Coins of the Twelve Caesars – VESPASIAN – read online



Twelve Caesars – VESPASIAN COINS

[Of the twelve Cresars who exercised imperial authority at Rome from B.C. 4T to a.d. 9G Vespasian was the tenth. The nine who preceded him were Julius Cesar, who ruled B.C. 47^4; Augustus, b.c. 31-a.d. 14; Tiberius, a.d. 14-37; Caligula, 37-41; Claudius, 41-54; Nero, 54-08; Galba, 68-69; Otho, 69, and Vitellius, 69. Those who succeeded Ves pasian are Titus, 79-81, and Domitian, 81-96.]

Titus Flavius Sabiuus Vespasianus, tenth of the Caesars, Emperor of Rome a.d. 69 to 79, was born at Reate, in the Sabine country, fifty miles northeast of Rome, November 17, a.d. 9; a.u.c. 762. The reigning Emperor was Augustus. The terrible defeat of the Roman legions in Germany, under Varus, occurred a few weeks before. The name of his father is unknown; his mother was Vespasian Polla, daughter of a prafechis castrorvm (commander of the camps) and sister of a Senator. Left a widow with two sons, Flavius and Vespasian, the latter, at her request, upon laying off the toga virilis (garment worn by young men from fifteen years) became a soldier.

His career was steadily upward. In Thrace he was made tribunus militum (commander of the forces), in Crete and Cyrene, quasstor (revenues collector). He acted atdile (magistrate) and prailor (chief magistrate), and in the various posts of honor, from Britain to Arabia, fought the enemies of Rome for twoscore years with unvarying success. During the reign of Claudius (41-54) he was legatus legioriis (lieutenant-general) in the German wars and in Britain, where he conquered the Isle of Wight. He was made Consul the first time during the latter part of a.d. 51; the second time, with his son Titus, a.d. 70; third, a.d. 71; fourth, with Nerva (afterward Emperor), a.d. 72; eighth, with his son Titue, a.d. 77, being the sixth time that Titus enjoyed this honor. These data serve to establish dates to the coins of his reign.

Under Nero (54-68) Vespasian acted as pro-consul (that is, an ex-consul in command of a province). Here was developed that greed of money which stained the character of thiB distinguished soldier, and he was charged with gross extortion and outrage upon the people. This vice, however, was not calculated to forfeit the esteem of soldiers. His army loved him with rare devotion, and in their rude way petted him and bestowed nicknames upon him. In his habits Vespasian was singularly abstemious and frugal. He possessed a strong and healthy body, and was known to fast one day each month as a hygienic exercise. He seems never to have been actuated by hatred or revenge. When the Jewish outbreak began, a.d. 65, the Emperor Nero selected Vespasian to quell it. There was a standing grudge between the Emperor and the General ; for Vespasian had a contempt for Nero’s musical abilities, and boldly expressed it; but this did not bliud the royal fiddler to military merit, and he unhesitatingly entrusted Vespasian with an army, large, well officered and well equipped for the work, which proved to be protracted and severe. Vespasian appointed his son Titus, then twentysix years of age, as his lieutenant.

Commencing in Syria and northern Palestine, Vespasian made two campaigns, and had brought the war to the very gates of Jerusalem when events occurred that threw the empire itself into his hands. The Emperor Nero committed suicide a.d. 68. Three contestants for the throne followed in rapid succession. Gulba was slain January a. d. 69; Otho committed suicide April 15; Vitellius was murdered December 20 of the same year. In this turmoil the armies of Vespasian took prerogative with the rest, and proclaimed him Emperor at Alexandria, Egypt, July 1, a.d. 69, and at the gates of Jerusalem July 3. This proclamation was indorsed by the other armies in the East, and early in a.d. 70 he went to Rome to be crowned. His reigu is properly reckoned from July 1, a.d. 69. Titus completed the unfinished work in Judea, capturing Jerusalem September 8, a.d. 70. The reign of Vespasian was one of the most prosperous in the annals of Rome. He accomplished the rebuilding of the city, burnt in the reign of Nero, a.d. 64.

