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Home > Members' Coin Collection Galleries > David Atherton > Imperial Coinage of Vespasian
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Vespasian RIC-980 (2)
AR Denarius, 3.20g
Rome mint, 77-78 AD
Obv: CAESAR VESPASIANVS AVG; Head of Vespasian, laureate, right.
Rev: IMP XIX across field; Modius, standing on three legs, containing six ears of corn upright and two hanging over the sides
RIC 980 (C). BMC 216 corr. RSC 216 corr. BNC 190 corr.
Acquired from Forvm Ancient Coins, July 2018.

A rare and, to my knowledge, unique variant of the common modius type. Normally just five corn-ears are seen standing upright with two hanging over the sides, here there are six standing upright. This deviation from the stock design was perhaps an engraver's error or whim. The modius type celebrates the emperor's provision of free grain to all Roman citizens, certainly a most valuable propaganda type! Normally, Vespasian shared his reverse designs with Titus Caesar - the modius was not one of them, perhaps emphasising Vespasian's sole responsibility for the grain supply. Unusually, the type was not directly modelled from any coin designs struck in the past and was part of an agrarian series of denarius reverse types struck between 77 and 78.

A superb portrait and well centred strike.
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Filename:V980var_.jpg
Album name:David Atherton / Imperial Coinage of Vespasian
Rating (1 votes): (Details)
File Size:306 KB
Date added:Jul 18, 2018
Dimensions:941 x 450 pixels
Displayed:87 times
URL:http://www.forumancientcoins.com/gallery/displayimage.php?pos=-148102
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FlaviusDomitianus  [Jul 18, 2018 at 06:51 AM]
Excellent eye is required to notice this!
Jay GT4  [Jul 18, 2018 at 10:37 AM]
Really great
Nemonater  [Jul 18, 2018 at 06:52 PM]
What a portrait!
quadrans  [Jul 31, 2018 at 05:57 AM]
Interesting piece..