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Revisting the Collection: Domitian Military Altar Denarius

David Atherton

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This week we revisit an important 'Grail' coin purchased in 2014. Certainly one of the scarcer types struck for Domitian.




AR Denarius, 3.28g
Rome Mint, 95-96 AD
Obv: IMP CAES DOMIT AVG GERM P M TR P XV; Head of Domitian, laureate, bearded, r.
Rev: IMP XXII COS XVII CENS P P P; Altar, with two figures of soldiers, flanked by aquilae; under each aquila on top of the altar is a seated captive
RIC 784 (R2). BMC 237B. RSC 296. BNC 212.
Ex Solidus, eBay, 13 April 2014.

The months leading up to Domitian's assassination saw the mint at Rome experimenting with many new reverse types (winged Minerva, Maia, temple reverses), breaking the monotony of the four standard Minerva types that had previously dominated the denarius. These new types are exceedingly rare however and were perhaps experimental in nature. This impressive denarius features one of the new reverse designs consisting of an altar flanked by two soldiers and two aquilae - obviously military in nature and perhaps a commemorative issue.


In hand



As always, thank you for looking!

Edited by David Atherton
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