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

Vespasian RIC 05
AR Denarius, 3.17g
Rome Mint, 69-70 AD
Obv: IMP CAESAR VESPASIANVS AVG; Head of Vespasian, laureate, r.
Rev: TITVS ET DOMITIAN CAES PRIN IV; Titus and Domitian riding r., hands outstretched
RIC 5 (R). BMC p. 7, ||. RSC 539. BNC 28.
Ex Harry N. Sneh Collection.

A denarius of Vespasian from his first issue at Rome, dated from December 69 AD to early 70 AD by the new RIC. The reverse depicts Titus and Domitian galloping with their hands outstretched, an obvious dynastic type with the two princes 'as armed warriors on horseback' (BMCRE II p. xxxiii).

It was very important to Vespasian to establish the fact that his son(s) would succeed him. Indeed Suetonius writes 'either his sons would succeed him or nobody would' (Suet. Vesp. 25) which the numismatic evidence backs up. No less than 3 different precious metal dynastic types were minted at Rome in the first months of the new regime: The present type with Titus and Domitian on horseback, another with them seated on curule chairs, and a third with their confronting busts. Arguably, the horseback type is the rarest of the three with the confronting busts by far the most common.

My example is not a particularly well preserved specimen, but I am most pleased with it.
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Date added:
May 25, 2009
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Titus Pullo  [May 26, 2009 at 01:57 AM]
Very different portrait on this one!
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