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The Continuing Caduceus Cavalcade

David Atherton

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Wow. I've acquired a fourth caduceus type from the Rome mint 'Eastern' series in as many weeks. This rare variety was struck for Domitian Caesar and has the added distinction of being the last catalogued coin under Vespasian in RIC II.1.




Domitian as Caesar [Vespasian]

Æ Quadrans, 2.23g
Rome mint, 74 AD
Obv: CAES AVG F; Head of Domitian, laureate, bearded, l.
Rev: DOMIT COS II; Winged caduceus
RIC 1581 (R2). BMC 885. BNC 902. RPC 2005 (2 spec.).
Ex Sol Numismatik, Auction XI, 4 March 2023, lot 150.

An extremely rare orichalcum quadrans struck for Domitian Caesar under Vespasian in 74 AD. Traditionally the issue has been attributed to various Eastern mints, however, recent scholarship has shown that it was produced in Rome. Style, die axis, metal, and circulation pattern all point to a Western coinage. The Rome mint caduceus design supports this as well. T. Buttrey in the RIC II.1 Addenda wrote: 'There is nothing like this series in the whole of Roman imperial coinage. It is a deliberate act of Orientalism, imposing the flavour of the East on a Western coinage'. Earlier scholarship catalogued this variety as a semis, however, the new RIC classifies it as a quadrans. Interesting to note Domitian's name only appears on the reverse.

Here it is in hand.



Thank you for looking/watching!

Edited by David Atherton
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