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Affordable Architectural Type

David Atherton

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I got this one for @ $40 on eBay. Granted it is not in fantastic condition, but it is good enough for me.




Æ As, 11.23g
Rome mint, 85 AD
Obv: IMP CAES DOMITIAN AVG GERM COS XI; Head of Domitian, laureate, bearded, r., with aegis
Rev: SALVTI above, AVGVSTI below; S C in exergue; Altar
RIC 305 (C3). BMC 316. BNC 339.
Acquired from eBay, January 2023.

The SALVTI AVGVSTI altar type was first introduced on Domitian's aes coinage in 84 after a brief hiatus of the Senatorial mint's production in 82-83, presumably for re-organisational purposes. This earliest version of the type has the legend starting at the lower left, later issues would place the legend above and below the altar, as seen on this coin. The structure on the reverse has been traditionally described as an altar, however, Marvin Tameanko has convincingly argued it is actually a sacellum, or small shrine. He states the steps at the base leading to two doors with handles are overwhelming evidence that the structure was much larger than an altar. As far as the shrine's significance - H. Mattingly in BMCRE II interprets the type as commemorating the Senate's dedication of an altar shrine celebrating Domitian's safe return from the Germanic Wars of 82-83. Alternately, the shrine may have been dedicated as an appeal to Salus for the emperor's continued good health. Tameanko attributed the reverse to Domitian's hypochondria. In any case, no trace of the shrine has survived antiquity.


In hand.


Thanks for looking/watching!

Edited by David Atherton
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  • David Atherton changed the title to Affordable Architectural Type
8 hours ago, David Atherton said:

I got this one for @ $40 on eBay. Granted it is not in fantastic condition, but it is good enough for me.

A well done buy - with a good price / condition ratio. Gratulation.


David - you postet an another "Dutiful Domitian" coin at Coin Talk Forum. Would you present this here in a new thread too? I like this bronze with this dark / green patina - and the reverse is for me very nice and interesting 🙂 

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Nice coin - and I appreciate the issue information you provided @David Atherton.  My example is rough, but it is one of my favorites in my small Flavian collection:


Domitian  Æ As (85 A.D.) Rome Mint IMP CA[ES] DOMITIAN AVG GERM COS XI, laureate bust right, wearing aegis / SALVTI [A]VGVST[I], S-C, horned altar or shrine of Ara Salutis Augusti. RIC II Part 1 (2nd ed.) 305; (10.94 grams / 28 x 27 mm) eBay Aug. 2019








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Here is a unique one I got for around $70 or so from the wealthy city of Zeugma on the Euphrates. Unfortunately during the reign of Valerian the city was sacked and destroyed by the Sassanids, just a few years after it was minted. It appears that a surprising quantity of these sestertius-sized coins were struck, probably to pay the legions (2) stationed in the city.

COMMAGENE, Zeugma. Philip I and II 247-249 C.E. Æ31, 19.2g; 6h (Tetrassarion)

Obv.: AYTOK K M IOYΛI ФIΛIΠΠOC CЄB; Laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right.

Rev.: ZЄYGM-ATЄΩN; Peribolos containing grove of trees, seen in perspective; tetrastyle temple in distance, draped figure within (Zeus?); in exergue, capricorn to right.

Reference: Butcher 31c; BMC 35. Ex - JAZ Numismatics



Edited by Ancient Coin Hunter
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