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V541.jpg
00 Domitian as Caesar RIC V541163 viewsAR Denarius
Rome mint, 73 AD
RIC V541 (R2), BMC V129 var., RSC 664
Obv: CAES AVG F DOMIT COS II; Head of Domitian, laureate, bearded, r.
Rev: No legend; Domitian on horse l.; r. hand raised, sceptre in l.
VF

This is an extremely rare denarius of Domitian as Caesar, the second earliest minted at Rome. Here the legend is clockwise, the much more common Domitian on horseback type has the legend anticlockwise. The reverse may allude to Domitian's participation in Vespasian and Titus' joint triumph where he rode a 'magnificent' steed. The obverse is a die match with the RIC plate coin from Oxford.

The early portrait on this one is quite outstanding.
18 commentsDavid Atherton
domitian as caesar horseback1.jpg
01 Domitian as Caesar RIC V680161 viewsAR denarius
Rome mint, 73 AD
RIC V680 (C), BMC V129, RSC 664
Obv: CAES AVG F DOMIT COS II; Head of Domitian, laureate, bearded, r.
Rev: No legend; Domitian on horse l.; r. hand raised, sceptre in l.
aVF

A reverse type issued only for Domitian, most likely a reference to his part in the Judaean triumph of Vespasian and Titus.

"while taking part in the Judaean triumph, he rode on a white horse, the conventional mount for young princes on such occasions." (Suetonius, Domitian, ii)

A scarce coin of Domitian's part in a very important event in Flavian history. Nice portait with some of the beard still intact and a lively horse on the reverse!
1 commentsVespasian70
dom as caesar spes.jpg
02 Domitian as Caesar RIC V78889 viewsAR denarius
Rome mint, 74 AD
RIC V788 (C), BMC V156, RSC 375
Obv: CAES AVG F DOMIT COS III; Head of Domitian, laureate, bearded, r.
Rev: PRINCEPS IVVENTVT; Spes, draped, advancing l., holding up flower in r. hand and with l. holding up her skirt.
aVF

During Vespasian's reign, Domitian was given the honorary title PRINCEPS IVVENTVT or 'Prince of Youth', celebrated here on this denarius from 74 AD. The title is one that was often given to young princes who were marked out as chosen heirs.

Spes, the personification of hope, is seen here on the reverse advacing left, holding a budding flower. The flower is a symbol of future well being.

Domitian's coinage during Vespasian's rule was unique. While Titus followed closely the types of his father, Domitian struck out on his own. One wonders how much of an input the young prince had on his own series.

A very likeable coin with a good portrait and excellent centering.


2 commentsVespasian70
dom as caesar pegasus.jpg
03 Domitian as Caesar RIC V92194 viewsAR denarius
Rome mint, 76 AD
RIC V921 (C2), BMC V193, RSC 47
Obv: CAESAR AVG F DOMITIANVS; Head of Domitian, laureate, bearded, right.
Rev: COS IIII; Pegasus, standing r.
VF

The reverse copies an Augustan one and might possibly allude to Domitian's foray into poetry. (BMCRE xl)

Unlike most of the crude Domitian portraits of the time from the Rome mint, this one has a great beauty and nobility to it that few of his contemporary denarii strive to achieve. Was it a minor slight that most of the better die engravers were used for Vespasian and Titus' coins? Thankfully one slipped through to create a wonderful portrait of the young caesar.

Despite some minor flaws, this is a wonderful coin that I'm happy to add to my collection.
2 commentsVespasian70
domitian as caesar rider on horse.jpg
04 Domitian as Caesar RIC V95789 viewsAR denarius
Rome Mint, 77-78 AD
RIC 957 (C2), BMC V234, RSC 49
Obv: CAESAR AVG F DOMITIANVS; Head of Domitian, laureate, bearded, r.
Rev: COS V; Horseman, helmeted, in military dress, cloak floating behind him, on horse prancing r., with r. hand thrown upwards and back
VF

Issued at a time when Domitian was aspiring to an Eastern command against the Alani, Mattingly attributes this type to that cause: The rider is Mars calling Rome to the field of battle.

Other theories suggest the rider is either Domitian or a soldier. Curtis Clay has also proposed the idea that this type may well be of a commemorative nature, since much of Vespasian's coinage are copies of past popular types.

A lovely coin in hand, the portrait was the reason this one found a home in my collection.
1 commentsVespasian70
domitian as caesar wolf and twins.JPG
05 Domitian as Caesar RIC V961102 viewsAR denarius
Rome Mint, 77-78 AD
RIC V961 (C2), BMC V240, RSC 51
Obv: CAESAR AVG F DOMITIANVS; Head of Domitian, laureate, bearded, r.
Rev: COS V; She-wolf and twins l. : in ex., boat.
VF

The first instance of this reverse as an independent type on Roman Imperial coins. Domitian, unlike Titus, used different reverse types than his father Vespasian. The she-wolf and twins is unique to Domitan's coinage.

A wonderful coin with good metal and a pleasing portrait. The picture does not reflect this very well however.

2 commentsVespasian70
Domitian_as_caesar_legionary_standard.jpg
06 Domitian as Caesar RIC-V108166 viewsAR denarius
Rome Mint, 79 AD
RIC V1081 (C2), BMC V269, RSC 393
Obv: CAESAR AVG F DOMITIANVS COS VI; Head of Domitian, laureate, bearded, r.
Rev: PRINCEPS IVVENTVTIS; Clasped hands holding legionary eagle set on prow
VF


The reverse represents 'Concordia Militum', harmony of the troops. Domitian quite possibly was plotting against Titus after Vespasian's death by appealing to the troops with a double donative. This coin might provide numismatic evidence of such. Suetonius states: " On the death of his father he hesitated for some time whether to offer a double largess to the soldiers, and he never had any compunction about saying that he had been left a partner in the imperial power, but that the will had been tampered with."

A nice coin with average wear and an interesting history behind it.


Vespasian70
dom_as_caesar_salus_and_snake.jpg
07 Domitian as Caesar RIC-V108449 viewsAR denarius
Rome Mint, 79 AD
RIC V1084 (C2), BMC V265, RSC 384
Obv: CAESAR AVG F DOMITIANVS COS VI; Head of Domitian, laureate, bearded, r.
Rev: PRINCEPS IVVENTVTIS; Salus, stg. r., resting on column, feeding snake out of patera
aVF

A most puzzling reverse type issued during the last months of Vespasian's reign before he died on June 24th. Perhaps a reference to Vespasian's illness and his hopeful recovery.

Worn and average with a good portrait.
vespasian70
domit_as_caesar_vesta_lg.jpg
08 Domitian as Caesar RIC-V108742 viewsAR denarius
Rome Mint, 79 AD
RIC V1087 (C2), BMC V262, RSC 378
Obv: CAESAR AVG F DOMITIANVS COS VI; Head of Domitian, laureate, bearded, r.
Rev: PRINCEPS IVVENTVTIS; Vesta, std. l., with palladium and sceptre
VF

Vesta is supposed to be holding a palladium in her right hand, but on this example the legend covers up the palladium completely. It is barely visible (if at all) under the legend. Most examples of the type clearly show it in her out-stretched hand. A note for an aureus of the type in the BM (#261) notes - 'palladium hardly visible, sceptre nearly vertical'. There is no illustration of the specimen, so I'm guessing mine is similar.
vespasian70
V1088.jpg
08a Domitian as Caesar RIC-V108838 viewsAR Denarius
Rome Mint, 79 AD
RIC V1088 (R3), BMC p. 46 note, RSC 379
Obv: CAESAR AVG F DOMITIANVS COS VI; Head of Domitian, laureate, bearded, l.
Rev: PRINCEPS IVVENTVTIS; Vesta std. l., with Palladium and sceptre
F+

A very rare (4th known) left facing portrait of the common Vesta and Palladium reverse. It is listed in Cohen as 379 (citing lot 784 of the de Moustier Sale of 1872) , although the new RIC states it is unverified (?). The lone example cited by RIC is in G. Mazzini's Monete imperiali romane, vol. 1. Also, Curtis Clay has a specimen, same die pair as mine. Left facing portraits of Domitian are extremely rare, especially those as Caesar.

Worn but all the major devices are visible.

Thanks to Curtis Clay for additional attribution help!
David Atherton
dom_1445.jpg
09 Domitian as Caesar RIC-V144552 viewsAR denarius
Ephesus mint, 71 AD
RIC V1445 (R), BMC V469, RSC 22, RPC 846 (4 spec.)
Obv: DOMITIANVS CAESAR AVG F; Bust of Domitian, cuirassed, seen from front, Medusa head on breast of cuirass, fold of cloak on left shoulder, head bare, r.
Rev: AVG and EPHE in oak wreath
aVF

Minted in 71 AD, this denarius is part of the first series ever issued for Domitian. The draped and cuirassed bust type chosen here is unusual for the Flavian era...one wonders why it was used only for Domitian and not Vespasian or Titus. The reverse is a standard type shared with Vespasian and Titus at Ephesus.

I'm not sure why it has taken me so long to obtain a Domitian as Caesar denarius from Ephesus, these are wonderful coins.
6 commentsDavid Atherton
V1492.jpg
09a Domitian as Caesar RIC-V149251 viewsAR Denarius
Ephesus (?) mint, 76 AD
RIC V1492 (R), BMC V487, RSC 45c, RPC 1466 (3 spec.)
Obv: CAESAR AVG F DOMITIANVS; Head of Domitian, laureate, bearded, r. 'o' mint mark below neck
Rev: COS IIII across field; Eagle stg. facing on garlanded base, wings open, head r.
VF

A delightful Domitian as Caesar denarius from the rare 'o' mint. RIC speculates the mysterious mint is Ephesus based on the use of the 'o' mint mark which was also used at that mint in its last known series in 74.

This reverse type of Eagle on garlanded base is known from Rome for Vespasian and Titus. A wonderful portrait accompanies this large flan specimen.


5 commentsDavid Atherton
V1495.JPG
09b Domitian as Caesar- V149560 viewsAR Denarius
Ephesus (?) mint, 76 AD
RIC V1495 (R), BMC V491, RSC - , RPC 1467 (4 spec.)
Obv: CAESAR AVG F DOMITIANVS; Head of Domitian, laureate, bearded, r. 'o' mint mark below neck
Rev: FIDES PVBL; Hands clasped over caduceus, two poppies and two corn ears
aVF

In 76 AD a mysterious series of denarii appeared in Asia Minor for Vespasian and his sons two years after Ephesus stopped minting denarii. The reverse types were copied from those contemporaneously produced at Rome and featured many mules and blundered legends. Often an 'o' mint mark is visible below the busts, giving rise to the theory that these may be the product of Ephesus. The style is also similar to the last series known from that mint.

Here is a rare reverse type for Domitian as Caesar. At Rome this type is only known for Vespasian and Titus. BMC 491 is listed as no mint mark below bust. A fine style portrait struck on a large flan. Same obverse die as my V1492.
6 commentsDavid Atherton
CA-JB518LG.jpg
Domitian as Caesar RIC T9635 viewsAR Denarius
Rome mint, 80 AD
RIC T96 (C), BMC T85, RSC 395
Obv: CAESAR AVG F DOMITIANVS COS VII; Head of Domitian, laureate, bearded, r.
Rev: PRINCEPS IVVENTVTIS; Hands clasped over aquila on prow
aVF

Struck in 80 AD under Titus, the reverse shows clasped hands over an aquila set on a prow, apparently representing "Concordia Militum" - "Harmony of the troops" (BMC II, xlii-xliii). An odd choice to be sure for anyone other than the emperor to issue. According to Suetonius - "After the death of his father, he (Domitian) hesitated for a long time whether he should offer the soldiery a double bounty and he never had any hesitation in stating that he had been left as a partner in the imperial position but that fraud had been applied to the will." (Suet., Dom., 2)

There is a COS VI of this reverse type assigned under Vespasian in both RIC and BMCRE but certainly post dates Vespasian's death.
1 commentsDavid Atherton
2610032LG.jpg
Domitian as Caesar RIC-T26672 viewsAR denarius
Rome Mint, 80-81 AD
RIC T266 (C2), BMC T92, RSC 397a
Obv: CAESAR DIVI F DOMITIANVS COS VII; Head of Domitian, laureate, bearded, r.
Rev: PRINCEPS IVVENTVTIS; Altar, garlanded and lighted
VF

This coin is part of the "pulvinar" series minted in 80-81 AD. The pulvinar represented here may be that of Vesta and possibly Vulcan.

