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Domitian RIC 44
AR Denarius, 2.56g
Rome mint, 81 AD
Obv: IMP CAES DIVI VESP F DOMIT AVG PONT; Head of Domitian, laureate, bearded, r.
Rev: TR P COS VII DES VIII P P; Altar, garlanded and lighted
RIC 44 (R2). BMC -. RSC -. BNC -.

An extremely rare and early denarius of Domitian. This coin was minted before Domitian became Pontifex Maximus, as shown by the obverse legend which only shows him as PONT. Presumably the official ceremonies for this elevation had not been completed when the coin was struck. Domitian, always a stickler for the correct procedures, probably insisted the correct form of his titles be struck. This coin also indicates how quickly new coins were struck for Domitian after he became emperor. Also, notice the nice mention of Vespasian in the obverse legend - DIVI VESP F, "Son of the Divine Vespasian".

The style is very typical of the early denarii of Domitian before his coinage reform the following year. Notice the veristic style with the hook nose. Later his portraits became more idealized.

Not listed in the BM nor Cohen. The new RIC cites examples at the Ashmolean and a private sale.
File information
Album name:David Atherton / Imperial Coinage of Domitian
File Size:119 KB
Date added:Apr 24, 2012
Dimensions:800 x 389 pixels
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ancientdave  [Apr 24, 2012 at 09:55 PM]
Fantastic style, indeed!
Robin Ayers  [Apr 25, 2012 at 06:38 PM]
What a great description. And what a nose and chin that portrait has!