Domitian Æ Dupondius, 10.62g Rome mint, 85 AD Obv: IMP CAES DOMITIAN AVG GERM COS XI; Head of Domitian, radiate, bearded, r., with aegis Rev: ANNONA AVG; S C in exergue; Annona, std r., holding open on lap by two ends bag full of corn-ears; in front of her stands a small figure, l., also holding two ends of bag, and in the background, stern of ship RIC 287 (R). BMC 305. BNC -. Acquired from London Ancient Coins, November 2020. A most curious reverse type was struck for Domitian on his dupondii for a short period between 84-88. Here we see Annona seated holding open a bag(?) of corn-ears and a mysterious small figure standing before her holding the other end of the bag with a ship's stern in the background. Overall, the reverse likely alludes to Domitian's care of the corn supply, hinted at by the stern, here a symbol of the all important African grain ships. The small individual before Annona has variously been described as a 'boy', a 'child', or ambiguously as just a 'figure'. H. Mattingly has the most imaginative explanation in BMCRE II - 'Annona herself, the spirit of the corn-supply, and the ship, the symbol of the overseas corn, are familiar: but who is the small figure who stands before her? He is certainly no child, but only a man reduced to tiny proportions beside the goddess; and the fact that he is bare to the waist may suggest that he is an Italian farmer. If this interpretation is right, the type records a definite policy of Domitian to encourage the growing of corn in Italy.' Mattingly may be correct about the overall meaning, but I think the figure is indeed a child, symbolic of the emperor's care, through Annona's auspices, for his subjects. Rare variant with aegis. Do you have a coin featuring Annona? A child? A ship? Or all three?