P. Clodius and M.F. Turrinus, Rome Mint 42 BC, Eclipse of 50 BC


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In 42 BC the Roman Republican armies were defeated by Octavian and Marc Antony at the Battle of Phillipi. The obverse of the coin shows the head of the sun god Sol with a radiate crown. The reverse is a solar crescent surrounded by stars. The eclipse of 50 BC was seen in Rome and most of the empire. It most likely was interpreted in the favor of Julius Caesar. In 50 BC the senate and Pompey the Great ordered Caesar to return to Rome from Gaul and to disband his army. Nine months later after this solar eclipse, Julius Caesar and his army crossed the Rubicon river and started a civil war with Pompey and Republican forces. This coin commemorates the solar eclipse of 50 BC as the official start of the Roman Empire. Note the five stars may represent the years since the death of Pompey the Great (Died 48 BC). Roman mints in 42 BC would mint coins in favor of Julius Caesar. Photo Sergey Nechayev Coins


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