Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Unpublished Domitian Denarius

During 88-89 Domitian's imperial salutations were coming fast and furious due to wars being fought against both the Chatti and the Dacians. As a result, the honours piled up rather quickly. The different issues during the time period are divided up by imperial acclamations. Some issues are rather small, depending how long it was before word reached the mint of a new salutation. It was previously thought when Domitian became TR P VIII in mid September he was at IMP XVI, however, with this new denarius we now know he was still IMP XV. This realisation bumps the number of issues for 88-89 from 6 to 7, this coin being part of the new first issue now dated TR P VIII IMP XV. The issue had to be quite minuscule (T.V. Buttrey joked perhaps struck for only 30 minutes until news of IMP XVI arrived), only this one Minerva type has surfaced, doubtless the other three standard Minerva types were struck alongside but have yet to be recorded. Forvm Discussion Board member tacrolimus reported an example of the type in 2009, a die pair match with my coin. T.V. Buttrey has assigned this coin 651A in the upcoming RIC II.2 addenda.

The coin isn't only rare but also struck in a very fine Flavian baroque style, in good metal and well centered. Even if it was common it would be outstanding.
Domitian RIC-651A
AR Denarius
Rome mint, 88-89 AD
RIC 651A, BMC -, RSC -
Obv: IMP CAES DOMIT AVG GERM P M TR P VIII; Head of Domitian, laureate, bearded, r.
Rev: IMP XV COS XIIII CENS P P P; Minerva stg. l., with thunderbolt and spear; shield at her l. side (M3)

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