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Domitian RIC-821
AR Denarius, 3.42g
Rome mint, 96 AD
RIC 821 (R2). BMC 237D. RSC 297b.
Obv: IMP CAES DOMIT AVG GERM P M TR P XVI; Head of Domitian, laureate, bearded, r.
Rev: IMP XXII COS XVII CENS P P P; Minerva, winged, flying l., with spear and shield
Ex jerusalemhadaya2012, eBay, 4 March 2019.

Domitian achieved tribunician power for the 16th time on 14 September 96 AD. He was assassinated in a palace plot four days later on 18 September. In between those two dates the mint struck only one issue of denarii recording Domitian as TR P XVI, needless to say they are extremely rare! The Senate decreed Damnatio Memoriae within a day of Domitian's assassination which would have quickly halted production at the mint for his coinage. The months leading up to Domitian's assassination saw the mint at Rome experimenting with many new reverse designs (altar, winged Minerva, Maia, temple reverses), breaking the monotony of the four standard Minerva types that had previously dominated the denarius. These new types are exceedingly rare and were perhaps experimental in nature. This denarius shows one of these new reverse types, Minerva Victrix, a more warrior like attribute of the goddess. The fact that this new type which originally appeared on the denarius when Domitian was TR P XV carried over to the briefly struck TR P XVI issue alongside the Maia and the M1, M3, and M4 Minerva types may hint that there was indeed change in the air at the mint. Perhaps the mix of new types with the older ones hint at a transition regarding the typology on his precious metal coinage? Regardless, the experiment was cut short by an assassin's blade, so we shall never know. This denarius may very well be the last coin ever struck for Domitian.

Fine late style with good natural toning. Same dies as the BM specimen.
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Album name:David Atherton / Imperial Coinage of Domitian
Rating (1 votes): (Details)
File Size:145 KB
Date added:Mar 19, 2019
Dimensions:800 x 402 pixels
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Mat  [Mar 19, 2019 at 05:36 AM]
Sweet pick up
Enodia  [Mar 19, 2019 at 06:09 AM]
Very interesting coin!
shanxi  [Mar 19, 2019 at 06:26 AM]
quadrans  [Mar 19, 2019 at 06:44 AM]
Jay GT4  [Mar 19, 2019 at 10:10 AM]
A important historical coin
curtislclay  [Mar 19, 2019 at 02:17 PM]
Nice to have the crucial date TR P XVI so clear! You might want to add, however, that four other reverse types, RIC 817-820, are also known on denarii with this date.
David Atherton  [Mar 19, 2019 at 02:48 PM]
Thanks for the suggestion Curtis! I ammended the write-up to correct the oversight.
*Alex  [Mar 20, 2019 at 02:34 PM]
Wow, well done David and great write-up too.
mix_val  [Mar 20, 2019 at 04:33 PM]
excellent find!
Harry G  [Mar 24, 2019 at 09:02 PM]
Great coin!