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

Domitian RIC-833
∆ Dupondius, 12.14g
Eastern Mint (Thrace?), 81 AD
RIC 833 (R). BMC 513. RPC 528.
Obv: IMP D CAES DIVI VESP F AVG P M TR P P P COS VII; Head of Domitian, radiate, bearded, r.
Rev: ROMA; S C in exergue; Roma std. l. on cuirass, with wreath and parazonium
Ex eBay, July 2019.

An unidentified Eastern mint struck aes coinage for Titus between 80-81 and then for Domitian in 81-82. The style (heavily seriffed letters, large portraits, and massive reverse figures), unique obverse legends, and uncommon fabric (flat, almost convex flans) all suggest a mint other than Rome. Attributing exactly where these coins were struck has historically been a moving target - Mattingly in BMCRE thought Lugdunum, H.A. Cahn believed somewhere in Bithynia. More recent scholarship has looked towards Thrace as a possible location for production based on the Balkan distribution pattern of found specimens. Although the region of mintage has been narrowed down, the city itself remains elusive. RPC has suggested possibly Perinthus. Presumably a shortage of bronze coins in the region prompted a localised imperial issue. The striking of imperial bronze outside of Rome was an exceptional step at the time considering the last imperial branch mint at Lugdunum had shuttered late in Vespasian's reign. The issues consisted of sestertii, dupondii, asses, and semisses which copied types struck at Rome.

Production at this Eastern mint continued uninterrupted between Titus' and Domitian's reigns, hinted at by Domitian's seamless adoption of Titus' types and legend formula after his accession - exemplified by the minor substitution of a 'D' for a 'T' in the obverse legend of this dupondius. Roma is the only reverse type struck on the dupondius for both issues. The coinage struck under Domitian at this mint is quite rare, owing to the short time frame in which it was produced. After its closure in early 82, the striking of imperial coinage would be consolidated at Rome for the remainder of Domitian's reign.

Handsome dark patina and honest wear.
File information
Album name:David Atherton / Imperial Coinage of Domitian
File Size:58 KB
Date added:Aug 09, 2019
Dimensions:811 x 400 pixels
Displayed:49 times
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FlaviusDomitianus  [Aug 10, 2019 at 07:15 AM]
These coins come often with a very dark patination.
quadrans  [Aug 10, 2019 at 09:34 AM]
Nice find...
Steve P  [Aug 13, 2019 at 03:03 AM]
pretty cool