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Imperial Coinage of Vespasian


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Titus Flavius Vespasianus - Augustus 69-79 AD

Imperial coins are arranged according to the new RIC II Part 1.

References cited:
• RIC - The Roman Imperial Coinage II Part 1, I. Carradice and T.V. Buttrey (London, 2007)
• BMC - Coins of the Roman Empire in the British Museum II, H. Mattingly (London, 1966)
• RSC - Roman Silver Coins II, H.A. Seaby (London, 1979)
• RPC - Roman Provincial Coinage II, A. Burnett, M. Amandry, I. Carradice (London and Paris, 1999)
• BNC - Monnaies de l'Empire Romain III, J.-B. Giard (Paris, 1998)
• Hendin - Guide to Biblical Coins, D. Hendin (New York, 2010)

RIC frequency ratings:
R3 = unique
R2 = very few examples known
R = rare
C = common
C2 = very common
C3 = extremely common

266 files, last one added on Sep 30, 2021

Imperial Coinage of Titus


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Titus Flavius Vespasianus - Caesar 69-79 AD, Augustus 79-81 AD

Imperial coins are arranged according to the new RIC II Part 1.

References cited:
• RIC - The Roman Imperial Coinage II Part 1, I. Carradice and T.V. Buttrey (London, 2007)
• BMC - Coins of the Roman Empire in the British Museum II, H. Mattingly (London, 1966)
• RSC - Roman Silver Coins II, H.A. Seaby (London, 1979)
• RPC - Roman Provincial Coinage II, A. Burnett, M. Amandry, I. Carradice (London and Paris, 1999)
• BNC - Monnaies de l'Empire Romain III, J.-B. Giard (Paris, 1998)
• Hendin - Guide to Biblical Coins, D. Hendin (New York, 2010)

RIC frequency ratings:
R3 = unique
R2 = very few examples known
R = rare
C = common
C2 = very common
C3 = extremely common

188 files, last one added on Sep 26, 2021

Imperial Coinage of Domitian


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Titus Flavius Domitianus - Caesar 69-81 AD, Augustus 81-96 AD

Imperial coins are arranged according to the new RIC II Part 1.

References cited:
• RIC - The Roman Imperial Coinage II Part 1, I. Carradice and T.V. Buttrey (London, 2007)
• BMC - Coins of the Roman Empire in the British Museum II, H. Mattingly (London, 1966)
• RSC - Roman Silver Coins II, H.A. Seaby (London, 1979)
• RPC - Roman Provincial Coinage II, A. Burnett, M. Amandry, I. Carradice (London and Paris, 1999)
• BNC - Monnaies de l'Empire Romain III, J.-B. Giard (Paris, 1998)
• Hendin - Guide to Biblical Coins, D. Hendin (New York, 2010)

RIC frequency ratings:
R3 = unique
R2 = very few examples known
R = rare
C = common
C2 = very common
C3 = extremely common

Common Minerva Types:
M1 Minerva advancing right, brandishing spear
M2 Minerva advancing right, brandishing spear, on capital of rostral column, accompanied by owl
M3 Minerva standing, facing left, with thunderbolt and spear and shield behind her feet
M4 Minerva standing left with spear

298 files, last one added on Oct 14, 2021

Imperial Coinage of Julia Titi


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Flavia Julia Titi - Augusta 80-91 AD

Imperial coins are arranged according to the new RIC II Part 1.

References cited:
• RIC - The Roman Imperial Coinage II Part 1, I. Carradice and T.V. Buttrey (London, 2007)
• BMC - Coins of the Roman Empire in the British Museum II, H. Mattingly (London, 1966)
• RSC - Roman Silver Coins II, H.A. Seaby (London, 1979)
• RPC - Roman Provincial Coinage II, A. Burnett, M. Amandry, I. Carradice (London and Paris, 1999)
• BNC - Monnaies de l'Empire Romain III, J.-B. Giard (Paris, 1998)

RIC frequency ratings:
R3 = unique
R2 = very few examples known
R = rare
C = common
C2 = very common
C3 = extremely common

4 files, last one added on Jan 17, 2020

Imperial Coinage of Domitia


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Domitia Longina - Augusta 81-96 AD

Imperial coins are arranged according to the new RIC II Part 1.

