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A Balkan Beauty


David Atherton
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One of the most intriguing problems in Flavian coinage is the identification of a mystery mint that struck Latin coins late in Titus's reign and early into Domitian's. The coins themselves have a unique style that is quite pleasing. I am always happy to add one to the collection!

 

T512.jpg.318151a2ae35dcd55547d041375feecc.jpg

Domitian as Caesar [Titus]

Æ Dupondius/As, 12.76g
Eastern mint (Thrace?), 80-81 AD
Obv: CAES DIVI AVG VESP F DOMITIAN COS VII; Head of Domitian, laureate, bearded, r.
Rev: CERES AVGVST; S C in field; Ceres stg. l., holding corn-ears and torch
RIC 512 (C). BMC spec. acquired 1988. BNC -. RPC 508.
Acquired from Ken Dorney, November 2022.

Late in Titus's reign an unidentified mint struck a series of imperial bronze coins. They can be distinguished from the products of Rome by style (heavily seriffed letters, large portraits, massive reverse figures), fabric (flat or convex flans), and distribution (Balkans). Attributing exactly where these coins were struck has historically been a moving target - Mattingly in BMCRE thought Lugdunum, H.A. Cahn believed somewhere in Bithynia. More recent scholarship has looked towards Thrace as a possible location for production based on the Balkan distribution pattern of found specimens. Although the region of mintage has been narrowed down, the city itself remains elusive. RPC has suggested possibly Perinthus. Presumably a shortage of bronze coins in the region during Titus' reign prompted a localised imperial issue. The striking of imperial bronze outside of Rome was an exceptional step at the time considering the last imperial branch mint at Lugdunum had shuttered late in Vespasian's reign. The issue consisted of sestertii, dupondii, asses, and semisses which copied types struck at Rome. Dupondii and asses shared the same reverse designs for Domitian as Caesar, making it sometimes difficult to distinguish them. This CERES AVGVST specimen's heavy weight, large diameter, and brass composition undoubtedly favours it to be a dupondius.

 

As always, thanks for looking!

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4 hours ago, David Atherton said:

One of the most intriguing problems in Flavian coinage is the identification of a mystery mint that struck Latin coins late in Titus's reign and early into Domitian's. The coins themselves have a unique style that is quite pleasing. I am always happy to add one to the collection!

Even if I - for lack of special knowledge or specimens - cannot write anything about it. Be sure that I enjoy reading your interesting contributions every time, David!

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Titus ae Sestertius Unknown Mint Perinthus?? 79-81 AD  Obv Head right laureate Rv Pax standing left holding branch and cornucopia RIC 498 RPC 501 26.63 grms 33 MM photo by W. Hansentituss5.jpg.6f0ce42a1f57da961efbb849c0a819d0.jpg

What  is interesting in this coin is that Titus' name on  the obverse reverts to a single letter T which is very much like the legend seen on the coins issued in his name by his father. The issue of which mint produced these coins is something of a mystery. I do favor Perinthus, but i have nothing that I can use to back that claim

 

 

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