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Home>Catalog>RomanCoins>TheTwelveCaesars>Vespasian

Vespasian, 1 July 69 - 24 June 79 A.D.

After a successful campaign in Judaea (which he left to his son Titus to finish), Flavius Vespasianus was declared emperor by his troops at Alexandria in 69 A.D. Upon the defeat of Vitellius by the Danubian legions, Vespasian went to Rome and consolidated his power. He built the Colosseum and other important public works. Vespasian was popular, being both down to earth and possessed of great wit. He was responsible for the economic and military recovery of Rome, and is justly regarded as one of the greatest Roman emperors.


Click for a larger photo This type may refer to a victory on the Sea of Galilee during the recapture of Judaea.
RB68879. Copper as, RIC II 335, BMCRE II 617, Cohen 632, SRCV I -, F, well centered, nice green patina, small areas of corrosion on obv, weight 12.620 g, maximum diameter 27.6 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 71 A.D.; obverse IMP CAES VESPASIAN AVG COS III, radiate head right; reverse VICTORIA NAVALIS, Victory standing right on a prow, wreath in right, palm frond over should in left, S C in exergue; from the Jyrki Muona Collection; $350.00 (€262.50)

Vespasian, 1 July 69 - 24 June 79 A.D., Roman Provincial Egypt
Click for a larger photo Vespasian was in Alexandria in the year this coin was struck. The Roman troops in Alexandria proclaimed Vespasian emperor on 1 July 69 A.D. When Vespasian heard the news, he was in Judaea. He left first for Syria and then to Egypt. The date of his arrival in Egypt is uncertain but he was in Alexandria when he learned of Vitellius death. Following in the footsteps of Alexander the Great 400 years earlier, he consulted oracles, entering the temple alone as Alexander did (Vespasian into the Temple of Serapis because under Ptolemy the oracles of Serapis had replaced the oracles of Ammon). He was acclaimed "God Caesar" and "Son of Ammon." Events while he was in Egypt appear to have been intentionally staged and documented to draw parallels between the new emperor and Alexander the Great.
RX68885. Billon tetradrachm, Milne 393; Geissen 277, BMC Alexandria p. 29, 236; Curtis 262; Emmett 205; Dattari 360, RPC I 2412, aVF, toned, excellent portrait, weight 14.700 g, maximum diameter 27.0 mm, die axis 0o, Alexandria mint, 29 Aug 69 - 28 Aug 70 A.D.; obverse AYTOK KAIΣ ΣEBA OYEΣΠAΣIANOY, laureate head right, LB (year 2) before; reverse Victory flying left, wreath in right, palm frond in left; from the Jyrki Muona Collection, ex Numismatica Ars Classica auction 59 (April 4-5, 2011), lot 1901; rare; $270.00 (€202.50)

Vespasian, 1 July 69 - 24 June 79 A.D.
Click for a larger photo The yoke of oxen symbolize colonization. The ceremonial founding of a colony included plowing a furrow, the pomerium, a sacred boundary, around the site of the new city. Although no legions were disbanded after the Jewish revolt, there were many retiring veterans that needed to be settled. Vespasian founded a colony at Caesarea Maritima, the first in the province.
RS68582. Silver denarius, RIC II 107, RSC II 133, BMCRE II 206, VF, weight 3.063 g, maximum diameter 18.9 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 77 - 78 A.D.; obverse IMP CAESAR VESPASIANVS AVG, laureate head right; reverse COS VIII, yoke of oxen left; $175.00 (€131.25)

