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Coin - Aureus of Domitian

Aureus of Domitian

  • Object:

    Coin

  • Place of origin:

    Roman Empire (made)

  • Date:

    74 AD (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Unknown

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Gold

  • Museum number:

    A.678-1910

  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

This is an ancient Roman coin, an aureus of Emperor Domitian (b. 51; d. 96), depicting Domitian on one side and a representation of Hope on the other. Domitian was Emperor from 81 to 96 AD, with a rule marked by autocracy, which led to his assassination. The use of the portrait is the most persistent and usually the most striking feature of coins of the Roman Empire. Particularly during the first three centuries of the Empire's existence (27 BC-AD 284) images of historically recorded (and some unrecorded) people appear on the majority of coins.
The aureus was an ancient Roman gold coin, issued from around the 1st century BC up to the 4th century AD. One aureus was worth 25 silver denarii. The denarius was a small silver coin and the principal silver coin issued in the ancient Roman currency system from the late 3rd century BC until the early 3rd century AD.
The coins bequeathed to the V&A by George Salting include examples of silver coins from Syracuse of the 4th century BC, a set of gold imperial coins of Rome, and some fine specimens of bronze denarii of the Roman Empire.

Physical description

Obverse: Inscription. Head of Domitian laureate and bearded. Border of dots.
Reverse: Inscription. Hope standing to left, holding flower in outstretched right and raising her robe with her leg.

Place of Origin

Roman Empire (made)

Date

74 AD (made)

Artist/maker

Unknown

Materials and Techniques

Gold

Marks and inscriptions

'CAES AVG F DOMIT COS III'
obverse

'PRINCIPS IVVENTVT'
reverse

Dimensions

Diameter: 2.03 cm, Weight: 7.37 g

Object history note

From the Salting bequest.

Descriptive line

Coin, aureus of Domitian, gold, head of Domitian / Hope, Roman, 74 AD

Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)

'Salting Bequest (A. 70 to A. 1029-1910) / Murray Bequest (A. 1030 to A. 1096-1910)'. In: List of Works of Art Acquired by the Victoria and Albert Museum (Department of Architecture and Sculpture). London: Printed under the Authority of his Majesty's Stationery Office, by Eyre and Spottiswoode, Limited, East Harding Street, EC, p. 111

Materials

Gold

Subjects depicted

Flower

Categories

Coins & Medals; Portraits; Sculpture; Myths & Legends

Collection

Sculpture Collection

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