Domitian Death Day

Discussion in 'Ancient Coins' started by David Atherton, Sep 18, 2020.

  1. David Atherton

    David Atherton Flavian Fanatic Supporter

    On this date in 96 AD Domitian was assassinated in a palace plot.

    D821a.jpg Domitian
    AR Denarius, 3.42g
    Rome mint, 96 AD
    Obv: IMP CAES DOMIT AVG GERM P M TR P XVI; Head of Domitian, laureate, bearded, r.
    Rev: IMP XXII COS XVII CENS P P P; Minerva, winged, flying l., with spear and shield
    RIC 821 (R2). BMC 237D. RSC 297b. BNC - .
    Ex jerusalemhadaya2012, eBay, 4 March 2019.

    Domitian achieved tribunician power for the 16th time on 14 September 96 AD. He was assassinated in a palace plot four days later on 18 September. In between those two dates the mint struck only one issue of denarii recording Domitian as TR P XVI, needless to say they are extremely rare! The Senate decreed Damnatio Memoriae within a day of Domitian's assassination which would have quickly halted production at the mint for his coinage. The months leading up to Domitian's assassination saw the mint at Rome experimenting with many new reverse designs (altar, winged Minerva, Maia, temple reverses), breaking the monotony of the four standard Minerva types that had previously dominated the denarius. These new types are exceedingly rare and were perhaps experimental in nature. This denarius shows one of these new reverse types, Minerva Victrix, a more warrior like attribute of the goddess. The fact that this new type which originally appeared on the denarius when Domitian was TR P XV carried over to the briefly struck TR P XVI issue alongside the Maia and the M1, M3, and M4 Minerva types may hint that there was indeed change in the air at the mint. Perhaps the mix of new types with the older ones hint at a transition regarding the typology on his precious metal coinage? Regardless, the experiment was cut short by an assassin's blade, so we shall never know. This denarius may very well be the last coin ever struck for Domitian.

    Emperor Domitian attacked in bedroom, by Lazzaro Baldi (1624-1703) Getty Images

    Please share any coins of emperors or rulers who were assassinated.
    Last edited: Sep 18, 2020
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  3. Mat

    Mat Ancient Coincoholic

    Great coin, David.

    Severus Alexander (222 - 235 A.D.)
    AR Denarius
    O: IMP ALEXANDER PIVS AVG, Laureate, draped and cuirassed bust right.
    R: PM TR P XIIII COS III PP, Sol walking left holding whip and raising hand.
    Rome Mint, January–February/March, 235 A.D.

    This coin was struck in the last months of Alexander's reign, and is the sole dated type among those of his last issue.

    Marie Antoinette's husband, who went to the chopping block.

    Louis XVI (1774-1792 A.D.)
    AR Ecu Livre tournois (6 Livres)
    France, 1st Republic
    O: LOUIS XVI ROI DES FRANÇOIS : Head left. Privy mark (leopard) and date below.
    R: REGNE DE LA LOI. L'AN 4 DE LA LIBERTE, Winged and wreathed Genius (personification of the French People) inscribing table (the French Constitution) on column. Fasces, topped by liberty cap in left field, cock in right field.
    Rouen Mint
    Dy# 1718, KM#615.3
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  4. Restitutor

    Restitutor Well-Known Member

    One of the sadder days in Roman history! Domitian was murdered on Trajans birthdate- perhaps Domitians goodness as a ruler then transferred to Trajan :)

    C5E6BC57-2D9C-4198-A350-ABD391533E97.jpeg 6F4A607C-4F28-4411-9BB0-D7F7DEB6AFC2.jpeg
  5. Parthicus Maximus

    Parthicus Maximus Well-Known Member

    Thank you for your interesting write-up.

    I find the story of Domitian's murder interesting, especially the fact that the murder was committed by court officials and not by senate affiliates. The fact that Stephanus (the attacker) succumbed to his injuries shortly after Domitian's death also suggests that the plot did not go according to plan.

    Here is a coin that was struck at the time that the Rome mint produced coins in very fine style.

    Domitian 81-96 AD
    AR Denarius
    Struck 86 AD (second issue)
    laureate head right
    Minerva standing right on capital
    of rostral column, holding spear and shield, owl at foot right (M2)
    Ric 437 (R)
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  6. Orielensis

    Orielensis Well-Known Member

    I'm not specifically collecting Flavians, yet I have these three here. Certainly nothing spectacular but some nice portraits:

    Rom – Domitian, denar, Thron.png
    Domitian, Roman Empire, denarius, 81–82 AD, Rome mint. Obv: IMP CAES DOMITIANVS AVG PM; laureate head of Domitian r. Rev: TR POT COS VIII PP; square seat, draped; semicircular frame with three crescents above. 18mm, 3.13g. Ref: RIC II, Domitian 100.