References cited:
• RIC - The Roman Imperial Coinage II Part 1, I. Carradice and T.V. Buttrey (London, 2007)
• BMC - Coins of the Roman Empire in the British Museum II, H. Mattingly (London, 1966)
• RSC - Roman Silver Coins II, H.A. Seaby (London, 1979)
• RPC - Roman Provincial Coinage II, A. Burnett, M. Amandry, I. Carradice (London and Paris, 1999)
• BNC - Monnaies de l'Empire Romain III, J.-B. Giard (Paris, 1998)

RIC frequency ratings:
R3 = unique
R2 = very few examples known
R = rare
C = common
C2 = very common
C3 = extremely common

1 files, last one added on Jul 25, 2018

Provincial Coinage of the Flavian Dynasty


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Flavian Dynasty 69-96 AD

Provincial coins are arranged according to RPC II.

References cited:
• RPC - Roman Provincial Coinage II, A. Burnett, M. Amandry, I. Carradice (London and Paris, 1999)
• Hendin - Guide to Biblical Coins, D. Hendin (New York, 2010)
• Emmett - Alexandrian Coins, K. Emmett (Lodi, Wisconsin, 2001)
• Dattari-Savio - Catalogo completo della collezione Dattari Numi Augg. Alexandrini, A. Savio, ed. (Trieste, 1999)
• Prieur - The Syro-Phoenician Tetradrachms and their Fractions from 57 BC to AD 258, M. Prieur & K. Prieur (Lancaster, PA, 2000)

RPC frequency is determined by the number of specimens in the 'core collections'.

Core collections:
Berlin, Staatliche Museen
Cambridge, Fitzwilliam Museum
Copenhagen, Nationalmuseet
Glasgow, Hunterian Museum
London, British Museum
Munich, Staatliche Münzsammlung
New York, American Numismatic Society
Oxford, Ashmolean Museum
Paris, Bibliothèque Nationale de France
Vienna, Kunsthistorisches Museum

111 files, last one added on Oct 15, 2021

Restoration Coinage of the Flavian Dynasty


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Flavian Dynasty 69-96 AD

Restoration coins are arranged according to the new RIC II Part 1.

References cited:
• RIC - The Roman Imperial Coinage II Part 1, I. Carradice and T.V. Buttrey (London, 2007)
• BMC - Coins of the Roman Empire in the British Museum II, H. Mattingly (London, 1966)
• BNC - Monnaies de l'Empire Romain III, J.-B. Giard (Paris, 1998)

RIC frequency ratings:
R3 = unique
R2 = very few examples known
R = rare
C = common
C2 = very common
C3 = extremely common

6 files, last one added on Jun 24, 2021

 

7 albums on 1 page(s)

Last additions - David Atherton's Gallery
RPC1683.jpg
RPC-1683-Domitian as CaesarÆ19, 4.22g
Caesarea, Cappadocia mint, 77-78 AD
Obv: ΔΟΜΙΤΙΑΝΟϹ ΚΑΙ ϹƐΒΑϹΤΟϹ; Head of Domitian, laureate, r.
Rev: ΚΑΙϹΑ/ΡƐΙΑϹ, ƐΤ Ι (in exergue); Mount Argaeus surmounted by crescent or wreath
RPC 1683 (6 spec.).
Acquired from Romae Aeternae Numismatics, October 2021.

A somewhat rare provincial bronze of Domitian Caesar struck under Vespasian at Caeserea, Cappadocia depicting the famous Mount Argaeus. Dated year 10 under the legat M Hirrius Fronto Neratius Pansa. Strabo described the mountain as such: It's 'the highest of mountains whose peak is constantly covered with snow ...given good visibility, anyone who climbs this mountain - and not many do- are supposed to see both seas, the Pontus and the Issikos'.

The above reverse perhaps does not relay the grandeur of the actual peak, possibly being a representation of a cult picture, or agalma, of the mountain - but it's a fascinating reverse type nonetheless!
1 commentsDavid AthertonOct 15, 2021
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Domitian RIC-248Æ Quadrans, 2.00g
Rome Mint, 84-85 AD
Obv: (No legend) Rhinoceros stg. r.
Rev: IMP DOMIT AVG GERM; S C in centre
RIC 248 (C). BMC 496. BNC 536.
Ex Numismatic Salon, Auction 8, 18-19 September 2021, lot 3298.

