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Domitian Caesar 'Eastern' Pax

David Atherton

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Another handsome coin picked up rather cheaply. A nice bonus it's fairly scarce too!



Domitian as Caesar [Titus]

Æ Sestertius, 23.43g
Eastern mint (Thrace?), 80-81 AD
Obv: CAES DIVI AVG VESP F DOMITIAN COS VII; Head of Domitian, laureate, bearded, r.
Rev: PAX AVGVST; S C in field; Pax stg. l., with branch and cornucopiae
RIC 508 (R). BMC 315. BNC -. RPC 504.
Ex Sol Numismatik, Auction XI, 4 March 2023, lot 295.

A mystery mint struck coins for Titus and Domitian as Caesar sometime between 80-81. The style (heavily seriffed letters, large portraits, massive reverse figures), 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 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. This rare sestertius struck for Domitian as Caesar copies the Pax type struck contemporaneously for him at Rome. It can be distinguished from that issue by style and the flat flan (Rome mint Æ flans tend to be concave).


In hand.



Again, thank you for looking and watching the video!

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