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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ |Roman Coins| ▸ |The Twelve Caesars| ▸ |Vespasian||View Options:  |  |  | 

Vespasian, 1 July 69 - 24 June 79 A.D.

After a successful campaign in Judaea (which he left to his son Titus to finish), Flavius Vespasianus was declared emperor by his troops at Alexandria in 69 A.D. Upon the defeat of Vitellius by the Danubian legions, Vespasian went to Rome and consolidated his power. He built the Colosseum and other important public works. Vespasian was popular, being both down to earth and possessed of great wit. He was responsible for the economic and military recovery of Rome and is justly regarded as one of the greatest Roman emperors.

Vespasian, 1 July 69 - 24 June 79 A.D., Judaea Capta

|Vespasian|, |Vespasian,| |1| |July| |69| |-| |24| |June| |79| |A.D.,| |Judaea| |Capta||sestertius|
References describe the figure on the reverse as Vespasian, but on this coin he appears young - perhaps it is Titus? On 14 April 70 A.D. Titus surrounded Jerusalem. He allowed pilgrims to enter to celebrate Passover but this was a trap to put pressure on supplies of food and water; he refused to allow them to leave. On 10 May he began his assault on the walls. The third wall fell on 25 May. The second wall fell on 30 May. On 20 July Titus stormed the Temple Mount. On 4 August 70 A.D. Titus destroyed the Temple. The Jewish fast of Tisha B'Av mourns the Fall of Jerusalem annually on this date. This type celebrates the victory of Vespasian and Titus. Coins commemorating this event are referred to as "Judaea Capta" issues.
RB111383. Orichalcum sestertius, BMCRE II 812 (same dies), Hendin 6574 (R), RIC II-1 1181 (R), BnF III 814, Lyon 63, Hunter I -, SRCV I -, gF, near centered, brown patina with brassy areas, porosity, weight 25.456 g, maximum diameter 34.0 mm, die axis 225o, Lugdunum (Lyon, France) mint, 72 A.D.; obverse IMP CAES VESPASIAN AVG P M TR P P P COS IIII, laureate bust right, globe at point of bust; reverse IVDAEA CAPTA, date palm tree; Vespasian (or Titus?) on left standing right with left foot on helmet, wearing military dress, vertical spear in right hand, parazonium in left hand, Jewess on right, seated right, propping head with left hand in attitude of mourning; S C (senatus consulto) in exergue; ex Noonans Mayfair auction, 13 Oct 2022, lot 402; rare; $1400.00 SALE PRICE $1260.00


|Vespasian|, |Vespasian,| |1| |July| |69| |-| |24| |June| |79| |A.D.||denarius|NEW
"Even before they issued coins, Romans put pigs on their money. A cast bronze ingot (Aes Signatum) of five Roman pounds (1.746 kg) and dated to 275 BCE shows a fat sow. Since the other side of this heavy ingot shows an elephant this may be a reference to the Flaming Pig tactics used by the Roman army to panic the elephants of King Pyrrhus. According to legend, the legionaries released pigs with burning torches tied to their tails. Running from the flames, the pigs stampeded into enemy lines, creating such chaos among the war elephants that the frantic beasts trampled their own troops." -- "This Little Piggy Went to Market: Boars, Hogs, Sows and Piglets on Ancient Coins" by Mike Markowitz in CoinWeek
RS111388. Silver denarius, RIC II-1 982, RSC II 213, BMCRE II 212, BnF III 188, SRCV I 2292, Hunter I 70, VF, well centered, light corrosion, light marks, weight 3.367 g, maximum diameter 19.2 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, Jul 77 - Dec 78 A.D.; obverse CAESAR VESPASIANVS AVG, laureate head right; reverse sow with three piglets at feet (one before, one below and one behind), all walking left on ground line, IMP XIX in exergue; $180.00 SALE PRICE $162.00


|Vespasian|, |Vespasian,| |1| |July| |69| |-| |24| |June| |79| |A.D.||denarius|
This coin may have been struck to appeal to Pax to deliver peace at the time the First Jewish Revolt was coming to its end. On 14 April 70 A.D. Titus surrounded Jerusalem. He allowed pilgrims to enter to celebrate Passover but this was a trap to put pressure on supplies of food and water; he refused to allow them to leave. On 10 May he began his assault on the walls. The third wall fell on 25 May. The second wall fell on 30 May. On 20 July Titus stormed the Temple Mount. On 4 August 70 A.D. Titus destroyed the Temple. The Jewish fast of Tisha B'Av mourns the Fall of Jerusalem annually on this date.
RS110988. Silver denarius, RIC II-1 29, RSC II 94h, BMCRE II 26, BnF III 18, Hunter I 14, SRCV I 2285, VF, excellent portrait, centered on a tight flan, a little rough, scratches, weight 2.758 g, maximum diameter 17.5 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 70 A.D.; obverse IMP CAESAR VESPASIANVS AVG, laureate head right; reverse COS ITER TR POT (consul again, holder of tribunitian power), Pax seated left on chair without back, olive branch in right hand, winged caduceus in left hand; ex Solidus Numismatik auction 106 (11 Oct 2022), lot 1445; $160.00 (161.60) ON RESERVE


