Vespasian's Honesty and Fairness

Discussion in 'Ancient Coins' started by David Atherton, Oct 17, 2019.

  1. David Atherton

    David Atherton Flavian Fanatic

    I couldn't resist picking up this rather handsome coin. Nice honest wear, good eye appeal, and best of all it was cheap! Now, who could argue with that?

    Æ As, 9.19g
    Rome mint, 71 AD
    Obv: IMP CAES VESPASIAN AVG COS III; Head of Vespasian, laureate, r.
    Rev: AEQVITAS AVGVSTI; S C low in field; Aequitas stg. l., with scales and rod
    RIC 287 (C). BMC 600. BNC 576.
    Acquired from eBay, October 2019.

    After the financial mess Nero had left the empire in and the heavy costs of the recent Civil War and Judaean revolt, restoring the state's finances were a top priority for Vespasian upon his accession. This Aequitas type struck during his great bronze issue of 71 proclaims the honest administration of public finances and that lapsed standards would be restored. Aequitas holding her scales and measuring rod was probably based on a cult image of the deity. She first shows up as an imperial virtue on the coinage under Galba, a virtue that Vespasian was eager to emulate. The type comes in two variants - one with S C in exergue and, as seen here, S C low in field.

    Please post your coins featuring Aequitas.
    Last edited: Oct 17, 2019
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  3. Ancient Aussie

    Ancient Aussie Supporter! Supporter

    more like fantastic eye appeal, great portrait.
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  4. Orfew

    Orfew Draco dormiens nunquam titillandus Supporter

    That is a very attractive coin. Nice addition David.

    Here is my Aequitas

    Otho, 69 CE
    Denar, Rom; 3.03 g. Kopf r.//Aequitas steht l. mit Waage und Zepter. BMC 6; Coh. 9; RIC² 19. RSC 9
    Feine Tönung, schönExemplar der Auktion Fritz Rudolf Künker 304, Osnabrück 2018, Nr. 1073.
    Ex: Jryki Muona collection
    Ex: Fritz Rudolph Kuenker Aution 312 Lot 2822 October 8, 2018

    Otho ric 19.png
  5. furryfrog02

    furryfrog02 Well-Known Member

    This is the only Aequitas in my and FFIVN's collection, but boy is awesome :)

    Claudius II
    Clashed Dies
    Obverse: IMP C CLAVDIVS AVG, radiate, draped, cuirassed bust right
    Reverse: AEQVITAS AVG, Aequitas standing left, holding scales and cornucopiae

    Claudius II, AD 369-370,.jpg
  6. chrsmat71

    chrsmat71 I LIKE TURTLES!

    Handsome color indeed!
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  7. bcuda

    bcuda Well-Known Member

    @David Atherton what a beautiful Sestertius ! It has awesome eye appeal !
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  8. Shea19

    Shea19 Supporter! Supporter

    Very nice new addition. Here’s my only Aequitas reverse.

    Antoninus Pius, AR Denarius, (19mm, 3.41 gm) 152-153 AD, Rome Mint, Obv: ANTONINVS AVG PIVS P P, Laureate head right./ Rev: COS IIII ; Aequitas standing left, holding scales and rod. RIC III 127
  9. Orielensis

    Orielensis Well-Known Member

    That's a beautiful coin, @David Atherton !

    Though the legends give no name, the RIC catalogues identify the figures on the following two coins as Aequitas:

    Rom – Nerva denarius, Aequitas.png
    Nerva, Roman Empire, denarius, 98 AD, Rome mint. Obv: IMP NERVA CAES AVG GERM PM TR P II, laureate head of Nerva right. Rev: IMP II COS IIII PP, Aequitas standing left, holding scales and cornucopiae. 18mm, 2.98g. Ref: RIC II Nerva 44.

    Rom – Lucius Verus, denarius, Aequitas (neues Foto).png
    Lucius Verus, Roman Empire, denarius, 167/168 AD. Rome mint. Obv: L VERVS AVG ARM PARTH MAX, laureate head of Lucius Verus right. Rev: TR P VIII IMP V COS III, Aequitas seated left, holding scales and cornucopiae. 18mm, 2.62g. Ref: RIC III Marcus Aurelius 595.

    As illustrated by the coins below, Aequitas and Moneta share the same attributes (scales and cornucopiae). Thus I wonder why the authors of RIC assumed that the coins above show the former and not the latter. Couldn't it also be Moneta instead of Aequitas?

    Rom – Septimius Severus, Denar, Emesa, Moneta.png
    Septimius Severus, Roman Empire, AR denarius, 194–195 AD, Emesa (?) mint. Obv: IMP CAE L SEP SEV PERT AVG COS II; head of Septimius Severus, laureate, r. Rev: MONET AVG; Moneta, draped, standing l., holding scales in extended r. hand and cornucopiae in l. hand. 18mm, 3.32g. Ref: RIC IV Septimius Severus 411A.