Click for a larger photo The curule chair was for senior magistrates including dictators, masters of the horse, consuls, praetors, censors, and the curule aediles. As a form of throne, it might be given as an honor to foreign kings recognized formally as friend (amicus) by the Roman people or senate. Designed for use by commanders in the field, the curule chair could be folded for easy transport. It had no back, low arms, curved legs forming an X, and was traditionally made of or veneered with ivory.
RS66473. Silver denarius, RIC II 545, RSC II 387a, BMCRE II 98 var (CENS, noted variety), SRCV I 2305 var (CENS), VF, toned, weight 3.380 g, maximum diameter 20.2 mm, die axis 45o, Rome mint, 73 A.D.; obverse IMP CAES VESP AVG CEN, laureate head right; reverse PONTIF MAXIM, Vespasian seated right on curule chair, feet on footstool, scepter vertical behind in right, branch in left; $170.00 (€127.50)

Click for a larger photo This coin may have been struck to appeal to Pax to deliver peace at the time the First Jewish Revolt was coming to its end. On 14 April 70 A.D. Titus surrounded Jerusalem. He allowed pilgrims to enter to celebrate Passover but this was a trap to put pressure on supplies of food and water; he refused to allow them to leave. On 10 May he began his assault on the walls. The third wall fell on 25 May. The second wall fell on 30 May. On 20 July Titus stormed the Temple Mount. On 4 August 70 A.D. Titus destroyed the Temple. The Jewish fast of Tisha B'Av morns the Fall of Jerusalem annually on this date.
RS59846. Silver denarius, RIC II, part 1, 29; RSC II 94h; BMCRE II 26; SRCV I 2285, aVF, light toning, nice portrait, weight 3.266 g, maximum diameter 18.5 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 70 A.D.; obverse IMP CAESAR VESPASIANVS AVG, laureate head right; reverse COS ITER TR POT, Pax seated left on chair without back, branch in right, caduceus in left; $150.00 (€112.50)

Vespasian, 1 July 69 - 24 June 79 A.D., Gadara, Decapolis
Click for a larger photo Another option for the countermark could be the head of Hadrian applied during the Second Jewish Revolt ("Bar Kochba" uprising) led by Simon Bar Kochba against Rome, 133 - 135 A.D. In 135 A.D., Hadrian destroyed Jerusalem and founded "Aelia Capitolina" on the site. The Jews were dispersed throughout the Roman Empire.
RP59018. Bronze AE 23, Spijkerman 26; SNG ANS 6, 1300; countermark: cf. Howgego 207 (Tyche), F, weight 9.368 g, maximum diameter 22.4 mm, die axis 0o, Decapolis, Gadara mint, 71 - 72 A.D.; obverse OYECΠACIANOC KAICAP, laureate head right; reverse ΓA∆APA, Tyche standing left, wreath in right, cornucopia in left, date LEΛP left; $125.00 (€93.75)

Vespasian, 1 July 69 - 24 June 79 A.D., Judaea Capta
Click for a larger photo Celebrates the success of Vespasian and Titus against the First Jewish Revolt.
RB70482. Orichalcum sestertius, Hendin 775, SRCV I 2327, BMCRE II 546, RIC II 427, Fair, weight 21.269 g, maximum diameter 32.7 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 71 A.D.; obverse IMP CAES VESPASIAN AVG P M TR P P P COS III, laureate bust right; reverse IVDAEA CAPTA, Jewess mourning sits right on right beneath palm tree, behind Vespasian stands right in military dress with spear and parazonium, foot on helmet, S C in ex; very scarce; $100.00 (€75.00)

Vespasian, 1 July 69 - 24 June 79 A.D.
Click for a larger photo
RS59143. Silver denarius, RIC II part 1, 941; RSC II 136; BMCRE II 210; Paris 186, F, porous, weight 2.246 g, maximum diameter 17.6 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 77 - 78 A.D.; obverse IMP CAESAR VESPASIANVS AVG, laureate head right; reverse COS VIII, decorated prow, star above; $90.00 (€67.50)

