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Domitian RIC-770
AR Denarius, 3.27g
Rome mint, 95 AD
RIC 770 (C2). BMC 222. RSC 288.
Obv: IMP CAES DOMIT AVG GERM P M TR P XIIII; Head of Domitian, laureate, bearded, r.
Rev: IMP XXII COS XVII CENS P P P; Minerva adv r., with spear and shield (M1)
Ex Dionysos Numismatik, eBay, April 2014.

Domitian took the consulship for the seventeenth time in 95, so this coin can be dated between 1 January and 13 September of that year. Many of the portraits from this issue and the following one show Domitian with slightly raised 'eyes toward heaven' - as seen on this example. Mattingly postulated this as 'lofty aspirations' or even that it is modelled upon the great Equus Domitiani statue erected in 91! Whatever the reason for the portait style, it is indeed a remarkable feature of the late issues and is either the image Domitian wished to project or the product of one or more talented die engravers producing these unique portraits without any direction from above.

A fairly common coin in fine late period style.
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