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

Domitian, 13 September 81 - 18 September 96 A.D.

Flavius Domitianus was an effective emperor who spent much of his time in the provinces preserving order. Despite his effectiveness, he was extremely unpopular with the senatorial class at Rome. He appointed persons from the lower classes to positions of authority. Domitian's reign was marred by paranoia and cruelty in his latter years and he executed many Senators. When asked to prohibit execution of senators without a trial by peers he declined, thus dispelling the old illusions of republican government and exposing the true autocracy of his rule. In 96 A.D., he was stabbed to death in a plot, allegedly involving his own wife.


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Ceres a goddess of agriculture, grain crops, fertility and motherly relationships, was listed among the Di Consentes, Rome's equivalent to the Twelve Olympians of Greek mythology. The Romans saw her as the counterpart of the Greek goddess Demeter, whose mythology was reinterpreted for Ceres in Roman art and literature.
SH92409. Orichalcum dupondius, RIC II-1 T334 (R2), BnF III T246 var., Hunter I T21 var., BMCRE II 237 var., SRCV I 2687 var., Cohen I 32 var. (all var. bust right), F, nice portrait, well centered on a broad flan, light marks, light corrosion, weight 18.218 g, maximum diameter 29.6 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, as caesar, 80 A.D.; obverse CAES DIVI AVG VESP F DOMITIAN COS VII, laureate and draped bust left; reverse CERES AVGVST, Ceres standing left, holding grain ears and torch; from the Errett Bishop Collection; with head left this type is missing from all references except the new RIC II-1, zero sales recorded on Coin Archives in the last two decades; very rare; $400.00 (€352.00)
 


Domitian, 13 September 81 - 18 September 96 A.D., Parion, Mysia(?)

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The attribution of this very rare type to Parium is uncertain. See RPC II p. 137.
RP94085. Bronze AE 17, RPC II Online 889 (12 spec.); SNGvA 6202, F, mottled green patina, bumps and scratches, slightly off center, obverse legend not fully struck, weight 4.016 g, maximum diameter 17.1 mm, die axis 0o, Parion, Mysia(?) mint, 13 Sep 81 - 18 Sep 96 A.D.; obverse DOMIT AVG (clockwise from the upper right, laureate head left; reverse one priest plowing right with two oxen, GERM in exergue; zero sales of this type recorded on Coin Archives in the last two decades; very rare; $200.00 (€176.00)
 


Domitian, 13 September 81 - 18 September 96 A.D., Samosata, Commpagene

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Sear (SRCV I) and Mattingly (BMCRE II) identify the mint as at Samosata in Commagene. Commagene was a "buffer state" between Armenia, Parthia, Syria, and Rome. Emperor Vespasian made it part of the Roman Empire in 72 A.D.
RY92940. Orichalcum as, RPC II online 2003 (2 spec.), RIC II-1 Vesp. 1578 (R2), BMCRE II Vesp. 884, SRCV I 2666, McAlee 86 (corr.), BnF III -, Wruck -, Cohen I -, Hunter I -, F, highlighting green patina, porous, edge crack, weight 4.556 g, maximum diameter 22.3 mm, die axis 180o, Minted for Syria at Rome mint, as caesar, 74 A.D.; obverse CAESAR DOMIT COS II, laureate head right; reverse large S C within laurel wreath; very rare; $160.00 (€140.80)
 


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Apollo's most famous attribute is the tripod, the symbol of his prophetic powers. It was in the guise of a dolphin that Apollo brought priests from Crete to Delphi, explaining Apollo's cult title "Delphinios" and the name of the town. He dedicated a bronze tripod to the sanctuary and bestowed divine powers on one of the priestesses, and she became known as the "Pythia." It was she who inhaled the hallucinating vapors from the fissure in the temple floor, while she sat on a tripod chewing laurel leaves. After she mumbled her answer, a male priest would translate it for the supplicant. Depictions of Pythia's seat vary greatly because the seats were given away as prizes and replaced. Apparently the designs changed.
RS91803. Silver denarius, RIC II-1 102; RSC II 594; BMCRE II 30; BnF III 33, Hunter I 9, Choice aVF, well centered, toned, flow lines, scratches, black encrustations, weight 3.301 g, maximum diameter 19.2 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 82 A.D.; obverse IMP CAES DOMITIANVS AVG P M, laureate head right; reverse TR POT COS VIII P P, dolphin right, atop tripod lebes, ornamented with fillets and lion paw feet; ex Savoca Numismatik auction 31 (10 March 2019), lot 440; $140.00 (€123.20)
 


