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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.


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SH30320. Gold aureus, Calico 655, BMCRE II 399, RIC II 297 corrected, Choice aEF, rev slightly flat, weight 7.277 g, maximum diameter 19.2 mm, die axis 180o, Lugdunum (Lyon) mint, 71 A.D.; obverse IMP CAES VESPASIAN AVG P M TR P P P COS III, laureate head right; reverse PACI AVGVSTI, Nemesis advancing right, winged, drawing drapery from top of gown with right, caduceus in left, snake at feet right; nice centering on a full flan; scarce; SOLD


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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, Calicó 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; SOLD


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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 -; Calicó 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


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In 72 A.D. the Roman governor Lucius Flavius Silva laid siege to Masada, a desert fortress, the last outpost of Jewish rebels after the First Jewish Revolt ended in 70 A.D. Legio X Fretensis surrounded the mountain fortress with a 7-mile long siege wall and built a rampart of stones and beaten earth against the western approach. In the spring of 73 A.D., when defeat became imminent, 960 Zealots under the leadership of Eleazar ben Ya'ir committed mass suicide.
SH64148. Gold aureus, Calico I 656, RIC II 1180, BMCRE II 403, Cohen I 284, F, ding at 12 o, weight 7.128 g, maximum diameter 13.9 mm, die axis 270o, Lugdunum (Lyon, France) mint, c. 72 - 73 A.D.; obverse IMP CAES VESPAS AVG P M TR P IIII P P COS IIII, laureate head right; reverse PACI AVGVSTI, winged Pax-Nemesis advancing right, pulling out a fold of drapery below her neck with her right hand, holding caduceus downward in left over snake at feet; ex January 2013 N.Y.I.N.C Auction, lot 2033; SOLD


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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., Titus & Domitian Reverse

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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.
SH77005. Silver denarius, RIC II part I, 16 (R); BnF III 1; RSC II 5; BMCRE II 2; Hunter I 2; SRCV I 2399, EF/aEF, light toning, tight flan, some light bumps and marks, among the finest examples of the type, weight 3.414 g, maximum diameter 17.5 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, Jan - Jun (or later) 70 A.D.; obverse IMP CAESAR VESPASIANVS AVG, laureate head right; reverse CAESAR AVG F COS CAESAR AVG F PR, confronted bare heads of Titus right (on left) and Domitian left (on right); from the Jyrki Muona Collection; ex Helios Numismatik auction 4 (14 Oct 2009), lot 302; ex A. Lynn Collection; rare; SOLD


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Fortuna (equivalent to the Greek goddess Tyche) goddess of fortune, was the personification of luck. Fortuna Redux brought one safely home. This coin was struck to honor Fortuna, to gain her support in ensuring the safe return of Titus from Judaea.
SH37555. Gold aureus, RIC II-1 1111; BnF III 292; SRCV I -, nice F, weight 6.908 g, maximum diameter 18.8 mm, die axis 225o, Lugdunum (Lyon, France) mint, 71 A.D.; obverse IMP CAESAR VESPASIANVS AVG TR P, laureate head right; reverse FORT RED COS III, Fortuna standing right, globe in extended right, caduceus in left; unusual Fortuna composition; SOLD


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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.
SH87932. Gold aureus, RIC II-1 28, BnF I 17, BMCRE II 23, Hunter I 13, Calico I 607, Cohen I -, SRCV I -, Choice aVF, well centered, traces of luster in recesses, weight 6.944 g, maximum diameter 19.3 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, c. Jan - Jun 70 A.D.; obverse IMP CAESAR VESPASIANVS AVG, laureate head right; reverse COS ITER TR POT, Pax seated left, extending olive branch in right hand, winged caduceus in left hand; SOLD


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The heifer depicted on this coin represents one of the famous works of Athenian 5th century B.C. sculptor Myron, considered by the ancients to be one of the finest artists. After Actium, Octavian shipped four sculptures to Rome to decorate his new temple of Apollo. To commemorate the event, gold and silver coins (of outstanding hellenistic style) were struck. After the great reconstruction of Rome, Vespasian relocated the heifers to the temple of Pax, where they were still standing in the time of historian Procopius.
SH42155. Gold aureus, RIC II-1 842; BMCRE I 178; SRCV I -, aVF, weight 7.033 g, maximum diameter 19.5 mm, die axis 225o, Rome mint, 76 A.D.; obverse IMP CAESAR VESPASIANVS AVG, laureate head left; reverse COS VII, heifer right; ex Ponterio; SOLD


Vespasian Junior, 95 - 96 A.D., Smyrna, Ionia

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Vespasian Junior was the son of Flavius Clemens, Domitian's cousin and co-consul in 95 A.D. He was renamed Vespasian Junior when he was designated as Domitian's successor.The only coins of Vespasian Junior are this type, struck at Smyrna Ionia.
SH62518. Orichalcum AE 17, RPC II 1028, BMC Ionia 319, VF, weight 2.322 g, maximum diameter 17.3 mm, die axis 0o, Smyrna (Izmir, Turkey) mint, 95 - 96 A.D.; obverse OYECΠACIANOC NEΩTEPOC, bare-headed bust of Vespasian the Younger right; reverse ΣMYPNAIΩN, Nike walking right, wreath in right hand, palm branch over left shoulder; very rare; 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).
Calicó, 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).
Cayón, 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 frappées sous l'Empire Romain, Vol. 1: Pompey to Domitian. (Paris, 1880).
Giard, J-B. Le monnayage de l'atelier de Lyon, De Claude Ier à Vespasien (41-78 après J.-C.), et au temps de Clodius Albinus (196-197 après J.-C.). (Wetteren, 2000).
Giard, Jean-Baptiste. Monnaies de l'Empire romain, III Du soulèvement de 68 après J.-C. a Nerva. Catalogue Bibliothèque nationale de France. (Paris, 1998).
Hendin, D. Guide to Biblical Coins, 5th Edition. (Amphora, 2010).
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).

Catalog current as of Tuesday, December 10, 2019.
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Roman Coins of Vespasian