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

Domitian RIC-331
AR Denarius, 3.20g
Rome mint, 85 AD
Obv: IMP CAES DOMIT AVG GERM P M TR P IIII; Bust of Domitian, laureate, bearded, r., with aegis
Rev: IMP VIIII COS XI CENS POTES P P; Germania seated r. on shield; below, broken spear
RIC 331 (R2). BMC 82. RSC 181. BNC 84.
Ex Roma Auction V, 23 March 2013, lot 728.

In either 82 or 83 AD Domitian conducted a census of Gaul as a smoke screen in order to make preparations to invade the Germanic Chatti lands across the Rhine. Not much is known of what the actual war consisted of - perhaps some road building, punitive raids against Chatti strongholds, and some minor skirmishes. No large battles, a la Mons Graupius, have come down to us, prompting Tacitus' assertion, 'that in recent times, the Germans were more triumphed over than conquered'. Even the date of the conflict is in dispute - although Domitian did rack up four salutations between June 83 and September 84, several of which must be attributed to the Chattan Campaign.

Domitian celebrated a triumph over the Chatti in 83, after which he claimed the title 'Germanicus'. This rare denarius from 85 is a record of the war and triumph over the defeated German tribe. The coin is part of the last series of denarii minted with the recently increased silver fineness before the lesser Neronian standard was restored. During this period particular attention was paid by the die engravers to Domitian's portrait, evidenced here by the aegis and fine style. The Germania Capta reverse has become an iconic Flavian type, along with Vespasian and Titus' Judaea Capta types, despite the 'hollow' triumph it records.

A most wonderful coin in hand!
File information
Album name:David Atherton / Imperial Coinage of Domitian
Rating (4 votes): (Details)
File Size:93 KB
Date added:Apr 09, 2013
Dimensions:800 x 398 pixels
Displayed:167 times
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Jay GT4  [Apr 09, 2013 at 06:45 PM]
Lovely! I really like this type of portrait for Domitian and it has a great reverse!
Potator II  [Apr 09, 2013 at 06:56 PM]
Love this reverse, nice example, congrats !
Steve E  [Apr 10, 2013 at 01:37 AM]
Very despondent captive Nice toning!
FlaviusDomitianus  [Apr 10, 2013 at 04:37 AM]
Nice example and lovely toning.
labienus  [Apr 10, 2013 at 08:03 AM]
A very lovely exemplar and a beautiful portrait.
Randygeki(h2)  [Apr 19, 2013 at 02:29 AM]
Spectacular coin!!!
TheEmpireNeverEnded  [Apr 19, 2013 at 04:20 AM]
What a reverse!
quadrans  [Apr 21, 2013 at 02:22 AM]
Huuuh realy nice coin...
HELEN S  [Apr 25, 2013 at 07:32 PM]
great coin portrait is a fine example but the reverse is breathtaking WOW
Sam  [Sep 07, 2013 at 12:15 AM]
Handsome , Domitian