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In 94 A.D., Domitian rebuilt and rededicated the Curia Julia, the meeting place of the Roman Senate, which had burned down in 64. Construction began in 44 B.C. but was interrupted by Caesar's assassination at the Theatre of Pompey where the Senate had been meeting temporarily while the work was completed. The project was eventually finished by Augustus in 29 B.C. Due to its conversion into the basilica of Sant' Adriano al Foro in the 7th century, the Curia Julia is one of only a handful of Roman structures to survive to today mostly intact. Curia Julia

RS92848. Silver denarius, RIC II-1 763 (C3), RSC II 283, BMCRE II 218, BnF III 193, Hunter I 88, VF, toned, flow lines, die wear, weight 2.998 g, maximum diameter 19.0 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 14 Sep 93 - 13 Sep 94 A.D.; obverse IMP CAES DOMIT AVG GERM P M TR P XIII, laureate head right; reverse IMP XXII COS XVI CENS P P P, Minerva standing left, helmeted and draped, thunderbolt in right hand, spear vertical behind in left hand, grounded shield at feet behind; $100.00 (€88.00)
 


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In 94 A.D., Domitian rebuilt and rededicated the Curia Julia, the meeting place of the Roman Senate, which had burned down in 64. Construction began in 44 B.C. but was interrupted by Caesar's assassination at the Theatre of Pompey where the Senate had been meeting temporarily while the work was completed. The project was eventually finished by Augustus in 29 B.C. Due to its conversion into the basilica of Sant' Adriano al Foro in the 7th century, the Curia Julia is one of only a handful of Roman structures to survive to today mostly intact. Curia Julia

RS91572. Silver denarius, RIC II-1 763 (C3); RSC II 283; BMCRE II 218; BnF III 193; Hunter I 88, F, old collection toning, tight flan, light scratches, weight 3.147 g, maximum diameter 18.4 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 14 Sep 93 - 13 Sep 94 A.D.; obverse IMP CAES DOMIT AVG GERM P M TR P XIII, laureate head right; reverse IMP XXII COS XVI CENS P P P, Minerva standing left, helmeted and draped, thunderbolt in right hand, spear vertical behind in left hand, grounded shield at feet behind; from the Maxwell Hunt Collection, ex B. A. Seaby Ltd.; $80.00 (€70.40)
 


Domitian, 13 September 81 - 18 September 96 A.D., Amphipolis, Macedonia

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Amphipolis was home to an imperial cult, worshiping the living emperor, and to a cult dedicated to Artemis Tauropolos. Artemis' most distinctive attributes were her bow, arrows and quiver, but she was also called the torch-bearing goddess. This reverse likely depicts a local statue of Artemis Tauropolos. Artemis was honored at Amphipolis with torch-races called Lampadephoria.
RP79971. Bronze AE 22, RPC II 339; BMC Macedonia p. 54, 91 - 93; SNG ANS 177; SNG Cop 100; Lindgren II 976, F, green patina, weight 5.991 g, maximum diameter 21.5 mm, die axis 180o, Amphipolis mint, 13 Sep 81 - 18 Sep 96 A.D.; obverse AYTO KAICAP ∆OMITIANOC, laureate head right; reverse AMΦIΠOΛEITΩN, Artemis Tauropolos standing left, kalathos on head, long torch before her in right hand, small branch in left hand downward at side, grounded shield behind; $70.00 (€61.60)
 


