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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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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; $2520.00 SALE |PRICE| $2268.00
 


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

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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.
SH91675. Silver denarius, RIC II-1 2; Hendin 1479; BMCRE II 35; RSC II 226; Hunter I 18; SRCV I 2296, Choice VF, nice portrait, deep old cabinet toning, well centered, light marks, tiny edge split, weight 3.020 g, maximum diameter 18.6 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 69 - 70 A.D.; obverse IMP CAESAR VESPASIANVS AVG, laureate head right; reverse mourning Jewess seated right, trophy of captured arms behind her, IVDAEA in exergue; ex Maxwell Hunt Collection; $600.00 (€528.00) ON RESERVE


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

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This type celebrates the success of Vespasian and Titus in quelling the First Jewish Revolt. Coins commemorating this event are referred to as "Judaea Capta" issues.
SH89760. Silver denarius, RIC II-1 2; Hendin 1479; BMCRE II 35; RSC II 226; Hunter I 18; SRCV I 2296, aVF/F, nice portrait, tight flan, struck with a worn reverse dies, clear IVDAEA, tiny edge cracks, weight 2.989 g, maximum diameter 17.5 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 69 - 70 A.D.; obverse IMP CAESAR VESPASIANVS AVG, laureate head right; reverse Jewess seated right, mourning, veiled, supporting chin with left hand, trophy of captured arms behind her, IVDAEA in exergue; $400.00 SALE |PRICE| $360.00
 


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

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Nike is often found on coins minted by the Greeks. She is shown with wings, and is often in the action of flying. She is frequently shown crowning the victor of a battle, a victorious team of horses or charioteer (Sicily), and also crowning a king's name. Usually a wreath is held in her hand, with which she crowns the victorious subject. Sometimes she is shown alongside, erecting, or inscribing upon a trophy. She is nearly always shown with wings; a noteable exception is Athens, where they have a wingless Nike, in hopes she would not leave that city.
RP91181. Bronze AE 25, RPC II 1612 (7 spec.), vA Lykien 141, SNG BnF 2320, SNGvA 5399, Lindgren-Kovacs 1384, VF, dark green patina, bumps and marks, reverse a little off center, weight 9.779 g, maximum diameter 25.1 mm, die axis 0o, Laodicea Combusta (Ladik, Konya Province, Turkey) mint, 71 A.D.; obverse AYTOKPATWP KAICAP OYECΠACIANOC, laureate head right; reverse CEBACTH NEIKH KΛAY∆IOΛAO∆IKEWN, Nike standing slightly left, head left, wreath in extended right hand, palm frond in left hand; very scarce; $220.00 SALE |PRICE| $198.00
 


Vespasian, 1 July 69 - 24 June 79 A.D., Caesarea, Cappadocia, Titus Reverse

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After a successful campaign in Judaea Vespasian was declared emperor by his troops at Alexandria. Upon the defeat of Vitellius, he went to Rome and consolidated his power. Vespasian was popular, down to earth and witty. Responsible for an economic and military recovery of Rome, he was one of the greatest Roman emperors.
GS89792. Silver didrachm, RPC II 1650, Sydenham Caesarea 102, Metcalf Cappadocia 4, SNG Righetti 1761, aVF, toned, light bumps and marks, minor encrustations, obverse off center, weight 7.093 g, maximum diameter 20.5 mm, die axis 0o, Cappadocia, Caesarea (Kayseri, Turkey) mint, 76 - 77 A.D.; obverse AYTOKPA KAICAP OYECΠACIANOC CEBACTOC, laureate bust of Vespasian right; reverse AYTO KAI OYECΠACIANOC CEBACTOY YIOC, laureate bust of Titus right; ex Eukratides Ancient Numismatics; $160.00 SALE |PRICE| $144.00
 


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

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RPC II p. 161 observes, "The only problem that remains is the identity of the single left-facing head (967). At the moment the obverse inscription cannot be read in full; the portrait looks youngish and rather more like that of Titus than that of Vespasian or Domitian. The discovery of further specimens may resolve this question." Since publication, other examples, including this one, have confirmed the legend identifies the head as Vespasian.
RP85866. Bronze AE 19, RPC II 967, SNG München 376, SNG Cop 24 var. (head right), aVF, partial green patina on brown tone, legends more legible than most examples of the type, weight 5.464 g, maximum diameter 19.3 mm, die axis 0o, Aiolis, Aigai (near Yuntdagi Koseler, Turkey) mint, 1 Jul 69 - 24 Jun 79 A.D.; obverse OYHECΠACIANOC KAICAP (Vespasian, caesar), laureate head left; reverse EΠI AΠOΛΛΩNIOY NEMEONIKOY (magistrate Apollonios, son of Nemeonikos), Apollo standing right, taenia in right hand, laurel branch in left hand, AΓAEΩN downward behind; rare; $90.00 SALE |PRICE| $81.00
 


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

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This type, the only issue by Apamea in Phrygia during the Flavian Period, may have been issued to finance recovery from an earthquake and fire mentioned by Suetonius (Vesp. 17).

