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

Domitian RIC-333
AR Denarius, 3.19g
Rome mint, 85 AD
Obv: IMP CAES DOMIT AVG GERM P M TR P IIII; Head of Domitian, laureate, bearded, r.
Rev: IMP VIIII COS XI CENS POTPP; Minerva stg. r. on capital of rostral column, with spear and shield; to r., owl (M2)
RIC 333 (R2). BMC specimen acquired 1987. RSC 180. BNC 80.
Acquired from Germania Inferior, January 2018.

In 82 Domitian increased the silver fineness of the denarius to nearly 100% purity. Three years later in mid 85 the fineness was again adjusted, this time downward to c. 90%, presumably for monetary or fiscal reasons. Domitian also assumed the powers of censor in April of 85 which was recorded on the coinage. The title was successively contracted in three issues - CENSORIA POTESTAT, CENS POTES, and CENS POT. According to metal analyses by Walker and more recently confirmed by Butcher and Ponting, Domitian's second coinage reform took place between the last two issues - the CENS POT issue being the first under the new standard. Curiously, this 'CENS POT' denarius has what appears to be 'al marco' weight adjustment marks, plainly visible on the reverse to the left of Minerva. Is it possibly during the minting of this first issue under the new standard the mint workers were extra careful with the coinage's weight? Whatever the case, the gouges must date to antiquity owing to the fact they are toned just as the unblemished surfaces are.

An extremely rare coin. Engraved in the period's typical fine style.

File information
Album name:David Atherton / Imperial Coinage of Domitian
File Size:96 KB
Date added:Jan 24, 2018
Dimensions:642 x 298 pixels
Displayed:109 times
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Randygeki(h2)  [Jan 24, 2018 at 05:52 AM]
Cool addition
Jay GT4  [Jan 24, 2018 at 09:11 AM]
Really great
okidoki  [Jan 24, 2018 at 11:12 AM]
nice reverse
Mat  [Jan 24, 2018 at 12:03 PM]
Nice find
quadrans  [Jan 30, 2018 at 04:53 PM]
Hmm Interesting piece...,
orfew  [Jul 20, 2019 at 05:37 PM]
Wonderful piece. Well done!