Domitian AR Denarius 86 CE (Fifth Issue)

Domitan AR Denarius

86 CE (Fifth Issue)

3.29 g

Obv: Laurreate head r; IMP CAES DOMIT AVG GERM PM TR P VI

Rev: Minerva Stg. L with spear; IMP XIIII COS XII CENS P PP

RIC 460 (R); British Museum example acquired 1989 (1989,1117.2) BMC--

Ex: Aegean Numismatics March 25, 2019

Though generally worn, I still find this portrait to have some charm. This coin is part of the last of 5 issues for 86 CE, in fact it is part of the the 5th issue. All coins from these issues are scarce to rare. I bought this coin because I did not have any coins from this particular issue. The toning is light but even and the general overall wear means that this coin was used. Some coins in my collection appear that they were barely used in circulation. While this is great for condition, it does not say much about the story of the coin.

I can appreciate the wear on this coin because I know it was handled spent and used by people who went long before. For me that is the charm of these worn coins. I often ask myself "Who handled this coin?", "What did they spend it on?" or "Was it part of a soldier's pay?". While we will never know the answers to these questions, merely asking them gets us closer to people who lived and died nearly 2000 years ago.

When I look at the portrait on this coin I often wonder what the citizens of Rome at the time thought of the emperor Domitian. It is easy to analyze and criticize from 2000 years away, but I wonder what the citizens of ancient Rome would have to say.