Decent coin in choice metal.
David Atherton
domitian as caesar goat wreath.jpg
Domitian as Caesar RIC-T26769 viewsAR denarius
Rome Mint, 80 AD
RIC T267(C), BMC T88, RSC 390
Obv: CAESAR DIVI F DOMITIANVS COS VII; Head of Domitian, laureate, bearded, r.
Rev: PRINCEPS IVVENTVTIS; Goat standing l., in laurel-wreath.
VF

Issued during Titus' reign, this coin's reverse depicts Amalthea, the Cretan goat which nursed the infant Jupiter. An obvious allusion to Domitian being the next in line to the throne.

A nicely centered coin in decent shape of this unusual reverse type. A welcome addition to my growing Domitian as Caesar denarii.
Vespasian70
V11549.jpg
Domitian as Caesar RIC-T26856 viewsAR denarius
Rome Mint, 80-81 AD
RIC T268 (C), BMC T86, RSC 381a
Obv: CAESAR DIVI F DOMITIANVS COS VII; Head of Domitian, laureate, bearded, r.
Rev: PRINCEPS IVVENTVTIS; Minerva adv r., with spear and shield
VF

Domitian, as attested in Suetonius (Dom. 4), was crazy for Minerva and made her his patron Goddess, even going so far as to keep a shrine of her in his bed chambers (Dom. 17).

The denarii of Domitian as Augustus after 82 AD become almost monolithic in the devotion to Minerva which Domitian paid to his patron Goddess. It is quite obvious he had a hand in what kind of reverse types his coins featured.
Vespasian70
dom as caesar helmet.jpg
Domitian as Caesar RIC-T271111 viewsAR denarius
Rome Mint, 80 AD
RIC T271 (C2), BMC T98, RSC 399a
Obv: CAESAR DIVI F DOMITIANVS COS VII; Head of Domitian, laureate, bearded, r.
Rev: PRINCEPS IVVENTVTIS; Square seat, draped with cloth hanging in folds, with tassels: on it, crested Corinthian helmet
VF

Domitian as Caesar issued this denarius under Titus in 80 AD. The reverse is part of the pulvinaria series which commemorates the opening of the Colosseum in 80 AD.

Pulvinaria were sacred couches of the gods which had symbolic attributes set upon them. In this case, the Corinthian helmet and table are attributes of Minerva, the patron goddess of Domitian.

A wonderful denarius with a good portrait in a fine style.

6 commentsVespasian70
29026q00.jpg
Domitian RIC 0144 viewsAR denarius
Rome mint, 81 AD
RIC 1 (C), BMC pg. 298 note, RSC 553
Obv: IMP CAESAR DOMITIANVS AVG; Head of Domitian, laureate, bearded, r.
Rev: TR P COS VII; Curule chair; above, wreath
aVF

This pulvinaria type is a carryover reverse from Titus that Domitian continued upon his accession. The only titles present here are IMP, AVG, TR P, and COS; titles he would have assumed immediately upon Titus' death, placing this coin very early in the reign.
1 commentsDavid Atherton
D2.jpg
Domitian RIC 0233 viewsAR Denarius
Rome mint, 81 AD
RIC 2 (R), BMC 3, RSC 551
Obv: IMP CAESAR DOMITIANVS AVG; Head of Domitian, laureate, bearded, r.
Rev: TR P COS VII; Dolphin coiled around anchor
F+

Domitian's first issue of denarii seamlessly picks up where Titus' last issue left off. The pulvinaria types minted for Titus are reused and the portraits of Domitian are identical to those issued for him as Caesar under Titus. The only titles present here are IMP, AVG, TR P, and COS; titles he would have assumed immediately upon Titus' death. The dolphin and anchor reverse is a bit rarer than others from this issue. The obverse is a die match with my RIC 1.

A decent coin struck on a small flan (typical of the early issues) in good early style.
3 commentsDavid Atherton
D3.jpg
Domitian RIC 0333 viewsAR Denarius
Rome mint, 81 AD
RIC 3 (R), BMC 2, RSC 554a
Obv: IMP CAESAR DOMITIANVS AVG; Head of Domitian, laureate, bearded, r.
Rev: TR P COS VII; Seat, draped; above, triangular frame decorated with corn ears
F+

Here we have a rather worn denarius of Domitian which may at first glance appear unremarkable, however, to me it is anything but that. Minted within the first few days of Domitian's reign, the reverse type is a carry-over from Titus' 'pulvinar' series. The mint had yet to develop unique or new reverse types for Domitian. Here we see a triangular frame above a chair, which is its only appearance in Domitian's 'pulvinar' series making this a rather rare coin. The early dating of the type can be confirmed by the spartan-like reverse titles that show Domitian simply as Tribunica Potestat for the first time and Consul for the seventh. Domitian was notorious for his adherence to the correct form of his titles, as clearly evident here. He would not advertise any titles that had yet to be bestowed. The absence of PM or P P is glaringly apparent.

A nice little coin that provides a neat glimpse into the workings of a mint and the mind of a new emperor.
3 commentsDavid Atherton
D4.JPG
Domitian RIC 0430 viewsAR denarius
Rome mint, 81 AD
RIC 4 (C), BMC 1, RSC 554
Obv: IMP CAESAR DOMITIANVS AVG; Head of Domitian, laureate, bearded, r.
Rev: TR P COS VII; Seat, draped; above, winged thunderbolt
aVF

The early issues of Domitian show a progression of the titles he assumed soon after his accession. This denarius is part of the first issue, evident by Domitian's sparse titles of IMP, AVG and TRP only, he is not yet Pontifex Maximus (PONT or PM) or Pater Patriae (P P). The reverse is a pulvinaria type carried over from Titus. The style is identical to the Domitian as Caesar denarii struck under Titus as well.

A good example of the early portrait style.
2 commentsDavid Atherton
D5b.jpg
Domitian RIC 0528 viewsAR Denarius
Rome mint, 81 AD
RIC 5 (C), BMC 4, RSC 552
Obv: IMP CAESAR DOMITIANVS AVG; Head of Domitian, laureate, bearded, r.
Rev: TR P COS VII; Tripod with fillets; above, ravens, l. and r., and dolphin over wreath
F

Domitian's 81 AD Group 1 denarii are fairly rare, issued perhaps within the first days of him obtaining the purple. The early dating of the type can be confirmed by the spartan-like reverse titles that show Domitian simply as Tribunica Potestat for the first time and Consul for the seventh. Domitian was notorious for his adherence to the correct form of his titles, as clearly evident here. He would not advertise any titles that had yet to be bestowed. The absence of PM or P P is glaringly apparent.

The reverse is a carry-over 'pulvinaria' type from Titus' reign and is the only appearance of the tripod with ravens in Domitian's 'pulvinaria' series. The group 1 denarii show an uncanny connection with reverse types previously minted for Titus, perhaps indicating little interruption in mint production between the reigns. The series may be connected to the opening games of the Flavian Amphitheatre.

A decent coin in fine metal with an early style reminiscent of Domitian as Caesar under Titus.
4 commentsDavid Atherton
D20.jpg
Domitian RIC 2088 viewsAR Denarius
Rome mint, 81 AD
RIC 20 (R2), BMC - , RSC -
Obv: IMP CAES DOMITIANVS AVG P M; Head of Domitian, laureate, bearded, r.
Rev: COS VII DES VIII P P; Altar, garlanded and lighted
EF

This type is quite rare with the legend omitting TR P. Only two specimens are cited by RIC, this coin from the Hauck & Aufhauser 17 auction and another in a private collection.
The reverse type of an Altar with Flame is part of the "pulvinaria" series issued by Titus and Domitian as part of the commemorative issue for the opening games of the Colosseum. It is a carry-over reverse from Domitian as Caesar.

Toned and in excellent condition. An exquisite example of early Domitianic coinage.
11 commentsDavid Atherton
D21_obv.jpg
Domitian RIC 2150 viewsAR Denarius
Rome mint, 81 AD
RIC 21 (R2), BMC p. 299 note, RSC 58
Obv: IMP CAES DOMITIANVS AVG PONT; Head of Domitian, laureate, bearded, r.
Rev: COS VII DES VIII P P; Curule chair, wreath above
VF

This denarius was issued very early in the reign before Domitian was conferred the Pontif Maximus, hence only PONT appears on his obverse legend here.

A rare denarius with sharp details and dark toning featuring a nice early portrait.
3 commentsDavid Atherton
D31.JPG
Domitian RIC 3192 viewsAR Denarius
Rome mint, 81 AD
RIC 31 (R2), BMC 7, RSC 59
Obv: IMP CAES DOMITIANVS AVG PONT; Head of Domitian, laureate, r.
Rev: COS VII DES VIII P P; Seat, draped; above, semicircular frame decorated with three crescents
F

A rare "PONT" denarius minted very early in Domitian's reign. The "T" in PONT is just off flan. The "PONT" denarii were minted before Domitian completed the religious rites required to be Pontifex Maximus. Same obverse die as the BM and Paris specimens (Thank you Curtis Clay).

A coin only a collector could love. Corroded and polished (!), but still lovely, IMHO.
4 commentsDavid Atherton
D32sm.jpg
Domitian RIC 32110 viewsAR Denarius
Rome mint, 81 AD
RIC 32 (R), BMC 10, RSC 60
Obv: IMP CAES DOMITIANVS AVG P M; Head of Domitian, laureate, r.
Rev: COS VII DES VIII P P; Seat, draped; above, semicircular frame decorated with three crescents
F

A common pulvinaria reverse type, rare with this reverse legend. These pulvinaria types were carried over from Titus, perhaps indicating uninterrupted production at the mint during the transition from Titus' to Domitian's reign.

A respectable coin in average condition and style.
2 commentsDavid Atherton
D34a.jpg
Domitian RIC 3434 viewsAR Denarius
Rome mint, 81 AD
RIC 34 (R2), BMC -, RSC -
Obv: IMP CAES DOMITIAN AVG PONT; Head of domitian, laureate, bearded, r.
Rev: COS VII DES VIII P P; Seat, draped; above, winged thunderbolt
VF

A very rare early denarius from Domitian's reign. The RIC plate coin (which this example shares dies with) is listed as R3 (unique). The reverse type, a carryover pulvinar issue of Titus is itself not rare, it's the obverse legend containing PONT which makes this a rare type. The "PONT" series were minted before Domitian obtained the full title Pontifex Maximus, presumably until the religious rites were completed which would confer the title to him. Most "PONT" denarii are listed as R2 or R3. This type can now be updated to R2.

A wonderful coin in good metal with an appealing early portrait of Domitian.
2 commentsDavid Atherton
D36.jpg
Domitian RIC 3667 viewsAR Denarius
Rome mint, 81 AD
RIC 36 (R), BMC 9, RSC 62
Obv: IMP CAES DOMITIANVS AVG P M; Head of Domitian, laureate, r.
Rev: COS VII DES VIII P P; Seat, draped; above, winged thunderbolt
aVF

If one would like evidence of continued uninterrupted mint production during the transition from Titus' to Domitian's reign, one need look no further than the pulvinaria series of denarii struck by both brothers. Titus began issuing these religious types in 80 as IMP XV, which is the last imperial acclamation recorded on his coinage. Oddly enough when Domitian was proclaimed emperor upon Titus' death a year later in September 81 these are the first types struck for him, despite a previous mint hiatus. Apparently the mint did not have many new types in readiness for Domitian. It is also quite possible religious appropriations were still required by the state when Domitian ascended to the purple.

This reverse type from the 3rd group of 81 featuring a draped chair and thunderbolt is likely the pulvinar of Jupiter. Strangely enough TRP is absent from the legends, why this is so I cannot say. It's a puzzling mystery considering the first group of denarii indeed record it.

The youthful portrait style is identical to those struck for Domitian as Caesar under Titus. Nicely toned and well centered.
3 commentsDavid Atherton
D43.jpg
Domitian RIC 4318 viewsAR Denarius
Rome mint, 81 AD
RIC 43 (C2), BMC 23, RSC 577
Obv: IMP CAES DOMITIANVS AVG P M; Head of Domitian, laureate, bearded, r.
Rev: TR P COS VII DES VIII P P; Altar, garlanded and lighted
F+

This lighted altar reverse is a pulvinar type struck by Domitian as Caesar under Titus and continued to be struck for him as Augustus. It may represent the pulvinar of Vesta and Vulcan. The fact this type was struck under both Titus and Domitian indicates little interruption in mint activity between the two reigns.

