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Vespasian the Younger, Caesar, 94 - 95 A.D., Smyrna, Ionia
In 94 A.D., because he had no heir, Domitian adopted his two young great-nephews. He renamed them Vespasian and Domitian. The next year he executed the boys' father, his cousin, Titus Flavius Clemens, and exiled the boys' mother, his niece, Flavia Domitilla. They were charged with Atheism, a charge sometimes applied to condemn converts to Judaism or Christianity. The boys then disappeared from history and their fate is unknown.
Smyrna was the only city to strike coins in the name of Vespasian the Younger. No coins were struck for his brother.
Some scholars connect Domitilla with a Roman Matron in the Talmud (Avodah Zarah 10b) and the Deuteronomy Rabbah 2.25. When the emperor had decreed that in 30 days, the Senate would confirm an edict to kill all Jews and Christians in the Roman Empire, the Roman matron convinced her husband to stand up for the Jews. If that identification is correct, her husband Flavius Clemens converted to Judaism, after having contact with the great sage Rabbi Akiva. Flavia Domitilla is a saint in both the Greek Orthodox and the Roman Catholic Church.
SH83453. Bronze AE 16, Klose
p. 244, 3, pl. 31 (V1/R1); RPC II
1028; SNG Cop
2208; BMC Ionia
p. 276, 320, gF/F, Smyrna (Izmir
, Turkey) mint, weight
2.790g, maximum diameter
16.3mm, die axis
, as caesar
, 94 - 95 A.D.; obverse
OYOCΠACIANOC NEΩTEPOC, bare head
standing right, wreath
in extended right hand, palm
frond over left shoulder in left hand; ex Solidus
Numismatik, auction 7, lot 200; rare
Catalog current as of Monday, May 21, 2018.
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