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In 94 A.D., Domitian rebuilt and rededicated the Curia Julia, the meeting place of the Roman Senate, which had burned down in 64. Construction began in 44 B.C. but was interrupted by Caesar's assassination at the Theater of Pompey where the Senate had been meeting temporarily while the work was completed. The project was eventually finished by Augustus in 29 B.C. The Curia Julia is one of only a handful of Roman structures to survive to the modern day mostly intact, due to its conversion into the basilica of Sant'Adriano al Foro in the 7th century. Curia Julia

RS91566. Silver denarius, RIC II-1 762 (C3); RSC II 284; BMCRE II 216; BnF III 192, F, old collection toning, flow lines, scratches, weight 3.307 g, maximum diameter 18.7 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 14 Sep 93 A.D. - 13 Sep 94 A.D.; obverse IMP CAES DOMIT AVG GERM P M TR P XIII, laureate head right; reverse IMP XXII COS XVI CENS P P P, Minerva standing right on Columna Rostrata, wearing helmet and aegis, brandishing javelin in right hand, shield in left hand, owl at feet on right; from the Maxwell Hunt Collection; $70.00 (€61.60)
 


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Many ancient plated counterfeits have an obverse and reverse that do not match. The dies were likely created using impressions of genuine coins. Two different coins had to be used because producing each die destroyed the coin used to create an impression. The forgers were apparently unconcerned about mismatched types. The silver from the destroyed coins could then be used to make the silver foil for plating.
RS91042. Fouree silver plated denarius, cf. RIC II-1 720 for obv. (silver, official, Rome, Sep 90 - Sep 91); RIC II-1 789 for rev. (silver, official, Rome, Sep 95 - Sep 96), F, many platting breaks, weight 2.286 g, maximum diameter 18.9 mm, die axis 180o, unofficial counterfeiter's mint, c. 95 - 99 A.D.; obverse IMP CAES DOMIT AVG GERM P M TR P X, laureate head right; reverse IMP XXII COS XVII CENS P P P, Minerva standing left, helmeted and draped, thunderbolt in right hand, spear vertical behind in left hand, grounded shield at feet behind; $50.00 (€44.00)
 


Domitian, 13 September 81 - 18 September 96 A.D., Amphipolis, Macedonia

Click for a larger photo
Amphipolis was home to an imperial cult, worshiping the living emperor, and to a cult dedicated to Artemis Tauropolos. Artemis' most distinctive attributes were her bow, arrows and quiver, but she was also called the torch-bearing goddess. This reverse likely depicts a local statue of Artemis Tauropolos. Artemis was honored at Amphipolis with torch-races called Lampadephoria.
RP84053. Bronze AE 19, RPC II 339; BMC Macedonia p. 54, 91 - 93; SNG ANS 177; SNG Cop 100; Lindgren II 976, F, obverse off-center, edge cracks, some corrosion, weight 2.952 g, maximum diameter 18.7 mm, die axis 180o, Amphipolis mint, 13 Sep 81 - 18 Sep 96 A.D.; obverse AYTO KAICAP ∆OMITIANOC, laureate head right; reverse AMΦIΠOΛEITΩN, Artemis Tauropolos standing left, kalathos on head, long torch before her in right hand, small branch in left hand downward at side, grounded shield behind; $45.00 (€39.60)
 




  



