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Home>Catalog>RomanCoins>TheTwelveCaesars>Domitian

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.
Click for a larger photo 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; $190.00 (142.50)

Roman Empire, Anonymous, Domitian to Antoninus Pius, c. 81 - 161 A.D.
Click for a larger photo RIC identifies this type as common but it appears to be rare with the dove facing left.

Quadrantes, like quinarii, were issued only occasionally, perhaps exclusively for imperial distributions. Suetonius reported that, from the roof of the Basilica Julia "Caligula threw coins among the people." Perhaps this small coin was thrown to the crowd by Trajan himself at a similar event.
RB63623. Bronze quadrans, RIC II p. 218, 25, VF, weight 1.847 g, maximum diameter 14.4 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, c. 81 - 161 A.D.; obverse diademed and draped bust of Venus right; reverse dove standing left, S C in ex; rare; $145.00 (108.75)

Domitian, 13 September 81 - 18 September 96 A.D., Tomis, Moesia Inferior
Click for a larger photo Tomis (Constanta, Romania today) was founded by Greek colonists around 600 B.C. on the Black Sea shore for trade with the local Getic population. The Roman poet Ovid was banished by Augustus to Tomis in 8 A.D. and died there eight years later. By his account, Tomis was "a town located in a war-stricken cultural wasteland on the remotest margins of the empire."
RP68780. Bronze AE 18, Varbanov 4646 (R6), AMNG I/II 2592, SNG Cop -, SNG Stancomb -, BMC Thrace -, VF, weight 4.517 g, maximum diameter 20.0 mm, die axis 0o, Tomis mint, obverse ∆OMETIANO-C KAICA ΓEPM, laureate head right; reverse TOM−ITΩN, Nike standing left on globe, wreath in right, palm frond in left; scarce; $140.00 (105.00)

Domitian, 13 September 81 - 18 September 96 A.D., Roman Provincial Egypt
Click for a larger photo Isis was an Egyptian goddess, whose worship spread throughout the Greco-Roman world. She was worshiped as the ideal mother, wife, matron of nature and magic. She was the friend of slaves, sinners, artisans, the downtrodden, as well as listening to the prayers of the wealthy, maidens, aristocrats and rulers. Isis is the Goddess of motherhood and fertility.
RX57221. Bronze diobol, Dattari 502; RPC II 2482; Geissen 329; BMC Alexandria p. 37, 302; Milne 467; Emmett 296, F, weight 6.023 g, maximum diameter 23.8 mm, die axis 0o, Alexandria mint, 29 Aug 82 - 28 Aug 83 A.D.; obverse AYTOK KAIΣAP ∆OMITIANOΣ ΣEB, laureate bust right; reverse ETOYΣ ∆EYTEPOY (year 2), bust of Isis right, wearing crown of the sun disk, cow horns, and heads of grain, knot on breast; $125.00 (93.75)

Click for a larger photo The Romans believed that Fortuna, after deserting the Persians and Assyrians, took flight over Macedonia and saw Alexander perish as she passed into Egypt and into Syria. At last arriving on Mount Palatine she threw aside her wings and casting away her wheel, entered Rome where she took up her abode forever.
RB55450. Copper as, RIC II 487, F, weight 8.868 g, maximum diameter 28.8 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 86 A.D.; obverse IMP CAES DOMIT AVG GERM COS XIII CENS PER P P, laureate head right; reverse FORTVNAE AVGVSTI S C, Fortuna standing left, rudder in right hand, cornucopia in left; $85.00 (63.75)

Roman Empire, Anonymous, Domitian to Antoninus Pius, c. 81 - 161 A.D.
Click for a larger photo The affectionate dove, the bird of love, was sacred to the goddess Venus (Aphrodite). Doves were said to draw her heavenly chariot, and the Syrian Aphrodite Ashtarte was said to have been hatched from an egg nursed by doves. The phrase attributed to Jesus, "Be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves" (Matthew 10.16), was no random metaphor but a traditional Syrian invocation.
RB65624. Bronze quadrans, RIC II p. 218, 24; Vagi 196; Cohen 10, F, weight 2.565 g, maximum diameter 15.3 mm, die axis 0o, Rome mint, c. 81 - 161 A.D.; obverse diademed and draped bust of Venus right; reverse dove standing right, S - C flanking across field; $70.00 (52.50)

Roman Empire, Domitian to Antoninus Pius, c. 81 - 161 A.D.
Click for a larger photo The affectionate dove, the bird of love, was sacred to the goddess Venus (Aphrodite). Doves were said to draw her heavenly chariot, and the Syrian Aphrodite Ashtarte was said to have been hatched from an egg nursed by doves. The phrase attributed to Jesus, "Be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves" (Matthew 10.16), was no random metaphor but a traditional Syrian invocation.
RB66974. Bronze quadrans, RIC II p. 218, 24; Vagi 196; Cohen 10, F, rough, weight 2.136 g, maximum diameter 14.2 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, c. 81 - 161 A.D.; obverse diademed and draped bust of Venus right; reverse dove standing right, S - C flanking across field; $65.00 (48.75)

Click for a larger photo Mars was the god of war and also an agricultural guardian. He was the father of Romulus and Remus, the legendary founders of Rome. In early Rome, he was second in importance only to Jupiter, and the most prominent of the military gods in the religion of the Roman army. Most of his festivals were held in March, the month named for him (Latin Martius), and in October, which began and ended the season for military campaigning and farming.
RB90365. Orichalcum dupondius, cf. RIC II, part 1, 293; BMCRE 308; Cohen 427; BnF III 330; cf. SRCV I 2789 (COS X), aF, weight 10.169 g, maximum diameter 28.0 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 85 - 86 A.D.; obverse IMP CAES DOMITIAN AVG GERM COS XI, radiate head right, wearing aegis; reverse Mars advancing left, wearing military garb, parazonium on left side, Victory in in extended right hand, trophy over shoulder in left, S - C flanking low across field; $50.00 (37.50)

Click for a larger photo In 86 A.D. in the First Battle of Tapae, a Roman attack led by the Praetorian prefect, Cornelius Fuscus, was encircled in the valley of Timi. Fuscus died along with his entire army. Rome was forced to pay tribute to the Dacians in exchange for a vague recognition of Rome's importance.
RB67069. Copper as, RIC II, part 1, 498, F, weight 9.452 g, maximum diameter 26.7 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 86 A.D.; obverse IMP CAES DOMIT AVG GERM COS XII CENS PER P P, laureate head right, wearing aegis; reverse VICTORIAE AVGVSTI, Victory standing left, palm in left, inscribing shield set on trophy, S - C flanking trophy; $36.00 (27.00)


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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
IMPDOMITIANCAESDIVIVESPFAVGPMTRPPPCOSVI
II IMPDOMITIANVSAVG




Average well preserved denarius weight 3.30 grams.
Average well preserved quinarius weight 1.46 grams.


Catalog current as of Tuesday, September 02, 2014.
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Roman Coins of Domitian