A respectable coin in fine early style reminiscent of those struck under Titus.
4 commentsDavid Atherton
D44.JPG
Domitian RIC 4441 viewsAR Denarius
Rome mint, 81 AD
RIC 44 (R2), BMC - , RSC -
Obv: IMP CAES DIVI VESP F DOMIT AVG PONT; Head of Domitian, laureate, bearded, r.
Rev: TR P COS VII DES VIII P P; Altar, garlanded and lighted
VF

An extremely rare and early denarius of Domitian. This coin was minted before Domitian became Pontifex Maximus, as shown by the obverse legend which only shows him as PONT. Presumably the official ceremonies for this elevation had not been completed when the coin was struck. Domitian, always a stickler for the correct procedures, probably insisted the correct form of his titles be struck. This coin also indicates how quickly new coins were struck for Domitian after he became emperor. Also, notice the nice mention of Vespasian in the obverse legend - DIVI VESP F, "Son of the Divine Vespasian".

The style is very typical of the early denarii of Domitian before his coinage reform the following year. Notice the veristic style with the hook nose. Later his portraits became more idealized.

Not listed in the BM nor Cohen. The new RIC cites examples at the Ashmolean and a private sale.
2 commentsDavid Atherton
D54sm.jpg
Domitian RIC 5497 viewsAR Denarius
Rome mint, 81 AD
RIC 54 (C2), BMC 20, RSC 568
Obv: IMP CAES DOMITIANVS AVG P M; Head of Domitian, laureate, bearded, r.
Rev: TR P COS VII DES VIII P P; Dolphin coiled around anchor
VF+

This carry-over pulvinaria type from Titus' reign represents the pulvinar of Neptune. A common coin with an outstanding early style portrait. The portrait is so well executed that I can forgive the minor scrape on the reverse.

Well toned and much nicer in hand.
7 commentsDavid Atherton
D59.jpg
Domitian RIC 5939 viewsAR Denarius
Rome Mint, 81 AD
RIC 59 (R2), BMC - , RSC -
Obv: IMP CAES DIVI VESP F DOMITIAN AVG P M; Head of Domitian, laureate, bearded, r.
Rev: TR P COS VII DES VIII P P; Minerva adv r., with spear and shield (M1)
aVF

The Minerva reverse type seen here was also issued for Domitian as Caesar under Titus. It is coupled with the rare obverse DIVI VESP F legend variant. Not listed in Cohen, BMCRE, or Ian Carradice's Coinage and Finances in the Reign of Domitian (1983).

A very Titus-like portrait, typical of the early issues.
3 commentsDavid Atherton
29025q00.jpg
Domitian RIC 6255 viewsAR denarius
Rome mint, 81 AD
RIC 62 (C), BMC 13, RSC 564
Obv: IMP CAES DOMITIANVS AVG PM, Head of Domitian, laureate, bearded, r.
Rev: TR P COS VII DES VIII P P; Minerva stg. l., with Victory and sceptre; at feet, shield
VF

One of the less common Minerva reverse types minted for Domitian. Above average portrait for the issue.
1 commentsDavid Atherton
cc17425a.jpg
Domitian RIC 6437 viewsAR Denarius
Rome mint, 81 AD
RIC 64 (R), BMC p. 301 note, RSC 573
Obv: IMP CAES DOMITIANVS AVG P M; Head of Domitian, laureate, bearded, r.
Rev: TR P COS VII DES VIII P P; Seat, draped; above, semicircular frame decorated with corn ears (3)
VF

The type of a seat with a semicircular frame is strangely not a common one among the group four denarii of 81 AD. Also, the presence here of corn ears instead of three crescents is rare as well. The BMCRE note and the RSC entry cite only the crescents for this type (see my RIC 100 for an example of the crescent type). A rare coin indeed!

A pleasing portrait on an unusually well centered and struck early type. Part of the Pulvinaria series issued by Titus and Domitian.
4 commentsDavid Atherton
D70.jpg
Domitian RIC 7019 viewsAR Denarius
Rome mint, 81 AD
RIC 70 (C), BMC 15, RSC 575
Obv: IMP CAES DOMITIANVS AVG P M; Head of Domitian, laureate, bearded, r.
Rev: TR P COS VII DES VIII P P; Seat, draped; above, winged thunderbolt
aVF

A fairly common coin from the large fourth issue of 81. The early coinage of Domitian continues in the same style of those struck under Titus using many of his pulvinaria reverse types. The thunderbolt over table is thought to be attributed to the pulvinar of Jupiter.

A decent coin both in style and eye appeal.
David Atherton
D74b.jpg
Domitian RIC 7426 viewsAR Denarius
Rome mint, 81 AD
RIC 74 (C2), BMC 22, RSC 568c corr.
Obv: IMP CAES DOMITIANVS AVG P M; Head of Domitian, laureate, bearded, r.
Rev: TR P COS VII DES VIII P P; Tripod with fillets; above, dolphin
VF

There was a tremendous amount of coin struck for Domitian in the last few months of 81 after he became emperor in mid September. This coin from group 4 (the largest issue of 81) repeats the common tripod and dolphin pulvinar type previously struck under Titus. RSC incorrectly places ravens on tripod. For Domitian the ravens are found only on RIC 5.

A deeply toned denarius (cabinet toned?) in typical early style.
1 commentsDavid Atherton
D75sm.jpg
Domitian RIC 7545 viewsAR Denarius
Rome Mint, 81 AD
RIC 75 (R2), BMC 22 note, RSC 568d corr.
Obv: IMP CAES DIVI VESP F DOMITIAN AVG P M; Head of Domitian, laureate, bearded, l.
Rev: TR P COS VII DES VIII P P; Tripod with fillets; above, dolphin
F+

This 'pulvinar' denarius is an early issue minted within the first few months of Domitian's reign. Rare with this obverse legend, even rarer with left facing portrait - a portrait variant you don't see often on Domitian's denarii. RSC erroneously lists this type with ravens above tripod.

Ian Carradice speculates that this die, because it is so close in style to the left facing portraits of Titus, indeed may have originally been a Titus obverse recut for Domitian. All the left facing portraits from the issue are from this same die. Interestingly, the coin is from the Fourth issue of 81 and presumably was not struck straight away within the first days of the new reign but more likely later in the year.


The oblong flan would surely have not met up to Domitian's standards! Regardless, a decent coin in hand.
6 commentsDavid Atherton
023773.jpg
Domitian RIC 9445 viewsAR Denarius
Rome mint, 82 AD
RIC 94 (R), BMC 32, RSC 598
Obv: IMP CAES DOMITIANVS AVG P M; Head of Domitian, laureate, bearded, r.
Rev: TR POT COS VIII P P; Altar, garlanded and lighted
VF

A unique to Domitian pulvinar reverse type as Augustus. The altar reverse is much more commonly found as a type for Domitian as Caesar under Titus, this specimen is one of the few examples as Augustus I've seen in trade.

The coin is also part of the last issue minted in early 82 before the fineness of the precious metal coinage was increased.
5 commentsDavid Atherton
D96.jpg
Domitian RIC 9664 viewsAR Denarius
Rome mint, 82 AD
RIC 96 (C), BMC 29, RSC 593
Obv: IMP CAES DOMITIANVS AVG P M; Head of Domitian, laureate, bearded, r.
Rev: TR POT COS VIII P P; Dolphin coiled round anchor
VF+

A fairly common early pulvinar of Neptune reverse of Domitian which is a carry over from an issue of Titus' before his death the previous year. Most likely the reverse is part of a religious series commemorating the opening of the Colosseum. This reverse and the series it comes from would be discontinued later the same year when Domitian radically changed the coinage by introducing new types and increasing the fineness of the denarius.

A wonderful coin in hand with a few minor scrapes which don't detract from the overall eye appeal. This type is rarely seen in such fine condition.
6 commentsDavid Atherton
domthrone.JPG
Domitian RIC-10043 viewsAR Denarius
Rome mint, 82 AD
RIC 100 (C), BMC 27, RSC 596
Obv: IMP CAES DOMITIANVS AVG P M; Head of Domitian, laureate, bearded, r.
Rev: TR POT COS VIII P P; Seat. draped; above, semicircular frame decorated with three crescents
aVF

A denarius which is part of the first precious metal issue of 82 minted at Rome and the last before the increased fineness of the denarii later that same year. The reverse is a carry over pulvinar type from Titus' reign. This is the last time this type was minted by Domitian before the overhaul of the mint.

A decent coin in good metal.
2 commentsDavid Atherton
D101.jpg
Domitian RIC-10160 viewsAR Denarius
Rome Mint, 82 AD
RIC 101 (R), BMC 26, RSC 597
Obv: IMP CAES DOMITIANVS AVG P M; Head of Domitian, laureate, bearded, r.
Rev: TR POT COS VIII P P; Seat, draped; above, winged thunderbolt
VF+

This denarius is part of the last issue before Domitian reformed the coinage in 82 AD. Prior to the reform Domitian's coinage maintained the same reverse types (evidenced by this carry over 'pulvinar' reverse of Titus), fabric, fineness, and style as those minted under Titus. After the reform all of that changed, along with the dismissal and banishment of the financial secretary Julius Aug. lib. who presumably did not approve of the new changes.

A sharp looking denarius in hand. Nicely toned too.
9 commentsDavid Atherton
011142LG.jpg
Domitian RIC-10228 viewsAR Denarius
Rome mint, 82 AD
RIC 102 (C2), BMC 30, RSC 594 corr.
Obv: IMP CAES DOMITIANVS AVG P M; Head of Domitian, laureate, bearded, r.
Rev: TR POT COS VIII P P; Tripod with fillets; above, dolphin
aVF

A reverse type that is part of the last issue of denarii Domitian minted in early 82 AD before the coinage reform which improved the quality and fineness of the coinage. RSC incorrectly places ravens on tripod. For Domitian the ravens are found only on RIC 5.


Better in hand than the photo suggests. A worn but respectable denarius.
1 commentsDavid Atherton
29027q00.jpg
Domitian RIC-14173 viewsAR denarius
Rome Mint, 82 AD
Domitian, denarius
RIC 141 (C), BMC 34, RSC 610
Obv: IMP CAES DOMITIANVS AVG P M; Head of Domitian, laureate, bearded, r.
Rev: TR POT IMP II COS VIII DES VIIII P P; Fortuna stg. l., with rudder and cornucopiae
aEF

With one of the larger flans I have seen on a denarius (21mm), this coin is part of the coinage reforms Domitian began in 82 AD. The denarius was increased to its Augustan weight levels and one can argue the quality of the portrait style was improved as well. Fortuna is featured on the reverse and most likely commemorates her part in Domitian's escape from Vitellian forces during the Civil War in December 69.


5 commentsDavid Atherton
ri485.jpg
Domitian RIC-144117 viewsAR denarius
Rome mint, 82-83 AD
RIC 144 (R), BMC 52, RSC 320
Obv: IMP CAES DOMITIANVS AVG P M; Head of Domitian, laureate, bearded, r.
Rev: IVPPITER CONSERVATOR; Eagle stg. front on thunderbolt, wings outspread, head l.
EF

A denarius which possibly commemorates Domitian's escape from Vitellian forces after hiding in the Temple of Jupiter during the last days of the Civil War of 69 AD. The coin was also part of an issue that began Domitian's refinement of the coinage.

A fabulous portrait combined with a beautiful and lively eagle on the reverse.
10 commentsDavid Atherton
domsalus1.jpg
Domitian RIC-14542 viewsAR Denarius
Rome mint, 82-83 AD
RIC 145 (R), BMC 54, RSC 412
Obv: IMP CAES DOMITIANVS AVG P M; Head of Domitian, laureate, bearded, r.
Rev: SALVS AVGVST; Salus std. l., with corn ears and poppy
VF

In 82 AD Domitian banished his a rationibus Tiberius Julius and then proceeded to increase the fineness of both the silver and gold coins to pre-Neronian standards. The portraits also became more refined, prompting C. H. V. Sutherland to remark they possessed an expression of 'critical disdain, of a kind familiar to the medalist of Louis XLV'.

This denarius dates to 82-83 AD when Domitian improved the quality of the precious metal coinage. The reverse depicts Salus holding grain ears and poppies, an attribute H. Mattingly speculated may refer to Domitian's care for Italian agriculture. The coin itself is darkly toned with hints of a rainbow patina.


