Domitian the Hero

Discussion in 'Ancient Coins' started by David Atherton, Sep 23, 2021.

  1. David Atherton

    David Atherton Flavian Fanatic

    I've always wanted an example of this iconic type, but it often comes fairly pricey. The recent Roma auction had a decent specimen with just enough deposits to keep the price down but not enough to detract from the overall eye-appeal. It hit that sweet spot for me.

    D280a.jpg Domitian
    Æ Sestertius, 26.14g
    Rome mint, 85 AD
    Obv: IMP CAES DOMITIAN AVG GERM COS XI; Bust of Domitian, laureate, bearded, r., with aegis
    Rev: S C in exergue; Domitian riding r. with shield, striking with spear at falling German
    RIC 280 (C). BMC 300A. BNC 317.
    Ex Roma Numismatics E-Sale 88, 9 September 2021, lot 843.

    In 85 Domitian struck a fairly impressive issue of sestertii, M. Grant hyperbolically called it the most 'ambitious' of any one reign or year. The series is the first major aes issue of Domitian's reign and is dominated by panoramic types commemorating his greatest military victory over the Germanic tribe the Chatti. The Germanic triumph received a certain amount of ridicule from ancient writers who thought the whole thing was a sham (Dio goes so far as to say Domitian raided the palace's furniture stores for his fake spoils!), no doubt the numismatic propaganda for the victory was likely viewed in the same manner by contemporary senatorial elites. This sestertius depicts Domitian on the reverse heroically chasing down a Chattian warrior, no doubt one of the tribal leaders. It goes without saying that such a scene never actually took place and the reverse is as much a sham as the Triumph itself. The type was struck for just a few short years and was slowly phased out by 89.

    Please post your action packed reverse types!
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  3. hotwheelsearl

    hotwheelsearl Well-Known Member

    Not too many action packed reverses here.

    This one is sort of dynamic.
    Severus Alexander Deultum Moushmov 3583 (2020_11_18 03_38_31 UTC).JPG

    This one has a bit more action, with a gigantic guy directly a quadriga of toy horses
    Philip II AE28 SNG BnF Antioch 1280-1.JPG
  4. David Atherton

    David Atherton Flavian Fanatic

    I believe that is true throughout much of ancient coinage. Curious to see what pops up here.
    ambr0zie likes this.
  5. Roman Collector

    Roman Collector Supporter! Supporter

    Horses running are about the most action you'll see on Roman coins. Here's a couple:

    Action-packed Probus quadriga:

    Probus, AD 276-282.
    Roman billon antoninianus, 4.15 g, 22.05 mm, 6 h.
    Serdica, 4th officina, 4th emission, AD 277.
    Obv: IMP C M AVR PROBVS P F AVG, radiate bust, left, in imperial mantle, holding eagle-tipped scepter.
    Rev: SOLI INVICTO, Sol, in spread quadriga, raising right hand and holding whip in left hand; -/-//KAΔ.
    Refs: RIC 861 H; RCV 12040 var. (bust).

    Dioscuri on rearing horses!

    L. Cupiennius, 147 BC.
    Roman Republican AR denarius, 3.89 g, 17.7 mm, 3 h.
    Rome, 147 BC.
    Obv: Helmeted head of Roma, right; cornucopiae behind; denominational mark X before.
    Rev: Dioscuri galloping right; L·CVP (VP ligatured) below; ROMA in exergue.
    Refs: Crawford (RRC) 218/1; RSC Cupiennia 1; Sydenham (CRR) 404; RCV 94.

    Horse with muscular hind-quarters at full gallop!

    L. Calpurnius Piso Frugi, 90 BC.
    Roman AR denarius, 3.68 g, 18.1 mm, 8 h.
    Rome, 90 BC.
    Obv: Laureate head of Apollo right; ΨXXXVIII behind.
    Rev: Horseman right with palm-branch in left hand and reins in right hand; CVII above, L·PISO FRVGI / ROMA monogram below.
    Refs: Ghey, Leins & Crawford 340.1.84; RSC Calpurnia 11; Sydenham (CRR) 664b; BMCRR 1928; Sear 235.
    Notes: Double die match to BMC specimen.
  6. Jay GT4

    Jay GT4 Well-Known Member

    Nice one David, mine of the type is quite worn so I won't post it.

    This one is action packed but most of the action happened just before the scene on the coin!


    Helmeted head of Roma right
    EX SC before, ROMA and XVI in monogram behind

    Helmeted horseman galloping left, holding sword and severed Gallic head in left hand
    M SERGI below, SILVS in ex, Q below horses's forelegs

    Rome 116-115 BC


    RRC 286/1; Sear 163

    This issuer strikes as a quaestor and by special decree of the Senate (EX Senatus Consulto). Quaestors were the immediate superiors of the moneyers and under unusual circumstances occasionally utilized their authority to produce coins.
    Bing, cmezner, Carl Wilmont and 4 others like this.
  7. hotwheelsearl

    hotwheelsearl Well-Known Member

    I guess these are pretty action packed
    Constantine Cyzicus RIC VIII 19 (2020_11_18 03_38_31 UTC).JPG
    Bing, Carl Wilmont, Spaniard and 4 others like this.
  8. octavius

    octavius Well-Known Member

    Great examples one and all!
    my sestertius of Domitian slaying fallen German...


    For more violence , two denarii of Titurius Sabinus of the RR. One depicting the execution of treaterous Tarpeia by being crushed by shields and the next by the same showing "the rape of the Sabines".

    JRHA564LG.jpg KVA0821.jpg

    My favorite RR denarius of Aulus Licinius Nerva, c. 47BC with reverse of his one - armed ancestor on horseback dragging the enemy by his hair.

    combined67342.jpg REk8j2rX4LYds5aMPQ9boKJ7Gq6Mn3.jpg
    And lastly, what could be more violent than the center of the Roman arena, as displayed by this RR denarius issued by Regulus?

    Bing, cmezner, Carl Wilmont and 5 others like this.
  9. ambr0zie

    ambr0zie Dacian Taraboste

    I don't have many action coins and not at the levels presented here.
    But I have a few dynamic ones






    Bing, Carl Wilmont, Andres2 and 3 others like this.
  10. Spaniard

    Spaniard Well-Known Member

    Cool coins!.....
    Silaharas of Khankan (1000-1200 AD)
    AR Drachm 14.1 mm x 4.13 g
    Obverse: Stylized Sassanian Bust right. "Sri" in Brahmi behind head left field.
    Reverse: Stylized Horseman battle scene shows a mounted warrior with sword to right.
    Below a fallen body and to the right a standing figure defending himself
    with a shield. Behind the horse a bow., Sun in upper right field.
    ref: Mit. NIS 649-652

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