Judaean Kingdom, Herod Agrippa II, c. 49 - 95 A.D., Struck for Vespasian

|Roman| |Judea| |&| |Palestina|, |Judaean| |Kingdom,| |Herod| |Agrippa| |II,| |c.| |49| |-| |95| |A.D.,| |Struck| |for| |Vespasian||AE| |27|NEW
Herod Agrippa II was a teenager studying in Rome when his father died. He was too young to rule, so his father's kingdom was made a Roman province. In 49 A.D., he was given the kingdom of his uncle Herod of Chalcis as a tetrarchy, with the right to oversee the Temple in Jerusalem and appoint its high priest. In 53, Claudius made him king of areas previously ruled by Philip: Batanea, Trachonitis and Gaulonitis, and Lysanias in Abila. In 55, Nero added Galilee and Peraea. Paul the Apostle pleaded his case before Agrippa at Caesarea Maritima (Acts 26). Agrippa sided with Rome during the Jewish revolt. He ruled until at least 95 A.D. His territories were in Syria, Northern Palestine, and Galilee and excluded Jerusalem and Judaea.
JD111375. Bronze AE 27, RPC Online II 2275; Sofaer 225; BMC Palestine, p. 240, 9; Hendin 6312 (S) var. (no crescent), F, nice portrait for the grade, dark patina, light earthen deposits, some corrosion, weight 15.259 g, maximum diameter 27.4 mm, die axis 0o, Caesarea Paneas (Banias, Golan Heights) mint, 74 - 75 A.D.; obverse AYTOKPA OYECΠA KAICAPI CEBACTW, laureate head of Vespasian right; reverse Tyche-Demeter standing slightly left, head left, wearing kalathos, cornucopia and grain-ears, crescent upper left, ETOY - KΣ BA / AΓPI-ΠΠA (year 26, King Agrippa) in two divided lines across fields below center; scarce; $140.00 SALE PRICE $126.00


The First Jewish Revolt, 66 - 70 A.D.

|First| |Jewish| |Revolt|, |The| |First| |Jewish| |Revolt,| |66| |-| |70| |A.D.||prutah|NEW
Vespasian, along with legions X Fretensis and V Macedonica, landed at Ptolemais in April 67. There he was joined by his son Titus, who arrived from Alexandria at the head of Legio XV Apollinaris, as well as by the armies of various local allies including that of King Agrippa II. Fielding more than 60,000 soldiers, Vespasian began operations by subjugating Galilee. Many towns gave up without a fight, although others had to be taken by force. Of these, Josephus provides detailed accounts of the sieges of Yodfat and Gamla. By the year 68, Jewish resistance in the north had been crushed, and Vespasian made Caesarea Maritima his headquarters and methodically proceeded to clear the coast. -- Wikipedia
JD111284. Bronze prutah, Kadman III 12; Meshorer TJC 196a; Hendin 6389; SNG ANS 427; Sofaer pl. 222, 11, gF, highlighting earthen deposits, obv. edge beveled, sprue cuts, weight 2.603 g, maximum diameter 17.7 mm, die axis 180o, Jerusalem mint, year 2, 67 - 68 A.D.; obverse Paleo-Hebrew: Year two, amphora with fluted body, narrow neck, broad rim, and two small curved handles; reverse Paleo-Hebrew: The freedom of Zion, vine leaf on small branch with tendril; $130.00 SALE PRICE $117.00


The First Jewish Revolt, 66 - 70 A.D.