2 commentsDavid Atherton
D164_obv.JPG
Domitian RIC-16468 viewsAR Denarius
Rome mint, 83 AD
RIC 164 (R2), BMC 41, RSC 606
Obv: IMP CAES DOMITIANVS AVG P M; Head of Domitian, laureate, bearded, r.
Rev: TR POT II COS VIIII DES X P P; Minerva stg. r. on capital of rostral column, with spear and shield; to r., owl (M2)
VF+

Minted between March and 13 September 83 AD, this denarius is part of a series that introduced the four main Minerva reverse types that would dominate the denarii of the reign. The type here, Minerva on rostral column (not prow as normally described), makes it debut as well.

83 saw an increased fineness of the precious metal coinage to Augustan standards, which explains this specimens size and weight - 21 mm, 3.35 grams. A bit of corrosion on the obverse does not detract from a wonderful coin in hand.

Historical note - Mons Graupius, Agricola's climatic battle in Scotland, most likely occurred in the fall of 83 soon after this coin was minted.
4 commentsDavid Atherton
D183.jpg
Domitian RIC-183167 viewsAR Denarius
Rome mint, 84 AD
RIC 183 (R3), BMC - , RSC -
Obv: IMP CAES DOMITIANVS AVG GERMANIC; Bust of Domitian, laureate, draped, bearded, l.
Rev: P M TR POT III IMP V COS X P P; Minerva stg. r. on capital of rostral column, with spear and shield; to r., owl (M2)
VF

84 AD probably saw the peak of artistic quality with Domitian's precious metal coinage. Two years previous, the fineness of the denarius was increased and the style radically changed from the earlier issues. Upon Domitian's accession the veristic style of Vespasian and Titus still dominated, after the reform it became more idealised and much finer. By 84 the style had evolved to such a high degree that the mint was able to produce these finely engraved draped busts, albeit in small quantities. This extremely rare coin struck in 84 is an exquisite example of the new idealised style. This is the second known specimen of the type. Much experimentation was going on at the mint at this time with reverse types, busts, and style. I assume the amount of time an engraver spent on rendering these highly polished pieces was considerable, which could perhaps explain why they were not struck more commonly. RIC theorises the drapery represents a military cloak commemorating Domitian's recent German victory. Afterwards, the style remained idealised and fine but the finer portraits would sometimes appear with an aegis, the draped busts consigned to an experimental cul-de-sac. The idealised style would continue to evolve throughout the reign reaching baroque proportions by 88. It's a shame that this fine portrait bust was struck sparingly.

Ian Carradice speculated in his 1983 monograph Coinage and Finances in the Reign of Domitian that the same engraver who did this piece may have worked on an earlier left facing portrait from 81 (see my Domitian RIC 75). Although left facing portraits are extremely rare in Domitian's reign and it is not out of the realm of possibility that the same engraver was working at the mint three years later and produced another left facing bust, to my eyes the styles seem too different to warrant that conclusion.

The bust of Domitian here is superbly rendered, one of the finest portraits of Domitian I've ever seen on a denarius. Same obverse die as the unique specimen cited in RIC.

11 commentsDavid Atherton
D266a.jpg
Domitian RIC-266113 viewsAR denarius
Rome mint, 85 AD
RIC 266 (R2), BMC 74, RSC 361a
Obv: IMP CAES DOMITIANVS AVG GERMANIC; Head of Domitian, laureate, bearded, r.
Rev: P M TR POT IIII IMP VIII COS XI P P; Minverva stg. l., with spear (M4)
VF+/VF

Minted in 85 AD, this very rare coin features a wonderful, thoughtful portrait of the "tyrant". IMHO the portraiture on his denarii reached a high point between 82 and 85 when both the fineness and quality of the denarii were vastly improved. It seems only the best engravers were working for him at this time. Ancient coin collectors should really take note of Domitian because he really did care about his coinage.

Struck on a large flan with full legends and weighing 3.35 g.
3 commentsDavid Atherton
D328.jpg
Domitian RIC-32891 viewsAR Denarius
Rome mint, 85 AD
RIC 328 (R2), BMC (specimen acquired 1987), RSC -
Obv: IMP CAES DOMIT AVG GERM P M TR P IIII; Head of Domitian, laureate, bearded, r., with aegis
Rev: IMP VIIII COS XI CENS POTES P P; Minerva stg. r. on capital of rostral column, with spear and shield; to r., owl (M2)
VF+

This coin is part of the 3rd issue of 85 (arguably the rarest issue of the year) and the last struck before Domitian reformed the precious metal coinage once again by slightly lowering the fineness. Very few examples from this issue are known, the Germania type surprisingly being the most common. An obverse and reverse die match with the RIC plate coin in the BM as well. This specimen is from the Alsace region of France, an area of much military activity early in Domitian's reign.

A beautiful denarius struck in the fine high style of 85 on a large (21mm) flan.
6 commentsDavid Atherton
D331sm.jpg
Domitian RIC-33197 viewsAR Denarius
Rome mint, 85 AD
RIC 331 (R2), BMC 82, RSC 181
Obv: IMP CAES DOMIT AVG GERM P M TR P IIII; Head of Domitian, laureate, bearded, r., with aegis
Rev: IMP VIIII COS XI CENS POTES P P; Germania seated r. on shield; below, broken spear
VF

In either 82 or 83 AD Domitian conducted a census of Gaul as a smoke screen in order to make preparations to invade the Germanic Chatti lands across the Rhine. Not much is known of what the actual war consisted of - perhaps some road building, punitive raids against Chatti strongholds, and some minor skirmishes. No large battles, a la Mons Graupius, have come down to us, prompting Tacitus' assertion, 'that in recent times, the Germans were more triumphed over than conquered'. Even the date of the conflict is in dispute - although Domitian did rack up four salutations between June 83 and September 84, several of which must be attributed to the Chattan Campaign.

Domitian celebrated a triumph over the Chatti in 83, after which he claimed the title 'Germanicus'. This rare denarius from 85 is a record of the war and triumph over the defeated German tribe. The coin is part of the last series of denarii minted with the recently increased silver fineness before the lesser Neronian standard was restored. During this period particular attention was paid by the die engravers to Domitian's portrait, evidenced here by the aegis and fine style. The Germania Capta reverse has become an iconic Flavian type, along with Vespasian and Titus' Judaea Capta types, despite the 'hollow' triumph it records.

A most wonderful coin in hand!
10 commentsDavid Atherton
D332.jpg
Domitian RIC-33287 viewsAR Denarius
Rome mint, 85 AD
RIC 332 (R2), BMC 78, RSC 179a
Obv: IMP CAES DOMIT AVG GERM P M TR P IIII; Head of Domitian, laureate, bearded, r.,with aegis
Rev: IMP VIIII COS XI CENS POT P P; Minerva adv r., with spear and shield (M1)
aEF

This denarius was minted in 85 AD right after Domitian slightly lowered the fineness of his denarii to Neronian standards. He had previously in 82 raised the standard of the denarius to the levels set by Augustus but apparently financially could not maintain those standards. The coins were still minted at a higher standard than those under Vespasian or Titus and would remain so until the end of his reign.

This coin also illustrates the high artistic standards Domitian demanded of his die engravers. The addition of the aegis along with the fine style idealistic portrait shows the care the mint took in the minting of these coins.

The surface is slightly porous and the reverse faintly double struck but the overall eye appeal I believe overcomes all that.
5 commentsDavid Atherton
D335.jpg
Domitian RIC-33569 viewsAR Denarius
Rome mint, 85 AD
RIC 335 (R2), BMC p. 315 note, RSC 178 corr.
Obv: IMP CAES DOMIT AVG GERM P M TR P IIII; Head of Domitian, laureate, bearded, r.
Rev: IMP VIIII COS XI CENS POT P P; Minerva stg. l., with thunderbolt and spear; shield at her side (M3)
VF+

A denarius which is part of the fourth issue of 85 minted after Domitian reduced the silver fineness back to the Neronian standard. Despite the reduction in silver content, the coin has been minted on a large flan and the portrait is in a similar fine style as the previous issues with the higher silver standard.

This coin is a RIC plate coin, mislabeled as 338, pl. 124.

5 commentsDavid Atherton
D342_2012.jpg
Domitian RIC-34277 viewsAR Denarius
Rome mint, 85 AD
RIC 342 (R2), BMC - , RSC -
Obv: IMP CAES DOMIT AVG GERM P M TR P V; Head of Domitian, laureate, bearded, r.
Rev: IMP VIIII COS XI CENS POT P P; Minerva adv r., with spear and shield (M1)
aVF/F+

Another very rare denarius from a brief series minted in 85. Interesting to note that two silver medallions (4 and 8 denarii weight) were minted in this series. Not in London or Paris. RIC cites Berlin and the Jyrki Muona collection.

Struck on a large flan (21 mm) and toned almost a chocolate brown. The portrait is pretty stylish too. Same reverse die as the RIC plate coin.
This is a wonderful coin in hand.

Thanks to Harry Sneh for additional info.
6 commentsDavid Atherton
D343.jpg
Domitian RIC-34351 viewsAR Denarius
Rome mint, 85 AD
RIC 343 (R2), BMC p. 317 * , RSC 187
Obv: IMP CAES DOMIT AVG GERM P M TR P V; Head of Domitian, laureate, bearded, r.
Rev: IMP VIIII COS XI CENS POT P P; Minerva stg. r. on capital of rostral column, with spear and shield; to r., owl (M2)
VF

This rare denarius is part of the fifth issue of 85, minted soon after Domitian reformed the coinage a second time by slightly reducing the silver fineness to the Neronian standard.

A very handsome coin in hand struck on a large flan with a stylish portrait.
6 commentsDavid Atherton
D392c.jpg
Domitian RIC-39283 viewsAR Denarius
Rome mint, 85 AD
RIC 392 (R2), BMC - , RSC -
Obv: IMP CAES DOMIT AVG GERM P M TR P V; Head of Domitian, laureate, bearded, r.
Rev: IMP XI COS XI CENS P P P; Minerva stg. r. on capital of rostral column, with spear and shield; to r., owl (M2)
VF/aVF

Here is a denarius from the rare sixth issue of 85, the first which marks Domitian's assumption of the perpetual censorship (CENS P). Unlisted in BMCRE and RSC and cited in only two private collections by RIC. Also, Alberto has one in his gallery. Perhaps the fourth specimen known (?).

Beautifully toned with a stylish portrait.
6 commentsDavid Atherton
D427a.jpg
Domitian RIC-42730 viewsAR Denarius
Rome mint, 86 AD
RIC 427 (R), BMC p. 318 note, RSC 186
Obv: IMP CAES DOMIT AVG GERM P M TR P V; Head of Domitian, laureate, bearded, r.
Rev: IMP XI COS XII CENS P P P; Minerva stg. r. on capital of rostral column, with spear and shield; to r., owl (M2)
aVF

This denarius from the first issue of 86 recording Domitian's 11th imperial acclamation from the previous Autumn, due to the First Dacian War, can be somewhat closely dated between 1 January and the Spring (he received his 12th imperial acclamation between 17 March and 13 May). Later in 86 Domitian personally conducted the Second Dacian War due to severe reverses when two legates were lost in succession. This was the year the denarius coinage settled down into a consistent pattern which would be repeated year after year for the rest of the reign - an unadorned portrait on the obverse with the four standard Minerva types dominating the reverse. There would be exceptions to this of course, but they would be few and far between.

Stylistically the coin is pleasing, similar to those from 85. Hints of rainbow toning can be detected in hand as well.
3 commentsDavid Atherton
D431.jpg
Domitian RIC-43189 viewsAR Denarius
Rome mint, 86 AD
RIC 431 (R), BMC p. 318 *, RSC 182
Obv: IMP CAES DOMIT AVG GERM P M TR P V; Head of Domitian, laureate, bearded, r.
Rev: IMP XI COS XII CENS P P P; Minerva stg. l., with spear (M4)
VF+

A fairly rare denarius from the first issue of 86. The portrait continues in the fine style of 84/85 without the finery of an aegis. All four Minerva types are struck in each of the five issues of 86, evidence of the mint being divided into four officinae.

A beautiful portrait struck on a broad flan.
6 commentsDavid Atherton
D437a.jpg
Domitian RIC-43725 viewsAR Denarius
Rome mint, 86 AD
RIC 437 (R), BMC p. 319 note, RSC 204
Obv: IMP CAES DOMIT AVG GERM P M TR P V; Head of Domitian, laureate, bearded, r.
Rev: IMP XII COS XII CENS P P P; Minerva stg. r. on capital of rostral column, with spear and shield; to r., owl (M2)
VF

An excellently styled denarius from the second issue of 86. All the denarii from this issue are quite rare.