Collecting copies of the public records lost in that disaster, he presented the State with the three thousand brazen tablets on which he had had them engraved, ne built the Coliseum, whose very ruins excite the wonder of visitors. He labored with untiring assiduity to restore social order, shaken in the recent changes of rulers, and disbanded mutinous corps of soldiers. As censor (magistrate of morals) he purged the Senate and the Eqves (the Order of Knights) of unworthy members He was affable and easy of access, and his example of piety and frugality effected more in reforming public morals than all laws. He often visited Reate, the place of his birth, and was never ashamed of the lowness of his origin. At the close of the Jewish war he shut the gates of the temple of Janus, and built a temple to peace.

As censor he made an enumeration of the citizens of Rome a.d. 74, the last that ever was made. During his reign Pliny completed his great work upon Natural History, which is so honorably associated with his name, and inscribed it, a.d. 70, to Titus. On the 24th of June, a.d. 79, VeBpasian died at his birthplace, Reate, aged sixty-nine years seven months and seven days, having reigned ten years lacking six days. In his last moments he conceived the idea that an Emperor should meet the last enemy in the attitude of a soldier; so, commanding his attendants to lift him from his couch, he died standing erect. As Vespasian was the only Emperor since Augustus, a.d. 14, who met a natural death, — Tiberius, Caligula, Claudius, Nero, Galbo, Otho, Vitellius, all suffering from violence, —perhaps the weakening mind was overcast with the shadow that had beclouded his predecessors, and he could not endure the thought of meeting death upon a bed. His wife, Flavia Domitilla, the daughter of an tques (Knight), had borne him two sons, Titus and Domitian, also a daughter named after herself. Her husband and each of her sons attained to imperial greatness, but both the Domitillas died before Vespasian became Emperor. According to custom, a series of Apotheosis Coins were struck in honor of Vespasian after his decease.

Upon some appears the inscription, diws avgvstvs vespasianvs, ” the Divine Augustus Vespasian.” It recalls an expression of his own, made with reference to his approaching decease, Ut puto Deusfio, ” I consider that I am made a god;” no arrogant expression for a Ponlifex Maxim us (High Priest) about to be deified in the Roman manner. Upon some coins the inscriptions proved that they were struck by Titus in memory of this good parent. Such was the character of the tenth Ciesar, whose rugged features and healthy frame, whose victories, honors and civil merits, are 60 minutely detailed upon the coins, of which, in all the mint-metals, gold, silver and bronze, and in all the standard sizes (except third bronze), there is an immense number extant, and new ones coming to light daily in the numismatic “finds” of Europe, Asia and Africa. The annals of his reign are honestly recorded upon these metalic tablets even as the records of the ages that preceded him were recorded upon the 3,f 00 bronze plates which he deposited in the archives of Rome. The ” good Vespasian ” thus became known, face to face, to every member of his extended empire, and when the announcement of his death went out, June, a.d. 79, the natioual grief was intensified in the fact that all knew his face so well.




Besides the historical matter expressed in the readings of the eighteen coins, upon the next page we find additional facts upon the coins of Vespasian, which are the life of the period. The civic crown (the oak wreath) ordered him by the Senate, ob cices servatos, ” for preserving the lives of citizens,” appears upon his money. The unanimity with which the armies proclaimed him Emperor, a.d. G9, is expressed upon coins in emblems and legends like these: fides exercitum, “the fidelity of the armies;” consensus exercitum, “the harmony of the forces,” etc. His reestablishment of the liberties of the nation is acknowledged upon coins under these expressions: adstrtori liberiaiis publico, “to the restorer of public liberty;” liberta* publico, “the public liberty,” etc. His great labors in rebuilding the burnt city and embellishing it with splendid edifices are admitted in these coin passages: Romaresvrges. “Rome rising again;” forhtnee re.dvci, “to him who brings back fortune.”

The uncounted benefits accruing to the Empire in restoring general peace is immortalized in coins in these epigraphs: pads eventus, “the coming of peace;” jxix populi fiomani, “the peace of the Roman people;” pax Augvsti, “the peace of the Emperor;” pax orbis terra/rum, ” the peace of the entire world;” salas Augitsti, “the surety of the Emperor,” etc. nis stern integrity is marked upon coins by ccguitas Angnsti, ” the equity of the Emperor,” etc. His bounty to those provinces desolated by earthquakes is perpetuated in their coins by making an era of his reign, and styling it ” the sacred year” of Vespasian. Of eighteen coins, gold, silver and bronze, of the Emperor Vespasian, from the illustrations on the fourth page.

[The reader will observe in these Readings,

First, that the size of the coins does not always agree with that of the illustrations.

