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Home > Members' Coin Collection Galleries > David Atherton > Imperial Coinage of Titus
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Titus RIC-503
Dupondius, 12.49g
Eastern Mint (Thrace?), 80-81 AD
Obv: IMP T CAES DIVI VESP F AVG P M TR P P P COS VIII; Head of Titus, radiate, bearded, r.
Rev: ROMA; S C in exergue; Roma std. l. on cuirass, with wreath and parazonium
RIC 503 (R). BMC 314. RPC 507. BNC 325.
Acquired from eBay, April 2019. Formerly in NGC holder 4680932-001, grade 'XF', strike 5/5, surface 3/5.

A mystery mint struck coins for Titus sometime between 80-81. The style (heavily seriffed letters, large portraits, and massive reverse figures), unique obverse legends (DIVI VESP F for Titus), and uncommon fabric (flat, almost convex flans) all suggest a mint other than Rome. Attributing exactly where these coins were struck has historically been a moving target - Mattingly in BMCRE thought Lugdunum, H.A. Cahn believed somewhere in Bithynia. More recent scholarship has looked towards Thrace as a possible location for production based on the Balkan distribution pattern of found specimens. Although the region of mintage has been narrowed down, the city itself remains elusive. RPC has suggested possibly Perinthus. Presumably a shortage of bronze coins in the region during Titus' reign prompted a localised imperial issue. The striking of imperial bronze outside of Rome was an exceptional step at the time considering the last imperial branch mint at Lugdunum had shuttered late in Vespasian's reign. The issue consisted of sestertii, dupondii, asses, and semisses which copied types struck at Rome. Only one reverse is known for the dupondius, the Roma type seen on this coin.

Beautifully toned with an extraordinarily decadent portrait.
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May 05, 2019
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Mat  [May 05, 2019 at 09:11 PM]
A beautiful bronze
quadrans  [May 05, 2019 at 09:14 PM]
Interesting piece..
Jay GT4  [May 05, 2019 at 10:06 PM]
Oh baby! What a portrait
Nemonater  [May 05, 2019 at 10:46 PM]
That's an awesome coin, what a portrait!
Britanikus  [May 06, 2019 at 01:40 AM]
Nice ! this style is common for coins found in Bulgaria (Thrace ) i think the mint was in the northwest part of the country This is the area with highest concentration of sestertii of Brittanicus i think the mint was in Serdica or in Ratiaria a city of some 100000 next to modern day Vidin
okidoki  [May 06, 2019 at 08:28 AM]
excellent and stylistic
Tracy Aiello  [May 06, 2019 at 08:57 PM]
Very nice. Great write-up.
Ancient Aussie  [May 25, 2019 at 07:21 AM]
Absolutely fantastic coin David.
*Alex  [May 30, 2019 at 12:57 PM]
Superb portrait, and I like the reverse too. Great coin.
Gary W2  [May 30, 2019 at 03:55 PM]
Just beautiful David and I agree about the portrait being decadent looking.
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