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Domitian AR Denarius 88-89 CE RIC 658

Domitian (81-96). AR Denarius, 88-89.

( 19.00 mm. 3.39 g.)

Obv. Head right, laureate; IMP CAES DOMITIANVS AVG GERM P M TR P VIII

Rev. Minerva standing right on rostral column, holding spear and shield; at feet, owl; IMP XVII COS XIIII CENS PP P

RIC 658. Lightly toned. Good VF.

EX: Artemide Aste E-Live Auction 17, March 27, 2021 Lot 380


There is one thing that makes this rather ordinary denarius of Domitian very interesting . Take a close look at the obverse legend. In the vast majority of Domitian Denarii the obverse legend reads DOMIT. This one reads DOMITIANVS. This is important because there were very few variants of the standard obverse legend. The different obverse legend is hard to catch. If you have sifted through thousands of Domitian denarii it is very easy to miss the change in the obverse legend. As a result many of these are misattributed including by large professional firms. I have benefited from this a number of times.There are other variants of the obverse legend but that is a topic for a later post. All the variants are rare and sought after by collectors of the coins of Domitian.


As for other aspects of the coin, it has a pleasant obverse portrait and features mostly complete legends. This one shall take an important place in my Domitian collection. When I have time I want to make sure all of my Domitian denarii are properly catalogued. I also want this website to be a reference for other collectors so I want to make sure all of my examples are published here. Forum Ancient Coins features a member's gallery. This is very important because those who wish help in identifying a coin will find many resources there.