Julius Caesar-era 'bullet' unearthed in Spain likely a Roman propaganda tool

Lead projectile, likely used with a slingshot, was found inscribed with name of Roman emperor Julius Caesar

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The image shows both sides of the Roman-era bullet. — The Independent via STILEarte
The image shows both sides of the Roman-era bullet. — The Independent via STILEarte

Archaeologists have discovered a 2000-year-old "bullet" with the name of the Roman emperor, Julius Caesar, which they believe was likely used as propaganda by the emperor's troops.

Known to specialists as a "glans inscripta", the centuries-old projectile was unearthed in Spain and measures 4.5 by 2 centimetres and weighs 71 grams, The Independent reported.

The bullet, which was likely used with a slingshot, was created using molten lead in a mould. The inscription reads "IPSCA" in Latin for an unknown Spanish town and "CAES" for Ceasar.

Experts say the recently discovered artefact could prove Indigenous Spaniards supported the cause of the dictator during his civil war in 49-45 BC.

“In the 1st century BC, many inscribed glands were made because they were very useful instruments for housing short, very specific messages,” study lead author Javier Moralejo Ordax told Live Science.

The message on the bullet was likely meant as political propaganda and encouragement for Caesar’s troops, he added.

The Balkans, Greece, Egypt, Africa, and Spain were all engulfed in Caesar's civil war. The last offensive, known as the Battle of Munda, happened in Spain's Andalusia.

There has only ever been one other bullet discovered in Spain bearing Caesar's name and the text on that bullet says "CAE / ACIPE," which is Latin for "Suck it, Caesar."

This indicates that Pompey's soldiers were probably sending a message to their adversary.