The Flavian Emperors - Coins of Vespasian, 69 to 79 AD

Vespasian was an experienced general who had led a legion in the conquest of southern Britain in 43 AD and, at the time of Nero’s death, was campaigning successfully in Palestine.  As he returned towards Rome he was proclaimed Emperor by his army. A wise and just ruler, who initiated the conquest of northern Britain, he tried to heal the wounds of the Civil War, raised taxes to restore the economy and spent money on public buildings (including the Coliseum which was largely built from the treasure captured in Jerusalem).


Silver denarii

Denarii were the standard silver coins of the Republic and of the first and second centuries AD.
25 denarii made 1 golden aureus and one denarius was worth 4 sestertii
A typical denarius measures approximately 18 mm in diameter.


RC 3322 - silver denarius of Vespasian

RC 3322 - Vespasian (69-79 AD) silver denarius, Tarraco mint
reverse - LIBERTAS PVBLICA - Liberty standing with Pileus and staff
The Pileus or Cap of Liberty was the red conical cap presented to freed slaves (presumably while their hair grew back).
In the late 18th century, it was the symbol adopted by the American and French Revolutionaries.


Brass dupondii and copper asi

A copper As was worth four quadrantes or two semis. A brass Dupondius (the same size as the as) was worth two asi.  Two dupondii (or 4 asi) made one sestertius. On the dupondius, the Emperor was shown wearing a radiate crown (representing the rays of the sun), as opposed to the usual laurel wreath, to help distinguish it from the similar sized (but different coloured) as.


RC 2741 - Vespasian (69-79 AD) - 'brass' dupondius

RC 2741 - Vespasian (69-79 AD) - 'brass' dupondius
obverse - [IMP CAES] VESP AVG [PM . . .]
reverse - [ROMA] SC - Roma seated


 If you are interested in buying any of the coins featured on this page,
please email us to check that it is still available, quoting our reference number (beginning RC_).

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