|First| |Jewish| |Revolt|, |The| |First| |Jewish| |Revolt,| |66| |-| |70| |A.D.||prutah|
Vespasian, along with legions X Fretensis and V Macedonica, landed at Ptolemais in April 67. There he was joined by his son Titus, who arrived from Alexandria at the head of Legio XV Apollinaris, as well as by the armies of various local allies including that of King Agrippa II. Fielding more than 60,000 soldiers, Vespasian began operations by subjugating Galilee. Many towns gave up without a fight, although others had to be taken by force. Of these, Josephus provides detailed accounts of the sieges of Yodfat and Gamla. By the year 68, Jewish resistance in the north had been crushed, and Vespasian made Caesarea Maritima his headquarters and methodically proceeded to clear the coast. -- Wikipedia
JD111280. Bronze prutah, Kadman III 12; Meshorer TJC 196a; Hendin 6389; SNG ANS 427; Sofaer pl. 222, 11, aVF, green patina, highlighting earthen deposits, rev. off center, obv. edge beveled, trace of casting sprues, weight 2.737 g, maximum diameter 17.7 mm, die axis 180o, Jerusalem mint, year 2, 67 - 68 A.D.; obverse Paleo-Hebrew: Year two, amphora with fluted body, narrow neck, broad rim, and two small curved handles; reverse Paleo-Hebrew: The freedom of Zion, vine leaf on small branch with tendril; $120.00 SALE PRICE $108.00


|Vespasian|, |Vespasian,| |1| |July| |69| |-| |24| |June| |79| |A.D.||denarius|NEW
This coin may have been struck to appeal to Pax to deliver peace at the time the First Jewish Revolt was coming to its end. On 14 April 70 A.D. Titus surrounded Jerusalem. He allowed pilgrims to enter to celebrate Passover but this was a trap to put pressure on supplies of food and water; he refused to allow them to leave. On 10 May he began his assault on the walls. The third wall fell on 25 May. The second wall fell on 30 May. On 20 July Titus stormed the Temple Mount. On 4 August 70 A.D. Titus destroyed the Temple. The Jewish fast of Tisha B'Av mourns the Fall of Jerusalem annually on this date.
RS111178. Silver denarius, RIC II-1 41 (C2); BMCRE II 61; RSC II 566; BnF III 46; SRCV I 2313, F/aF, toned, scratches, weight 2.878 g, maximum diameter 18.0 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, Jan - Jun 71 A.D.; obverse IMP CAES VESP AVG P M, laureate head right; reverse TRI POT II COS III P P, Pax seated left, olive branch in right hand, caduceus in left; from the Michael Arslan Collection; $100.00 SALE PRICE $90.00


|Vespasian|, |Vespasian,| |1| |July| |69| |-| |24| |June| |79| |A.D.||denarius|NEW
The augur was an official and priest, whose main role was to interpret the will of the gods by studying the flight of birds: whether they are flying in groups or alone, what noises they make as they fly, direction of flight and what kind of birds they are. This was known as "taking the auspices." The ceremony and function of the augur was central to any major undertaking in Roman society, public or private, including matters of war, commerce, and religion. The Roman historian Livy stresses the importance of the augurs: "Who does not know that this city was founded only after taking the auspices; that everything in war and in peace, at home and abroad, was done only after taking the auspices?"
RS111179. Silver denarius, RIC II-1 43 (C2); RSC II 43; BMCRE II 50; BnF III 36; Hunter I 21; SRCV I -, F, toned, nice portrait, tight flan, scratches, die wear, weight 2.861 g, maximum diameter 16.0 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, Jul - Dec 71 A.D.; obverse IMP CAES VESP AVG P M, laureate head right; reverse implements of the augurate and pontificate: simpulum (ladle), aspergillum (sprinkler), ewer (jug) and lituus (augural wand), AVGVR above, TRI POT below; from the Michael Arslan Collection; $100.00 SALE PRICE $90.00


|Vespasian|, |Vespasian,| |1| |July| |69| |-| |24| |June| |79| |A.D.||denarius|NEW
The yoke of oxen symbolize colonization. The ceremonial founding of a colony included plowing a furrow, the pomerium, a sacred boundary, around the site of the new city. Although no legions were disbanded after the Jewish revolt, there were many retiring veterans that needed to be settled. Vespasian founded a colony at Caesarea Maritima, the first in the province.
RS111392. Silver denarius, RIC II-1 943; RSC II 133a; BMCRE II 206; BnF III 184; Hunter I 66, SRCV I 2289, Choice F, well centered, light toning, weight 3.099 g, maximum diameter 18.9 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 77 - 78 A.D.; obverse IMP CAESAR VESPASIANVS AVG, laureate head right; reverse yoke of two oxen left, marking the pomerium (sacred boundary marked for the foundation of a new Roman colony), COS VIII in exergue; very scarce; $90.00 SALE PRICE $81.00







