Few names in history ring with the familiarity of Julius Caesar, for he was one of the world’s most remarkable leaders. It’s impossible to tell how the course of history would have changed had Julius Caesar not fallen victim to a plot against his life on the Ides of March, 44 BC.
Caesar began his path to fame and power by leading an army against the Celtic tribes in Gaul (modern France). After narrowly escaping death on several occasions, Caesar conquered Gaul in the name of the Roman Republic, and then returned to Rome to advance on his own political career. He had only one goal: To gain supreme power and rule Rome as a dictator. Caesar was the first living Roman in to place his portrait on coins, which in some cases was accompanied by the inscription “Perpetual Dictator.” This particular coin, which shows an elephant trampling a serpent on the front and a display of priestly implements on the back, was struck to celebrate his remarkable victories in Gaul, which is represented by the serpent. His name, CAESAR, appears in bold letters on the front, where he was certain it could not be missed.