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

Vespasian RIC-847 (1)
AR Denarius, 3.21g
Rome Mint, 76 AD
Obv: IMP CAESAR VESPASIANVS AVG; Head of Vespasian, laureate, r.
Rev: COS VII across field; Eagle head l. standing on thunderbolt, on Altar. Very uncommon with thunderbolt showing.
RIC 847 (C2). BMC 180. RSC 121. BNC 156.
Acquired from Glenn W. Woods, July 2007.

The reverse is possibly a reference to Mucianius' death, which occured around the time the coin was minted. Mucianius was the Governor of Syria when Vespasian made his bid for the purple and helped him secure the throne.

The eagle & base type's original design included a thunderbolt, although not well rendered because of the unwieldiness of the design. Over time, either from laziness or expediency, the engravers began omitting the thunderbolt altogether. It seems most of these were struck without thunderbolts, so they were probably dropped very early in the issue's production. It's rare to find the type with one.

I love the portrait on this coin, Vespasian seems to be smirking...the eagle isn't a bad one either. A few flan flaws and dodgy obverse legends do not detract from the eye appeal.

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vesp r eagle.jpg
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Date added:
Jul 13, 2007
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Noah  [Jul 13, 2007 at 03:36 PM]
excellent!
Britanikus  [Aug 26, 2018 at 02:31 PM]
Nice Coin
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