An 'Eastern' Domitian Caesar

Discussion in 'Ancient Coins' started by David Atherton, Nov 29, 2020.

  1. David Atherton

    David Atherton Flavian Fanatic Supporter

    Our very own @PeteB had this fetching Domitian as Caesar sestertius listed in his webstore and I couldn't resist!

    Domitian as Caesar [Titus]
    Æ Sestertius, 24.78g
    Eastern mint (Thrace?), 80-81 AD
    Obv: CAES DIVI AVG VESP F DOMITIANVS COS VII; Head of Domitian, laureate, bearded, r.
    Rev: PAX AVGVST; S C in field; Pax stg. l., with branch and cornucopiae
    RIC 507 (R). BMC 315. BNC -. RPC 504.
    Acquired from Akropolis Ancient Coins, November 2020.

    An Eastern mystery mint struck coins for Titus and Domitian as Caesar sometime between 80-81. The style (heavily seriffed letters, large portraits, massive reverse figures), and uncommon fabric (flat, almost convex flans) all suggest a mint other than Rome. Attributing exactly where these coins were struck has historically been a moving target - Mattingly in BMCRE thought Lugdunum, H.A. Cahn believed somewhere in Bithynia. More recent scholarship has looked towards Thrace as a possible location for production based on the Balkan distribution pattern of found specimens. Although the region of mintage has been narrowed down, the city itself remains elusive. RPC has suggested possibly Perinthus. Presumably a shortage of bronze coins in the region during Titus' reign prompted a localised imperial issue. The striking of imperial bronze outside of Rome was an exceptional step at the time considering the last imperial branch mint at Lugdunum had shuttered late in Vespasian's reign. The issue consisted of sestertii, dupondii, asses, and semisses which copied types struck at Rome. This rare sestertius struck for Domitian as Caesar copies the Pax type struck contemporaneously for him at Rome. It can be distinguished from that issue by style and fabric.

    Thanks Pete!
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  3. Jay GT4

    Jay GT4 Well-Known Member

    That's a wonderful portrait of Domitian
    David Atherton likes this.
  4. PeteB

    PeteB Well-Known Member

    You are most welcome, David. It found the right home!
    And it has a huge S C.
    David Atherton likes this.
  5. Nemo

    Nemo Well-Known Member

    Wonderful portrait, excellent coin!
    David Atherton likes this.
  6. David Atherton

    David Atherton Flavian Fanatic Supporter

    Thanks so much Pete. Bronzes from this mint are a particular interest of mine. I'm very glad to have acquired it!
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