Domitius Calvinus – 39 BC

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Gnaeus Domitius Calvinus

(mid 1st century BC)
supporter of Julius Caesar

Gnaeus Domitius Calvinus was consul in 53 and again in 40 BC. Calvinus was a supporter of Julius Caesar and Octavian (later known as Augustus). He served as a tribune during Caesar’s consulship and then ran for the position himself in 54 BC. In some of the worst election campaigns of the era, Calvinus gained his seat by corrupt methods, which was perhaps par for the course. It was after all, the political corruption of the Senate that eventually led to the fall of the Republic and the Civil War.

It was during the Civil War, when Calvinus chose the side of Caesar against Pompey the Great and the corrupt members of the Senate. As a legate in Thessaly during the Dyrrhachium campaign of 48 BC, Calvinus helped to defeat the forces of Pompey in that region. Following the battle of Pharsalus (48 BC), Caesar ordered him to send two legions as support to Alexandria. This left Calvinus with only one legion and some auxiliaries at his disposal. Despite this weakened force, Calvinus gallantly tried to stop the advance of Pharnaces, the King of the Bosporus, but was beaten at Nicopolis. Following Caesar’s assassination, Calvinus granted his allegiance to Octavian. He was then appointed proconsul of Spain around 40 – 39 BC. Calvinus also campaigned successfully against the Cerretani and was saluted Imperator.

Monetary System

Mints: Military Traveling Mint

Obverse Legend:



AR Denarius (3.54 grams)

Monetary History of the World
© Martin A. Armstrong