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

Domitian RIC 40
AR Denarius, 3.17g
Rome mint, 81 AD
Obv: IMP CAES DOMITIANVS AVG PONT; Head of Domitian, laureate, bearded, r.
Rev: TR P COS VII DES VIII P P; Altar, garlanded and lighted
RIC 40 (R2). BMC -. RSC -. BNC -.
Acquired from London Ancient Coins, June 2017.

An early rare 'PONT' denarius struck towards the end of 81. The abbreviation 'PONT' for Ponitfex Maximus must have come early in the sequence of titles Domitian employed on his denarii and likely was short lived if its rarity is any indication. The records of the Arval brothers do not show Domitian as Pontifex Maximus by 30 October, so presumably he acquired the title in either November or December. Interestingly, the obverse legend displays the Greek influenced 'Y' instead of 'V', perhaps evidence of a Greek engraver's handiwork. The altar on the reverse is a carry-over pulvinaria type struck for Domitian as Caesar under Titus, perhaps representing the pulvinar of Vesta and Vulcan.

A sharp VF denarius struck when the dies were fresh. Good early style.

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Date added:
Jul 04, 2017
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FlaviusDomitianus  [Jul 04, 2017 at 08:21 AM]
A double die-match with mine it seems! Nice catch.
Jay GT4  [Jul 04, 2017 at 08:36 AM]
Not only rare but beautifully preserved!
Mat  [Jul 04, 2017 at 11:33 AM]
Nice find, David.
Curtis H2  [Jul 04, 2017 at 06:38 PM]
Very nice!
quadrans  [Jul 05, 2017 at 03:28 AM]
I agree, great coin in nice condition and details...!
Randygeki(h2)  [Jul 05, 2017 at 05:37 AM]
Excellent example!
Jim H  [Jul 22, 2017 at 11:45 AM]
Interesting theory about the dating. You could be right. I agree with you about the two different abbreviations for Pontifex Maximus instead of PONT standing for Pontifex, which would be pointless. Beautiful coin and rare!
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