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Domitian AR Denarius 88 CE RIC 604

Domitian AR Denarius Struck 88 CE (Third Issue)

(20 mm, 2.96 g)

Obv: IMP CAES DOMIT AVG GERM P M TR P VIII, laureate head right Rev: COS XIIII - LVD SAEC FEC, COS XIII across field Column inscribed LVD SAEC FEC, all within Laurel wreath.

RIC 604, RSC 70, BMC 137

Ex: Luc Corso collection

EX: CGB France Purchased February 17, 2020



This lovely coin is a Secular Games denarius. There are a number of SeMinerva on Domitian's denarii.cular Games issues for Domitian on the denarii of 88 CE. Some are common, some are scarce and others are rare to extremely rare. This is a scarce but not overly rare coin. However, when they do appear there is much competition for them. One reason for this concerns the domination of Minerva on Domitian's denarii. Minerva is so prevalent that when non-Minerva Domitian denarii appear for sale, they command much interest from collectors. Myself I like the Minerva denarii. The changing imperial titles tell us that important things were happening. However, in many cases we do not know what those things were. Also, there are rare instances when the standard obverse legend changes. Somtimes this involves the use of GERMAN instead of GERM. In other cases DOMITIANVS is spelled out instead of the normal DOMIT. I am always on the lookout for these rare variants. They are so rare that many, including large auction houses, sometimes do not recognize these small changes. As a result, many of these variants are misattributed.


While the reverse is interesting I also love the observers for its portrait.I think the portraits on Domitian denarii from 84-88 CE are the best from his reign. This one is no exception. It was a very talented engraver who cut this portrait. In my opinion the style is excellent. Later on some of the portraits are quite crude by comparison. So this coin has a lot going for it; an interesting reverse type and an excellent portrait.