David Atherton Posted July 24, 2022 · Member Share Posted July 24, 2022 (edited) I was attracted to this coin's fine style and overall eye-appeal. A real beauty in hand! Vespasian Æ Semis, 4.82g Rome mint, 74 AD Obv: IMP•VESP•AVG•P•M•T•P; Head of Vespasian, laureate, r. Rev: ANTIOCHIA; Bust of city-goddess, r. RIC 1567 (C). BMC -. BNC -. RPC 1987 (14 spec.). Acquired from London Ancient Coins, June 2022. Traditionally, the remarkable bronze issue this rather odd semis is from has been attributed to various different mints over the years. Ted Buttrey in the unpublished RIC II.1 Addenda wrote - 'RIC 756-767 are irregular Dupondii, which should be taken together with Asses, semisses and quadrantes (RIC 1564-1581), forming together a single extraordinary issue in four denominations, distinct in typology and metal, as well as overall character from the regular coinage of the year. Although Eastern in aspect and reverse type, the circulation area of the dupondii is almost exclusively Gaul, Germany, Italy – i.e. the West, with scarcely any penetration of the East. Finds of the smaller denominations are rarely attested anywhere, East or West. The citations in RPC II are drawn almost entirely from Western collections, and total: Western - 108, Eastern - 4. The Eastern finds appear to be simply the débris of Mediterranean circulation. Previously the series had been attributed to Commagene (BMCRE II, pp.217-222), then as a likelihood to Antioch (e.g. RPC II 1982-2005). The correct attribution to Rome is proved by mules of the dupondii with regular issues (Buttrey, “Vespasian’s Roman Orichalcum: An Unrecognized Celebratory Coinage” in David M. Jacobson and Nikos Kokkinos, Judaea and Rome in Coins, 65 CBE – 135 CE (2012).' I think it quite extraordinary that the Rome mint would produce a coin blatantly featuring a provincial city-goddess that was intended for circulation in the West. Vespasian's fondness for the region that elevated him to the purple must have been strong indeed! The heavy use of dots in the obverse legend is a curiosity as well. Thanks for looking! Edited July 24, 2022 by David Atherton 17 Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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