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Home > Members' Coin Collection Galleries > David Atherton > Imperial Coinage of Vespasian
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Vespasian RIC-315
As, 9.84g
Rome mint, 71 AD
Obv: IMP CAES VESPASIAN AVG COS III; Head of Vespasian, laureate, r.
Rev: PROVIDEN in exergue; S C in field; Altar
RIC 315 (R). BMC -. BNC -.
Acquired from Dr. Claus W. Hild, May 2019.

Originally, Tiberius struck the Provident altar type for Divus Augustus. The altar depicted is dedicated to Providentia, the personification of the emperor's divine providence. Although the type is commonly described as an altar, Marvin Tameanko has convincingly argued it is actually a sacellum, or small shrine. This popular type was later revived during the Civil War by Galba and Vitellius. Vespasian began striking it early in his reign both at Rome and Lyon, confining the type to the as issues. This example is the rare Rome mint variant with the unique abbreviated 'PROVIDEN' legend struck during the great bronze issue of 71. It is missing from the BM's extensive collection. The variant spellings can range the gamut from 'PROVID' to 'PROVIDENT'.

Well centred with a nice dark coppery patina.
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FlaviusDomitianus  [Jun 02, 2019 at 01:38 PM]
Nice find
curtislclay  [Jun 02, 2019 at 09:56 PM]
PROVIDEN, error PROVIDET, and PROVIDENT seem certain, from the RIC photos; also probably PROVID, from the RIC image and the rarity R, implying that maybe half a dozen other specimens are known to the authors. PROVIDE may be doubtful, a concluding N might just be off flan on the illustrated specimen. Yours might be error TROVIDEN, or is that apparent T just a misformed P?
David Atherton  [Jun 05, 2019 at 09:26 PM]
Thank you for your observations Curtis. On mine the 'P' is heavily seriffed and weakly struck.
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