Featured A Heroic Heir

Discussion in 'Ancient Coins' started by David Atherton, Jun 25, 2020.

  1. David Atherton

    David Atherton Flavian Fanatic

    I was really thrilled this week to have added a long sought after 'grail' coin! It has been on my numismatic 'Bucket List' for the better part of a decade.

    AR Didrachm, 6.20g
    Caesarea, Cappadocia mint, 76-77 AD
    Obv: ΑΥΤΟΚΡΑ ΚΑΙϹΑΡ ΟΥƐϹΠΑϹΙΑΝΟϹ ϹƐΒΑϹΤΟϹ; Head of Vespasian, laureate, r.
    Rev: ΤΙΤΟϹ ΑΥΤΟΚΡΑΤWΡ ΚΑΙϹΑΡ ƐΤ[ΟΥϹ] Θ; Titus in military dress, standing facing, holding spear and sword
    RPC 1649 (10 spec.).
    Acquired from Aegean Numismatics, June 2020.

    Several issues of silver coinage were struck for Cappadocia during Vespasian's reign. They were produced in two distinct styles: Roman (with a six o'clock die axis) and 'local' (with a twelve o'clock die axis). The majority of Cappadocia's silver coins were struck in 'local' style, presumably at Caesarea and were somewhat supplemented by the 'Roman' style coins from Rome. Whether 'Roman' or 'local', all Cappadocian silver were produced at nearly 48% fineness. This remarkable didrachm from regnal year 9 (77/78 AD) features Titus Caesar on the reverse in full military dress. The type can be interpreted as a dynastic issue showing the young prince in all his military glory, evoking his recent military prowess during the Judaean War and as a worthy heir to Vespasian. The sword, or parazonium, he is holding was a ceremonial weapon worn by the nobility as a symbol of valour.

    Why exactly was this a personal 'grail' coin? Well, to be honest, I love the reverse heroically featuring Titus as a larger than life heir to the throne. Make no mistake, with this coin you can visually tell who Vespasian wished to succeed him! By contrast, the parallel type struck with Domitian Caesar on the reverse is not so awe-inspiring. He is shown togate holding a branch.

    AR Didrachm, 6.77g
    Caesarea, Cappadocia mint, 76-77 AD
    Obv: AYTOKPA KAICAP OYЄCΠACIANOC CЄBACTOC; Head of Vespasian, laureate, r.
    Rev: ΔOMITIANOC KAICAP CЄB YIO ЄT Θ; Domitian standing, l., holding branch
    RPC 1651 (19 spec.).
    Ex Pegasi VAuction 32, 19 May 2015, lot 314.

    Titus's heroic status as the conqueror of Jerusalem was quite secure, as can be attested by a coin symbolically celebrating his military prowess struck six or seven years after the event in a province hundreds of miles away.
    Last edited: Jun 25, 2020
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  3. Carl Wilmont

    Carl Wilmont Supporter! Supporter

    @David Atherton, that's a great coin with the Vespasian/Titus Combo!!

    Vespasian Denarius Judea Capta.jpg
    Vespasian (69-79 AD). Denarius. Rome. 72/73 AD. IMP CAES VESP AVG P M COS IIII; Laureate head of Vespasian right / VICTORIA – AVGVSTI; winged Victory advancing right, shouldering a palm frond, crowning a standard. 17.50 mm. 2.9 g.
    From the series of Judaea Capta coins for the victory over Jerusalem.
  4. Orfew

    Orfew Draco dormiens nunquam titillandus Supporter

    Amazing addition David. It is a great feeling to finally add a grail coin after years of searching. Congrats on the superb pickup.
    David Atherton and paschka like this.
  5. Mat

    Mat Ancient Coincoholic

    Those are great additions, I like both of them. Congrats.
    David Atherton likes this.
  6. David Atherton

    David Atherton Flavian Fanatic

    I neglected to add this drachm with the Titus Caesar reverse to my original post. Ironically, I acquired the piece a couple of years ago despite it being even rarer than the didrachm.

    AR Drachm, 3.03g
    Caesarea, Cappadocia mint, 76-77 AD
    Obv: AYTOKPA KAICAP OYЄCΠACIANOC CЄBACTOC; Head of Vespasian, laureate, r.
    Rev: TITOC AYTOKPATWP KAICAP ЄTO Θ; Titus in military dress, stg. facing, holding spear and sword
    RPC 1652 (3 spec.).
    Ex Kölner 108, 7 April 2018, lot 131.
    TIF, Orfew, Nemo and 6 others like this.
  7. Limes

    Limes Supporter! Supporter

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  8. Nemo

    Nemo Well-Known Member

    Glad you finally got one David. I hope to add the drachm to my collection one day.
    Here are my Titus and Domitian Didrachms.
    Vespasian Domitian didrachm small .jpg
    TIF, Bing, David Atherton and 4 others like this.
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