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Home > Members' Coin Collection Galleries > David Atherton > Imperial Coinage of Domitian
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Domitian RIC-186
AR Denarius, 3.48g
Rome mint, 84 AD (second issue)
Obv: IMP CAES DOMITIANVS AVG GERMANIC; Bust of Domitian, laureate, bearded, r., with aegis
Rev: P M TR POT III IMP V COS X P P; Minerva stg. l., with thunderbolt and spear; shield at her side (M3)
RIC 186 (R2). BMC 48. RSC 352. BNC 47.
Acquired from Forvm Ancient Coins, November 2015. Ex Jyrki Muona Collection.

In 82 AD when Domitian overhauled the mint and increased the fineness of the denarius, he also apparently brought in new engravers who began working in a more elaborate, idealised style. Two years later that new style came into full bloom, as can be seen on this gorgeous example from the second issue of 84. All of the coins from 84 are quite scarce due to both Gresham's law and the low rate of production. Much experimentation was going on at the mint at this time with reverse types, busts, and style. I assume the amount of time an engraver spent on rendering these highly polished pieces was considerable, which could perhaps explain why they were not struck more commonly.

The aegis draped over the left shoulder along with the icy regal portrait makes for a most compelling piece. Struck on a large flan (21 mm!) this is a very impressive coin in hand.
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Date added:
Nov 09, 2015
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Mat  [Nov 09, 2015 at 06:40 PM]
Stunning piece, David!
FlaviusDomitianus  [Nov 09, 2015 at 06:51 PM]
Great addition indeed.
Nemonater  [Nov 09, 2015 at 06:59 PM]
Matt Inglima  [Nov 10, 2015 at 02:28 AM]
Everything about this coin is AMAZING! I'm glad it's in the right collection. Congrats!
quadrans  [Nov 10, 2015 at 09:29 AM]
I agree very nice specimen..
Jay GT4  [Nov 10, 2015 at 11:37 AM]
Wow, what an exceptional portrait!
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