Tuesday, October 25, 2005

The Taste of Imperialism?

My wife and I opened a bottle of a wine called 'Merlot Sangiovese Rubicone' tonight that has a rather interesting label. I reproduce it for you here:



There's a little bit of a glare on the picture, but you can probably see the word 'Caesar' at the top above a Caesarean coin, surrounded by Latin. Here is how the broken Latin reads:

COGNITA MILITVM VOLVNTATE [...]MINVM CVM EALEGIONE [...]FICISCITVR IBIQUE [...]RIBVNOS PLEBIS QV[...] AD EVM CONFVGER[...] CONVENIT RELIQVAS LEG[...] EX HIBERNIS EVOCAT ET SVBSEQVI IVBET

Numismatists and epigraphers of the world, unite!

3 comments:

Sarah said...

Eric, a quick stop at one of my favorite online indeces for ancient coins, www.wildwinds.com, helped me identify your "wine coin." Here is the link.
That the obverse of the coin refers to Caesar's position as "dictator for life" is a nice conclusion to the beginning of Caesar's path to that office (i.e., the crossing of the Rubicon, nameseake of your wine).
Incidentally, there are many coins produced by moneyers (i.e., Caesar himself did not mint these coins, though, as the lead magistrate, who knows what his role in the choice of the images was) with this obverse theme (laureate bust of Caesar facing right, CAESAR DICT PERPETVO inscription). Many of his types, with thumbnails, may be seen by returning to the Caesar page, a link available from the above link.

Michael Hendry said...

That's not a numismatic or epigraphic text, it's from Caesar's own De Bello Civili, the beginning of 1.8. Here it is with the gaps filled in: "Cognita militum voluntate Ariminum cum ea legione proficiscitur ibique tribunos plebis, qui ad eum profugerant, convenit; reliquas legiones ex hibernis evocat et subsequi iubet."

eric said...

Sarah and Michael: Thanks very much for the info! The coin page looks really useful. The bottle text didn't seem like an epigraphic text becaue there are no abbreviations, etc. so I was just kidding around a little bit--but I'm glad to know that they used Caesar's own words for his wine. I personally would like to try a Vergil wine, since he even liked to write about grapes.