Jump to content

A Rare 'Thracian' Titus Dupondius

Recommended Posts

Another rare middle bronze to share -  this time a newly discovered dupondius possibly struck in Thrace under Titus. Admittedly it's a bit worn, but has honest surfaces. It's what I'd call 'eye-appealing wear'.



Æ Dupondius, 12.03g
Eastern Mint (Thrace?), 80-81 AD
Obv: IMP T CAESAR DIVI VESP F AVG P M; Head of Titus, radiate, bearded, r.
Rev: ROMA; S C in exergue; Roma std. l. on cuirass, with wreath and parazonium
RIC 503A (R2). BMC -. RPC -. BNC -.
Ex Harlan J Berk BBS 225, 30 November 2023, lot 96. Ex Curtis Clay Collection. Ex Savoca Blue E9, 15 July 2018, lot 965.

A mystery mint struck coins for Titus sometime between 80-81. The style (heavily seriffed letters, large portraits, and massive reverse figures), unique obverse legends, 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 dupondius features a variant obverse legend previously unattested at this mint. A recent discovery, just two specimens are cited by the RIC II.1 Addenda, Curtis Clay had two others ... so possibly only four known. Clay proposes his two former specimens, which share an obverse die, were struck at a separate eastern mint rather than the 'Thracian' one.

In hand.



Here is the 'standard' ROMA type from the Thracian mint.


Æ Dupondius, 12.49g
Eastern Mint (Thrace?), 80-81 AD
Obv: IMP T CAES DIVI VESP F AVG P M TR P P P COS VIII; Head of Titus, radiate, bearded, r.
Rev: ROMA; S C in exergue; Roma std. l. on cuirass, with wreath and parazonium
RIC 503 (R). BMC 314. RPC 507. BNC 325.
Acquired from eBay, April 2019. Formerly in NGC holder 4680932-001, grade 'XF', strike 5/5, surface 3/5.


As always, thank you for looking!

Edited by David Atherton
  • Like 6
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Create New...