Second, that the metal is distinguished by an abbreviation, AY (aurum) standing for gold; Alt (argentum) for silver; AE (aes) for copper, bronze or brass, words indiscriminately used in numismatics.

Third, that there are no punctuation-points on coins, though sometimes introduced by engravers to facilitate readings.

Fourth, that we do not reproduce the old forms of Greek letters here but substitute modern type, and

Fifth, that these Readings are prepared for the use of learners as well as experts.]

No. 1. A gold coin (the aureus) struck at Rome. The value of this coin was estimated at 20 denarii, but they run from $3 to $4.44. The artistic execution of the aureus is usually good. Obverse. The head of Vespasian, crowned with laurel; face to right; bust nude; features grave; nose prominent. His age was 63. Inscription (abbreviated). IMP CAES VESP AVQ PM COS IIII. (Supplied,) Imperator Ctesar Vespasianus Augustus Pontifex Maximus, Consul 4: “High Priest; Consul for the 4th time.” This fixes the date of the coin to a.d 72, when he was Consul with Nerva. Reverse. A captive female to the right, sitting under a palm tree, as in Lamentations ii, 10: ” She, being desolate, shall sit upon the ground.” On the opposite side of the tree stands Vespasian in military costume, his left foot upon a helmet; in his right hand a hastapura (headless spear); in his left, a parazoninm (small sword given by Emperor to tribune).

No. 2. A bronze medal (medallion), struck at Rome. The value can not be estimated, as this class of numismata were not reckoned as coins. Obverse. Head of Vespasian, crowned with laurel; face to right; bust nude; features rugged and healthy, recalling the’ account of an old writer: “his face was that of a corpulent man, very prosperous in health, which he maintained by abstinence and friction.” The great national feature of the Roman, the nose, here vindicates itself superbly. Inscription (abbreviated). IMP CAES VESPASIAN AVG PM TRP PP COS III. (Supplied,) Imperator Caesar Vespasianus Augustus Pontifex Maximus Tribunitia Potestato Pater Patriae, Consul 3: ” High Priest, exercising the Tribunitian power; Father of the country; Consul for the 3d time.” This fixes the date a.d. 71. Reverse. An Allocution 6ccne; Vespasian delivering an address to the soldiers, as the word ADLOCVTIO demonstrates. The picture is finely drawn, and will repay close examination. The Emperor is in military garb, bareheaded save the decoration of laurel. He stands upon a low, square platform, and throws forward hie right arm and left foot, in the attitude of an orator. The three soldiers to whom he is speaking bear military standards in their right hand. Their arms may be examined piece by piece; open helmet with lofty crest; breast-plate, or coat of mail; greaves to protect the legs, and an ample buckler on the left arm, of an oblong and concave figure, four feet in length, two and a half in breadth, framed of light wood, covered with bull’s hide and strongly guarded with plates of brass.

No. 3. A silver coin (denarius) struck at Rome. Value about 15 cents. Obverse. Head of Vespasian, as in No. 1, but the expression is not so care-worn. Inscription as in Nos. 1 and 2. Reverse. A captive female (“the daughter of Zion”) to the left; back to the palm tree. Hands spread in attitude of supplication. Inscription. IVDEA DEVICTA, ” the land of Judea subdued.” There is no class of coins that excite more interest in Christian instruction of the present than these “Captivity coins,” begun by Vespasian and continued by Titus and Domitian.

No. 4. A bronze coin struck in the mint of the Island of Cyprus. The letters are Greek of the old type; the style of mintage differs materially from that of Rome. Obverse. Omitted to economize space. It has the laureated head of Vespasian and the inscription. 0YE1UA1IAN0S IZBAITOS, “The Emperor Vespasian.” (There being no V in Latin, OU are substituted; in English W, or Ouespasian, Wespasian). Reverse. The Temple of Venus, at Paphns (or Paphos), in CypruB. Remains of this ancient and splendid edifice have recently been exhumed and brought to the United States by General Cesnola. The oracle of this temple anaonnced to Vespasian upon his visit that not only was there a safe journey before him but a sure hope of the Empire. From her worship here Venus is styled “the Paphian goddess.” Inscription, K0IN0N KYT1PIQN ETOYE IJ, ” The common society of the Cyprian people: (a coin) of the year 8.” This sets the date at a.d. 76, the 8th year of Vespasian’s reign. ETOYZ (” of the year”) being in the genitive, the words to be supplied may be “a coin,” “an act,” “a courtly token,” etc. etc., but we prefer the first. In some coins of this class we find ETOYE NEOY IEPOY H, ” of the new sacred year 8.” The goddess Venus is seen in the center of the temple under the form ofa meta(acone). It is known that the inhabitants of the Cyprus, also the Syrians and Phoenicians, dedicated their Paphian coins to Vespasian because after an earthquake had desolated those parts he presented them with large sums of money for purposes of reparation.

