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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.

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

|Agrippa| |II|, |Judaean| |Kingdom,| |Herod| |Agrippa| |II,| |c.| |49| |-| |95| |A.D.,| |for| |Vespasian||full| |unit|
Paul was accused by Jewish leaders of blaspheming God, desecrating the temple, encouraging people to disobey Mosaic Law, sedition, insurrection, and creating riots against the government. Paul appealed, using his right as a Roman citizen for a decision from the Emperor in Rome. He was imprisoned in Caesarea Maritima awaiting transport to Rome. Agrippa and Bernice met with the Roman governor Festus a few days later. They held a hearing to discuss the charges. Paul described his conversion on the road to Damascus, then said, "I preached that they should repent and turn to God and prove their repentance by their deeds. I am saying nothing beyond what the prophets and Moses said would happenthat the Christ would suffer and, as the first to rise from the dead, would proclaim light to his own people and to the Gentiles." Festus thought Paul was out of his mind. He couldnt understand why the Jewish leaders would bother with him. Agrippa said, "Are you trying to convert me?" Paul replied, "Short time or long - I pray God that not only you, but all who are listening to me today may become what I am, except for these chains." Agrippa and Festus later agreed Paul had not done anything that deserves death or imprisonment. Agrippa said to Festus, "This man could have been set free if he had not appealed to Caesar."
RP112387. Bronze full unit, RPC II 2243; Hendin 6331 (R); Meshore TJC 135; Sofaer 184; BMC Palestine p. 240, 6; Meshorer AJC II pl. 11, 7, F/aVF, obv. die wear, corrosion, porosity/pitting, edge split, weight 15.286 g, maximum diameter 29.6 mm, die axis 0o, Caesarea Paneas (Banias, Golan Heights) mint, 73 - 74 A.D.; obverse AYTOKPA OYECΠACI KAICAPI CEBACTΩ, laureate head of Vespasian right; reverse Tyche standing slightly left, head left, kalathos on head, heads of barley in extended right hand, cornucopia in left hand, ET ΔI - BA / AΓPI-ΠΠA (year 14, King Agrippa); ex Naville Numismatics auction 75 (31 Jul 2022), lot 226; first specimen of this type handled by FORVM; rare; $180.00 SALE PRICE $162.00


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
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; $115.00 SALE PRICE $104.00


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; $110.00 SALE PRICE $99.00


|Vespasian|, |Vespasian,| |1| |July| |69| |-| |24| |June| |79| |A.D.||aureus|
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.
SL89734. Gold aureus, Hunter I 83 (same dies), RIC II-1 770, Calic I 662, BnF I 251, BMCRE II 280, Cohen I 319, SRCV I -, NGC XF, strike 5/5, surface 2/5, edge marks (4632896-002), weight 7.31 g, maximum diameter 18.4 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 75 A.D.; obverse IMP CAESAR VESPASIANVS AVG (counterclockwise from lower right), laureate head right; reverse PAX AVGVST, Pax enthroned left, extending olive branch downward in right hand, transverse long scepter in left hand; NGC| Lookup; SOLD


|Vespasian|, |Vespasian,| |1| |July| |69| |-| |24| |June| |79| |A.D.||aureus|
In 71 A.D., the year this coin was struck, Vespasian and his sons celebrated the vanquishing of the Jews with a triumph in Rome. The Jewish historian Josephus was present at the festivities and noted, "It is impossible to do justice in the description of the number of things to be seen and to the magnificence of everything that met the eye..The greatest amazement was caused by the floats. Their size gave grounds for alarm about their stability, for many were three or four stories high...On one float the army could be seen pouring inside the walls, on another was a place running with blood. Others showed defenseless men raising their hands in entreaty, firebrands being hurled at temples or buildings falling on their owners. On yet others depicted rivers, which, after the destruction and desolation, flowed no longer through tilled fields providing water for men and cattle, but through a land on fire from end to end. It was to such miseries that the Jews doomed themselves by the war...Standing on his individual float was the commander of each of the captured cities showing the way he had been taken prisoner..Spoil in abundance was carried past. None of it compared with that taken from the Temple in Jerusalem...The procession was completed by Vespasian, and, behind him, Titus. Domitian rode on horseback wearing a beautiful uniform and on a mount that was wonderfully well worth seeing..."
SH33104. Gold aureus, RIC II-1 1131; Giard Lyon 21; BMCRE II 401; BnF III 304; Hunter -; Calic 674; Cohen 524 var, aVF, some edge filing, weight 7.199 g, maximum diameter 18.3 mm, die axis 225o, Lugdunum (Lyon, France) mint, 71 A.D.; obverse IMP CAES VESPASIAN AVG P M TR P P P CO[S III], laureate head right; reverse S P Q R / P P / OB C S in three lines within wreath; very rare; SOLD


|Vespasian|, |Vespasian,| |1| |July| |69| |-| |24| |June| |79| |A.D.||aureus|
Vespasian, in 70 A.D., and Titus, in 71 A.D., both safely returned from the Judaea to Rome by sea voyage. This reverse, copied from Octavian, was struck on coins of both Vespasian and Titus to honor Neptune Redux and thank him for ensuring their safe return.
SH15292. Gold aureus, RIC II 46, Cohen I 273, aVF, weight 7.289 g, maximum diameter 19.1 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 72 - 73 A.D.; obverse IMP CAES VESP AVG P M COS IIII, laureate head right; reverse NEP RED, Neptune standing left, foot on globe, acrostolium in right hand, scepter in left hand; ex Coin Galleries closing 12 April 1994, ex Colosseum Coin Exchange; SOLD


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

|Parium|, |Vespasian,| |1| |July| |69| |-| |24| |June| |79| |A.D.,| |Parium,| |Mysia||AE| |22|
Augustus' sun sign was Libra. We don't know why he selected the Capricorn as his emblem. Perhaps Capricorn was either his rising sign or his Moon sign. Popular astrology, of the newspaper kind, is sun sign astrology. The ancients tended to attach more importance to the Moon sign and rising signs. Perhaps Augustus selected the Capricorn because it is associated with stern moral authority.
RP75118. Brass AE 22, RPC II 887, SNG BnF 1460, gVF, slightly uneven strike, weight 6.211 g, maximum diameter 21.7 mm, die axis 0o, Parium (Kemer, Canakkale, Turkey) mint, 1 Jul 69 - 24 Jun 79 A.D.; obverse VESPASIANVS CAESAR, laureate head right; reverse capricorn right, head turned back left, cornucopia on its back, AVGVSTVS below; very rare; SOLD


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

|Agrippa| |II|, |Judaean| |Kingdom,| |Herod| |Agrippa| |II,| |c.| |49| |-| |95| |A.D.,| |for| |Vespasian||AE| |30|
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.
SH90326. Bronze AE 30, RPC Online II 2283; Meshorer Caesarea Paneas 166; Meshorer AJC II 38; Sofaer 240; SNG ANS 284; BMC Palestine p. 241, 13, F, weight 15.554 g, maximum diameter 29.5 mm, die axis 0o, Caesarea Paneas (Banias, Golan Heights) mint, 75 - 76 A.D.; obverse laureate head of Vespasian right; reverse Tyche-Demeter standing left, kalathos on head, two grain ears in extended right hand, cornucopia in left hand, star upper left, ETOY - KZ BA / AΓPI-ΠΠA (year 27, King Agrippa) flanking in two divided lines across field below center; ex CNG auction 233 (26 May 2010), lot 292 & auction 75 (23 May 2007), lot 863; SOLD







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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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