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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ Roman Coins ▸ The Twelve Caesars ▸ DomitianView Options:  |  |  | 

Domitian, 13 September 81 - 18 September 96 A.D.

Flavius Domitianus was an effective emperor who spent much of his time in the provinces preserving order. Despite his effectiveness, he was extremely unpopular with the senatorial class at Rome. He appointed persons from the lower classes to positions of authority. Domitian's reign was marred by paranoia and cruelty in his latter years and he executed many Senators. When asked to prohibit execution of senators without a trial by peers he declined, thus dispelling the old illusions of republican government and exposing the true autocracy of his rule. In 96 A.D., he was stabbed to death in a plot, allegedly involving his own wife.


Domitian, 13 September 81 - 18 September 96 A.D.

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In 93 A.D., Pliny the Younger was named a praetor. On 24 August 79, he along with his uncle, Pliny the Elder, witnessed the eruption of Vesuvius, during which his uncle died. Pliny rose through the cursus honorum, a series of Imperial civil and military offices, and was an imperial magistrate under Trajan. He wrote hundreds of letters, many of which still survive, that are of great historical value for the time period. Some are addressed to reigning emperors or to notables such as the historian Tacitus. His letters to Trajan provide one of the few surviving records of the relationship between the imperial office and provincial governors.
RS86371. Silver denarius, RIC II, part 1, 742; BMCRE II 207; BnF III 186; RSC II 278; Hunter I 82; SRCV I 2736, VF, light rose toning, scratches, reverse die wear, weight 3.190 g, maximum diameter 18.8 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 14 Sep 92 - 13 Sep 93 A.D; obverse IMP CAES DOMIT AVG GERM P M TR P XII, laureate head right; reverse IMP XXII COS XVI CENS P P P, Minerva standing left, helmeted and draped, inverted spear vertical before her in her right hand, her left hand on hip; ex CNG, ex Collection DF; $165.00 (€140.25)
 


Domitian, 13 September 81 - 18 September 96 A.D.

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In 79 A.D., Mount Vesuvius spawned a deadly cloud of volcanic gas, stones, ash and fumes to a height of 33 km (20.5 miles), spewing molten rock and pulverized pumice at the rate of 1.5 million tons per second, ultimately releasing a hundred thousand times the thermal energy released by the Hiroshima bombing. The towns of Pompeii and Herculaneum were obliterated and buried underneath massive pyroclastic surges and lava. An estimated 16,000 people died from the eruption. Historians have learned about the eruption from the eyewitness account of Pliny the Younger, a Roman administrator and poet.
RS86168. Silver denarius, RIC II, part 1, Vespasian 1084; RSC II 384; BMCRE II Vespasian 265; BnF III 237; SRCV I 2642, F, light toning, well centered on a tight flan, a few bumps and scratches, edge cracks, weight 3.120 g, maximum diameter 18.3 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, as caesar, 79 A.D.; obverse CAESAR AVG F DOMITIANVS COS VI, laureate head right; reverse PRINCEPS IVVENTVTIS (the first of youths), Salus standing left, legs crossed, leaning against column, feeding snake from patera; $100.00 (€85.00)
 


Domitian, 13 September 81 - 18 September 96 A.D.

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In 76 A.D., Governor Sextus Julius Frontinus subdued the Silures and other hostile tribes of Wales. He established a fortress at Caerleon or Isca Augusta for Legio II Augusta and made a network of smaller forts for his auxiliary forces.
RS86175. Silver denarius, RIC II, part 1, Vespasian 921 (C2); RSC II 47; BMCRE II Vespasian 193; BnF III Vespasian 169; SRCV I 2637, F, toned, weight 3.240 g, maximum diameter 19.0 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, as caesar, 76 A.D.; obverse CAESAR AVG F DOMITIANVS, laureate head right; reverse COS IIII, Pegasus standing right, archaic curved wing (only near wing showing), raising left foreleg; ex Forum (2012); $110.00 (€93.50)
 


Domitian, 13 September 81 - 18 September 96 A.D.

