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    Domitian: Competence and Terror

    Domitian (AD 81-96). AV aureus (20mm, 7.55 gm, 6h).  Rome, January - September AD 87. IMP CAES DOMIT AVG GERM P M TR P VI, laureate head of Domitian right / IMP XIIII COS XIII CENS P P P,  Minerva standing left holding inverted spear with right hand and resting left on hip. RIC 510 (R2). BMCRE 106. Cohen 2121. Calic├│ 883. Very rare. Minor scrape in reverse field. NGC (photo-certificate) Choice XF 5/5 - 3/5.

    From The Andre Constantine Dimitriadis Collection. Ex Stack's (New York, 2-3 December 1997), lot 351. 

    Titus Flavius Domitianus was born in AD 51 to the respected senator and general Vespasian, who successfully seized and held the throne to conclude the civil wars of AD 68-69. As a young man, Domitian was largely overshadowed by his older brother Titus, a situation that probably shaped his dour, resentful character. In AD 79, Vespasian was succeeded by Titus, with Domitian taking the junior position of Caesar. But Titus ruled only two years before he  fell ill and died in September of AD 81. Domitian wasted no time in seizing power as the third emperor of the Flavian dynasty. From the outset, he was a conscientious, detail-oriented administrator who kept a firm hand on all facets of government. But Domitian ruled as an autocrat, seldom seeking advice or assistance from the Senate, which came to regard him with contempt. Domitian's suspicion of the aristocracy soon deepened into paranoia. Unsuccessful conspiracies against him in AD 87 and 89 caused him to abandon all restraint, and by AD 93 Rome was in the grip of a reign of terror. Even Domitian's  wife, Domitia, came to fear for her life, and she encouraged the emperor's attendants to plot against him. In September of AD 96, one of his servants smuggled a dagger into the imperial bedchamber and stabbed Domitian to death. An elderly senator named Nerva replaced him, inaugurating the era of the "Five Good Emperors." 

    From The Andre Constantine Dimitriadis Collection

    All Roman gold coins from the Dimitriadis Collection have been issued a photo-certificate by NGC. These may be sent in for encapsulation after the auction at the request of the buyer, free of charge. Please e-mail SamS@HA.com if you would like to utilize this option.


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    April, 2014
    10th-16th Thursday-Wednesday
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