Struck on a large flan with some minor corrosion. Much better in hand.
4 commentsDavid Atherton
D456.jpg
Domitian RIC-45634 viewsAR Denarius
Rome mint, 86 AD
RIC 456 (R), BMC 98, RSC 210b
Obv: IMP CAES DOMIT AVG GERM P M TR P VI; Head of Domitian, laureate, bearded, r.
Rev: IMP XIIII COS XII CENS P P P; Minerva stg. r. on capital of rostral column, with spear and shield; to r., owl (M2)
aVF

All of Domitian's denarii minted in 86 are rare, so well worth seeking out. This example is from the fifth issue, struck after mid-September.

86 saw a rapid increase in Domitian's imperial salutations, mainly due to troubles on the Danube.

A decent denarius in the formal, mannered style of 85-87.
3 commentsDavid Atherton
D460.jpg
Domitian RIC-46042 viewsAR Denarius
Rome mint, 86 AD
RIC 460 (R), BMC p. 321, no. *, RSC 210c
Obv: IMP CAES DOMIT AVG GERM P M TR P VI; Head of Domitian, laureate, bearded, r.
Rev: IMP XIIII COS XII CENS P P P; Minerva stg. l., with spear (M4)
aVF

All the denarii from this fifth issue of 86 minted after September are quite rare. Domitian was rapidly accumulating imperial salutations during the year, which are likely in conjunction with his Dacian Wars of 85-86. This coin records his fourteenth imperial salutation.

A decent coin with honest wear and a very stylish portrait.

Additional attribution thanks to Curtis Clay.
7 commentsDavid Atherton
D504.jpg
Domitian RIC-50433 viewsAR Denarius
Rome mint, 87 AD
RIC 504 (C), BMC 101, RSC 217
Obv: IMP CAES DOMIT AVG GERM P M TR P VI; Head of Domitian, laureate, bearded, r.
Rev: IMP XIIII COS XIII CENS P P P; Minerva adv. r., with spear and shield (M1)
aVF

87 AD saw a decline in the output of denarii which continued from the previous year's meager emissions. All four standard Minerva reverse types were minted with no irregularities. This example is from the first issue of 87.

A decent coin with hints of the flamboyant portraits of the following year.
2 commentsDavid Atherton
D507.jpg
Domitian RIC-50759 viewsAR Denarius
Rome mint, 87 AD
RIC 507 (C), BMC 103, RSC 218
Obv: IMP CAES DOMIT AVG GERM P M TR P VI; Head of Domitian, laureate, bearded, r.
Rev: IMP XIIII COS XIII CENS P P P; Minerva stg. r. on capital of rostral column, with spear amd shield; to r., owl (M2)
VF+

The first denarius issue of 87 continued in the same style and format as those of 86 (an unadorned, idealised portrait with the four basic Minervas on the reverse), setting a tone the rest of the reign for the denarii. These issues were quite small compared with what was to come over the next nine years. This coin from the first issue has a very idealised portrait in the Flavian baroque style. Icy cool with an expression of "critical disdain" as C. H. V. Sutherland put it in his book "Roman Coins".

Struck on a large flan and well centered. Unusually, a bit of Domitian's beard is visible as well.
6 commentsDavid Atherton
D509.jpg
Domitian RIC-50940 viewsAR Denarius
Rome mint, 87 AD
RIC 509 (C), BMC 106, RSC 215a
Obv: IMP CAES DOMIT AVG GERM P M TR P VI; Head of Domitian, laureate, bearded, r.
Rev: IMP XIIII COS XIII CENS P P P; Minerva stg. l., with thunderbolt and spear; shield at her l. side (M3)
VF

Domitian's denarius issues of 87 continued the same style and format of those from 86. From this time forward the four standard Minerva reverse types would dominate the denarii with a few minor interruptions. The mint during this period seems to have been divided up into separate officina based on reverse types according to Ian Carradice's careful die study of the issues (Coinage and Finances in the Reign of Domitian - 1983, p. 30). The officina system would continue until the end of the reign.

This denarius from the first issue of 87 is a good example of the quality and style of the mint at this time. Struck on a tight flan and darkly toned.
6 commentsDavid Atherton
D511.jpg
Domitian RIC-51189 viewsAR Denarius
Rome mint, 87 AD
RIC 511 (C), BMC 107, RSC 213
Obv: IMP CAES DOMIT AVG GERM P M TR P VI; Head of Domitian, laureate, bearded, r.
Rev: IMP XIIII COS XIII CENS P P P; Minerva stg. l., with spear (M4)
aEF

The first denarius issue of 87 continued in the same style and format as those of 86 (an unadorned, idealised portrait with the four basic Minervas on the reverse), setting a tone the rest of the reign for the denarii. These issues were quite small compared with what was to come over the next nine years. This coin from the first issue has a very idealised portrait in the Flavian baroque style. Icy cool with an expression of "critical disdain" as C. H. V. Sutherland put it in his book "Roman Coins".

Struck on a large flan with a stunning portrait in extraordinary condition - part of Domitian's mutton-chops beard is visible, a very rare thing indeed. One of the finest portraits of him in my collection.
9 commentsDavid Atherton
D521.jpg
Domitian RIC-52137 viewsAR Denarius
Rome mint, 87 AD
RIC 521 (C), BMC 114, RSC 222
Obv: IMP CAES DOMIT AVG GERM P M TR P VII; Head of Domitian, laureate, bearded, r.
Rev: IMP XIIII COS XIII CENS P P P; Minerva stg. l., with spear (M4)
VF

A denarius listed as common, but really isn't as common as one would think. According to C. Clay only one listed in the Reka Devina hoard and none in the Paris collection. TR P VII dates this to the second issue of 87.

In a pleasing style and large flan (22 mm).
4 commentsDavid Atherton
D565.jpg
Domitian RIC-56599 viewsAR Denarius
Rome mint, 88 AD
RIC 565 (R3), BMC - , RSC -
Obv: IMP CAESAR DOMITIANVS AVG GERMANICVS; Head of Domitian, laureate, bearded, r.
Rev: COS XIIII across field; Minerva stg. r. on capital of rostral column, with spear amd shield; to r., owl (M2)
VF+

This denarius features an extremely rare obverse legend (notice the full spelling of DOMITIANVS and GERMANICVS) with the rare COS XIIII legend across reverse field. It is part of a short lived series minted near the beginning of 88. The only other known specimen is in the Fitzwilliam collection, which is an obverse die match with my coin (the reverse is a die match with the RIC 564 plate coin).

Struck in high relief on a broad flan (22mm!) with an exquisite portrait, Domitian would have been very pleased. A phenomenal coin in hand regardless of rarity.
8 commentsDavid Atherton
D568_obv.JPG
Domitian RIC-56895 viewsAR Denarius
Rome mint, 88 AD
RIC 568 (R2), BMC 139, RSC 27
Obv: IMP CAES DOMIT AVG GERMANIC COS XIIII; Head of Domitian, laureate, bearded, r.
Rev: CENS P P P across field; Minerva stg. l., with thunderbolt and spear; shield at her l. side (M3)
aEF

Minted in early 88 AD, the reverse features Domitian's assumption of perpetual censor. The legend CENS P P P across field is quite rare and the series of denarii this coin is apart of was quite short lived, perhaps commemorative in nature.

The portrait is done in a remarkably fine 'Flavian baroque' style and is one of the most artistically pleasing of Domitian I've ever come across. There is not a lot of wear and traces of his "mutton chop" sideburns are still visible in hand. The pleasing attributes the engraver has given Domitian here is quite commendable!

Struck on a large flan (20mm) and weighing 3.12 grams, this is one of my finest denarii of Domitian, both stylistically and fabric wise.
7 commentsDavid Atherton
D569.jpg
Domitian RIC-56952 viewsAR Denarius
Rome mint, 88 AD
RIC 569 (R), BMC 140, RSC 26a
Obv: IMP CAES DOMIT AVG GERMANIC COS XIIII; Head of Domitian, laureate, bearded, r.
Rev: CENS P P P across field; Minerva stg. l., with spear (M4)
VF

Early in 88 a remarkable series of rare issues were struck. The mark of these issues were the full spelling of GERMANICVS (also GERMANIC) on the obverse, and the reverse featuring short legends written across the field. The flans are normally large and the style quite fine. Perhaps this exceptional series is commemorative in nature: the year was full of military activity and of course the Saecular Games were held. Unusually, the TR P and IMP numbers are missing from the issue.

This denarius has all the hallmarks of this quality issue. A real beauty in hand. Same dies as the BM specimen (RIC II plate coin).
4 commentsDavid Atherton
cc17425c.jpg
Domitian RIC-57260 viewsAR Denarius
Rome mint, 88 AD
RIC 572 (C3), BMC 115, RSC 235
Obv: IMP CAES DOMIT AVG GERM P M TR P VII; Head of Domitian, laureate, bearded, r.
Rev: IMP XIIII COS XIIII CENS P P P; Minerva, adv. r. (M1)
VF

A common type from a common issue - however, the portrait is stylistically quite well done. Do not think for a moment this is how Domitian appeared in reality! The portraits of Domitian after the mint overhaul earlier in the reign became quite idealised. Those of 88 AD contain some of the finest examples of this style.

Well centered with plenty of eye appeal.
8 commentsDavid Atherton
D574.JPG
Domitian RIC-57475 viewsAR Denarius
Rome mint, 88 AD
RIC 574 (R2), BMC - , RSC -
Obv: IMP CAES DOMIT AVG GERM P M TR P VII; Head of Domitian, laureate, bearded, r. with aegis
Rev: IMP XIIII COS XIIII CENS P P P; Minerva adv. r., with spear and shield (M1)
VF+

Early in 88 AD a special series of denarii were issued by Domitian. Style wise they are very fine and feature some rare obverse variants. I wish to present a denarius from the series which shows Domitian with aegis, the first time seen on his precious metal coinage since 84-85. Several other types in the series fully spell out "GERMAN" in the obverse instead of using the more frequent abbreviated "GERM". Why does this series contain the only example of Domitian with aegis after 85? Is there a special purpose for it?

If one is to look for anything of importance that occurred in 88, one would be hard pressed to find anything more important than the Secular Games - which indeed has known reverse types that commemorate it. Does the fine style of the series in question, combined with the only known aegis portrait issued after 85, and other coins fully spelling "GERMAN" point to a Secular Games commemorative issue? Perhaps this is the first series which commemorates the event before the specific reverse types (herald and cippus) were drawn up.

Needless to say the coin is very rare. Ian Carradice did not record the type in his 1983 monograph 'Coinage and Finances in the Reign of Domitian'. Shares the same aureus reverse die as the RIC 571 plate coin. Another example of the type from different dies was recently sold in the Harry Sneh Gemini X auction. These are the only two I've ever seen in trade.

Struck on a large flan (20mm) in excellent metal with dark toning.
4 commentsDavid Atherton
D576.jpg
Domitian RIC-57638 viewsAR Denarius
Rome mint, 88 AD
RIC 576 (C2), BMC 117, RSC 236
Obv: IMP CAES DOMIT AVG GERM P M TR P VII; Head of Domitian, laureate, bearded, r.
Rev: IMP XIIII COS XIIII CENS P P P; Minerva stg. r. on capital of rostral column, with spear amd shield; to r., owl (M2)
aEF

Some of the denarii struck in 88 are quite exceptional in style. Both obverse and reverse dies on this denarius are good examples of that fine style, certianly not "Friday afternoon" dies. Very idealised and bordering on fine art. The fabric and centering are also quite choice. Part of the large first issue of 88.

5 commentsDavid Atherton
D580.JPG
Domitian RIC-58035 viewsAR Denarius
Rome mint, 88 AD
RIC 580 (C3), BMC 119, RSC 234
Obv: IMP CAES DOMIT AVG GERM P M TR P VII; Head of Domitian, laureate, bearded, r.
Rev: IMP XIIII COS XIIII CENS P P P; Minerva stg. l., with thunderbolt and spear; shield at her l. side (M3)
VF

This very common denarius of 88 AD is part of the large first issue of denarii minted before September, the largest issue of the reign up to that point. Even with the mint striking such a large issue this coin shows high standards were still being maintained.

