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Home > Members' Coin Collection Galleries > David Atherton > Imperial Coinage of Domitian
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Domitian RIC 16
AR Denarius, 3.43g
Rome mint, 81 AD
Obv: IMP CAES DOMITIANVS AVG PONT; Head of Domitian, laureate, bearded, r.
Rev: P P COS VII DES VIII; Seat, draped; above, semicircular frame decorated with three crescents
RIC 16 (R2). BMC -. RSC -. BNC 8.
Acquired from Germania Inferior, June 2018.

Domitian seems to have been somewhat in a hurry to strike coins as Augustus after Titus' death in mid September 81 AD, presumably for a legionary donative. This denarius was struck before Domitian had been awarded the power of the tribunate (TR P) and pontifex maximus (PM). Here his only titles are Augustus (AVG), Imperator (IMP), Consul for the 7th time (COS VII), and pater patriae, father of the country (P P). Perhaps it may have taken a few days for the Senate to award the power of the tribunate to Domitian because they had assembled at the small town of Reate where Titus had died and needed to be in Rome in order to vote him the right. The religious ceremonies required for Domitian to assume the title pontifex maximus had not yet finished by this time either, here he is simply PONT, or in other words a member of the College of Pontiffs. Some have argued that PONT is the same as PM, I disagree. Titus as Caesar early on had also used the title PONT on his denarii and he was never pontifex maximus under Vespasian - only the emperor can be Pontifex Maximus or greatest priest. Although this Group 2 denarius is not part of Domitian's first RIC issue, it is very likely to have been struck within the first few days of him assuming the purple. RIC notes the chronology is not precise with these issues from 81 and they are grouped only for 'convenience'. Judging by the rarity of the Group 2 denarii they could not have been struck for any great length of time.

Dark cabinet toning with a stylish early portrait.
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Rating (1 votes):
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Date added:
Jul 11, 2018
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FlaviusDomitianus  [Jul 11, 2018 at 11:12 AM]
PONT denarii are always welcome...
Jay GT4  [Jul 11, 2018 at 11:57 AM]
Really great coin
maridvnvm  [Jul 11, 2018 at 12:41 PM]
Absolutely gorgeous
quadrans  [Jul 11, 2018 at 01:02 PM]
Great piece ..I like it..
Randygeki(h2)  [Aug 04, 2018 at 04:53 AM]
All coins are guaranteed for eternity
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