No. 5. A bronze coin struck at Thessalonica, a city in Macedonia, now termed Salonica, where the Turks perpetrated the horrid massacre of the Christians in 1876. The letters are Greek, the style of mintage resembles No. 4. Obverse, as in No. 4. Reverse. A wreath of olive-leaves (?) and fruit, within which an eagle looking to the right, supporting a palm branch. Inscription, OEZZAAONIKEQN, “of the Thessalonians.” The form of the letters differs from the last. The words to be supplied are as in No. 4, “A coin,” etc.

No. 6. A bronze coin. This and the two following are to be studied in connection. They display the glory of the Flavian family, the father and his two princely sons. Obverse. The head of Vespasian with the inscription (translated), “The Emperor Caesar Vespasian Augustus, Consul 3.” The date, therefore, is A.D. 71. Reverse. The deity adored by the Flavian family, their Tutelary goddess represented nude to the waist, sitting on a square seat to the left, and cherishing the two sous of Vespasian, — Titus and Domitian, — who stand as boys at either haud. The artistic execution is poor. Inscription. TVTELA AVGVSTI, “tutelary genius of the Emperor.” There is something affecting in this desire of the monarch to accustom his subjects to their future rulers. But had he foreseen the character of his younger son, Domitian, our coin would have shown only one face on the reverse.

No. 7. A bronze coin; companion to Nos. 6 and 8. Obverse. As No. 6. Reverse. Heads of the sons of Vespasian, — Titus and Domitian,— facing each other. Their appearance is youthful, Titus being about thirtytwo years of age, Domitian twelve years younger. The lost figures contained the date. The artist has given to Titus the more frank and ingenuous countenance. Inscription (abbreviated). T VESP COS – – – D CAESAR AVG F COS DESIG IMP. “Titus Vespasian, Consul Domitian Caesar, sous of Augustus, Consul, designated Emperors.”

No. 8. A bronze coin ; companion to Nos. 6 and 7. Obverse. As No. 7. Reverse. The two heirs of the crown, Titus and Domitian, on horseback to right. The attitude of steeds and riders is artistic, every attribution being well conceived. No saddles are used, which recalls Csesar’s note of a century earlier concerning the Suevii, that ” nothing is deemed more shameful by them than the use of saddles.” The two are bareheaded, their cloaks and the tails of their horses fly in the wind. They look and point forward earnestly, as if to an enemy. Inscription (abbreviated): T ET DOMITIAN CAESARES PRIN IVVENT; (supplied) TITVS ET DOMITIANVS CAESARES PRINCIPES IVVENTATIS. “Titus and Domitian, Caesars, Princes of the young men.” This title, “Prince of Youth,” was often applied to the heirs of the crown.

No. 9. A bronze coin struck either at Nicomedia or Nicaea. The language is Greek. So much is erased that the reading is difficult. Obverse. The laureated head of Vespasian to the right; bust nude. Inscription (abbreviated) AYTOhPATOPI KAIEAPI SEBAITQ OYEIII AEIAXQ NEIK ; (supplied) Autokratori Caesari Sebasto Vespasiano Neik, etc. (for Nicomedia, or Nicaea), ” To the Emperor Cajsar Augustus Vespasian (a coin) of the Nicomedians.” Reverse. A tiger to the left keeping watch over an urn, or depositing something in it. Inscription (abbreviated): K0YUAANKI0Y 0YAP0Y; (supplied).  Kou Plancion Varou; “of Plancius Varus.” The missing letters perhaps give the name of the city of which Plancius Varus was prefect and which struck this elegant coin in honor of Vespasian.

No. 10. A bronze coin struck at Rome. This may be studied in connection with the next three. Obverse. Face of Vespasian to the right. General appearance as in the preceding coins, a rugged soldierly face, pinched with the frosts of Britain, bronzed with the suns of Africa. Inscription (abbreviated), IMP CAES VESPASIAN AVG COS III., “the Emperor Ciesar Vespasian Augustus Consul 3.” This sets the date a.d. 71. Reverse. As No. 11.

