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Rare Domitian as Caesar Sestertius With Stylish Portrait

David Atherton

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Aside from the rarity, I was initially attracted by the stylish portrait. The Rome mint had a fairly talented engraver in its workshops cranking out dies under Titus in 80-81 ... the best of these are the left facing portrait dies. I couldn't resist this one!



Domitian as Caesar [Titus]
Æ Sestertius, 18.64g
Rome mint, 80-81 AD
Obv: CAES DIVI VESP F DOMITIANVS COS VII; Head of Domitian, laureate, bearded, l.
Rev: S C in field; Minerva adv. r., with spear and shield
RIC 331 (R2). BMC -. BNC 241.
Ex Harlan J Berk BBS 225, 30 November 2023, lot 138. Ex Curtis Clay Collection. Ex Lanz eBay, 18 July 2009.

A sestertius struck for Domitian as Caesar under Titus featuring his patron deity Minerva. DIVI VESP F tells us the coin was struck after Vespasian's deification. The date of Vespasian's consecratio is dated by the epigraphic evidence sometime between 8 September 79 and 29 May 80. Nathan T. Elkins has proposed that the opening games of the Colosseum were in honour of Vespasian's deification. If so, this sestertius could not have been struck much earlier than June 80. This Minerva reverse from 'Group 3' is very rare. It is missing from the BM with a footnote in the catalogue (BMC 233) that doubts its existence!

In hand.


As always, thank you for looking!

Edited by David Atherton
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