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Virtus to the ancient Romans included valor, manliness, excellence, courage, character, and worth, perceived as masculine strengths (from Latin vir, "man"). Curiously, despite the masculine characteristics of virtus, the personification or deity Virtus was usually depicted as a female warrior, in armor holding a spear, parazonium, victory or a shield. Virtus and Mars can usually be distinguished since Mars is usually shown nude and Virtus is always shown clothed.
RB86364. Orichalcum dupondius, cf. RIC II, part 1, 754; BMCRE II 468; BnF III 496; Cohen 659; SBCV I 2798; Hunter I -, aVF, well centered, some legend weakly struck, reverse double struck, areas of corrosion/porosity, weight 9.812 g, maximum diameter 31.1 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 92 - 94 A.D.(?); obverse IMP CAES DOMIT AVG GERM COS XVI CENS PER P P (or similar), laureate bust right with aegis; reverse VIRTVTI AVGVSTI (to the valor of the Emperor), Virtus standing right, helmeted and draped, left foot on a helmet, inverted spear vertical behind in right hand, parazonium in left hand, S - C (senatus consulto) flanking across field below center; ex Incitatus Coins; $70.00 (€59.50)
 


Domitian, 13 September 81 - 18 September 96 A.D.

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In Domitian's time, at least 10 aqueducts supplied the city with 250 million US gallons (950,000 m3) of water per day, the public baths used half the supply.
RS86365. Silver denarius, RIC II, part 1, 789; RSC II 291; BMCRE II 234; BnF III 208; Hunter I 93, gVF, nice portrait, well centered, light iridescent toning, mint luster in recesses, light deposits, reverse die wear, weight 3.465 g, maximum diameter 18.7 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 14 Sep 95 - 13 Sep 96 A.D.; obverse IMP CAES DOMIT AVG GERM P M TR P XV, laureate head right; reverse IMP XXII COS XVII CENS P P P, Minerva standing left, helmeted and draped, thunderbolt in right hand, spear vertical behind in left hand, grounded shield at feet behind; ex Gitbud & Naumann auction 12 (2 Feb 2014), lot 478; $150.00 (€127.50)
 


Domitian, 13 September 81 - 18 September 96 A.D.

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The Arch of Titus, on the Via Sacra, Rome, just to the south-east of the Roman Forum, was completed by Domitian in 96 A.D. to commemorate Titus' victories, including the Siege of Jerusalem in 70 A.D. The Arch of Titus has provided the general model for many of the triumphal arches erected since the 16th century - perhaps most famously it is the inspiration for the 1806 Arc de Triomphe in Paris, France, completed in 1836.Arch of Titus

RS86366. Silver denarius, RIC II, part 1, 787 (C2); BMCRE II 230; RSC II 292; BnF III 206; Hunter I 91; cf. SRCV I 2734 (IMP XXI COS XVI), VF, well centered and toned, marks, edge cracks, weight 3.332 g, maximum diameter 19.2 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 14 Sep 95 - 13 Sep 96 A.D.; obverse IMP CAES DOMIT AVG GERM P M TR P XV, laureate head right; reverse IMP XXII COS XVII CENS P P P, Minerva advancing right, wearing crested helmet, brandishing spear in right hand, round shield on left arm; ex Incitatus Coins; $130.00 (€110.50)
 


Domitian, 13 September 81 - 18 September 96 A.D.

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The Roman statesman Pliny the Elder wrote that owls foretell only evil and are to be dreaded more than all other birds.
RS86367. Silver denarius, RIC II, part 1, 771; RSC II 289; BMCRE II 223; BnF III 201; Hunter I 89; SRCV I -, aVF, light toning, bumps and marks, slightly rough, weight 3.192 g, maximum diameter 17.9 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 1 Jan - 13 Sep 95 A.D.; obverse IMP CAES DOMIT AVG GERM P M TR P XIIII, laureate head right; reverse IMP XXII COS XVII CENS P P P, Minerva standing right on Columna Rostrata, wearing helmet and aegis, brandishing javelin in right hand, shield in left hand, owl at feet on right; ex Educational Coin Company; $80.00 (€68.00)
 


Domitian, 13 September 81 - 18 September 96 A.D.

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In 94 A.D. Domitian banned philosophers from Rome. A "philosopher" may have been broadly defined as anyone with a lifestyle or ideas contrary to tradition, but probably also included anyone Domitian wanted banished.
RS86370. Silver denarius, RIC II, part 1, 761 (C3); RSC II 283b; BMCRE II 214; BnF III 191; Hunter I 85; SRCV I -, VF, well centered on a tight flan, light marks, some die wear, weight 3.400 g, maximum diameter 19.2 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 14 Sep 93 - 13 Sep 94 A.D.; obverse IMP CAES DOMIT AVG GERM P M TR P XIII, laureate head right; reverse IMP XXII COS XVI CENS P P P, Minerva advancing right, helmeted, draped and wearing aegis, brandishing javelin in right hand, round shield on left arm; ex Gitbud & Naumann auction 23 (5 Oct 2014), lot 753; $120.00 (€102.00)
 


Domitian, 13 September 81 - 18 September 96 A.D.

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The Flavian Palace, also known as Domus Flavia, was completed in 92 A.D. It was part of the vast residential complex of the Roman Emperors on the Palatine Hill in Rome. Well known for its grandeur, the Flavian Palace was more commonly used for purposes of state, while the Domus Augustana, an enormous, lavishly ornamented palace south of the Flavian Palace, was the Emperor's primary residence.Flavian Palace
RS86372. Silver denarius, RIC II, part 1, 732 (C3); RSC II 272; BMCRE II 192; BnF III 178; Hunter I 80; SRCV I -, gVF, nice portrait, light toning, luster in recesses, die wear, edge cracks, weight 3.459 g, maximum diameter 19.2 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 1 Jan - 13 Sep 92 A.D.; obverse IMP CAES DOMIT AVG GERM P M TR P XI, laureate head right; reverse IMP XXI COS XVI CENS P P P, Minerva standing left, helmeted and draped, thunderbolt in right hand, spear vertical behind in left hand, grounded shield at feet behind; $120.00 (€102.00)
 


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

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In the Roman Republic, and Empire, the curule chair (sella curulis, supposedly from currus, "chariot") was the seat upon which magistrates holding imperium were entitled to sit. This includes dictators, magistri equitum, consuls, praetors, censors, curule aediles, and the promagistrates, temporary or de facto holders of such offices. Additionally, the Flamen of Jupiter (Flamen Dialis) was also allowed to sit on a curule seat, though this position did not hold imperium. Livy writes that the three flamines maiores or high priests of the Archaic Triad of major gods were each granted the honor of the curule chair.
RS85571. Silver denarius, RIC II, part 1, 6 (R); RSC II 541a; BMCRE II p. 8, 46; BnF III -; Hunter I -; SRCV I -, VF, toned, light marks and scratches, tight flan, weight 2.899 g, maximum diameter 18.5 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 1st issue, 21 Dec 69 - early 70 A.D.; obverse IMP CAESAR VESPASIANVS AVG, laureate head right; reverse TITVS ET DOMITIAN CAESARES PRIN IV, Titus and Domitian seated left, side by side on curule chairs, each holding a laurel branch in extended right hand; rare; $480.00 (€408.00)
 










OBVERSE LEGENDS

CAESARAVGFDOMITIANCOSII
CAESARAVGFDOMITIANVS
CAESARAVGFDOMITIANVSCOSII
CAESARAVGFDOMITIANVSCOSIII
CAESARAVGFDOMITIANVSCOSIIII
CAESARAVGFDOMITIANVSCOSV
CAESARAVGFDOMITIANVSCOSVI
CAESARAVGFDOMITIANVSCOSVII
CAESARDIVIAVGVESPFDOMITIANVSCOSVII
CAESARDIVIFDOMITIANVSCOSVII
CAESAVGFDOMITCOSII
CAESAVGFDOMITCOSIII
CAESAVGFDOMITIANCOSII
CAESDIVIAVGVESP
CAESDIVIFDOMITIANVSCOSVII
CAESDIVIVESPFDOMITIANCOSVII
DOMITIANVSAVGGERM
DOMITIANVSAVGGERMANICVS
DOMITIANVSAVGVSTVS
DOMITIANVSCAESARAVGF
IMPCAESARDOMITIANVSAVG
IMPCAESDIVIVESPFDOMITIANAVG
IMPCAESDIVIVESPFDOMITIANAVGPM
IMPCAESDOMITAVGGERMANPMTRPVII
IMPCAESDOMITAVGGERMCOSXI
IMPCAESDOMITAVGGERMCOSXICENSPOTPP
IMPCAESDOMITAVGGERMCOSXICENSPERPP
IMPCAESDOMITAVGGERMCOSXIICENSPERPP
IMPCAESDOMITAVGGERMCOSXIIICENSPERPP
IMPCAESDOMITAVGGERMCOSXIIIICENSPERPP
IMPCAESDOMITAVGGERMCOSXVCENSPERPP
IMPCAESDOMITAVGGERMCOSXVICENSPERPP
IMPCAESDOMITAVGGERMCOSXVIICENSPERPP
IMPCAESDOMITAVGGERMPMCOSVII
IMPCAESDOMITAVGGERMPMTRPOTV
IMPCAESDOMITAVGGERMPMTRPIIII
IMPCAESDOMITAVGGERMPMTRPV
IMPCAESDOMITAVGGERMPMTRPVI
IMPCAESDOMITAVGGERMPMTRPVII
IMPCAESDOMITAVGGERMPMTRPVIII
IMPCAESDOMITAVGGERMPMTRPVIIICENSPERPP
IMPCAESDOMITAVGGERMPMTRPVIIII
IMPCAESDOMITAVGGERMPMTRPX
IMPCAESDOMITAVGGERMPMTRPXI
IMPCAESDOMITAVGGERMPMTRPXII
IMPCAESDOMITAVGGERMPMTRPXIII
IMPCAESDOMITAVGGERMPMTRPXIIII
IMPCAESDOMITAVGGERMPMTRPXV
IMPCAESDOMITAVGGERMPMTRPXVI
IMPCAESDOMITAVGGERMPMTRPVIIICENSPERPP
IMPCAESDOMITIANAVGGERMCOSX
IMPCAESDOMITIANAVGGERMCOSXI
IMPCAESDOMITIANAVGGERMANIC
IMPCAESDOMITIANAVGGERMANICVS
IMPCAESDOMITIANAVGGERMV
IMPCAESDOMITIANAVGPMCOSVII
IMPCAESDOMITIANAVGPMCOSVIII
IMPCAESDOMITIANVSAVGGERMANIC
IMPCAESDOMITIANVSAVGGERMANICVS
IMPCAESDOMITIANVSAVGPM
IMPCAESDOMITIANVSAVGPONT
IMPDOMITAVGGERM
IMPDOMITAVGGERMCOSXI
IMPDOMITIANCAESDIVIVESPFAVGPMTRPPPCOSVII
IMPDOMITIANCAESDIVIVESPFAVGPMTRPPPCOSVIII
IMPDOMITIANVSAVG


REFERENCES

American Numismatic Society (ANS) Collections Database Online - http://numismatics.org/search/search
Banti, A. & L. Simonetti. Corpus Nummorum Romanorum. (Florence, 1972-1979).
Burnett, A. & M. Amandry. Roman Provincial Coinage II: From Vespasian to Domitian (AD 69-96). (London, 1999).
Butcher, K. Coinage in Roman Syria: Northern Syria, 64 BC - AD 253. Royal Numismatic Society Special Publication 34. (London, 2004).
Calicó, E. The Roman Avrei, Vol. I: From the Republic to Pertinax, 196 BC - 193 AD. (Barcelona, 2003).
Carradice, I. & T. Buttrey. The Roman Imperial Coinage, Vol. II, Part 1: From AD 69 to 96. (London, 2007).
Cayón, J. Los Sestercios del Imperio Romano, Vol. I: De Pompeyo Magno a Matidia (Del 81 a.C. al 117 d.C.). (Madrid, 1984).
Cohen, H. Description historique des monnaies frappées sous l'Empire Romain, Vol. 1: Pompey to Domitian. (Paris, 1880).
Giard, J. Le monnayage de l'atelier de Lyon, De Claude Ier à Vespasien (41-78 après J.-C.), et au temps de Clodius Albinus (196-197 après J.-C.). (Wetteren, 2000).
Giard, J. Monnaies de l'Empire romain, III Du soulèvement de 68 après J.-C. a Nerva. Bibliothèque nationale de France. (Paris, 1998).
Hendin, D. Guide to Biblical Coins, 5th Edition. (Amphora, 2010).
Mattingly, H. & R. Carson. Coins of the Roman Empire in the British Museum, Vol. 2: Vespasian to Domitian. (London, 1930).
Robinson, A. Roman Imperial Coins in the Hunter Coin Cabinet, University of Glasgow, Vol. I. Augustus to Nerva. (Oxford, 1962).
Seaby, H. & R. Loosley. Roman Silver Coins, Vol. II: Tiberius to Commodus. (London, 1979).
Sear, D. Roman Coins and Their Values, The Millennium Edition, Volume One, The Republic and the Twelve Caesars 280 BC - AD 86. (London, 2000).
Vagi, D. Coinage and History of the Roman Empire. (Sidney, 1999).

Catalog current as of Thursday, December 14, 2017.
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Roman Coins of Domitian