Divus Vespasian Æ Sestertius, 25.01g Rome mint, 80-81 AD (Titus) Obv: DIVO AVG VESPAS above; S P Q R in exergue; Deified Vespasian std. r. holding sceptre and Victory in car drawn by four elephants with riders Rev: IMP T CAES DIVI VESP F AVG P M TR P P P COS VIII; S C, large, in centre RIC 259 (R2). BMC -. BNC -. Acquired from Wallin Mynt, November 2019. The coinage struck by Titus commemorating Divus Vespasian is closely modelled on those struck for Divus Augustus by Tiberius. The obverse of this coin shows a cult image of the defied Vespasian in a quadriga drawn by four elephants, mounted by their riders (mahouts?). Presumably, this spectacular display was part of Vespasian's funerary pompa (would such a quadriga drawn by elephants be realistically feasible?). The carnavalesque atmosphere of a Roman imperial funeral procession is readily apparent by this coin's obverse design. The reverse legend date with Titus as COS VIII places the coin between 80-81, at least a full six months after Vespasian's death on 24 June 79 (assuming the coins were produced contemporaneously with Vespasian's deification). Epigraphic evidence shows Vespasian had been deified sometime before 29 May 80. Why they were struck so late remains a mystery. Perhaps the delay for deification was an attempt on Titus' part to avoid his father becoming a court joke as Claudius had become, or so B. Levick has asserted. She believes the famous 'Woe's me ...' quip attributed to Vespasian is likely a later cruel jest parodying Claudius' last utterance 'Woe's me, I think I've messed myself'. Regardless, the political expediency of having a deified father likely overruled any such qualms. All of the sestertii of the Divus Vespasian series are rare - this particular specimen showcases a rare variant obverse legend (VESPAS instead of the slightly commoner VESP) and the reverse legend starting from the lower left. Feel free to post your DIVI coins!