TITUS, as Caesar
AR Denarius. 3.07g, 19.1mm
MINTED: Rome mint, AD 77-78
REF: RIC 949; Cohen 66
OBVERSE: T CAESAR IMP VESPASIANVS, laureate head right.
REVERSE: COS - VI, Mars standing left holding spear and trophy, large wheat ear behind him.
Almost Very Fine/Fine. Lightly toned. Bold portrait with plenty of hair detail.
A scarce and interesting issue, one of several under Vespasian (this one issued for Titus) that employed reverse designs from the early Imperial and Republican periods. In this case, the reverse type is that of a denarius of the Republican moneyer L. Valerius Flaccus, which was struck circa 108-107 BC, more than 180 years prior. This systematic use of earlier types would have not only have promoted the message that the Flavian dynasty was restoring and renewing the Empire, it would also have made fiscal sense if the old denarii of higher silver fineness was being recalled at the same time and melted down to re-coin the new ones. An idea like that would surely have appealed to Vespasian, the famously thrifty emperor who taxed urine collected from public urinals and coined the phrase pecunia non olet ("money does not stink").
Titus was the eldest son of emperor Vespasian and the first man to inherit the throne from his own father. When Vespasian was governor of Judea and the First Jewish-Roman War erupted, it was Titus who bravely led the legions that beseiged and captured Jerusalem. Upon his father's ascension, Titus served as commander of the Praetorian Guard and also shared many of the emperor's political duties. It was under Titus that the Colosseum was completed and inaugurated. When several disasters occured - the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in AD 79, and the devastation of parts of Rome by fire and plague the next year - the emperor released great sums of money in an effort to relieve the suffering of those affected. When he died prematurely in AD 81 of a fever, having been on the throne for just over two years, Titus was deeply mourned by the populace of Rome.
TITUS, as Caesar . AD 69-79 . AR Denarius . Mars . *Scarce & interesting type*
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