Domitia Provincial

Discussion in 'Ancient Coins' started by Roman Collector, Feb 24, 2018.

  1. Roman Collector

    Roman Collector Supporter! Supporter

    A couple of interesting features on this little provincial issue. The first is that the obverse legend reads ΑΥΓΟΥΣΤΑ, a transliteration of the Latin AVGVSTA, instead of the expected Greek ΣΕΒΑΣΤΗ. The second is the odd hairstyle for this empress. She is typically portrayed with an elaborate coiffure, curled extensively and piled high above the forehead and with a long plait falling down the back of the neck. See this bust in the Capitoline museum in Rome:


    I postulate this hairstyle indicates an issue from very early in Domitian's reign as it is well-documented that she wore the elaborate coiffure in the middle and late periods of her life.

    Post your Domitia coins or anything you feel is relevant.

    Domitia Smyrna.jpg
    Domitia, Augusta AD 82-96
    Roman Æ 17.3 mm, 3.15 gm, 7 h
    Ionia, Smyrna
    Obv: ΔΟΜΙΤΙΑ ΑΥΓΟΥΣΤΑ, bare-headed and draped bust right
    Rev: ΣΜΥΡΝΑΙΩΝ, Nemesis standing left, plucking at chiton on her neck, bridle in left hand
    Refs: BMC 309; ex-Lindgren I, 80-404 (plate coin).

    Last edited: Feb 24, 2018
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  3. randygeki

    randygeki Coin Collector

    A neat provincial. I have none to share :/
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  4. Roman Collector

    Roman Collector Supporter! Supporter

    Interesting bit of info about the Nemesis on the reverse. It seems there was a Nemesis cult in Smyrna. This is from Nemesis, the Roman State and the Games by Michael B. Hornum, pp. 12-13:

    Capture 2.JPG
    Capture 3.JPG
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  5. Roman Collector

    Roman Collector Supporter! Supporter

    Interesting info about Nemesis on coins of Smyrna in this 1841 article in Numismatic Chronicle:

    Capture 4.JPG
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  6. Mat

    Mat Ancient Coincoholic

    Nice, still need her.
  7. TIF

    TIF Always learning. Supporter

    I agree that your coin seems likely to be from early in Domitian's reign, before the provinces became aware of the Flavian Mullet :yack:.

    She hasn't gone full Mullet in this Phrygian coin, but it's getting there.
    PHRYGIA, Cybyra/Kibyra. Domitian & Domitia
    81-96 AD
    AE 24 mm, 6.9 gm
    Obv: ΔOMITIANOC KAICAP ΔOMITIA CEBACTE, laureate head of Domitian and Domitia facing one another
    Rev: EΠI APXIEPEΩC KΛAV BAINTOC KI BY; Zeus seated left, holding out hand and sceptre
    Ref: RPC 1262; Sear-896, SNG Aulock-3731
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  8. Andres2

    Andres2 Well-Known Member

    No Domitia , but I have a Macrinus with Nemesis on the reverse:

    Macrinus Nemesis.jpg
  9. TIF

    TIF Always learning. Supporter

    Screen Shot 2018-02-24 at 7.46.07 AM.png

    Spitting into their bosom? Yuck! I had to look that up to see what it was all about. Apparently it was done to ward off bad luck or to ward off the evil eye.
  10. lordmarcovan

    lordmarcovan Eclectic & odd Moderator

    Man, those hairstyles were trippy! Must've been really high-maintenance, too.

    Of course, if you've got slaves and/or handmaidens at your beck and call, I guess that's not an issue.

    PS- cool coin. I've never had one from Domitia, of course, though I had over a hundred different personalities in my old "A to Z" (Augustus to Zeno) colleciton.
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  11. Roman Collector

    Roman Collector Supporter! Supporter

    It never ceases to amaze me the stuff that has been digitized by Google books. Here's some more info about Nemesis worship in Smyrna from Religious Rivalries and the Struggle for Success in Sardis and Smyrna, edited by Richard S. Ascough:

    Capture 5.JPG
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  12. Roman Collector

    Roman Collector Supporter! Supporter

    The ancient Greek philosopher Theophrastus, writing his study of human motivations The Characters, includes in his description of "The Superstitious Man":

    Capture 6.JPG
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  13. zumbly

    zumbly Ha'ina 'ia mai ana ka puana Supporter

    This is my favorite spitting into the bosom coin...

    Hadrian - Victoria.jpg
    AR Denarius. 3.45g, 17.3mm.Rome mint, AD 134-138. RIC 282. O: HADRIANVS AVG COS III P P, bare head right. R: VICTORIA AVG, Victory, as Nemesis, standing right, holding branch downwards, drawing out fold of dress and getting ready to hawk and spit onto her bosom.
  14. TIF

    TIF Always learning. Supporter

    Dang it, Z... now I want one too.
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  15. Roman Collector

    Roman Collector Supporter! Supporter

    Here's a lovely coin (not mine) at acsearchinfo. It portrays the two Nemeseis of Smyrna, each pulling out their chitons and, as described in the citations above, one holds a bridle and the other holds a rod.

  16. philologus_1

    philologus_1 Well-Known Member

    Helpful information shared on this thread. Thanks! Here is my example: 1161DD 177.jpg Ionia, Smyrna, Domitia, Nemesis, RPC 1026, 2.6 gr., 14.5 mm.
  17. zumbly

    zumbly Ha'ina 'ia mai ana ka puana Supporter

    I see your two Nemeseis and raise you an Apollo Didymeus :D.

    Antoninus Pius - Drachm Apollo Miletus 2596.jpg ANTONINUS PIUS
    AE Drachm. 24.25g, 33.5mm. EGYPT, Alexandria, RY 10 = AD 146/7. RPC Online temp 13590; Emmett -; Dattari Savio 8311-12. O: ΑVΤ Κ Τ ΑΙΛ ΑΔΡ ΑΝΤωΝƐΙΝΟС СƐΒ ƐVС, laureate head right. R: Apollo Didymeus (of Miletus) standing, facing, holding stag and bow, tripod at feet; between the Nemeseis of Smyrna, one on right holding cubit-rule; L ΔƐΚΑΤΟV in exergue.
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  18. dlhill132

    dlhill132 Member Supporter

  19. TIF

    TIF Always learning. Supporter

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  20. maridvnvm

    maridvnvm Well-Known Member

    Last edited: Feb 25, 2018
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