David Atherton Posted February 8 · Member Share Posted February 8 (edited) A mystery eastern mint struck imperial bronzes for Titus in 80 or 81 and a smattering few for Domitian before petering out in early 82. Recently, I was lucky enough to acquire this scarce Domitianic Mars reverse. A bit rough, but beggars can't be choosers when hunting down rarities such as this. Domitian Æ Sestertius, 24.72g 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: S C in field; Mars, with cloak over shoulders, adv. r., with spear and trophy RIC 838 (R2). BMC 517. BNC 552. RPC 531. Acquired from Variana Coins, January 2023. 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 Mars type 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. And 'in hand'. As always, thanks for looking! Edited February 8 by David Atherton 13 2 1 Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
Join the conversation
You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.