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Roman Empire

Ruler: Domitian as Caesar
Reigned: Caesar 69 -79 AD: Augustus 81 - 96 AD
Denomination: Plated (fouree), hybrid Denarius
Mint: Unofficial
Date of Issue: 69 - 96 AD
Obverse: Laureate head right. "CAESAR AVG. F. DOMITIANVS"
Reverse: Heifer standing right. "COS V" above. (reverse of Vespasian)
Reference: similar RSC 52a, reverse RSC 106
Weight: 1.7 gms
Diameter: 16.2 mm
Comment: This coin is a contemporary forgery. It was made with a copper flan covered with a thin covering of silver, before being struck. The copper can be seen poking through the silver in places. Although the obverse is of Domitian, the reverse is of Vespasian, i.e. a hybrid. In theory, this coin could have been made any time between 69 AD and 240 AD, as official Denarii of Domitian and others remained in circulation between these dates.

Found near Colchester (Camvlodvnvm)

DOMITIAN (Titus Flavius Domitianus)

  • Domitian was the second son of the Emperor Vespasian and the brother of the Emperor Titus, and was born at Rome, on 24 October 51 AD.
  • When Vespasian was proclaimed Emperor, while in Judea with Titus, supressing the Jewish revolt, Domitian acted as his representative until Vespasian reached Rome in October 70 AD.
  • After Vespasian, Titus reigned and on the latter's death in 81 AD, Domtitian quickly proclaimed himself Emperor and was installed by the Senate, on 14th September.
  • Initially, Domitian was a good ruler and bought the support of the army with big pay increases.
  • In 85 the Dacians (from the area of modern Romania) crossed the river and murdered the local Roman governor. It took until 88 for the Romans to restore order, with victory at Tapae in 88. There was also fighting against the Quadi, Marcomanni and Sarmatians on the Danube frontier.
  • Because of these problems, Domitian halted expansion into Scotland, initiated by Agricola.
  • Domitian became more and more insecure and paranoid. He instigated a reign of terror from 93 onwards, executing or banishing friend and foe alike.
  • In 96 there was a conspiracy to assassinate him. The conspirators were his personal attendants, Stephanus and Parthenius, the imperial chamberlain. Hiding a dagger in a bandages on his arm, Stephanus stabbed him (18th September).
  • The Senate (but not the army) were overjoyed and elected one of their number, the elderly Nerva, as the new Emperor.

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