    Rom – Postumus, Antoninian, Moneta.png
    Postumus, Gallic Roman Empire, AR antoninian, 262–266 AD, Trier mint. Obv: IMP C POSTVMVS P F AVG; bust of Postumus, radiate, draped, cuirassed, r. Rev: MONETA AVG; Moneta, draped, standing l., holding scales in r. hand and cornucopiae in l. hand. 23mm, 2.96g. Ref: Mairat 246–7/320–1; RIC V Postumus 75/315.
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  10. Numisnewbiest

    Numisnewbiest Well-Known Member

    I love the color and toning, and Vespasian is a favorite emperor of mine, so there's that, too - that's a real beauty, and a nice big one!
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  11. Roman Collector

    Roman Collector Supporter! Supporter

    Here are some from the third century:

    Etruscilla AEQVITAS AVGG.jpg
    Herennia Etruscilla, AD 249-253
    Roman AR Antoninianus; 4.10 g, 23.3 mm, 5 h
    Antioch, AD 250-251
    Obv: HER ETRVSCILLA AVG, diademed and draped bust right on crescent, hair smooth and with a long plait carried up the back of the head (Sear type b; Temeryazev and Makarenko type 2)
    Rev: AEQVITAS AVGG, Aequitas standing left, holding scales and cornucopiae
    Refs: RIC 64; RSC 3d; RCV 9491; CRE 540; Hunter p. xcix.

    Trebonianus Gallus, AD 251-253.
    Roman AR antoninianus, 3.54 g, 20.7 mm, 5 h.
    Antioch, second series, AD 251-252.
    Obv: IMP C C VIB TREB GALLVS P F AVG, radiate, draped and cuirassed bust, right; • below.
    Rev: AEQVITAS AVG, Aequitas standing left, holding scales and cornucopiae; • in exergue.
    Refs: RIC 80; Cohen 6; RCV 9623; Hunter 52; ERIC II 30 var. (different officina marks).

    Tacitus, AD 275-276.
    Roman billon antoninianus, 3.85 g, 23.3 mm, 5 h.
    Lugdunum, issue 1, AD 275.
    Obv: IMP C CL TACITVS AVG, radiate, draped and cuirassed bust right.
    Rev: AEQVITAS AVG, Aequitas standing left, holding scales and cornucopiae.
    Refs: RIC 14; MER/RIC temp 3244; Estiot 1126; Bastien 26b; Cohen 5; RCV --.
  12. octavius

    octavius Well-Known Member

    Nice one. Great color and bold portrait.
    Here's a Philippus sestertius with Aequitas reverse....

  13. Clavdivs

    Clavdivs Well-Known Member

    Nice addition! Here is my Hadrian sestertius featuring Aequitas.... she's seen better days here.. but I like the coin.


  14. furryfrog02

    furryfrog02 Well-Known Member

    Oh jeeze...When I saw @Orielensis' Nerva it reminded me that I had one more Aequitas...d'oh!

    Obverse: IMP NERVA CAES AVG P M TR P COS III P P, , laureate head right
    Reverse: AEQVITAS AVGVST, Aequitas standing left, holding scales and cornucopiae
    Nerva Denarius.jpg
  15. kevin McGonigal

    kevin McGonigal Well-Known Member

    Very attractive coin with not much wear. I wonder if it was lost and deposited in the remains of one of Rome's public lavatories. Vespasian would have been delighted had that happened.
  16. Alegandron

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

    Beautiful AE As, @David Atherton ! Very nice. Definitely a keeper if it were a “catch and release.”

    regrettably, I have nary an fiscally honest coin to offer! (Aequitas).
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  17. jb_depew

    jb_depew Well-Known Member

    Very nice coin! Here is mine, with Aequitas holding a palm branch, rather than a staff:

  18. David Atherton

    David Atherton Flavian Fanatic

    Yes, I believe Vespasian would have been most pleased. His famous urine tax and the reverse's theme go hand in hand.

    'When Titus found fault with him for contriving a tax upon public toilets, he held a piece of money from the first payment to his son's nose, asking whether its odor was offensive to him. When Titus said "No," he replied, "Yet it comes from urine."' - Suetonius, The Deified Vespasian.

    'Pecunia non olet' indeed.
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  19. bcuda

    bcuda Well-Known Member

    I just realized that your coin is not a sestertius but an AS. It has all the fancy artwork and look of a sestertius what a beautiful coin.
  20. David Atherton

    David Atherton Flavian Fanatic

    Yea, the Rome mint engravers were really on top of their game for this issue.
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