No. 11. A bronze coin struck at Rome. Obverse. As No. 10. Reverse. The weeping ” daughter of Zion,” seated to the left, under a palm tree, upon a confused heap of Roman shields, a helmet in the rear. The luxuriance of the tree in foliage and fruit is notable. The mourner rests her forehead upon her right hand iu a pathetic attitude, her veil floating behind her. Her left arm droops in graceful wilduess. Inscription (abbreviated), IVDEA CAPTA S. C; (supplied) Judea Capta. Senates Consnlto: “Judea being conquered (this coin is struck) by decree of the Senate.” The old numismatists read this attribution thus, Pi-ovincia lugens inter arma juxta palmam, “the province weeping, among arms, near a palm tree,” so terse and expressive is the Latin tongue.

No. 12. A bronze coin struck at Rome. Obverse. Like that of No. 10. The inscription reads, “The Emperor C’sesar Vespasian Augustus Consul 8, father of the country.” This sets the date a.d. 77. Reverse. The “sorrowing female,” as in No 10, seated to the left upon the ground, her back to palm tree, which displays foliage only. Her forehead is supported by left hand. In the rear is an assemblage of Roman arms and banners. Inscription (abbreviated), VICISTI CAES S. C: (supplied) Vicisti Ca?sari: Senatus Consulto, “to the conquering Cwsar; by decree of the Senate.”

No. 13. A bronze coin struck at Rome. Obverse. As No. 10. Reverse. The “symbol of Judea” to the right, seated upon a helmet, back to palm tree, shields and other arms near by. The attitude is even more pathetic than the preceding. The tree yields leaves and fruit (dates). Inscription as in No. 11, save that the S. C. is in the Exergue (space below and ” out of” the field of the coin).

No. 14. A gold coin (aureus) struck at Rome. Value and weight as in No. 1. Obverse. Laureated head of Vespasian to right, bust nude. Inscription, IMP CAESAR VESPASIANVS AVG, “the Emperor Oiesar Vespasian Augustus.” Reverse. The “Jewish mourner” sitting to right on the ground, at her back a Roman trophy. Inscription, IVDJSA, the word being spelled with the diphthong, which is not the case in the preceding. The Roman trophy was a collection of spoils taken from an enemy, and fixed upon something as signs or monuments of victory, erected usually at the place where the success was gained, and consecrated with appropriate inscription to some deity. They were not much used by the Romans, who were sparing of insults to the vanquished.

No. 15. A silver coin (denarius) struck at Rome. Value as No. 3. Obverse. As No. 14. Reverse. The “symbolical mourner” to the right, seated upon the ground, at the foot of a fruitful palm. Her hands tied. Her attitude indicative of utter distress. Inscription as No. 14.

No. 16. A gold coin (aureus) struck at Rome. Value and weight as in No. 1. Obverse. Laureated head of Vespasian to the right, bust nude. Hair is notably thinned away from the forehead, and the profile sharp. Inbcription: IMP CAESAR VESPASIANVS AVG TR P, ” the Emperor Csesar Vespasian Augustus, exercising the Tribunitian power.” Reverse. A triumphal chariot to the right (quadriga;, four-horsed). In it stands Vespasian. Victory crowning him from the rear. Iu his left hand he bears an olive branch.(?) Trumpeter sounds a triumph. Two captives with hands bound behind their backs walk before. Inscription (abbreviated): TRIVMP AVG: (supplied) TRIVMPHVS AVGVSTI; ” the triumph of the Emperor.” These captives are two of the seventy leaders in the Jewish war, viz., Simon Gioras and John of Gischala, who, after gracing the triumph decreed by the Roman Senate to Vespasian and Titus, were put to death in the Mamertine prison, according to the custom on such occasions. (Writers, however, differ aB to the fate of John.)