A few years into Domitian's reign an extraordinary issue of quadrantes were struck featuring a rhinoceros. Although the coins are undated, their production can be narrowed down between late 83 when he assumed the title Germanicus and 85 when the consular date XI appeared on the quadrantes. The type is highly unusual and breaks with the standard obverses that were normally featured on the quadrans. One may ask, why a rhinoceros? Certainly the animal was rare in Rome and most difficult to obtain. The rhinoceros depicted on the coin is the African species, identified by the two horns. Martial in his book 'On Spectacles' tells of such a rhinoceros in the Colosseum. Presumably, these coins were struck with that very 'star performer' in mind. Ted Buttrey wrote about this coin type in his article Domitian, the Rhinoceros, and the Date of Martial's "Liber De Spectaculis": "it is wrong to write off the rhinoceros of Domitian's coin casually, as if the coin were a picture postcard from the zoo: 'This is a rhinoceros'. No, coin types are pointed. Everything has to do with imperial advertisement and with its importance at the moment of issue: 'This is my rhinoceros'. Domitian's rhinoceros, in its supremacy in the arena might well stand as a metaphor for the invincible success of the emperor conquering general who had recently assumed the historically-weighted title of Germanicus." Coming back to Martial, he also speaks of tokens being showered upon the cheering crowds - could these quadrantes struck cheaply and in massive quantities have been gifts to the cheering mob at the arena? In essence, can this coin double as currency and a souvenir from a long ago day at the games in the Colosseum? This is the most common variant of the famous rhinoceros quadrans with the beast facing right and the reverse legend beginning from the lower left.

As mentioned above, the rhino depicted on the coin is the two-horned African species. In contrast, the Indian rhino has one horn. Pliny in his Natural Histories describes the rhinoceros as a one horned creature (although confusingly he confirms its Ethiopian origins), Martial said it had two. The rhino was so rare in Rome, Pliny had to go all the way back to the games of Pompey the Great in 55 BC to find a reference for the animal on display in the city, apparently it was a one-horned Indian rhino. At any rate, both the numismatic evidence and Martial's description coincide rather nicely to confirm that Domitian, at great expense no doubt, brought to Rome an African rhinoceros for his shows in the new Colosseum. The surviving coins featuring this fantastic beast prove how important a feat this was to the emperor.

Please show your quadrantes, 'Colosseum' coins, or anything you feel that is relevant.
David AthertonOct 14, 2021
RPC1606.jpg
RPC-1606-TitusÆ20, 6.57g
Lystra, Lycaonia mint, 79-81 AD
Obv: IMP T CAE AVG VESPA; Head of Titus, laureate, l.
Rev: COL I(V)L LVS; Helmeted bust of Athena, l., two spears over shoulder
RPC 1606 (2 spec.).
Acquired from Forvm, September 2021.

The colony of Lystra was located south east of lake Beysehir in Galatia-Cappadocia. According to RPC II, it was remote and located far from the major trading routes and never gained any importance. It struck a small issue under Augustus and later under Titus. The coinage was for local circulation, which would explain its extreme rarity today.
1 commentsDavid AthertonOct 09, 2021
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00 Domitian as Caesar RIC 661 var. [Vespasian]Æ Dupondius, 10.98g
Rome mint, 73-74 AD
Obv: CAESAR AVG F DOMITIAN COS II; Head of Domitian, laureate, draped, bearded, l.
Rev: PAX AVGVST; S C in field; Pax stg. l., leaning on column, with caduceus and branch
RIC 661 var. BMC -. BNC -.
Acquired from eBay, September 2021.

The propaganda value of Pax for the Flavian dynasty after the Civil War, the revolt of Civilis, and the Jewish War cannot be overestimated. In her various guises she is one of the most popular types on Vespasian's coinage and shows up quite frequently during the reign on the coins struck for both himself and his sons. This early dupondius struck for Domitian as Caesar under Vespasian shows Pax leaning on a column, which likely copies a well known cult image of the goddess. Domitian's dupondii in these initial issues can be distinguished from the asses by their metal and draped busts. RIC records a unique specimen of the Pax type with AVGVSTI as RIC 661 but does not list this variant with AVGVST. It is also unlisted in the Addenda and Corrigenda. So, apparently unpublished and unique!
3 commentsDavid AthertonOct 03, 2021
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Vespasian-RIC-1071AR Quinarius, 1.55g
Rome mint, 79 AD
Obv: IMP CAESAR VESPASIANVS COS IX; Head of Vespasian, laureate, r.
Rev: VICTORY AVGVSTI; Victory adv. r., with wreath and palm
RIC 1071 (R2). BMC -. RSC -. BNC -.
Acquired from Numismeo, September 2021. Ex ALDE, 19 October 2016, lot 240.

