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Vespasian Libertas

David Atherton

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Although rated as 'very common' in RIC, this is not a Vespasianic coin type you see everyday. I was quite pleased to have recently acquired it!




Æ Sestertius, 24.75g
Rome mint, 71 AD
Obv: IMP CAESAR VESPASIANVS AVG P M T P P P COS III; Head of Vespasian, laureate, r.
Rev: LIBERTAS PVBLICA; S C in field; Libertas stg. l., with pileus and rod
RIC 82 (C2). BMC 801. BNC 503.
Acquired from Savoca Coins, August 2022.

Vespasian struck a massive bronze issue in 71 which easily dwarfs any other produced during his reign. The reverse themes are largely given over to ones an incoming dynasty would find useful, such as this Libertas type. Libertas here symbolises Vespasian's rescue of the Roman people from tyranny - a most fitting type in the wake of civil war. She is seen at Rome early in the reign on the bronze issues and a few rare denarii from an unknown western mint. This specimen sports a more youthful and thinner portrait of Vespasian, quite different from what would become standardised later on. Clearly the engravers were still grappling with the appearance of their new emperor who had only arrived in Rome the previous October.


Feel free to show your own Libertas coins.

Thanks for looking!

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Nice coin with a vivid portrait


10 minutes ago, David Atherton said:

Feel free to show your own Libertas coins

here are two very different types:


Copper As, Rome Mint
Obv.: TI CLAVDIVS CAESAR AVG P M TR P IMP, bare head left
Rev.: LIBERTAS AVGVSTA S C, Libertas standing facing, head right, holding pileus and extending left arm
AE, 10.87g, 28.9mm
Ref.: RIC I 97, BMCRE I 145



Trebonianus Gallus (251-253 A.D.)
AR Antoninian, Rome Mint
Obv.: IMP C C VIB TREB GALLVS AVG, radiate, draped and cuirassed bust right
Rev.: LIBERTAS PVBLICA, Libertas standing left, with and scepter
Ag, 3.32g, 23mm
Ref.: RIC 70, RSC 68




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Very nice. It must be beautiful in hand with an obverse like that at 25g.

I don't know if Libertas is a less common deity, but I only have one. In fact, it's the only reason I've kept this coin 🤣  

Caracalla Denarius, 213
Rome. Silver, 18mm, 2.42g. Caracalla laureate right; ANTONINVS PIVS AVG BRIT. Libertas standing left, holding a pileus and sceptre; P M TR P XVI COS IIII P P (RIC IV.1, 209a). Found Colchester, Essex.

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Quintus Servilius Caepio (Marcus Iunius) Brutus
Denarius of the Roman Imperatorial Period 54 BC
Material: Silver, Diameter: 20mm, Weight: 4.36g
Mint: Rome, Reference: Crawford 433/1, Sydenham 906a, Junia 31a, RBW 1542, BMCRR Rome 3862
Obverse: Head of Libertas, right. Border of dots. The Inscription reads: LIBERTAS.
Reverse: Lucius Junius Brutus walking left, between two lictors carrying fasces and preceded by an accensus. Border of dots. The Inscription reads: BRVTVS.
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Nice one, @David Atherton! I do enjoy LIBERTAS bronzes! Here's one of my favorite T-Bones!

Trebonianus Gallus, AD 251-253.
Roman orichalcum sestertius, 17.81 g, 29.5 mm, 12 h.
Rome, AD 251-252.
Obv: IMP CAES C VIBIVS TREBONIANVS GALLVS AVG, Laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right.
Rev: LIBERTAS AVGG S C, Libertas standing left, holding pileus and scepter.
Refs: RIC 114a; Cohen 64 corr.; RCV 9674; Hunter 31.

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