Domitian AR Denarius (19mm, 2.88g, 5h). Rome mint, . (88 14thSeptember – 89 13thSeptember)(Second Issue).
IMP CAES DOMIT AVG GERM P M TR P VIII, head laureate right; IMP XVII COS XIIII CENS P P P, Capitoline Minerva cult statue standing left, with spear (M4).
RIC 661 (R), BMC 150, RSC 244.
Purchased from James Hazelton
All the coins in this issue are rare to very rare. Included are denarii with a very rare obverse legend variation. Though the coin is quite worn I still like it very much. One of the reasons I like this coin concerns the imperial titles. Due to increased military activity along the Danube imperial titles were being awarded very rapidly. According to RIC possible dates for coins of the issue span between November 3 and December 10 of 88 CE-just 38 days. The acclamation IMP XVII is known as of November 7th from a document. The previous imperial acclamation IMP XVI was perhaps operable for a much narrower time period, perhaps as few as 4 days. IMP XVII was perhaps only held for 9 days before the following Imperial acclamation. As one can see, the titles were changing very rapidly. This has led to a scarcity of many of the coins from this time period.
One cannot divorce the dating of these coins from the surrounding history. These are not some random dates they correspond to real world events such as the battles along the Danube in 88 CE. The history of these coins is a major motivating factor in my collecting of these coins. Though it is unlikely we will know specifically what happened during these months of 88, coins such as this one offer tantalizing clues.