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Vespasian AR Denarius 77-78 CE

Vespasian AR Denarius 77-78 CE

3.42 g


Rev: COS VIII, Prow right; above 8 pointed star

RIC 942, BMC 217, RSC 219

Purchased from Kolner Numimatics on Vcoins March 22, 2020

While not a rare coin this one is interesting anyway. The reverse was used on the coinage of Marc Antony. Vespasian reused many images from earlier reigns. One reason might be that he was making a connection between his rule and the glory days of Rome. The intent then might have been to add legitimacy to his rule in the opinion of the citizenry.

This reverse was also used by Titus as Caesar under Vespasian. Perhaps this was a way to introduce the next emperor and put any questions of the succession to rest. The Titus coin (RIC 950 [VESPASIAN]) is in contrast to this one quite a rare coin. You can find my example elsewhere on this blog. Having the Titus, I really wanted one for Vespasian. I find the left facing varieties more interesting so I grabbed this one.

Of course, the other reason I wanted this was the fantastic portrait. He looks a lot like Mr Magoo from the cartoon show to me. That mose is magnificent in my opinion, but I wonder what Vespasian might have thought of it had he seen it.

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