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A 'Common' Domitian Caesar As?


David Atherton

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It took me quite awhile to find a decent example of this seemingly common variety struck at Rome. The Antiochene issues of the type are much more plentiful.

 

 

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Domitian as Caesar [Vespasian]
Æ As, 5.54g
Rome mint, 74 AD
Obv: CAESAR DOMIT COS II; Head of Domitian, laureate, bearded, l.
Rev: S C in laurel wreath
RIC 1579 (C). BMC 884. BNC -. RPC 2002 (12 Spec.).
Acquired from André Cichos, eBay, June 2023.

A some-what mysterious orichalcum as 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, despite the 'Eastern' flavour of the reverse designs. 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'. This example with left facing portrait is supposedly more common than the right facing variety, although it too is infrequently seen in trade. Missing from the Paris collection.

 

In hand.

 

 

Thank you for looking!

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