Well centered with an artistic, icy cool portrait.
4 commentsDavid Atherton
D584.jpg
Domitian RIC-58450 viewsAR Denarius
Rome mint, 88 AD
RIC 584 (C3), BMC 122, RSC 233
Obv: IMP CAES DOMIT AVG GERM P M TR P VII; Head of Domitian, laureate, bearded, r.
Rev: IMP XIIII COS XIIII CENS P P P; Minerva stg. l., with spear (M4)
aEF

An exquisite example from the first issue of 88 AD. This first issue was quite extensive featuring many common types, including the present coin, but it also included many rare ones (see my RIC 574) and stylistically is quite impressive. In 88 Domitian held the Secular Games, which may explain the care given to the coinage that year.

A sharp denarius with little wear. Wonderful in hand.
6 commentsDavid Atherton
D591a.jpg
Domitian RIC-59162 viewsAR Denarius
Rome mint, 88 AD
RIC 591 (R2), BMC 129, 242
Obv: IMP CAES DOMIT AVG GERM P M TR P VII; Head of Domitian, laureate, bearded, r.
Rev: IMP XV COS XIIII CENS P P P; Minerva adv r., with spear and shield (M1)
VF

88 was a busy year for Domitian. A war against the Dacians was being fought to avenge the defeat of Cornelius Fuscus (earlier in 86) by Domitian's legate Tettius Julianus, resulting in a victory at the Dacian capital of Tapae late in the year. Also, the Secular Games were held mid to late year and commemorated on the coinage after September. On 1 January 88 Domitian still held his 14th imperial acclamation, but soon he was to rack up three more by the year's end. This coin is dated by his 15th imperial acclamation, presumably from the Dacian campaign, awarded sometime in late summer just before the new title TR P VIII is recorded on the coinage in mid September. The issue this coin is from is quite rare, indicating a very small period of time it could have been struck.

A rare coin in excellent style and condition.
4 commentsDavid Atherton
ri663LG.jpg
Domitian RIC-59654 viewsAR Denarius
Rome mint, 88 AD
RIC 596 (C2), BMC 131, RSC 76/77
Obv: IMP CAES DOMIT AVG GERM P M TR P VIII; Head of Domitian, laureate, bearded, r.
Rev: COS XIIII LVD SAEC FEC; Herald adv. l., with wand and shield
VF

A denarius which was minted to commemorate the Secular Games Domitian held in October of 88 AD. Here we see a herald announcing the games. This reverse is the most common type of the Secular Games series and was minted in both gold and silver.

This is a wonderful coin in hand with iridescent toning and a large flan.
2 commentsDavid Atherton
D597A_2.jpg
Domitian RIC-597A129 viewsAR Denarius
Rome mint, 88 AD
RIC 597A (R3), BMC - , RSC -
Obv: IMP CAES DOMITIAN AVG GERM P M TR P VIII; Head of Domitian, laureate, bearded, l.
Rev: COS XIIII LVD SAEC FEC; Herald adv. l., with wand and shield
aVF

A unique denarius that is a variant of RIC 597 and 598, both of which feature the same reverse type with obverse head left but differ in regards to the legend - 597 has DOMIT instead of DOMITIAN clockwise, and 598 has the same legend but anti-clockwise. Harry Sneh notified Ian Carradice of this new variant and the coin has been assigned 597A in the upcoming RIC II addenda.

The reverse type is part of the third series of denarii struck in 88 which commemorates Domitian's Secular Games and features the herald announcing them.

Some corrosion, but nicely centered with a neat portrait.
7 commentsDavid Atherton
Z7705LGc.jpg
Domitian RIC-601129 viewsAR denarius
Rome mint, 88 AD
RIC 601 (C), BMC 135, RSC 73
Obv: IMP CAES DOMIT AVG GERM P M TR P VIII; Head of Domitian, laureate, bearded, r.
Rev: COS XIIII LVD SAEC FEC inscribed on column; to r., incense burner, further r., Herald stg. l., with wand and shield
VF

The type was minted in 88 AD in honor of the Secular Games Domitian held in that same year. Secular Games, or Ludi Saeculares, were theatrical games held at the end of a saeculum (the longest span of a human life, figured at 100 years). Domitian used the Augustan cycle, although he celebrated them six years early.

The reverse features a column with the inscription LVD SAEC FEC: "He Conducted the Secular Games", a herald who announced the games, and an incense burner for sacrifice. Quite a nice numismatic record of an event.

This is a type I've always wanted to add to the collection. Another reverse that pushes the limits of how much a die-cutter can fit onto such a small flan. Good metal and a decent portrait.
8 commentsDavid Atherton
487LG.jpg
Domitian RIC-60456 viewsAR denarius
Rome mint, 88 AD
RIC 604 (C), BMC 137, RSC 70
Obv: IMP CAES DOMIT AVG GERM P M TR P VIII; Head of Domitian, laureate, bearded, r.
Rev: COS XIIII across field; Column inscribed LVD SAEC FEC; all within laurel wreath
aVF

Minted in 88 AD to commemorate the Secular Games Domitian held in that same year, the reverse actually shows the column which the senate dedicated in honor of the games. A wonderful example of a coin illustrating a moment in history.
4 commentsDavid Atherton
D651A.jpg
Domitian RIC-651A70 viewsAR Denarius
Rome mint, 88-89 AD
RIC 651A, BMC -, RSC -
Obv: IMP CAES DOMIT AVG GERM P M TR P VIII; Head of Domitian, laureate, bearded, r.
Rev: IMP XV COS XIIII CENS P P P; Minerva stg. l., with thunderbolt and spear; shield at her l. side (M3)
VF+

During 88-89 Domitian's imperial salutations were coming fast and furious due to wars being fought against both the Chatti and the Dacians. As a result, the honours piled up rather quickly. The different issues during the time period are divided up by imperial acclamations. Some issues are rather small, depending how long it was before word reached the mint of a new salutation. It was previously thought when Domitian became TR P VIII in mid September he was at IMP XVI, however, with this new denarius we now know he was still IMP XV. This realisation bumps the number of issues for 88-89 from 6 to 7, this coin being part of the new first issue now dated TR P VIII IMP XV. The issue had to be quite minuscule (T.V. Buttrey joked perhaps struck for only 30 minutes until news of IMP XVI arrived), only this one Minerva type has surfaced, doubtless the other three standard Minerva types were struck alongside but have yet to be recorded. Forvm member tacrolimus reported an example of the type in 2009, a die pair match with my coin. T.V. Buttrey has assigned this coin 651A in the upcoming RIC II.2 addenda.

The coin isn't only rare but also struck in a very fine Flavian baroque style, in good metal and well centered. Even if it was common it would be outstanding.
7 commentsDavid Atherton
D659_G.jpg
Domitian RIC-65953 viewsAR Denarius
Rome mint, 88-89 AD
RIC 659 (R), BMC 149, RSC 245
Obv: IMP CAES DOMIT AVG GERM P M TR P VIII; Head of Domitian, laureate, bearded, r.
Rev: IMP XVII COS XIIII CENS P P P; Minerva stg. l., with thunderbolt and spear; shield at her l. side (M3)
aEF/VF

A fairly rare imperial acclamation from the second issue of denarii dated 88-89. All the coins from this issue are rare.

A wonderful, regal looking portrait. Lovely in hand.

8 commentsDavid Atherton
D662.jpg
Domitian RIC-66253 viewsAR denarius
Rome mint, 88-89 AD
RIC 662 (R2), BMC - , RSC -
Obv: IMP CAES DOMITIANVS AVG GERM P M TR P VIII; Head of Domitian, laureate, bearded, r.
Rev: IMP XVII COS XIIII CENS P P P; Minerva stg. l., with spear (M4)
F

Already part of a rare series Domitian minted in 88/89 AD, this is even rarer with his name DOMITIANVS spelled out. It is also an obverse die match for the RIC plate coin. Harry Sneh believes there is only one die for this obverse.

It being a detectorist find partially accounts for the horrible condition, but still the legends are legible which in this case is all important.
David Atherton
D667.jpg
Domitian RIC-66733 viewsAR Denarius
Rome mint, 88-89 AD
RIC 667 (C3), BMC 151, RSC 252
Obv: IMP CAES DOMIT AVG GERM P M TR P VIII; Head of Domitian, laureate, bearded, r.
Rev: IMP XIX COS XIIII CENS P P P; Minerva adv r., with spear and shield (M1)
VF+

Imperial acclamations were coming fast and furious during the 88-89 time period, which is the primary means of differentiating the many various issues. The fourth issue of 88-89 recording Domitian's 19th imperial acclamation is quite large, almost all of the coins in the issue being C3. Despite the heavy demands of a large issue the artistic quality and integrity remains intact. The high standards Domitian demanded of his mint is evident in this fourth issue coin.

An excellent portrait on a well centered tight flan.
3 commentsDavid Atherton
D668b.jpg
Domitian RIC-66825 viewsAR Denarius
Rome mint, 88-89 AD
RIC 668 (C3), BMC 152, RSC 253
Obv: IMP CAES DOMIT AVG GERM P M TR P VIII; Head of Domitian, laureate, bearded, r.
Rev: IMP XIX COS XIIII CENS P P P; Minerva stg. r. on capital of rostral column, with spear and shield; to r., owl (M2)
VF

This common denarius is part of Domitian's 88-89 fourth issue, the largest of the period. It records Domitian's 19th Imperial salutation, most likely awarded for a victory over the German Chatti in late 88 or early 89 (probably by March or April of 89). T.V. Buttrey has proposed that this salutation may in fact be for the victory over the rebel legate Saturnius, dressed up as a German victory.

A decent portrait in the standard style of this issue struck on good metal.
1 commentsDavid Atherton
D669.jpg
Domitian RIC-66925 viewsAR Denarius
Rome mint, 88-89 AD
RIC 669 (C3), BMC 153, RSC 251
Obv: IMP CAES DOMIT AVG GERM P M TR P VIII; Head of Domitian, laureate, bearded, r.
Rev: IMP XIX COS XIIII CENS P P P; Minerva stg. l., with thunderbolt and spear; shield at her l. side (M3)
VF

The fourth issue of 88-89 records Domitian's 19th imperial acclamation, the largest issue by far of the time period. With wars being fought against both the Chatti and the Dacians the awards were coming fairly quickly one after another. Also, the revolt of the rebel legate Saturnius occurred in January of 89. Domitian did not take up the consulship in 89 (presumably he was away from Rome on campaign), so the imperial acclamations are the only way to differentiate the separate issues. T.V. Buttrey has proposed that his 19th salutation may in fact be for the victory over Saturnius, dressed up as a German victory.

A decent coin with some minor corrosion featuring a sorrowful looking Domitian. Better in hand.
2 commentsDavid Atherton
D670.jpg
Domitian RIC-67041 viewsAR Denarius
Rome mint, 88-89 AD
RIC 670 (C3), BMC 154, RSC 250
Obv: IMP CAES DOMIT AVG GERM P M TR P VIII; Head of Domitian, laureate, bearded, r.
Rev: IMP XIX COS XIIII CENS P P P; Minerva stg. l., with spear (M4)
aVF

A denarius which records Domitian's 19th Imperial salutation, most likely awarded for a victory over the German Chatti in late 88 or early 89 (probably by March or April of 89). Typical of Domitian's denarii of this time period, the portrait is in fine style and the overall workmanship is fairly high quality.
1 commentsDavid Atherton
D686.jpg
Domitian RIC-68685 viewsAR Denarius
Rome mint, 89 AD
RIC 686 (C2), BMC 159, RSC 258
Obv: IMP CAES DOMIT AVG GERM P M TR P VIIII; Head of Domitian, laureate, bearded, r.
Rev: IMP XXI COS XIIII CENS P P P; Minerva stg. r. on capital of rostral column, with spear and shield; to r., owl (M2)
VF

Late in 89 Domitian was voted a double triumph over the Chatti and the Dacians. This common denarius struck between mid September and 31 December records Domitian's 21st imperial acclamation, the culmination of the two campaigns. The portrait style is quite unusual featuring a bull necked, heavily jowled Domitian, perhaps features more fitting for Vespasian.

A large flan specimen with a distinctive colourful patina.
5 commentsDavid Atherton
071076.jpg
Domitian RIC-691114 viewsAR denarius
Rome mint, 90 AD
RIC 691 (C2), BMC 167, RSC 260
Obv: IMP CAES DOMIT AVG GERM P M TR P VIIII; Head of Domitian, laureate, bearded, r.
Rev: IMP XXI COS XV CENS P P P; Minerva stg. l., with thunderbolt and spear; shield at her l. side (M3)
VF

Minerva, Domitian's patron goddess, shown here in one of her four standard poses represented on his precious metal coinage.