No. 17. A bronze coin struck at Rome. The peculiar beauty is due not to the art of the moneyer, but the modern engraver. Obverse. The laureated head of Vespasian to the right, as in preceding specimens. The massive set of the features is strikingly marked. Inscription (abbreviated): IMP CAES VESPASIAN AVG PM TRP PP COS VII. ” The Emperor Caesar Vespasian Augustus Pontifcx Maximus (exercising) Tribunitian Power, Father of the Country, Consul the seventh time.” This sets the date a.d. 76. Reverse. The front of a hexastyle (six-columned) temple approached by steps ranging the whole front of the building. Five statues appear,— three of deities in as many apartments, two at the wings. The seated figure in the center is probably Jupiter; that on the right, Minerva; on the left, Juno. On the sloping lines of the roof are many sculptured figures; and in the tympanum an assemblage of such, the central one being seated. The two on the left are probably smiths working at an anvil. Everything connected with this Reverse is artistic and beautiful. The building itself is probably the Capitol rebuilt by Vespasian, though some writers account it as his Temple of Peace. Inscription: S. C; Senatus consulto; ” by decree of the Senate.”

No. 18. A bronze coin struck in honor of Flavia Domitilla, the wife of Vespasian and mother of Titus and Domitian and their sister Domitilla. The letters are Greek. It is of the class entitled ” Consecration Coins.” Obverse. Face of Domitilla to the right, hair elegantly arranged, bu6t draped. The features are mild and maternal, the general expression pleasing. Inscription: (PAA0YIA AOMITIAAA, “Flavia Domitilla.” Reverse. A serpent upon the back of a horse which is galloping to the right. This is an ancient Greek symbol suggesting the brevity of human life. Domitilla died before her husband reached the royal station, so the swiftness of time is here expressed by the serpent which runs into itself, and the galloping steed. The letters yiJare for A YliABAI 6, ” the sixth year of Vespasian,” or a.d. 75. Numismatists are divided in opinion upon this and other coins of Domitilla, some deeming them honors paid to the daughter of Domitilla, who bore the same name with herself. We base our conclusion, however, upon the mature and matronly expression of the face, and the term Augusta, ” Empress.” They arc, of course, Apotheosis, or Consecration Coins, struck after the decease of the person whom they commemorate.

There are at least four others to our knowledge of this class whose Obverses have the head of Domitilla and inscriptions, DIVA DOMITILLA AVGVSTA, “the deified Empress Domitilla.”

The Reverses are:

1. The radiated head of Vespasian with “the Divine Augustus Vespasian,” proving that this was coined after Vespasian’s death;

2. The goddess Fortune standing with temo (carriage pole), cornucopia:, and ” the fortune of the Empress;”

3. The stolatccl (lady’s robe) figure of a woman standing, holding iu her right hand a kwiat, in her left a garment with ” to the peace of the Empress;”

The figure of a woman sitting, with a boy at her feet, and ” the piety of the Empress.” This last refers to the fact that upon the apotheosis of this lady, temples were erected to her worship, and a special order of priests appointed, entitled Sacerdos Diva? Domitilla?, ” the Priesthood of the deified Domitilla.” PRINCEPS JTTVENTUTIS. The title, “Chief of the Young Men,” applied in these illustrations to the sons of the Emperor, was a frequent appellation upon coins. It has ever been the custom of hereditary rulers to honor their sons, especially oldest sons, with such titles as would give dignity to the royal heir, and ingratiate him in the favor of those over whom he might be called to reign. In the republican history of Rome, the expression meant simply ” one of the most noble among tne knights,” but under the empire it was applied, exclusively, to the heir of the throne.

We find it upon many coins in our cabinet. Commodus, son of the emperor Marcus Aurelius, received this title at the conclusion of the first German war. His coin has the olive branch, the symbol of peace. Diadumenianus, the “beautiful boy,” sou of I he emperor Macrinus, received it at the age of nine years. Maximus C.fsar, the “haughty lad,” son of Maximums I, bore it during his brief period. Saloninus, son of the emperor Gallienus, enjoyed the title during his little stay upon earth, and he is seen, invested with the title, upon a denarius, wearing the paludamentum (general’s military cloak), and having a standard in his right hand. Philip, Junior, son of the emperor Philip Arabian, bore it during his term of five years, and exhibits it upon a gold coin (aureus), standing paludated. aglobe in his right hand, a scipio (official staff) in his left, and two standards behind him. Herennius, son of the good emperor Trajan Decius, bore the title during his ephemeral stay of two years. It is a sad story, that of these Principes Jurevtvtis. Their elevation was a prelude to their fall. A succession of bright, beautiful boys upon a coin-series, from Antiochus VI (slain by his guardian Tryphon), down through all the centuries of coin-annals, is as sad a picture of humanity as history presents.

vespasian coins

Next – TITUS


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *