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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. 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. Domitian's reign was marred by paranoia and cruelty in his latter years and he executed many Senators. 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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Jupiter or Jove, Zeus to the Greeks, was the king of the gods and the god of sky and thunder, and of laws and social order. As the patron deity of ancient Rome, he was the chief god of the Capitoline Triad, with his sister and wife Juno. The father of Mars, he is therefore the grandfather of Romulus and Remus, the legendary founders of Rome.
RB72831. Orichalcum sestertius, RIC II, part 1, 702; BMCRE II 439, BnF III 476; Hunter I 176; Cohen I 314; cf. SRCV I 2766 (COS XIIII), attractive F, excellent portrait, nice chocolate tone, uneven strike with some legend unstruck and top of reverse weak, light corrosion, weight 25.472 g, maximum diameter 34.7 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 90 - 91 A.D.; obverse IMP CAES DOMIT AVG GERM COS XV CENS PER P P, laureate head right; reverse IOVI VICTORI, Jupiter seated left, nude to waist, himation around hips and legs, feet on footstool, Victory standing left raising wreath in his extended right hand, long scepter vertical behind in his left hand, S C in exergue; $315.00 (€280.35)

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Construction of the Colosseum, started by Vespasian c. 72 A.D., was completed by Titus in 80 A.D. It was capable of seating 50,000 spectators. Games held for its inauguration lasted for 100 days and nights, during which some 5,000 animals were slaughtered.
RB77111. Brass sestertius, cf. RIC II, part 1, 837 (R2); RPC II 530; Cahn Bithynia 24; BnF III 551, BMCRE II 516 (Lyon); Cayon I 52; Cohen I 345; Hunter I -, aVF/F, well centered, a little rough, weight 24.753 g, maximum diameter 37.9 mm, die axis 180o, uncertain Thracian mint, 82 A.D.; obverse IMP DOMITIAN CAES DIVI VESP F AVG P M TR P P P COS VIII, laureate head right; reverse PAX AVGVST, Pax standing left, branch in right hand, cornucopia in left hand, S - C flanking across field; rare; $290.00 (€258.10)

Domitian, 13 September 81 - 18 September 96 A.D., Judaea Capta, Caesarea Maritima, Samaria

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Judaea Capta issue minted at Caesarea, Judaea. After Herod's death, Caesarea was the seat of the Roman procurator and capital of Roman Palestine for about 500 years. A riot in 66 A.D. between Syrians and Jews in the city led to the First Jewish Revolt. Paul was delivered to Caesarea when his life was threatened in Jerusalem (Acts 9:30). From Caesarea, Paul departed to Tarsus, his birthplace. Paul met the church in Caesarea (Acts 18:22; 21:8,16). Finally, Paul was taken prisoner (Acts 23:23,33) and returned to Caesarea where he was tried before Festus and King Agrippa (Acts 25:1-4; 24:6-13)
JD75361. Bronze AE 26, Hendin 1454, Meshorer TJC 391, RPC II 2304, F, red earthen encrustation, some corrosion, weight 10.803 g, maximum diameter 25.8 mm, die axis 0o, Caesarea Maritima mint, c. 83 A.D.; obverse IMP DOMITIANVS CAES AVG GERMANICVS, laureate head left; reverse Minerva standing right on galley with owl on prow, shield in left, spear downward in right, trophy behind, palm frond right, no legend; from the J. Berlin Caesarea Collection (a surface find from an agricultural field near Caesarea Paneas in 1972); $225.00 (€200.25)

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In Seaby's Roman Silver Coins Volume II (RSC II) this reverse type is described as "Minerva on vessel."
RS77352. Silver denarius, RIC II, part 1, 686 (C2); RSC II 258; BMCRE II 159; BnF III 154, gVF, light tone on luster, well centered, light marks, weight 3.472 g, maximum diameter 19.5 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 14 Sep - 31 Dec 89 A.D.; obverse IMP CAES DOMIT AVG GERM P M TR P VIIII, laureate head right; reverse IMP XXI COS XIIII CENS P P P, Minerva standing right on Columna Rostrata, wearing helmet and aegis, brandishing javelin in right, shield in left, owl at feet on right; $200.00 (€178.00)

