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    Description

    Exceptional Titus Aureus

    Titus as Caesar (AD 69-79). AV aureus (20mm, 7.30 gm, 6h). Rome, AD 72-73. T. CAES IMP VESP PON TR POT, laureate head of Titus right / VIC AVG, Victory standing right on globe, holding wreath in outstretched right hand. RIC (Vespasian) 367 (R). Calico 798. Rare. Boldly struck and lustrous, with a magnificent portrait and light reddish "Boscoreale" toning. An exceptional specimen. Choice Extremely Fine.

    Likely from the Boscoreale hoard of 1895.

    The elder son of Vespasian, Titus Flavius Vespasianus was born in AD 41 in a disreputable quarter of Rome and seemed marked out for the life of an upper middle-class civil servant. He distinguished himself as a military tribune in Britain and Germany before becoming his father's second in command for the Judaean campaign of AD 66-69. With his father's bid for empire successful, Titus took over direction of the Judaean war, which culminated in the storming of Jerusalem in AD 70. Returning to Rome, Titus was granted a stupendous triumph. When Vespasian died in AD 79 and Titus was proclaimed emperor, he soon emerged as an uncommonly benevolent and conscientious ruler. When the eruption of Vesuvius destroyed Pompeii and Herculaneum, his generous relief measures won wide admiration. The historian Tacitus called Titus the "darling of the human race." However, his reign was destined to be brief. Titus was observed to weep at the games opening the Colosseum in mid-AD 81 and took seriously ill shortly thereafter. He died on September 1 at the age of 40. His brother Domitian, capable but far less affable, succeeded him.

    While not usually included in the Judaea Capta series of coinage, the "Victory of the Augustus" proclaimed on the reverse of this splendid aureus can be none other than the costly triumph over Judaean rebels in the First Jewish War. In fact Titus is shown still wearing his light "campaign beard" as though he'd just returned from the field. The triumphal procession for the campaign had taken place in AD 71, the year previous to this coin being struck. However, a small band of Jewish rebels held out in the fortress of Masada until AD 73, when the general Flavius Silva finally took the stronghold only to find that its defenders had committed mass suicide.




    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    September, 2012
    6th-11th Thursday-Tuesday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 3
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
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