History Coins
History Coins

The Civil Wars & The Flavian Dynasty

Part 1   

Nero to Titus

In 68AD Vindex, the governor of Gallia Lugdunensis, revolted against the unpopular Emperor Nero. Galba, in Spain, answered his call for support and rallied with troops. However, Vindex was defeated in May by the governor of Upper Germany, Rufus. Luckily for Galba, just a few weeks later Nero committed suicide and Galba was then formally accepted as Emperor by the Senate.

Nero AE As, Rome Mint,

54-68AD

 

Nero looking right/ Victory advancing holding shield. 26mm, 12g

RIC 312, VF

 

£140 SOLD

Nero, AE Diassarion or Dupondius, 54-68AD, Thessalian League, Laouchos Magistrate

 

Nero looking right/ Apollo seated on high backed throne with kithara. 29mm, 14.55g

RPC 1444

£150 (+P&P, non-UK ask)

Galba was also seen as an unpopular leader, due to his ruthlessness and avarice, he seized the property of Roman citizens, disbanded the German legions, and did not pay the Praetorians and the soldiers who fought against Vindex.

Galba, PAX Dupondius, July-August 68AD

 

Galba right/ Pax standing holding olive-branch and caduceus, S-C. 10.57g. Almost Very Fine.

£470 (P&P FREE to UK, other locations ask)

Galba, Silver Denarius, Victory, 68-69AD

 

Galba right / Victory standing left on globe, with wreath in right hand and palm branch in left.

3.01g. RIC 111

£260 (FREE P&P to UK, other locations ask)

Otho, his supporter against Nero, had hoped to be named his successor but when Galba had other ideas, Otho wasted no time in organising a conspiracy against him through the Praetorian guard and had him assassinated.

 

He seized the throne in January 69 but the Rhine legions had already sided with Vitellius, not recognising either Galba or Otho previously, and the battle for the lead came to a head in April at the battle of Bedrianus. Otho was massively defeated and elected to commit suicide as a result.

Otho, Silver Denarius, Rome Mint, 69AD, Securitas #1

 

Bare head of Otho facing right/ Securitas standing facing holding wreath and sceptre.

3.17g, Fair, RARE

£570 (P&P FREE to UK, other locations ask)

Otho, Silver Denarius, Rome Mint, 69AD, Securitas #2

 

Bare head of Otho facing right/ Securitas standing facing holding wreath and sceptre.

3.12g, Fair, RARE

£600 (P&P FREE to UK, other locations ask)

Vitellius, Silver Denarius, Rome MInt, April-December 69AD #1

 

Laureate head , right / Tripod-lebes surmounted by dolphin, raven below

3.24g, RIC 1 109, Fine, Scarce

£370 (P&P FREE to UK, other locations ask)

Vitellius was now undisputed ruler of the Empire and took his time returning to Rome for the title of Augustus by arriving in July, this was a fatal error. The time was used productively by the legions to name Vespasian their preferred choice. In December, the again unpopular Vitellius was arrested in his palace and dragged through the streets to be mobbed. Vespasian had been quietly gathering support and with the help of his son, Titus, both militarily and personally, he took the throne.

Vitellius, Silver Denarius, Rome MInt, April-December 69AD #2

 

Laureate head , right / Tripod-lebes surmounted by dolphin, raven below

3..01g, RIC 1 109, Fine, Scarce

 

£400 SOLD

Vespasian, Dupondius, Rome Mint, 74AD, Felicitas

 

Radiate bust, left / Felicitas standing left, holding caduceus & cornucopia.

11.73g, 27mm, VF, S2346

£270 (P&P to UK FREE, other locations ask)

Divus Vespasian, Silver Denarius, Struck by Titus, Rome Mint, 80 AD, Capricorns Back to Back

Laureate head of Vespasian / SC on a sheild suporrted by two capricorns back to back, globe below.

18mm, 3.01g, VF+

£200 (P&P FREE to UK, other locations ask)

He, unlike his three predecessors, was a competent and well liked leader and enjoyed ten years as Emperor before this death at the age of 70. Titus was his successor.

 

As for the coinage of these fleeting leaders, it never ceases to amaze me that they produced such a large number of types in such a short space of time. Vespasian and Titus had the luxury of a more leisurely span of time and produced coinage jointly as well as in each other's names.

Titus as Caesar Under Vespasian, Silver Denarius, Rome Mint, Prow, 77-78AD, RARE

Head of Titus, right/Prow of galley right, star above. S2441

3.14g, 18mm, VF

 

£200 (P&P FREE to UK, non-UK ask)

Titus as Augustus, Silver Denarius, Rostal Column, Rome Mint, 79AD

Head of Titus, right/Figure on rostal column.

18mm, 3.09g, Almost V Fine

£140 SOLD

Titus as Augustus, Silver Denarius, Square Seat Draped, Rome Mint, 80AD

Head of Titus, right/Square seat draped, three crescents in triangular frame, adorned with corn-ears 

RIC II 124, 3.3g, 17mm

£260 (P&P FREE to UK, non-UK ask)

History Note: Towards the end of 79AD, Mount Vesuvius erupted destroying Pompeii and Herculaneum, there was also a plague during that year. It is thought that the last coin was one of a series giving prays after these, now considered natural, disasters!

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