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Titus Denarius 79-81 CE

Titus was very much involved in the suppression of the Jewish revolt in Judea. His other claim to fame was that he completed the construction of the Flavian Amphitheater after the death of his father Vespasian.

Titus had something else in common with his father. Like his father, Titus used coin types that were throwbacks to earlier times. One such example is the coin below. On the reverse you will see a ship's prow and a star overhead. This image hearkens back to the Imperatorial period on coins of Marcus Antonius and Ahenobarbus. However, it goes back even further to the republic when it was used on many bronze coins. On the issue of these coins copying earlier designs, a friend who is also an expert in Flavian coinage has this to say:

"I believe that many of these antiquarian reverse types of Vespasian and Titus were struck because the mint was recycling the finer republican and early imperial denarii. The older denarii were struck at nearly 100% silver fineness, the Flavian denarii at 80% fineness. Thus the mint was able to turn over a tidy profit."

This was not an easy coin to find. I had been looking for unusual reverse of Titus and this one popped up at an opportune time. This coin was minted when Titus was Caesar, or next in line to be emperor.

Titus. AR Denarius as Caesar, AD 69-79. Rome, under Vespasian, Struck AD 77/8.

(19.04 mm, 3.25 g),

Obv: T CAESAR IMP VESPASIANVS, laureate head of Titus right.

Rev: COS VI, prow of galley right, sides ornameted with intricate cross-hatch and maeander patterns; above, star with sixteen rays. RIC 950 (R); BN 202; BMC 226; RSC 68. SRCV I (2000) 2441

Ex: Incitatus Coins

Paid 205.00 USD

Purchased February 22, 2016 from Incitatus coins

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