Vespasianic quinarii are extremely rare, and none more so than those struck in 79. When the new RIC II.1 was published only one specimen was known residing in the Budapest collection. In 2016 the present coin came up for auction and later was cited by the RIC authors in the Addenda & Corrigenda as the second known example. Owing to their extreme rarity, it's likely these quinarii may have been struck just prior to Vespasian's death in June. Vespasian revived the quinarius after a long hiatus going back to the time of Augustus. Striking this denomination was quite in keeping with the antiquarian flavour of the Rome mint during his reign.
3 commentsDavid AthertonSep 30, 2021
T66.jpg
Titus RIC 66Æ Sestertius, 22.71g
Rome mint, 79 AD
Obv: IMP TITVS CAES VESP AVG P M TR P COS VII; Head of Titus, laureate, bearded, r.
Rev: VESTA in exergue; S C in field; Vesta std. l., with palladium and sceptre
RIC 66 (R2). BMC -. BNC 146.
Acquired from Marti Numismatics, September 2021.

The coins from Titus's first bronze issue as emperor are so rare that many are known from only one or two examples. This Vesta type struck for the sestertius is no exception. In the new RIC II catalogue the only specimen known to the authors is footnoted with the following caveat: 'Paris 146 has evidence of re-engraving to the date, so the entry requires confirmation.' Since RIC's publication two others have shown up in trade that indeed clearly verify the reading of COS VII, thus confirming the existence of the type for the first bronze issue. The first new specimen turned up in Bertolami 29 in 2017 and the second is the present coin, both are unsurprisingly reverse die matches with the Paris specimen.

Vesta frequently appears on the bronze coinage with her message of religious piety and security. Her main attribute here is the palladium - a wooden cult image of Pallas Athena which oversees the safety and well being of Rome. Ironically, not long after this coin was struck Mount Vesuvius erupted, a fire broke out in Rome, and a plague befell the city. Perhaps Titus's moneyer's should have struck more of the type?
2 commentsDavid AthertonSep 26, 2021
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Domitian RIC-280Æ Sestertius, 26.14g
Rome mint, 85 AD
Obv: IMP CAES DOMITIAN AVG GERM COS XI; Bust of Domitian, laureate, bearded, r., with aegis
Rev: S C in exergue; Domitian riding r. with shield, striking with spear at falling German
RIC 280 (C). BMC 300A. BNC 317.
Ex Roma Numismatics E-Sale 88, 9 September 2021, lot 843.

In 85 Domitian struck a fairly impressive issue of sestertii, M. Grant hyperbolically called it the most 'ambitious' of any one reign or year. The series is the first major aes issue of Domitian's reign and is dominated by panoramic types commemorating his greatest military victory over the Germanic tribe the Chatti. The Germanic triumph received a certain amount of ridicule from ancient writers who thought the whole thing was a sham (Dio goes so far as to say Domitian raided the palace's furniture stores for his fake spoils!), no doubt the numismatic propaganda for the victory was likely viewed in the same manner by contemporary senatorial elites. This sestertius depicts Domitian on the reverse heroically chasing down a Chattian warrior, no doubt one of the tribal leaders. It goes without saying that such a scene never actually took place and the reverse is as much a sham as the Triumph itself. The type was struck for just a few short years and was slowly phased out by 89.
1 commentsDavid AthertonSep 25, 2021
V230.jpg
Vespasian RIC-230Æ Sestertius, 23.18g
Rome mint, 71 AD
Obv: IMP CAES VESPAS AVG P M TR P P P COS III; Head of Vespasian, laureate, r.
Rev: FORTVNAE REDVCI; S C in exergue; Fortuna stg. l., with branch and rudder on globe, and cornucopiae
RIC 230 (C2). BMC 529. BNC 484.
Acquired from CGB.fr, September 2021.

Vespasian struck a massive bronze issue in 71 which easily dwarfs any other of the reign. The issue is dominated by the Judaea Capta series, but many other important themes are employed by the mint. This Fortuna reverse carries an important propaganda message concerning the safe return of the imperial household. H. Mattingly in BMCRE explains it as 'the Fortuna who brings Titus home in June 71; the branch which she holds, beside her own rudder and cornucopiae, is either the olive branch of Pax or the laurel of the home-returning conqueror.' Titus had been absent from Rome completing the successful siege of Jerusalem and was en route home in Spring 71. This fairly common Fortuna from the third bronze issue of 71 features a stylish portrait of Vespasian. The commonness of the type indicates the immense propaganda value it had for the new regime.
1 commentsDavid AthertonSep 18, 2021
V767.jpg
Titus as Caesar RIC 767 Mule [Vespasian] Æ Dupondius, 10.82g
Rome mint, 74 AD
Obv: T•CAESAR•IMP•COS III•CENS; Head of Titus, laureate, bearded, r.
Rev: TR•POT•COS III•CENSOR•; Winged caduceus between crossed cornuacopiae
RIC 767 (R). BMC 892. BNC 908.
Acquired from Finest Coins and Relics, eBay, September 2021. Formerly in NGC holder #5872785-003, grade F.

