Titus' Brotherly Love?

Discussion in 'Ancient Coins' started by David Atherton, Oct 9, 2018.

  1. David Atherton

    David Atherton Flavian Fanatic

    I was quite excited when this hefty coin recently arrived in my PO box and fell in love with it at first sight.

    T168.jpg Titus
    Æ Sestertius, 23.01g
    Rome mint, 80-81 AD
    RIC 168 (C2). BMC 168.
    Obv: IMP T CAES VESP AVG P M TR P P P COS VIII; Head of Titus, laureate, bearded, r.
    Rev: S C in field; Spes stg. l., with flower
    Ex Felicitas-Perpetua, eBay, September 2018.

    Spes is a common reverse type under Vespasian, connected to future dynastic hope and harmony. It continued to be struck by Titus and can be viewed as his hope for the future with his chosen heir Domitian. As Mattingly put it: '...the recurring types of Spes suggests that Titus gave Domitian full due as heir to the throne.' Suetonious would have us believe this public fraternal affection was a sham and Domitian did everything he could to plot against Titus. Dio goes so far as to say Domitian hastened Titus death by having him packed in ice! All of this can be dismissed as nothing more than post Domitianic gossip intended to blacken Domitian's name. The Flavian historian Brian Jones speculates the brother's relationship was one of 'mutual indifference and ignorance' due to their age and personality differences. Regardless, as the numismatic evidence shows, Titus looked upon Domitian as his legitimate heir until his natural death in mid September 81.

    The reverse is quite worn, but no matter, the portrait makes up for any of the reverse's deficiencies. A sestertius is a magical thing to hold in hand, regardless of wear!

    Post any coins you feel are relevant.
    Last edited: Oct 9, 2018
    alde, Roman Collector, Bing and 23 others like this.
  2. Avatar

    Guest User Guest

    to hide this ad.
  3. Cucumbor

    Cucumbor Dombes collector Supporter

    Great one, despite the wear. I have one, of Titus too, that I particularily like, for its similar appearance as your example, and because it was one of the very first roman I got (just after the Commodus sestertius my grand dad gave me)

    Titus as ceasar, As struck AD 77
    T CAES IMP AVG F TR P COS VI CENSOR, Laureate head of Titus right
    VICTORIA NAVALIS, Victory standing right, on a prow of galley. S C in field
    10.14 gr
    Ref : Cohen #390, RCV #2485 var

  4. dougsmit

    dougsmit Member Supporter

    As demonstrated by my BD survivor sestertius, there are things worse than wear for a bronze.

    The copper as below joins the orichalcum sestertius above in showing the proper color for the two metals when there is no patina.

    This Domitian sestertius was struck under Titus but black patina obscures the matching yellow brass color of the Titus above. I find it interesting that it honors their father Vespasian rather than naming the current emperor Titus as brother. Perhaps this is because both frater and filius start with the same leter so CAES T VESP F would be confusing???
  5. TIF

    TIF Always learning. Supporter

    I wouldn't say either of those have no patina. They don't have a thick patina but they do have a patina.

    image source
    alde, Craig Z, cmezner and 15 others like this.
  6. Marsyas Mike

    Marsyas Mike Well-Known Member

    Nice Titus sestertius, David. I really like Spes as a reverse type. I have a holed as from Vespasian with a weird obverse legend - a variation? "CAES VESPAS" I've posted it before, but here it is again:

    Vespasian As SPES (0).jpg

    Vespasian Æ As
    (75 or 76A.D.)
    Rome Mint

    IMP CAES VESPAS AVG COS [VI or VII ?], laureate head right / S-C, Spes standing left holding flower and hem of skirt.
    RIC 816 (VI) or 894 (VII)?
    ("CAES VESPAS" var. ?)
    (9.89 grams / 26 mm)
  7. Andres2

    Andres2 Well-Known Member

    Congrats David, these Sestertii sure beats any LRB follis :)

    Titus Dupondius:

  8. dougsmit

    dougsmit Member Supporter

    What you call patina, I call tone. Perhaps the question is how thick a surface can be tone or how thin can be a patina.
    dlhill132, Ryro, ominus1 and 3 others like this.
  9. Justin Lee

    Justin Lee I learn by doing Supporter

    I bet it was just the celator just stating the obvious, that it was in fact an As. ;)
    ominus1 and Gary R. Wilson like this.
  10. Svarog

    Svarog Well-Known Member

    Great, coins everyone, here is mine: Titus.PNG
  11. Valentinian

    Valentinian Supporter! Supporter

    Either way, the images of the metal bars, new and older, is interesting. I didn't know tin turns toward black. I'd like to see their copper bar at 30 years. At ten there is no hint of green. Sometimes copper coins have green patina, and a copper dome of a state capital building can turn green. What is the additional factor that makes green happen?
    Ryro and David Atherton like this.

    PMONNEY Flaminivs

    This beautiful coin shows what is called "Tiber patina"
    David Atherton likes this.
  13. Gary R. Wilson

    Gary R. Wilson Well-Known Member

    This is one of the first coins I got when I again started collecting:

    Ruler: Titus (Augustus)
    Coin: VF- Brass Sestertius
    IMP T CAES VESP AVG P M TR P P P COS VIII - Head of Titus, laureate, right
    PAX AVGVST S C - Pax standing left, holding branch and cornucopiae
    [​IMG] [​IMG]
    Mint: Rome (80-81AD)
    Wt./Size/Axis: 22.43g / 33.64mm / 180
    • RIC 2, Pt. 1-Titus 154
    • Marc Breitsprecher
    Acquisition/Sale: Ancient Imports Internet $0.00 7/17
  14. Justin Lee

    Justin Lee I learn by doing Supporter

    I'm curious if anyone has more info on the line that appears on the top of the roman numerals in the consul declaration?

    Maybe @jamesicus has some insight based on his typographical calligraphy studies?
    Gary R. Wilson likes this.
  15. jamesicus

    jamesicus Supporter! Supporter

    Yes …………

    RIC Vol. I, CLAUDIUS, SESTERTIUS, Rome, No. 109, 42-43AD (38mm, 28.0gm)
    Obverse depiction: Nero Claudius Drusus, bare head facing left
    Reverse depiction: Claudius seated left on curule chair holding olive branch,
    weapons and armor beneath
  16. jamesicus

    jamesicus Supporter! Supporter

    I don’t, @Justin Lee - sorry.
    Justin Lee likes this.
  17. Valentinian

    Valentinian Supporter! Supporter

    I thought the line across the top of Roman numerals meant they were to be interpreted as numerals, as opposed to be interpreted as letters.
  18. ominus1

    ominus1 Well-Known Member

    i've been bidding on some bronze Flavians but so far i've still just got denari of the bunch(save for a Domitian)...kool coin!
  19. Mat

    Mat Ancient Coincoholic

    Great addition, David.
    David Atherton likes this.
  20. David Atherton

    David Atherton Flavian Fanatic

    Thank you for posting this! It is most educational.
  21. jamesicus

    jamesicus Supporter! Supporter

    Nice catch! Ah yes (jogging my failing memory) that was a convention used, somewhat inconsistently, around this time period. If you enlarge the image via the following link you will see it in use on a fragment of Trajan’s column:

    zumbly and Justin Lee like this.
Draft saved Draft deleted

Share This Page