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

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Ceres a goddess of agriculture, grain crops, fertility and motherly relationships, was listed among the Di Consentes, Rome's equivalent to the Twelve Olympians of Greek mythology. The Romans saw her as the counterpart of the Greek goddess Demeter, whose mythology was reinterpreted for Ceres in Roman art and literature.
RB64531. Bronze quadrans, RIC II.1 243, Cohen 17, VF, weight 2.181 g, maximum diameter 17.9 mm, die axis 135o, Rome mint, obverse IMP DOMIT AVG GERM, bust of Ceres (possibly with the features of Domitia) left, wreathed with grain; reverse bundle of three poppies and four stalks of grain, S - C flanking across field; rare; $150.00 (€133.50)

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In 77 or 78 A.D., Gnaeus Julius Agricola was made governor of Roman Britain, a post he occupied until 84. In his first year, Agricola subdued the Ordovices in Wales and pursued the remnants of the tribe to Anglesey, the holy island of the Druids. According to Tacitus, he exterminated the whole tribe. The Ordovices do completely disappear from the historical record, but considering the mountainous terrain, it is unlikely killed the entire population. Another tribe, the Silures, was either also 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." A Roman squadron, sent by Agricola, explored the north of Scotland for the first time, discovering the Orkney and Shetland Islands.Pre-Roman Wales
RS77332. Silver denarius, RIC II, part 1, Vespasian 921 (C2); RSC II 47; BMCRE II Vespasian 193; BnF III Vespasian 169; SRCV I 2637, aVF, toned, light porosity, reverse die wear, marks and scratches, weight 3.220 g, maximum diameter 18.9 mm, Rome mint, as caesar, early 76 - early 77 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; $150.00 (€133.50)

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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.
RB73633. Copper as, RIC II, part 1, 650; BMCRE II 417; BnF III 545; Cohen 655; Hunter I 174; cf. SBCV I 2817 (COS XV), VF, well centered on a heavy flan, green patina with some flaking and bare toned copper high points, minor corrosion and encrustation, weight 12.962 g, maximum diameter 29.8 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 88 - 89 A.D.; obverse IMP CAES DOMIT AVG GERM COS XIIII CENS PER P P, laureate bust right with aegis; reverse VIRTVTI AVGVSTI, Virtus standing right, helmeted and draped, left foot on a helmet, inverted spear vertical behind in right hand, parazonium in left hand, S - C flanking across field; ex Harlan J. Berk; $135.00 (€120.15)

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In 94 A.D., Domitian rebuilt and rededicated the Curia Julia, the meeting place of the Roman Senate, which had burned down in 64. Construction began in 44 B.C. but was interrupted by Caesar's assassination at the Theatre of Pompey where the Senate had been meeting temporarily while the work was completed. The project was eventually finished by Augustus in 29 B.C. The Curia Julia is one of only a handful of Roman structures to survive to the modern day mostly intact, due to its conversion into the basilica of Sant'Adriano al Foro in the 7th century. Curia Julia
RS70404. Silver denarius, RIC II, part 1, 763 (C3); RSC II 283; BMCRE II 218; BnF III 193; Hunter I 88, VF, nice portrait, light toning, weight 3.429 g, maximum diameter 18.8 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 standing left, helmeted and draped, thunderbolt in right, spear vertical behind in left, grounded shield at feet behind; $125.00 (€111.25)

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The period covered by Tacitus in his Histories ends in 96 A.D.
RS77335. Silver denarius, RIC II, part 1, 790, RSC II 290, BMCRE II 235; BnF III 209; Hunter I -, VF, perfect centering, toned, porosity, light marks, weight 3.241 g, maximum diameter 18.9 mm, Rome mint, 14 Sep 95 A.D. - 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, inverted spear vertical before her in her right hand, her left hand on hip; $125.00 (€111.25)

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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.
RB73715. Copper as, RIC II, part 1, 756; BMCRE II 469; BnF III 500; Cohen I 333; Hunter I -; cf. SRCV 2807 (COS XV), VF, centered, green patina, light scratches and corrosion, weight 10.417 g, maximum diameter 29.1 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 92 - 94 A.D.; obverse IMP CAES DOMIT AVG GERM COS XVI CENS PER P P, laureate head right; reverse MONETA AVGVSTI, Moneta standing left, scales in right hand, cornucopia in left hand, S - C flanking across field; $120.00 (€106.80)






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Catalog current as of Wednesday, May 25, 2016.
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Roman Coins of Domitian