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Vespasian AR Denarius 71 CE

Vespasian AR Denarius 71 CE

18 mm 3.25 g

Obv: IMP CAESAR VESPASIANVS AVG TR P; laureate head of Vespasian r

Rev: TITVS ET DOMITIAN CAESARES PRIN IVEN; Titus and Domitian seated left on curule chairs, each holding a branch

RIC 1124 (R) RSC 544

Purchased from Germania Inferior Numismatics on Vcoins June 14, 2019

Why did I want this very worn coin? It does not seem to have a lot to recommend it. I bought this coin for the reverse. It is a dynastic issue featuring Vespasian's sons Titus and Domitian. The coin has a dual message. First, it states that the Flavian dynasty is here to stay. Secondly, because of this continuity, stability is restored to the empire.

There are other dynastic issues for Vespasian. The most recognizable being the confronted busts issues which features the portraits of Titus and Domitian. I like that issue and I may even get one eventually, but I like this one better. I like the image of the 2 brothers seated side by side. It projects a certain unity of purpose while I would argue that the confronted busts type emphasizes the competition between the brothers.

Vespasian reused coin types from earlier emperors. The confronted busts type is an echo of a type issued by Vespasian's predecessor Vitellius. (You will find that coin in an earlier post on this site)

If you are interested in this type make sure you grab one when you see it. They do come up for sale but not very often. It is a difficult coin to find if you are looking for it.

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