David Atherton Posted December 13, 2022 · Member Share Posted December 13, 2022 The moment I saw this fantastic Domitian sestertius I had to have it! The style and overall eye-appeal caught my attention straight away. It did not disappoint upon arrival. Oh, it is fairly rare too. Domitian Æ Sestertius, 24.93g Eastern Mint (Thrace?), 82 AD Obv: IMP DOMITIAN CAES DIVI VESP F AVG P M TR P P P COS VIII; Head of Domitian, laureate, bearded, r. Rev: PAX AVGVST; S C in field; Pax stg. l., holding branch and cornucopiae RIC 837 (R2). BMC 516. BNC 551. RPC 530. Acquired from Gert Boersema, November 2022. An unknown Eastern mint struck a small series of bronze coins for both Titus and Domitian. The style (heavily seriffed letters, large portraits, and massive reverse figures), unique obverse legends, and uncommon fabric (flat, almost convex flans) all suggest a mint other than Rome. 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 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 issues consisted of sestertii, dupondii, asses, and semisses which copied types struck at Rome. Production at this Eastern mint continued uninterrupted between Titus's and Domitian's reigns, hinted at by Domitian's seamless adoption of Titus's types and legend formula after his accession. Owing to the scarcity of this Domitianic Pax sestertius dated COS VIII, it could not have been struck for any great length of time. The mystery mint was likely closed when Domitian began his reform of the coinage in early 82. Struck on a large flan (37mm!) in fine 'Balkan' style. As always, thanks for looking! 20 1 5 Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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