History Coins
History Coins

The Civil Wars & The Flavian Dynasty

Nero to Domitian

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, Silver Denarius, Rome, Jupiter Seated, AD 67-68

Obverse: laureate head right, NERO CAESAR AVGVSTVS

 

Reverse: Jupiter seated left, holding spear, IVPPITER CVSTOS

Grade: F+ with surfave blistering on both sides (stable) some over zealous investigation of one blister on the reverse with scrapes

17mm, 3.08g; Ref: RIC 69

Prov: Ex Spink - Peter Stagnetto Collection sale, previuosly London Mint Office purchase for £895!

 

£195 (P&P FREE to UK other locations ask) #74

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, Silver Denarius, Rome, Roma Standing, AD 68-69, RARE

Obverse: laureate head right, IMP SER GALBA CAESAR AVG P 

 

 

Reverse: ROMA RENASCES, Roma, helmeted, in military dress, standing left, holding Victory on globe in right hand and eagle-tipped sceptre in left

Grade: Fine+ RARE, toned; 17mm, 2.66g

Ref: RIC 1 229 or 230 (only one displayed on RIC)

Prov: Ex Spink -The Rymer & Trajan Collections Sale

 

£210 (P&P FREE to all locations) #247 

 

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)

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 #2

Obverse: Bare head of Otho facing right

Rev: Securitas standing facing holding wreath and sceptre.

3.12g, AVF for type, RARE

 

£700 (Available through the Hoard at their terms and conditions)  

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

Obv: Laureate head , right

Rev: Tripod-lebes surmounted by dolphin, raven below

3.24g,

Ref: 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 to be bestowed, 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.

Vespasian, Dupondius, Rome Mint, Felicitas, AD74

Obv:Radiate bust, left 

Rev: Felicitas standing left, holding caduceus & cornucopia.

11.73g, 27mm,

Grade: VF

Ref: S2346

£270 (P&P to UK FREE, 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.

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

 

Laureate head of Vespasian / SC on a shield supporrted by two Capricorns back to back, globe below.

18mm, 3.01g, VF+

 

 

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

Titus as Augustus Left Facing Bust Silver Denarius, Single Capricorn, AD 79, RARE

Obverse: Laureate head left, IMP TITVS CAES VESPASIAN AVG P M

Reverse: Capricorn over a globe below, TR P VIIII XV COS VII P P

18mm, 2.88g

Grade: Fine, a rare piece, more so than the double capricorn variety and more so than the right facing bust

Ref:  RIC II.1 38; RSC 294 var

 

 

 

£220 (P&P FREE to all locations)

****Titus as Augustus, AE20, Lycaonia, Lystra 79-81AD, RARE****

Obverse: Laureate head of Titus, right, IMP T CAE AVG VESPA

 

Reverse: Helmeted Athena (originally described as a male head) with two spears over shoulder, COE IVL LVS

Ref: RPC II 1606 RARE 10 years ago there were only three known and one sold for $900, now there are still only 13 on RPC! 

3.14g, 20mm

Grade: VF, black patina and sandy deposits

 

 

 

£180 (P&P FREE to all locations)

 

Titus as Augustus, Silver Denarius, Kneeling Captive, Rome Mint, AD79

Obverse:Head of Titus, laureate, right, IMP TITVS CAES VESPASIAN AVG P M

Reverse: Male captive kneeling in front of trophy, TR P VIIII IMP COS VII

18mm, 3.12g

Grade: VF/AVF

Ref: RIC II Prt 1 Titus 12, RARE

Note: There is some dispute as to whether this coin comemorates Judean or British capture, the latter is the most likely, but it is indeed a crossover coin from the throne of Vespasian to Titus.

 

£280 (P&P FREE to all locations) #1479d

Titus as Augustus, Silver Denarius, Square Seat Draped, Rome Mint, AD80

Obv: Head of Titus, right

Rev: Square seat draped, three crescents in triangular frame, adorned with corn-ears 

Ref: RIC II 124

Grade: AVF

3.3g, 17mm

£260 (P&P FREE to UK, non-UK ask)

Titus, Restitution Issue Dupondius, Rome, Livia as Pietas, AD 80-81

Obverse: Veiled and diademed bust of Livia (Augustus' wife) as Pietas, PIETAS below

Reverse: Large SC to centre, legend around probably IMP T CAES DIVI VEST F AVG RESTIT

27mm, 11.27g

Grade: VF some mottled corrosion

Ref: RIC II Prt 1 426-8, RARE

Pro: Ex Roma, previously a Belgian collection

 

£175 (P&P FREE to all locations) #1203

Domitian

Domitian was the last of the Flavian dynasty. He was born in AD 51, the son of Vespasian and the younger brother to Titus. He became emperor in 81 and ruled with an iron fist, he was particularly cruel to his enemies and he is known to have executed some 30 senators. This put him at odds with the Senate who considered him a tyrant, so much so that there were plots to assassinate him. One such plot succeeded and he was murdered in 96. The Senate were quick to try to obliterate him from history by 'condemning his memory to oblivion;' tearing down statues and architectural features that bore his name. So it is surprising that so many of his coins survive!

Domitian, AE As, Rome, Fides, AD 81-96, Excellent Reverse

Obverse: Laureate head, right, IMP CAES DOMIT AVG GERM COS XIIII CENS PER PP

Reverse: Fides standing, right, holding fruit basket and grain stalks, FIDEI PVBLICAE, S-C above grain

Grade: VF+ 

10.77g, 28mm

Ref: RIC 2 647

 

 

£190 (+P&P to UK, other locations please ask)

History Note: Towards the end of 79AD, Mount Vesuvius erupted destroying Pompeii and Herculaneum, there was also a plague during that year. 

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NEW this month:

 

Alexander the Great 'Lifetime issue' Amphipolis mint now for sale!

 

Additional coins of Henry VIII are now for sale.

 

Full and half sovereigns are now for sale on the later milled area.

 

A very rare Harold Bluetooth now available!

 

More fantastic coins are available at our partner site The Hoard, do take a look at their great ceramics and glass too!

 

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