Domitian Freed From Prison

Discussion in 'Ancient Coins' started by David Atherton, May 16, 2018.

  1. David Atherton

    David Atherton Flavian Fanatic

    I couldn't pass up this beautiful cistophorus. Unfortunately, it was entombed in a plastic prison.


    To quote the eminent classicist Mary Beard - 'I was certainly turned on to antiquity by the real feel of real Roman coins in my hands.' I quite agree.


    Doesn't it look much better outside the plastic?

    AR Cistophorus, 9.99g
    Rome mint (for Asia), 95 AD
    RIC 851 (C). BMC 253. RSC 94. RPC 873 (8 spec.).
    Obv: IMP CAES DOMIT AVG GERM P M TR P XIIII IMP XXII; Head of Domitian, laureate, bearded, r.
    Rev: COS XVII CENS P P P; Aquila between two standards, one surmounted by a banner, the other by a hand, G in exergue
    Ex NFC Coins (eBay), 18 April 2018.

    A small issue of cistophori were struck by Domitian in 95. Style and die axis identify Rome as the home mint. Curiously, K. Butcher and M. Ponting's metal analysis reveal they were struck from a different stock of metal than contemporary denarii, possibly from recycled older denarii. The traditional military type of aquila and standards is the most commonly encountered reverse of the series. It is copied from coins struck for Nero and Galba. The 'G' in exergue may be the mark of an officina.

    Feel free to share your freed prisoners.
    Last edited: May 16, 2018
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  3. Ancient Aussie

    Ancient Aussie Supporter! Supporter

    Another nice big chunk of silver not seen to often, congrats. I saved $10 postage having this Gordian III freed from it's slab before being sent to me. Nikopolis gate.jpg
    Roman Provincial, Moesia Inferior, Nicopolis ad Istrum, Gordian III (238-244 AD) Æ 27 (12.43g) Sabinius Modestus, legatus consularis., City Gate, Obv.: Laureate and draped bust right. Rev.: Arched gate flanked by two roofed towers with arched windows in uppermost story. Varbanov 4182. Rare! NGC XF. Green patina.
    The towers are actually rounded, raised off the face of the coin. Interesting details on top of the towers and along the top of the wall.
  4. dougsmit

    dougsmit Member Supporter

    The Domitian photos don't show such a bad surface that I'd call a 3/5. What can you see in hand?
    David Atherton and TIF like this.
  5. Cucumbor

    Cucumbor Dombes collector Supporter

    Another great coin recovering freedom !

    David Atherton likes this.
  6. lordmarcovan

    lordmarcovan Eclectic & odd Moderator

    I happen to keep mine in plastic sarcophagi for reasons of personal choice, but yeah, they look great "nekkid", too. :)

    (And Mary Beard's quote is all too true- I do sacrifice that wonderful tactile aspect by keeping my ancients in slabs. It's one of the bigger downsides.)

    Wow. I have not owned a cistophorus yet. Awesome.
  7. Nemo

    Nemo Well-Known Member

    Awesome catch David, I don't recall seeing one before. Original G money, I think it represents a value of 1000 denarii. :)
    David Atherton likes this.
  8. Julius Germanicus

    Julius Germanicus Well-Known Member

    Macrinus Sestertius before...

    Bildschirmfoto 2018-05-16 um 14.21.56.png

    ... and after setting it free:

    Bildschirmfoto 2018-05-16 um 14.26.52.png

    Still can´t believe it´s the same coin :)
  9. Alegandron

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

    The Alegandron Vise Squad freed this vagabond:

    RI Domitian AR Denarius 81-96 CE Minerva Obv-Rev.jpg
    RI Domitian AR Denarius 81-96 CE Minerva thunderbolt spear shield protruded chin COS XV CENS PPP RIC 726
  10. Orfew

    Orfew Supporter! Supporter

    Great acquisition David. Congrats. I almost bought one of these a few days ago. I like the idea of a nice large silver coin.
    David Atherton likes this.
  11. Mat

    Mat Ancient Coincoholic

    Great coin and portrait on it.
    David Atherton likes this.
  12. kevin McGonigal

    kevin McGonigal Well-Known Member

    A grand coin, indeed.
    David Atherton likes this.
  13. benhur767

    benhur767 Sapere aude

    Those tabs are really distracting. They interrupt the visual flow of the coin and become really the dominant thing I see when I look at a slabbed ancient. For larger machine-produced modern coins they're not much of an issue. But for ancient coins they really ruin it for me.
    David Atherton likes this.
  14. ancient coin hunter

    ancient coin hunter Redditor Lucis Aeternae

    No slabs for me. I like to hold my coins on occasion.
  15. Valentinian

    Valentinian Supporter! Supporter

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  16. rrdenarius

    rrdenarius non omnibus dormio Supporter

    Do you know why cisotphori would have been struck in Rome where denarii were more common? I like the details on the standards.

    I agree with Doug, I do not see surface issues with the coin. If anything, I would drop the strike because I suspect the missing high points on the obv. (hair, ear & wreath) were that way the day the coin was struck. But strike and surface do not address the great things about the coin like centering, art work, readable letters....
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  17. PlanoSteve

    PlanoSteve Well-Known Member

    The modern part of me says no, but the "ancient" part of me says definitely yes!!!
    (I put ancient in quotes because, well, you know....) :smug:
    (I will hint that I did acquire a piece which is currently being "processed", & if it turns out favorably I will post it, so at least @TIF will be happy.) :D

    Also, isn't it incredible what the escape did for @Julius Germanicus in post #7? :happy:
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  18. David Atherton

    David Atherton Flavian Fanatic

    In hand there are no surface issues that would warrant a 3. I even revisited NGC's guidelines and see no reason why this coin received such a low mark by them.
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  19. David Atherton

    David Atherton Flavian Fanatic

    Your slab cracking method is, shall we say, less messy than mine! I just use a hammer and flathead screw driver on a hard surface. A very primal way of doing it!
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  20. lordmarcovan

    lordmarcovan Eclectic & odd Moderator

    Not as primal as mine. You actually use tools. :p
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  21. David Atherton

    David Atherton Flavian Fanatic

    Ah, that is the million cistophori question! My guess would be that it has something to do with the continued centralisation of the production of imperial silver that began in Vespasian's reign. One by one, the imperial provincial mints were closed down. By the time Titus was emperor Rome was the only mint producing imperial silver coins.

    Even Cappadocian silver was partly produced in Rome under Vespasian and exclusively so under Domitian.
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