Click for a larger photo The curule chair was for senior magistrates including dictators, masters of the horse, consuls, praetors, censors, and the curule aediles. As a form of throne, it might be given as an honor to foreign kings recognized formally as friend (amicus) by the Roman people or senate. Designed for use by commanders in the field, the curule chair could be folded for easy transport. It had no back, low arms, curved legs forming an X, and was traditionally made of or veneered with ivory.
RS59859. Silver denarius, RIC II 77, RSC II 364, BMCRE II 136, SRCV I 2300 var (obv leg), F, nice portrait, porous, weight 2.862 g, maximum diameter 19.4 mm, die axis 165o, Rome mint, 74 A.D.; obverse IMP CAESAR VESPASIANVS AVG, laureate head right; reverse PON MAX TR P COS V, Vespasian seated right on curule chair, feet on footstool, branch in left, scepter in right; $90.00 (€67.50)

Vespasian, 1 July 69 - 24 June 79 A.D.
Click for a larger photo
In 78 AD, Gnaeus Julius Agricola was made governor of Roman Britain. Before the end of the year he conquered the Silures and the Ordovices in Wales. It's unclear whether the Silures were militarily defeated or simply agreed to terms. Tacitus wrote of the Silures: non atrocitate, non clementia mutabatur ? the tribe "was changed neither by cruelty nor by clemency." According to Tacitus, Gnaeus Julius Agricola exterminated the whole Ordovices tribe. Although the tribe completely disappeared from the historical record, in view of the mountainous terrain of the area, it is unlikely Agricola could have wiped out the entire population.Pre-Roman Wales
RB66470. Copper quadrans, RIC II, part 1, 1015, aF, weight 2.685 g, maximum diameter 15.8 mm, die axis 315o, Rome mint, 77 - 78 A.D.; obverse IMP VESPASIAN AVG, rudder on globe; reverse P M TR P P P COS VIII S C, winged caduceus; $80.00 (€60.00)

Vespasian, 25 1 July 69 - 24 June 79 A.D., Koinon of Macedonia
Click for a larger photo The Macedonian Koinon (community) was the political organization governing the autonomous Roman province of Macedonia and responsible for issuing coinage. Member cities sent representatives to participate in the popular assembly. The Koinon held celebrations and games annually at Beroea (modern Verria) in honor of Alexander and the Roman emperor.
RP56116. Bronze AE 24, RPC II 334; Varbanov 3021; AMNG III 249; SGCV I 6; BMC Macedonia p. 27, 149 var (obv legend); SNG Cop 1334 var (same); Lindgren II 1358 var (same), F, weight 6.381 g, maximum diameter 23.6 mm, Thessalonica(?) mint, 69 - 79 A.D.; obverse AYTOKPATΩP OYEΣΠAΣIANOΣ KAIΣAP, laureate head left; reverse ΣEBAΣTOΣ MAKE∆ONΩN, Macedonian shield; scarce; $60.00 (€45.00)

Vespasian, 1 July 69 - 24 June 79 A.D.
Click for a larger photo
In 78 AD, Gnaeus Julius Agricola was made governor of Roman Britain. Before the end of the year he conquered the Silures and the Ordovices, in Wales. It’s unclear whether the Silures were militarily defeated or simply agreed to terms. Tacitus wrote of the Silures: non atrocitate, non clementia mutabatur – the tribe "was changed neither by cruelty nor by clemency." According to Tacitus, Gnaeus Julius Agricola exterminated the whole Ordovices tribe. Although the tribe completely disappeared from the historical record, in view of the mountainous terrain of the area, it is unlikely Agricola could have wiped out the entire population.Pre-Roman Wales
RB67841. Copper quadrans, RIC II, part 1, 1015, F, weight 2.861 g, maximum diameter 15.1 mm, die axis 0o, Rome mint, 77 - 78 A.D.; obverse IMP VESPASIAN AVG, rudder on globe; reverse P M TR P P P COS VIII S C, winged caduceus; rare; $50.00 (€37.50)