    Rom – Domitian, denarius, Minerva (neu estes Foto).png
    Domitian, Roman Empire, denarius, 88/89 AD, Rome mint. Obv: IMP CAES DOMIT AVG GERM PM TR P VIII, laureate head of Domitian right. Rev: IMP XIX COS XIIII CENS PP, Minerva standing left holding thunderbolt and spear, leaning on shield. 19mm, 3.22g. Ref: RIC II (2007) Domitian 669.

    Rom – Domitian, As, Virtus.png
    Domitian, Roman Empire, AE as, 90–91 AD, Rome mint. Obv: IMP CAES DOMIT AVG GERM COS XV CENS PER P P; head of Domitian, laureate, r. Ref: [VIRTVTI] AVGVST; Virtus standing r., resting foot on helmet, holding spear and parazonium. 27mm, 11.45g. Ref: RIC II–1 (2nd ed.) Domitian 709.
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  7. Carl Wilmont

    Carl Wilmont Supporter! Supporter

    Nice coin, and article, @David Atherton!

    Domitian Denarius.jpg
    Domitian (81-96 AD). Denarius. Rome Mint. 19 mm. 3.56 g.
    IMP CAES DOMIT AVG GERM P M TR P XI, Laureate head of Domitian right / IMP XXI COS XVI CENS P P P, Minerva standing left, holding thunderbolt and spear; round shield set on ground to right. RIC 732.
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  8. Bing

    Bing Illegitimi non carborundum Supporter

  9. Limes

    Limes Supporter! Supporter

    Nice coin David, interesting story behind it. And I will have to dive into the story of the assassination of Domitian one day, as I just started reading more about the assassination of Caesar and everything that followed from there untill his grand-nephew's decisive victory over Mark Antony.

    I'll throw in the same coin as Bing, I really like the reverse design. Bing's Pegasus is prettier though.
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  10. Ocatarinetabellatchitchix

    Ocatarinetabellatchitchix Supporter! Supporter

    Sorry to be completely out of subject, but today's anniversary of the death of Domitian made me think about another anniversary : Jimi Hendrix died 50 years ago. An icon for all guitar player.

    And this one for all the Foxey Ladies...

    Last edited: Sep 18, 2020
  11. dougsmit

    dougsmit Member Supporter

    Your new coin reminded me that I have one similar but mine is the more common date (TRP XV), fourree and ugly. The reverse matches. Is being winged a standard thing for Minerva?
  12. Spaniard

    Spaniard Well-Known Member

    Nice coin and write up @David Atherton.....
    Here's one from his first year, little did he know!
    Domitian. 81-96 AR Denarius (3.17 gm, 18mm). Rome mint. Struck 81 AD.
    Obv.: IMP CAES DOMITIANVS AVG P M, laureate head right.
    Rev.: TR P COS VII DES VIII P P, tripod surmounted by a dolphin right.
    RIC II 74.
  13. Andres2

    Andres2 Well-Known Member

  14. Orfew

    Orfew Draco dormiens nunquam titillandus Supporter

    Poor old Domitian. Not even Minerva could save him. This one is RIC 164 and is quite rare. I love the portrait on this one.

    Domitian ric 164.jpg
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  15. Roman Collector

    Roman Collector Supporter! Supporter

    Nice coin and informative and entertaining write-up, @David Atherton ! Your request for coins of an emperor who was assassinated could pertain to just about anyone in the 3rd century!

    But here's a third century ruler who deserved assassination more than most:

    Caracalla AD 198-217.
    Roman AR Denarius 3.37 g, 19.7 mm.
    Rome mint, AD 211.
    Obv: ANTONINVS PIVS AVG BRIT, laureate head, right.
    Rev: INDVLG FECVNDAE, Julia Domna as Indulgentia, wearing polos, seated left on cerule chair, extending right hand and holding scepter.
    Refs: RIC 214; BMCRE 73; RCV 6805.
  16. Alegandron

    Alegandron "ΤΩΙ ΚΡΑΤΙΣΤΩΙ..." ΜΕΓΑΣ ΑΛΕΞΑΝΔΡΟΣ, June 323 BCE Supporter

    Excellent Denarius and write up, @David Atherton .

    RI Domitian AR Denarius 81-96 CE Minerva spear shield COS XVI CENS PPP RIC 719
  17. David Atherton

    David Atherton Flavian Fanatic Supporter

    No. It was a new reverse design the mint struck during Domitian's final year as emperor. We shall never know if it was intended as a regular type.
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  18. MasterVampire

    MasterVampire Member

    I read Domitian Death Ray
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