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OBVERSE| LEGENDS|

CAESARAVGFDOMITIANCOSII
CAESARAVGFDOMITIANVS
CAESARAVGFDOMITIANVSCOSII
CAESARAVGFDOMITIANVSCOSIII
CAESARAVGFDOMITIANVSCOSIIII
CAESARAVGFDOMITIANVSCOSV
CAESARAVGFDOMITIANVSCOSVI
CAESARAVGFDOMITIANVSCOSVII
CAESARDIVIAVGVESPFDOMITIANVSCOSVII
CAESARDIVIFDOMITIANVSCOSVII
CAESAVGFDOMITCOSII
CAESAVGFDOMITCOSIII
CAESAVGFDOMITIANCOSII
CAESDIVIAVGVESP
CAESDIVIFDOMITIANVSCOSVII
CAESDIVIVESPFDOMITIANCOSVII
DOMITIANVSAVGGERM
DOMITIANVSAVGGERMANICVS
DOMITIANVSAVGVSTVS
DOMITIANVSCAESARAVGF
IMPCAESARDOMITIANVSAVG
IMPCAESDIVIVESPFDOMITIANAVG
IMPCAESDIVIVESPFDOMITIANAVGPM
IMPCAESDOMITAVGGERMANPMTRPVII
IMPCAESDOMITAVGGERMCOSXI
IMPCAESDOMITAVGGERMCOSXICENSPOTPP
IMPCAESDOMITAVGGERMCOSXICENSPERPP
IMPCAESDOMITAVGGERMCOSXIICENSPERPP
IMPCAESDOMITAVGGERMCOSXIIICENSPERPP
IMPCAESDOMITAVGGERMCOSXIIIICENSPERPP
IMPCAESDOMITAVGGERMCOSXVCENSPERPP
IMPCAESDOMITAVGGERMCOSXVICENSPERPP
IMPCAESDOMITAVGGERMCOSXVIICENSPERPP
IMPCAESDOMITAVGGERMPMCOSVII
IMPCAESDOMITAVGGERMPMTRPOTV
IMPCAESDOMITAVGGERMPMTRPIIII
IMPCAESDOMITAVGGERMPMTRPV
IMPCAESDOMITAVGGERMPMTRPVI
IMPCAESDOMITAVGGERMPMTRPVII
IMPCAESDOMITAVGGERMPMTRPVIII
IMPCAESDOMITAVGGERMPMTRPVIIICENSPERPP
IMPCAESDOMITAVGGERMPMTRPVIIII
IMPCAESDOMITAVGGERMPMTRPX
IMPCAESDOMITAVGGERMPMTRPXI
IMPCAESDOMITAVGGERMPMTRPXII
IMPCAESDOMITAVGGERMPMTRPXIII
IMPCAESDOMITAVGGERMPMTRPXIIII
IMPCAESDOMITAVGGERMPMTRPXV
IMPCAESDOMITAVGGERMPMTRPXVI
IMPCAESDOMITAVGGERMPMTRPVIIICENSPERPP
IMPCAESDOMITIANAVGGERMCOSX
IMPCAESDOMITIANAVGGERMCOSXI
IMPCAESDOMITIANAVGGERMANIC
IMPCAESDOMITIANAVGGERMANICVS
IMPCAESDOMITIANAVGGERMV
IMPCAESDOMITIANAVGPMCOSVII
IMPCAESDOMITIANAVGPMCOSVIII
IMPCAESDOMITIANVSAVGGERMANIC
IMPCAESDOMITIANVSAVGGERMANICVS
IMPCAESDOMITIANVSAVGPM
IMPCAESDOMITIANVSAVGPONT
IMPDOMITAVGGERM
IMPDOMITAVGGERMCOSXI
IMPDOMITIANCAESDIVIVESPFAVGPMTRPPPCOSVII
IMPDOMITIANCAESDIVIVESPFAVGPMTRPPPCOSVIII
IMPDOMITIANVSAVG


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, K. Coinage in Roman Syria: Northern Syria, 64 BC - AD 253. Royal Numismatic Society Special Publication 34. (London, 2004).
Calicó, E. The Roman Avrei, Vol. I: From the Republic to Pertinax, 196 BC - 193 AD. (Barcelona, 2003).
Carradice, I. & T. 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. 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, J. Monnaies de l'Empire romain, III Du soulèvement de 68 après J.-C. a Nerva. Bibliothèque nationale de France. (Paris, 1998).
Hendin, D. Guide to Biblical Coins, 5th Edition. (Amphora, 2010).
Mattingly, H. & R. 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. & R. Loosley. Roman Silver Coins, Vol. II: Tiberius to Commodus. (London, 1979).
Sear, D. 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 Monday, January 20, 2020.
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Roman Coins of Domitian