Vespasian, 1 July 69 - 24 June 79 A.D., Roman Provincial Egypt
Click for a larger photo
RX59427. Billon tetradrachm, cf. RPC II 2404, SRCV I 2378, F, irregular flan, weight 11.760 g, maximum diameter 24.8 mm, die axis 0o, Alexandria mint, obverse AYTOK KAIΣ ΣEBA OYEΣΠAΣIANOY, laureate head right, date before (off flan); reverse AΛEΞAN∆PEIA, Alexandria standing left, wearing elephant skin headdress, wearing cothurni and flying chlamys, wreath in extended right, vexillum in left; $45.00 (€33.75)

Antioch, Roman Syria, 77 - 78 A.D.
Click for a larger photo In 76 - 77, Trajan's father, M. Ulpius Traianus, was Governor of Syria (Legatus pro praetore Syriae). Trajan was also in Syria as Tribunus legionis.
RP62981. Bronze trichalkon, McAlee 118, RPC I 2020, SNG Cop 112, BMC 97, Fine, weight 5.394 g, maximum diameter 20.3 mm, die axis 0o, Antioch mint, 77 - 78 A.D.; obverse ANTIOXEΩN, turreted and veiled bust of Tyche right; reverse burning, garlanded altar, ET RKP (Caesarean Era year 126 ) in ex; scarce; $40.00 (€30.00)


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Obverse legends:

CAESARVESPASIANVSAVG
DIVVSAVGVSTVSVESPASIANVS
DIVOAVGVESPSPQR
DIVOVESPASIANO
IMPCAESARAVGVESPASIANVS
IMPCAESARVESPASAVG
IMPCAESARVESPASAVGCOSII
IMPCAESARVESPASAVGCOSIIITRPPP
IMPCAESARVESPASIANVSAVGCOSIIITRPPP
IMPCAESARVESPASAVGCOSVTRPPP
IMPCAESARVESPASIAN
IMPCAESARVESPASIANVS
IMPCAESARVESPASIANVSTRP
IMPCAESARVESPASIANAVG
IMPCAESARVESPASIANAVGCOSIII
IMPCAESARVESPASIANAVGCOSIIII
IMPCAESARVESPAVG
IMPCAESARVESPAVGCOSVCENS
IMPCAESARVESPAVGVST
IMPCAESVESPASAVG
IMPCAESVESPASAVGPMTRPPPCSIII
IMPCAESVESPASAVGTRPCOSIII
IMPCAESVESPASIANAVGCOSIII
IMPCAESVESPASIANAVGCOSIIII
IMPCAESVESPASIANAVGCOSVIII
IMPCAESVESPASIANAVGCOSVIIIPP
IMPCAESVESPASIANAVGPMTRPPPCOSIII
IMPCAESVESPASIANAVGPMTRPPPCOSVCENS
IMPCAESARVESPASCOSIIICENS
IMPCAESARVESPASIANVSAVG
IMPCAESARVESPASIANVSAVGPMTPPPCOSIII
IMPCAESVESPAVGCEN
IMPCAESVESPAVGCENS
IMPCAESVESPAVGPMCOSIIII
IMPCAESVESPAVGPMCOSVCENS
IMPCAESVESPAVGPMCOSIIIICEN
IMPCAESVESPAVGPMCOSVCEN
IMPCAESVESPAVGPMTPCOSIIIICENS
IMPCAESVESPAVGPMTRPPPCOSIII
IMPCAESVESPAVGPMTRPIIIIPPCOSIIII
IMPVESPASAVGPMTRIPPPCOSIIII
IMPVESPASIANAVG
IMPVESPAVG
IMPVESPCAESAVGPONTMAXTRIBPOTCOSIIPP
IMPVESPCAESAVGPONTMAXTRIBPOTCOSIIIIPP
TCAESVESPASIANIMPPTRPCOSII




Average well preserved denarius weight 3.30 grams.
Catalog current as of Thursday, April 17, 2014.
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Roman Coins of Vespasian