhaps grandson — we don’t know the moneyer’s filiation I don’t think, but I need to go through Cicero’s letters again to double check) in 51 BCE puts his portrait on a coin (RRC 437):


I don’t think we have any other portraits of moneyers except Brutus…  And none where the portrait is from the regular coin series.  That’s your trivial detail for the day.

I guess I had good instincts on the grandson thing… I’ve ordered this via ILL and will update blog as I read more:



Woytek, Bernhard E. and Zawadzka, Anna. “Ockham’s razor: a structural analysis of the denarii of Coelius Caldus (RRC 437).” Numismatic Chronicle 176 (2016): 135-153.

Responding to all this:

Ryan, Francis Xavier. “Die Legende IMP.AV.X auf den Denaren des Triumvirn Caldus.” Schweizer Münzblätter = Gazette Numismatique Suisse 56, no. 222 (2006): 39-42. Doi: 10.5169/seals-171948

Badian, Ernst. “Two numismatic phantoms: the false priest and the spurious son.” Arctos 32 (1998): 45-60.

Evans, Richard J.. “The denarius issue of CALDVS IIIVIR and associated problems.” The Ancient History Bulletin V (1991): 129-134.

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