Apamea or Apameia, Phrygia (also called Apamea Cibotus, Apamea ad Maeandrum, or Apamea on the Maeander) was an ancient city in Anatolia founded in the 3rd century B.C. by Antiochus I Soter, who named it after his mother Apama. It was in Hellenistic Phrygia, but became part of the Roman province of Pisidia.
RP77369. Bronze AE 26, RPC II 1389; SNG Cop 210; SNGvA 3491; SNG München 152; BMC Phrygia p. 95, 150, Fair, nice portrait for grade, nice green patina, weight 9.728 g, maximum diameter 25.9 mm, die axis 0o, Phrygia, Apameia (Dinar, Turkey) mint, struck under Plancius Varus, Praetorian Legate; obverse AYTOKPATΩP KAIΣAP ΣEBAΣTOΣ OUEΣΠAΣIANOΣ, laureate head right; reverse EΠI ΠΛANKIOY OYAPOY KOINON ΦPUΓIAΣ AΠAMEIΣ, bundle of five stalks of grain; $45.00 SALE |PRICE| $40.50
 


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Spes was the Roman personification of Hope. In art Spes is normally depicted carrying flowers or a cornucopia, but on coins she is almost invariably depicted holding a flower in her extended right hand, and raising a fold of her dress with her left hand. She was also named "ultima dea" - for Hope is the last resort of men.
RB73623. Copper as, RIC II-1 894; BMCRE II 725, BnF III 757, Cohen I 457, Hunter I C3852, SRCV I -, F, centered, dark green patina, cleaning scratches, light corrosion and encrustations, weight 9.599 g, maximum diameter 27.5 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 76 A.D.; obverse IMP CAESAR VESP AVG COS VII, laureate head right; reverse Spes standing left, flower in right hand, raising skirt with left hand, S - C (senatus consulto) flanking at sides; $40.00 SALE |PRICE| $36.00
 


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In 77 or 78 A.D., Gnaeus Julius Agricola was made governor of Roman Britain, a post he occupied until 84. In his first year, Agricola subdued the Ordovices in Wales and pursued the remnants of the tribe to Anglesey, the holy island of the Druids. According to Tacitus, he exterminated the whole tribe. The Ordovices do completely disappear from the historical record, but considering the mountainous terrain, it is unlikely killed the entire population. Another tribe, the Silures, was either also militarily defeated or simply agreed to terms. Tacitus wrote of the Silures: non atrocitate, non clementia mutabatur - the tribe "was changed neither by cruelty nor by clemency." A Roman squadron, sent by Agricola, explored the north of Scotland for the first time, discovering the Orkney and Shetland Islands.Pre-Roman Wales
RB66470. Copper quadrans, RIC II-1 1015 (R); Cohen I 348; BMCRE II 740; SRCV I -, aF, weight 2.685 g, maximum diameter 15.8 mm, die axis 315o, Rome mint, 77 - 78 A.D.; obverse IMP VESPASIAN AVG, rudder on globe; reverse P M TR P P P COS VIII, winged caduceus, S - C (senatus consulto) flanking across lower half of field; rare; $36.00 SALE |PRICE| $32.40
 


Click for a larger photo
Spes was the Roman personification of Hope. In art Spes is normally depicted carrying flowers or a cornucopia, but on coins she is almost invariably depicted holding a flower in her extended right hand, and raising a fold of her dress with her left hand. She was also named "ultima dea" - for Hope is the last resort of men.
RL88648. Copper as, RIC II-1 894; BMCRE II 725, BnF III 757, Cohen I 457, Hunter I C3852, SRCV I -, aF, rough, weight 9.247 g, maximum diameter 26.3 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 76 A.D.; obverse IMP CAESAR VESP AVG COS VII, laureate head right; reverse Spes standing left, flower in right hand, raising skirt with left hand, S - C (senatus consulto) flanking at sides; $.99 (€.87)







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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 Saturday, August 24, 2019.
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Roman Coins of Vespasian