RARE: A stater represents one month's pay!
This is one of the most amazing ancient coins of all time minted to pay for the civil war after Brutus killed Julius Caesar.
This is a beautiful Gold Ancient Coin.
Gold Staters of Brutus GOLD STATERS OF BRUTUS
Recently a large group of Lysimachus-style gold staters (struck at the mints of Callatis, Tomis, and Istrus) have come on the market. Numismatic firms have been selling these coins as issues of Mithradates VI of Pontus on the internet and elsewhere, relying on literature currently in print. This attribution is in fact not correct. The make-up of this large group of coins proves that. Within the hoard of these largely anonymous gold staters is a sprinkling of portrait coins of Pharnaces II of Pontus(63-47 BC) and Asander of Pontus as Archon(47-42 BC). The coins of Pharnaces have slight wear and are in extremely fine condition, while the issues of Asander(though struck from poorly engraved dies) are Mint State. Since over ninety percent of the hoard is Mint State to point of wear, this leads us to an inescapable numismatic conclusion, that these coins were struck at the same time as Asander was Archon.
The immediate assumption is that, since these coins were found together, they are all issues of Asander- end of story. But not so. Asander never controlled the cities which struck these coins. His activities were confined to the Crimea and his military ventures were too minor to warrant such a large issue of coins. The group is composed of Mint State gold staters struck from dies of reasonably good style for the time, but which often were used even after they had deteriorated badly. It is likely that they were struck quickly to pay soldiers involved in a military campaign, generally at the rate of one gold stater per month per man.
What was happening between 44 and 42 BC? Of course, it was the Civil War that pitted Brutus and Cassius against Mark Anthony and Octavian, following the assassination of Julius Caesar. Who was responsible for the striking of these coins? It is known that Mark Anthony was an ally of Asander when he was Archon, and in fact, until recently, the portrait on the coins of Asander as Archon was assumed to be the portrait of Mark Anthony, though now it is now thought to be a Romanized portrait of Asander. Still, it would be easy to assume these are issues of Mark Anthony, but the facts as we know them lead us to a different conclusion. Mark Anthony controlled Byzantium, which is represented in the group by only a few stray examples in worn condition which were issued probably twenty or thirty years before the rest of coins in the group. So Mark Anthony is eliminated becuase the area he controlled which included Byzantium contributed no mint state coins to this group. The three issuing cities Tomis, Callatis, and Istrus were controlled by Brutus and Cassius.
Brutus and Cassius concentrated their forces in the area of Macedonia and Thrace. Brutus is known to have collected gold in Thrace to pay mercenaries and to have employed large numbers of Thracian mercenaries in his army. At that time, since many soldiers were illiterate, they were paid in coins that they were used to seeing and recognized as money. If these Thracian mercenaries had been paid in Imperatorial gold aureii, they likely would not have accepted them, as they would have looked foreign to them. Therefore, it seems that Brutus issued Greek-style gold staters to pay his Thracian mercenaries. This may be one reason why so few Imperatorial aureii struck by Brutus exist.
In conclusion, these gold staters bearing the deified portrait of Alexander the Great, an issue initiated by Lysimachus in 281 BC, were struck in 44-42 BC by Brutus to pay mercenaries fighting against the forces of Mark Anthony and Octavian. These are in fact coins from one of the best known conflicts in the history of man.