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Home > Members' Coin Collection Galleries > David Atherton > Imperial Coinage of Domitian

Domitian RIC-789
AR Denarius, 3.47g
Rome mint, 95-96 AD
Obv: IMP CAES DOMIT AVG GERM P M TR P XV; Head of Domitian, laureate, bearded, r.
Rev: IMP XXII COS XVII CENS P P P; Minerva stg. l., with thunderbolt and spear, shield at her l. side (M3)
RIC 789 (C2). BMC 234. RSC 291. BNC 208.
Acquired from Roma Numismatics, August 2013.

Between September 95 and September 96 Domitian struck his last great issue of denarii. The series varies wildly in quality - some denarii it seems were struck in a bit of a hurry (ragged flans and bad style), while others were more carefully crafted with better quality control. Domitian's hand, it seems, may not have been as firmly on the mint's tiller as in times past.

This denarius was struck in that same great issue and exhibits some of its better qualities. For a start, the centering is spot on and the flan is almost perfect. Style wise we see the Flavian baroque (ostentatious and overdone) which is very much in evidence on certain denarii from 88 onwards. Here the elaborate hairstyle, plump face, and gaudy laurel wreath (crowding into the legend) shows off this baroque style in fine fashion. A skilled engraver's handiwork in the then fashionable court style. Also of note, many of the portraits from this time (such as the current example) show a Domitian with slightly raised 'eyes toward heaven' - which Mattingly postulated as 'lofty aspirations'.

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Filename:D789_zpsc5250870.jpg
Album name:David Atherton / Imperial Coinage of Domitian
Rating (1 votes): (Details)
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Date added:Aug 21, 2013
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URL:http://www.forumancientcoins.com/gallery/displayimage.php?pos=-100872
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carthago  [Aug 24, 2013 at 04:54 PM]
Interesting historical background and coin.
Lucas H  [Aug 30, 2013 at 01:19 PM]
Very nice.
Steve E  [Sep 06, 2013 at 12:41 AM]
Yes, I too like the nice historical background and die study! Looks to be of fairly high relief too
Sam  [Sep 06, 2013 at 10:03 PM]
Good job and interesting analysis . By the way , I was always wondering why Domitian looks like ,he needs to pay a visit the hair dresser then for a nose job , but your search explained it .†