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|OBVERSE| LEGENDS|

CAESARVESPASIANVSAVG
DIVVSAVGVSTVSVESPASIANVS
DIVOAVGVESPSPQR
DIVOVESPASIANO
IMPCAESARAVGVESPASIANVS
IMPCAESARVESPASAVG
IMPCAESARVESPASAVGCOSII
IMPCAESARVESPASAVGCOSIIITRPPP
IMPCAESARVESPASIANVSAVGCOSIIITRPPP
IMPCAESARVESPASAVGCOSVTRPPP
IMPCAESARVESPASIAN
IMPCAESARVESPASIANVS
IMPCAESARVESPASIANVSTRP
IMPCAESARVESPASIANAVG
IMPCAESARVESPASIANAVGCOSIII
IMPCAESARVESPASIANAVGCOSIIII
IMPCAESARVESPAVG
IMPCAESARVESPAVGCOSVCENS
IMPCAESARVESPAVGVST
IMPCAESVESPASAVG
IMPCAESVESPASAVGPMTRPPPCSIII
IMPCAESVESPASAVGTRPCOSIII
IMPCAESVESPASIANAVGCOSIII
IMPCAESVESPASIANAVGCOSIIII
IMPCAESVESPASIANAVGCOSVIII
IMPCAESVESPASIANAVGCOSVIIIPP
IMPCAESVESPASIANAVGPMTRPPPCOSIII
IMPCAESVESPASIANAVGPMTRPPPCOSVCENS
IMPCAESARVESPASCOSIIICENS
IMPCAESARVESPASIANVSAVG
IMPCAESARVESPASIANVSAVGPMTPPPCOSIII
IMPCAESVESPAVGCEN
IMPCAESVESPAVGCENS
IMPCAESVESPAVGPMCOSIIII
IMPCAESVESPAVGPMCOSVCENS
IMPCAESVESPAVGPMCOSIIIICEN
IMPCAESVESPAVGPMCOSVCEN
IMPCAESVESPAVGPMTPCOSIIIICENS
IMPCAESVESPAVGPMTRPPPCOSIII
IMPCAESVESPAVGPMTRPIIIIPPCOSIIII
IMPVESPASAVGPMTRIPPPCOSIIII
IMPVESPASIANAVG
IMPVESPAVG
IMPVESPCAESAVGPONTMAXTRIBPOTCOSIIPP
IMPVESPCAESAVGPONTMAXTRIBPOTCOSIIIIPP
TCAESVESPASIANIMPPTRPCOSII


REFERENCES|

American Numismatic Society (ANS) Collections Database Online - http://numismatics.org/search/search
Banti, A. & L. Simonetti. Corpus Nummorum Romanorum. (Florence, 1972-1979).
Burnett, A. & M. Amandry. Roman Provincial Coinage II: From Vespasian to Domitian (AD 69-96). (London, 1999).
Butcher, Kevin. Coinage in Roman Syria: Northern Syria, 64 BC - AD 253. Royal Numismatic Society Special Publication 34. (London, 2004).
Calic, E. Xavier. The Roman Avrei, Vol. I: From the Republic to Pertinax, 196 BC - 193 AD. (Barcelona, 2003).
Carradice, I.A. & T.V. Buttrey. The Roman Imperial Coinage, Vol. II, Part 1: From AD 69 to 96. (London, 2007).
Cayn, J. Los Sestercios del Imperio Romano, Vol. I: De Pompeyo Magno a Matidia (Del 81 a.C. al 117 d.C.). (Madrid, 1984).
Cohen, H. Description historique des monnaies frappes sous l'Empire Romain, Vol. 1: Pompey to Domitian. (Paris, 1880).
Giard, J-B. Le monnayage de l'atelier de Lyon, De Claude Ier Vespasien (41-78 aprs J.-C.), et au temps de Clodius Albinus (196-197 aprs J.-C.). (Wetteren, 2000).
Giard, Jean-Baptiste. Monnaies de l'Empire romain, III Du soulvement de 68 aprs J.-C. a Nerva. Catalogue Bibliothque nationale de France. (Paris, 1998).
Hendin, D. Guide to Biblical Coins, 6th Edition. (Amphora, 2021).
Mattingly, H. & R.A.G. Carson. Coins of the Roman Empire in the British Museum, Vol. 2: Vespasian to Domitian. (London, 1930).
Robinson, A. Roman Imperial Coins in the Hunter Coin Cabinet, University of Glasgow, Vol. I. Augustus to Nerva. (Oxford, 1962).
Seaby, H.A. & R. Loosley. Roman Silver Coins, Vol. II: Tiberius to Commodus. (London, 1979).
Sear, D.R. Roman Coins and Their Values, The Millennium Edition, Volume One, The Republic and the Twelve Caesars 280 BC - AD 86. (London, 2000).
Vagi, D. Coinage and History of the Roman Empire. (Sidney, 1999).

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