Good example of mid period artistry, not flashy but very idealistic.
1 commentsDavid Atherton
D692a.jpg
Domitian RIC-69238 viewsAR Denarius
Rome mint, 90 AD
RIC 692 (C2), BMC 168, RSC 259
Obv: IMP CAES DOMIT AVG GERM P M TR P VIIII; Head of Domitian, laureate, bearded, r.
Rev: IMP XXI COS XV CENS P P P; Minerva stg. l., with spear (M4)
VF+

Domitian's denarii arguably reached a high watermark stylistically between 84-88 AD. After which there are only intermittent flashes of fine styled portraiture in the massive issues produced in the last third of the reign. Here is one such coin engraved in a fine style, fully centered with good fabric.

No major military activity is recorded for the year this coin was struck, so no new imperial acclamations were awarded to Domitian.
3 commentsDavid Atherton
D719.jpg
Domitian RIC-71919 viewsAR Denarius
Rome mint, 90-91 AD
RIC 719 (C2), BMC 176, RSC 265
Obv: IMP CAES DOMIT AVG GERM P M TR P X; Head of Domitian, laureate, bearded, r.
Rev: IMP XXI COS XV CENS P P P; Minerva adv r., with spear and shield (M1)
F+

The Rome mint was running at peak production when this coin was struck. The early 90s saw the largest issues of denarii during Domitian's reign, most likely for legionary pay.

A respectable coin in good metal and near fine style.
David Atherton
D720a.JPG
Domitian RIC-72053 viewsAR Denarius
Rome mint, 90-91 AD
RIC 720 (C2), BMC 179, RSC 266
Obv: IMP CAES DOMIT AVG GERM P M TR P X; Head of Domitian, laureate, bearded, r.
Rev: IMP XXI COS XV CENS P P P; Minerva stg. r., on capital of rostral column, with spear and sheild; to r., owl (M2)
aVF

Minted between January and mid-September 90, a stretch of time which saw a massive quantity of denarii produced. The reverse features the second of the four standard Minerva types, here she is seen with one of her attributes, an owl representing wisdom.

Not in the best style, but a dark patina covers most of the surfaces except for the high points, leaving a pleasing to the eye contrast.
David Atherton
D721.jpg
Domitian RIC-72130 viewsAR Denarius
Rome mint, 90-91 AD
RIC 721 (C2), BMC 181, RSC 264
Obv: IMP CAES DOMIT AVG GERM P M TR P X; Head of Domitian, laureate, bearded, r.
Rev: IMP XXI COS XV CENS P P P; Minerva stg. l., with thunderbolt and spear; shield at her l. side (M3)
VF

Domitian did not assume the consulship in 91, so this coin is dated by the tribunician title from mid-September 90 to mid-September 91. The basic four Minerva reverse types dominate this series.

A decent coin in fine style. Domitian's exacting high standards are in evidence here.
3 commentsDavid Atherton
D722.jpg
Domitian RIC-72218 viewsAR Denarius
Rome mint, 90-91 AD
RIC 722 (C2), BMC 182, RSC 263
Obv: IMP CAES DOMIT AVG GERM P M TR P X; Head of Domitian, laureate, bearded, r.
Rev: IMP XXI COS XV CENS P P P; Minerva stg. l., with thunderbolt and spear; shield at her l. side (M3)
aVF

Domitian did not assume the consulship in 91, so this coin is dated by the tribunician title from mid-September 90 to mid-September 91. The basic four Minerva reverse types dominate this series.

A common coin in fair style. The coins from this issue certainly vary widely in quality!
David Atherton
D724.jpg
Domitian RIC-72430 viewsAR Denarius
Rome mint, 91 AD
RIC 724 (C), BMC p. 336 note, RSC 269
Obv: IMP CAES DOMIT AVG GERM P M TR P XI; Head of Domitian, laureate, bearded, r.
Rev: IMP XXI COS XV CENS P P P; Minerva adv r., with spear and shield (M1)
VF

A fairly common coin struck between 14 September and 31 December 91. The portrait on this denarius has a lot of character. The hand of an individual engraver can be detected, evident by the odd nostril line on the nose. This tell-tale trait can be seen on several portraits during this time period. Although somewhat crude, I find the style very appealing.
1 commentsDavid Atherton
D726.jpg
Domitian RIC-72623 viewsAR Denarius
Rome mint, 91 AD
RIC 726 (C), BMC 184, RSC 268
Obv: IMP CAES DOMIT AVG GERM P M TR P XI; Head of Domitian, laureate, bearded, r.
Rev: IMP XXI COS XV CENS P P P; Minerva stg. l., with thunderbolt and spear; shield at her l. side (M3)
VF

Struck between 14 September and 31 December 91, this is a fairly common denarius. I had some attribution difficulty due to the partially off flan COS date, which differenates this issue from the more common following issue. Once in hand with a good loupe I was able to see it was indeed COS XV.

What stands out to me about this coin is the very high style portrait (very different than my RIC 724 from the same issue). Exceptionally well engraved in good metal with a nice large flan.
1 commentsDavid Atherton
D730a.jpg
Domitian RIC-73038 viewsAR Denarius
Rome mint, 92 AD
RIC 730 (C3), BMC 189, RSC 274
Obv: IMP CAES DOMIT AVG GERM P M TR P XI; Head of Domitian, laureate, bearded, r.
Rev: IMP XXI COS XVI CENS P P P; Minerva stg. r. on capital of rostral column, with spear and shield; to r., owl (M2)
VF

The first issue of 92, of which this coin is from, was large indeed, certainly one of the largest of the reign. Ian Carradice conducted a die study of this issue and determined the mint was divided into officina based on the separate Minerva reverse types, much like it had been in 81-82, after an apparent hiatus.

Historical note: Domitian was campaigning against the Suebi and Sarmatians during 92, perhaps accounting for such a large issue.

A very common coin in uncommonly good style.
3 commentsDavid Atherton
D732a.jpg
Domitian RIC-73219 viewsAR Denarius
Rome mint, 92 AD
RIC 732 (C3), BMC 192, RSC 272
Obv: IMP CAES DOMIT AVG GERM P M TR P XI; Head of Domitian, laureate, bearded, r.
Rev: IMP XXI COS XVI CENS P P P; Minerva stg. l., with thunderbolt and spear; shield at her l. side (M3)
VF

Struck during a time of frenzied mint activity (one of the largest issues of Domitian's 15 year reign), this coin showcases the strict quality control imposed on the coinage by Domitian. The portraits are noble and idealised, the fineness high and consistent. Historical note: Domitian was campaigning against the Suebi and Sarmatians during 92, perhaps accounting for such a large issue.

Because this coin was struck in the midst of a massive issue, it is what I would consider a prototypical Domitian denarius - in good style and metal with average wear featuring one of the four standard Minerva reverse types.
David Atherton
D737.JPG
Domitian RIC-73782 viewsAR Denarius
Rome mint, 92 AD
RIC 737 (R2), BMC (Specimen acquired 1977), RSC -
Obv: IMP CAES DOMIT AVG GERM P M TR P XI; Head of Domitian, laureate, bearded, r.
Rev: IMP XXII COS XVI CENS P P P; Minerva stg. l., with thunderbolt and spear, shield at her l. side (M3)
VF

Domitian struck the same series of four Minerva types for his denarii regularly every year from 83 onwards. Some issues are more rare than others - a few are very rare. This coin is from a very rare issue struck towards the end of summer 92 and can be dated by the TR P XI and IMP XXII, an exceedingly rare combination. This series commemorating his 22nd imperial acclamation was most likely awarded for a victory against the Sarmatians and Suevi near the end of the campaigning season just before he became TR P XII on 14th September. The rarity of this dating combination indicates how tight the window was for this issue.

Excellent example with a good style portrait.
4 commentsDavid Atherton
D739.JPG
Domitian RIC-73936 viewsAR Denarius
Rome mint, 92-93 AD
RIC 739 (C3), BMC 200, RSC 280
Obv: IMP CAES DOMIT AVG GERM P M TR P XII; Head of Domitian, laureate, bearded, r.
Rev: IMP XXII COS XVI CENS P P P; Minerva adv r., with spear and shield (M1)
VF+

Domitian was not consul in 93 so this type was struck between September 92 and September 93, dated by the tribunician title XII. An elegantly rendered portrait on a common type.
4 commentsDavid Atherton
071075LG.jpg
Domitian RIC-74095 viewsAR Denarius
Rome mint, 92-93 AD
RIC 740 (C3), BMC 202, RSC 281
Obv: IMP CAES DOMIT AVG GERM P M TR P XII; Head of Domitian, laureate, bearded, r.
Rev: IMP XXII COS XVI CENS P P P; Minverva stg. r. on capital of rostral column, with spear and shield; to r., owl (M2)
VF+

A most typical denarius of Domitian's reign featuring one of the four common Minverva reverse types. The reverse is often mistakenly described as "Minerva on prow", although she is actually atop a rostral column (see RIC II p. 244). The fine style and all around high quality of the piece is typical of Domitian denarii owing to his great interest in the coinage.
1 commentsDavid Atherton
D741.jpg
Domitian RIC-74122 viewsAR Denarius
Rome mint, 92-93 AD
RIC 741 (C3), BMC 205, RSC 279
Obv: IMP CAES DOMIT AVG GERM P M TR P XII; Head of Domitian, laureate, bearded, r.
Rev: IMP XXII COS XVI CENS P P P; Minerva stg. l., with thunderbolt and spear, shield at her l. side (M3)
aVF

92 AD saw the largest denarius issues of Domitian's reign. This coin was minted after his 14 September accession date when he became TR P XII. Remarkably, Domitian did not hold the consulship in 93, so this issue cannot be dated as closely as normal and extends to 13 September 93, dated by his tribunician title only.

A denarius struck at a time of massive production. The style is not high quality, but is quite solid considering the volume of the issue.
David Atherton
D742.jpg
Domitian RIC-74225 viewsAR Denarius
Rome mint, 92-93 AD
RIC 742 (C3), BMC 207, RSC 278
Obv: IMP CAES DOMIT AVG GERM P M TR P XII; Head of Domitian, laureate, bearded, r.
Rev: IMP XXII COS XVI CENS P P P; Minerva stg. l., with spear (M4)
aVF

92 AD saw the largest denarius issues of Domitian's reign. This coin was minted after his 14 September accession date when he became TR P XII. Remarkably, Domitian did not hold the consulship in 93, so this issue cannot be dated as closely as normal and extends to 13 September 93, dated by his tribunician title only.

Stylistically this portrait exhibits the typical characteristics of the issue.
2 commentsDavid Atherton
v-1040LG.jpg
Domitian RIC-761110 viewsAR Denarius
Rome mint, 93-94 AD
RIC 761 (C3), BMC 214, RSC 283b
Obv: IMP CAES DOMIT AVG GERM P M TR P XIII; Head of Domitian, laureate, bearded, r.
Rev: IMP XXII COS XVI CENS P P P; Minerva adv r., with spear and shield (M1)
VF

Typical of Domitian's later issues, this coin is well centered and displays a stylish portrait.
2 commentsDavid Atherton
D763a.jpg
Domitian RIC-76373 viewsAR Denarius
Rome mint, 93-94 AD
RIC 763 (C3), BMC 218, RSC 283
Obv: IMP CAES DOMIT AVG GERM P M TR P XIII; Head of Domitian, laureate, bearded, r.
Rev: IMP XXII COS XVI CENS P P P; Minerva stg. l., with thunderbolt and spear, shield at her l. side (M3)
VF

When dealing with a large issue it is sometimes hard to find a good die in fine style. This denarius was struck between 14 September 93 and 13 September 94, one of the largest issues of the reign. It consists of only denarii and all are very common. The portrait style is remarkably fine, not only for the issue but for the period as a whole. The style seen here is very reminiscent of denarii struck earlier in the reign, but with a plumper face.

The Second Pannonian War was conducted by Domitian between May 92 and January 93, which may account for the large series of denarii minted during this time period, war being costly and all. Domitian celebrated only an ovatio upon his return and not a full triumph, perhaps due to unsatisfactory results.