A truly remarkable Titus Caesar dupondius struck in Rome under Vespasian, but lacking the traditional radiate portrait on the obverse and the de rigueur S C on the reverse. The reverse with crossed cornucopiae echoes similar types from the East. Traditionally, the issue this rather strange coin is from has been attributed to various different mints over the years. However, hoard and findspot data indicates these coins circulated in the Western empire and not in the East. Ted Buttrey in the RIC II.1 A&C wrote - 'RIC 756-767 are irregular Dupondii, which should be taken together with Asses, semisses and quadrantes (RIC 1564-1581), forming together a single extraordinary issue in four denominations, distinct in typology and metal, as well as overall character from the regular coinage of the year. Although Eastern in aspect and reverse type, the circulation area of the dupondii is almost exclusively Gaul, Germany, Italy – i.e. the West, with scarcely any penetration of the East. Finds of the smaller denominations are rarely attested anywhere, East or West. The Eastern finds appear to be simply the débris of Mediterranean circulation.'

This specimen has the additional feature of being a mint mule combining an obverse intended for Titus Caesar's previous bronze issue with a 'Syrian' reverse. In all likely hood both issues were struck contemporaneously.
David AthertonSep 16, 2021
D496.jpg
Domitian RIC-496Æ As, 9.62g
Rome mint, 86 AD
Obv: IMP CAES DOMIT AVG GERM COS XII CENS PER P P; Head of Domitian, laureate, bearded, r., with aegis
Rev: S C in field; Mars adv. l., with Victory and trophy
RIC 496 (C). BMC 392. BNC -.
Acquired from Sam Sloat Coins, August 2021.

This Mars reverse was struck for Domitian's asses for a short period between 85-87 AD. No doubt it was part of the massive Germania Capta series struck on the bronzes at the time. It copies a reverse design previously struck for Vespasian's sestertii.

Despite the wear, the stylish portrait still shines through.
David AthertonSep 16, 2021
D536.jpg
Domitian RIC-536Æ Dupondius, 10.13g
Rome mint, 87 AD
Obv: IMP CAES DOMIT AVG GERM COS XIII CENS PER P P; Head of Domitian, radiate, bearded, r., with aegis
Rev: FORTVNAE AVGVSTI; S C in field; Fortuna stg. l., with rudder and cornucopiae
RIC 536 (R). BMC 397. BNC 427.
Acquired from CGB.fr, August 2021.

This common Fortuna type was repeatedly struck throughout Domitian's reign on his middle bronze. She also fleetingly showed up on the denarius in 82. Mattingly calls this Fortuna 'the special Fortuna that watches over the imperial office'. Suetonius writes that near the end of Domitian's reign on 1 January 96 'The Fortuna of Praeneste, which throughout the whole time he was emperor had habitually given him a happy and virtually the same answer to him whenever he entrusted the new year to her care, finally gave a most gloomy answer - and not without the mention of blood.' The COS XIII variant with aegis portrait is quite rare.
David AthertonSep 16, 2021
RPC1309.jpg
RPC-1309-VespasianÆ17, 2.86g
Sardis mint, 69-79 AD
Obv: ΙƐΡΑ ϹΥΝΚΛΗΤ(ΟϹ); Draped bust of Senate, r.
Rev: ϹΑΡΔΙΑΝΩΝ; Temple with four columns
RPC 1309 (1 spec.).
Acquired from David Connors, August 2021.

The mint of Sardis in Asia minor had previously struck coins for the Julio-Claudians. This undated small bronze most likely was struck sometime during Vespasian's reign (although a Second Century date cannot be ruled out). The obverse features a draped bust of the Holy Senate with the reverse showing an anonymous temple. The weight indicates this piece's likely value as 1/2-assarion.
1 commentsDavid AthertonSep 06, 2021

Random files - David Atherton's Gallery
D719.jpg
Domitian RIC-719AR Denarius, 3.44g
Rome mint, 90-91 AD
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)
RIC 719 (C2). BMC 176. RSC 265. BNC 166.

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
ri485.jpg
Domitian RIC-144bAR Denarius, 3.38g
Rome mint, 82-83 AD
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.
RIC 144b (R). BMC 52. RSC 320. BNC 53.
Acquired from Zuzim Judaea, January 2010.

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
D692a.jpg
Domitian RIC-692AR Denarius, 3.30g
Rome mint, 90 AD
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)
RIC 692 (C2). BMC 168. RSC 259. BNC 160.
Acquired from Lucernae, eBay, October 2013.

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

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