The coin is nicely struck and in good metal, quite a little beauty in hand.
6 commentsDavid Atherton
D764.JPG
Domitian RIC-76451 viewsAR Denarius
Rome mint, 93-94 AD
RIC 764 (C3), BMC 220, RSC 282
Obv: IMP CAES DOMIT AVG GERM P M TR P XIII; Head of Domitian, laureate, bearded, r.
Rev: IMP XXII COS XVI CENS P P P; Minerva stg. l., with spear (M4)
aEF

The early 90s was a period when large numbers of denarii were struck, probably the largest issues of the reign. Although this is a very common coin it is in uncommonly fine style and condition. There were many hurriedly prepared dies struck during this time, fortunately this is one of the better ones.

A wonderful coin in hand.
7 commentsDavid Atherton
D772d.JPG
Domitian RIC-770119 viewsAR Denarius
Rome mint, 95 AD
RIC 770 (C2), BMC 222, RSC 288
Obv: IMP CAES DOMIT AVG GERM P M TR P XIIII; Head of Domitian, laureate, bearded, r.
Rev: IMP XXII COS XVII CENS P P P; Minerva adv r., with spear and shield (M1)
VF+

Domitian took the consulship for the seventeenth time in 95, so this coin can be dated between 1 January and 13 September of that year. Many of the portraits from this issue and the following one show Domitian with slightly raised 'eyes toward heaven' - as seen on this example. Mattingly postulated this as 'lofty aspirations' or even that it is modelled upon the great Equus Domitiani statue erected in 91! Whatever the reason for the portait style, it is indeed a remarkable feature of the late issues and is either the image Domitian wished to project or the product of one or more talented die engravers producing these unique portraits without any direction from above.

A fairly common coin in fine late period style.
David Atherton
D784sm.jpg
Domitian RIC-784112 viewsAR Denarius
Rome Mint, 95-96 AD
RIC 784 (R2), BMC 237B, RSC 296
Obv: IMP CAES DOMIT AVG GERM P M TR P XV; Head of Domitian, laureate, bearded, r.
Rev: IMP XXII COS XVII CENS P P P; Altar, with two figures of soldiers, flanked by aquilae; under each aquila on top of the altar is a seated captive
F+

The months leading up to Domitian's assassination saw the mint at Rome experimenting with many new reverse types (winged Minerva, Maia, temple reverses), breaking the monotony of the four standard Minerva types that had dominated the denarii of the reign until that time. These new types are exceedingly rare however and were perhaps experimental in nature. This denarius has one of the new reverse types consisting of an altar and is quite impressive. The altar with its aquilae and soldiers is obviously military in nature and may perhaps be a commemorative issue.

A typical example of the mint's late period style in good metal and nicely centered. Same dies as CGB.fr, MONNAIES 55, lot 138.
3 commentsDavid Atherton
D786.jpg
Domitian RIC-786121 viewsAR Denarius
Rome Mint, 95-96 AD
RIC 786 (R2), BMC 237A, RSC 295
Obv: IMP CAES DOMIT AVG GERM P M TR P XV; Head of Domitian, laureate, bearded, r.
Rev: IMP XXII COS XVII CENS P P P; Maia adv. l., with dove and caduceus
VF/F

A "Strange and uncertain reverse" is how this type for many years was described by the major reference catalogues. It is so rare that its very existence was in doubt. Eventually, other examples surfaced (including my coin in 1946) establishing there was indeed a "strange" type struck by Domitian towards the end of his reign. A woman with bird was the normal description until 2002 when T. V. Buttrey published in the Journal of Roman Archaeology a short paper establishing once and for all who the woman is and possibly why the type was struck. He identified her as Maia, the mother of Hermes/Mercury, wearing a winged helmet and possibly winged sandals. Maia is to be identified with "natural growth and commercial success" according to Buttrey. He further writes "For the precious metals, the constant themes were Domitian's offices, his military successes, his piety (in particular his relationship with Minerva), and the divine grace which infused his life, and by extension, that of the community. It is in this context that Maia should be understood, the coin illustrating the emperor's acknowledgement of the goddess's abundant favor."

Needless to say the type is fantastically rare, with perhaps a dozen known examples from only two reverse dies. The reverse die shown here (with my obverse dated TR P XV) is also shared with an obverse die dated TR P XVI, placing this coin in the very last weeks of Domitian's reign. During this time Domitian was introducing many new reverse types (winged Minerva, altar, temple reverses), perhaps indicating a change in direction regarding the typology on his precious metal coinage. However, the experiment was cut short by an assassin's blade, so we shall never know.

The example here has a very fine portrait for a late period piece and is well toned. Ex Gemini XI, lot 418 = C. Clay = Munzen & Medaillen auction 38, 6-XII-1968, 403 (Voirol) = Munzen & Medaillen auction 6 6-XII-1946, 804 = H. Cahn, "Flaviana indedita," NC 1946 p. 22 no. 50, pl. 2.4

10 commentsDavid Atherton
D788.JPG
Domitian RIC-78897 viewsAR Denarius
Rome mint, 95-96 AD
RIC 788 (C2), BMC 231, RSC 293
Obv: IMP CAES DOMIT AVG GERM P M TR P XV; Head of Domitian, laureate, bearded, r.
Rev: IMP XXII COS XVII CENS P P P; Minerva stg. r. on capital of rostral column, with spear and shield; to r., owl (M2)
VF+

An exquisite denarius from the last great issue of Domitian's reign. The coin is in superb late style with a portrait exhibiting the "lofty aspiration" upward gaze. Common to be sure, but this one is uncommonly beautiful.

Struck on a large flan and perfectly centered.
5 commentsDavid Atherton
D789_zpsc5250870.jpg
Domitian RIC-78960 viewsAR Denarius
Rome mint, 95-96 AD
RIC 789 (C2), BMC 234, RSC 291
Obv: IMP CAES DOMIT AVG GERM P M TR P XV; Head of Domitian, laureate, bearded, r.
Rev: IMP XXII COS XVII CENS P P P; Minerva stg. l., with thunderbolt and spear, shield at her l. side (M3)
aVF

Between September 95 and September 96 Domitian struck his last great issue of denarii. The series varies wildly in quality - some denarii it seems were struck in a bit of a hurry (ragged flans and bad style), while others were more carefully crafted with better quality control. Domitian's hand, it seems, may not have been as firmly on the mint's tiller as in times past.

This denarius was struck in that same great issue and exhibits some of its better qualities. For a start, the centering is spot on and the flan is almost perfect. Style wise we see the Flavian baroque (ostentatious and overdone) which is very much in evidence on certain denarii from 88 onwards. Here the elaborate hairstyle, plump face, and gaudy laurel wreath (crowding into the legend) shows off this baroque style in fine fashion. A skilled engraver's handiwork in the then fashionable court style. Also of note, many of the portraits from this time (such as the current example) show a Domitian with slightly raised 'eyes toward heaven' - which Mattingly postulated as 'lofty aspirations'.

4 commentsDavid Atherton
D790sm.jpg
Domitian RIC-79046 viewsAR Denarius
Rome mint, 95-96 AD
RIC 790 (C2), BMC 235, RSC 290
Obv: IMP CAES DOMIT AVG GERM P M TR P XV; Head of Domitian, laureate, bearded, r.
Rev: IMP XXII COS XVII CENS P P P; Minerva stg. l., with spear (M4)
VF+

A very crisp denarius which was struck during the last year of Domitian's reign between 14 September 95 to 13 September 96. This was a large issue with many common examples, including all four standard Minerva types, and one which saw the introduction of many new types (the flying Minverva for example). These later coins tend to lack the high quality and craftsmanship of earlier issues.

A very sharp coin in hand.
1 commentsDavid Atherton
D791.jpg
Domitian RIC-79157 viewsAR Denarius
Rome mint, 95-96 AD
RIC 791 (C), BMC 237, RSC 294
Obv: IMP CAES DOMIT AVG GERM P M TR P XV; Head of Domitian, laureate, bearded, r.
Rev: IMP XXII COS XVII CENS P P P; Minerva, winged, flying l., with spear and shield
VF

This coin belongs to one of the final issues Domitian minted in the last year of his reign. It is interesting to note that this winged Minerva is a new type never before seen on his coinage. The type is common, thus it was minted in large quantities, which cannot be said of the other new types (the 'monumental' series, Maia, and warrior with spear & trophy) which were also introduced in the final year of his reign.

Mattingly observed Domitian's portraits at the time were "fine and ambitious ... with an upward lift of face, which, if it does not symbolize prayer, like the 'praying type' of Constantine, certainly suggests lofty aspirations". Those "lofty aspirations" were cut short by an assassin's knife on September 18th, 96 AD.
2 commentsDavid Atherton
D841.JPG
Domitian RIC-84187 viewsAR Cistophorus (3 Denarii)
Rome mint, 82 AD
RIC 841 (C), BMC 251, RSC 23, RPC 864 (8 spec.)
Obv: IMP CAES DOMITIAN AVG P M COS VIII; Head of Domitian, laureate, bearded, r.
Rev: CAPIT across field, RESTIT in exergue; Temple of Capitoline Jupiter with 4 columns enclosing figures of Juno, seated Jupiter and Minverva
aVF

In 80 AD while Titus was away in Campania surveying the damage Vesuvius had caused in the region the previous Fall, a devastating fire broke out in Rome, damaging much of the city center. One of the most important buildings affected by the fire was the Temple of Capitoline Jupiter, rebuilt recently by Vespasian. It being the most sacred and important building in Rome, Titus began rebuilding it immediately. Construction was still ongoing when Titus died of natural causes in September of 81. Domitian completed the structure the following year and it was said no expense was spared. The building Domitian dedicated was a lavish structure, magnificent in appearance featuring Pentelic marble, gold plated doors, and a roof of gilded bronze.

This cistophorus minted in Rome for export to Asia Minor commemorates the new Temple of Jupiter Domitian bestowed on Rome. Curiously, although the building featured six columns, only four are seen here. Statues of the deities Juno, Jupiter (seated) and Minverva can be seen between the columns.

A most wonderful coin in hand.
8 commentsDavid Atherton
D843.jpg
Domitian RIC-84376 viewsAR Cistophorus (3 Denarii)
Rome mint, 82 AD
RIC 843 (C), BMC 252, RSC 667, RPC 865 (9 spec.)
Obv: IMP CAES DOMITIAN AVG P M COS VIII; Head of Domitian, laureate, bearded, r.
Rev: Aquila between two standards, one surmounted by a banner, the other by a hand
F+

Domitian minted a small series of cistophori at Rome early in his reign for distribution in Asia Minor. This military type was newly introduced previously by Titus on his cistophori and continued to be identically struck under Domitian. It is not clear why a military type was struck for such a prosperous and peaceful region. Previously these cistophori were attributed to Ephesus, but it is fairly clear style wise they belong to Rome.

Honest wear with clear legends and devices. A real beauty in hand.
4 commentsDavid Atherton
D845.jpg
Domitian RIC-845113 viewsAR Cistophorus (3 Denarii)
Rome mint, 82 AD
RIC 845 (R), BMC 255, RSC 2 (under Domitian and Domitia), RPC 866 (6 spec.)
Obv: IMP CAES DOMITIAN AVG P M COS VIII; Head of Domitian, laureate, bearded, r.
Rev: DOMITIA AVGVSTA; bust of Domitia, draped, r., hair massed in front and in long plait behind
aVF

Domitian's cistophori were minted in Rome for distribution in Asia Minor on two separate occasions: at the beginning of the reign in 82 and near the end in 95. The type with the empress Domitia on the reverse can be dated to the first group based on Domitian's COS date. The style and die axis are similar to the denarii minted at Rome during the same period, firmly placing these cistophori to that mint.

A most fitting type to be minted at the beginning of the reign. Two similar portraits in a wonderfully "Flavian" style.


13 commentsDavid Atherton
D852.jpg
Domitian RIC-85248 viewsAR Cistophorus (3 Denarii)
Rome mint, 95 AD
RIC 852 (C), BMC 254, RSC 22a, RPC 874 (5 spec.)
Obv: IMP CAES DOMITIANVS; Head of Domitian, laureate, bearded, r.
Rev: AVG GERM across field; Bundle of six corn ears
VF

In 82 and 95 Domitian struck cistophori at Rome for circulation in Asia Minor. This coin is part of the issue of 95 and repeats a classic agrarian reverse Augustus used on his cistophori. Apparently the cistophorus went down better than the denarius with the locals and so had to be struck periodically when required.

A hefty coin in fine late period Roman style. Same dies as the RIC plate coin.

5 commentsDavid Atherton
       
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