(88) Domitian - AE sestertius, A.D. 90-91, 24.23 g. (inv. 91.155).
Obverse: Laureate head of Domitian r.; IMP(ERATOR) CAES(AR) DOMIT(IANVS) AVG(VSTVS) GERM(ANICVS) CO(N)S(VL) XV CENS(OR) PER(PETVVS) P(ATER) P(ATRIAE): Imperator Caesar Domitianus Augustus Germanicus, consul for the fifteenth time, censor in perpetuity, father of the country.
Reverse: Jupiter seated l., holding Victoria in r. and scepter in l.; IOVI VICTORI: to Jove Victorious; in exergue, S(ENATVS) C(ONSVLTO): by decree of the Senate.
Provenance: Coin Galleries, 1960.
Bibliography: H. Mattingly and E.A. Sydenham, The Roman Imperial Coinage II: Vespasian to Hadrian (London 1926) 388.
The reverse of this sestertius depicts the chief Roman god, Jove or Jupiter, with the epithet "Victorious," apparently a general reference to Domitian's success in securing the western and northern frontiers at this time. Although Minerva as his patron deity was usually the object of Domitian's thank offerings, Jupiter was also a pre-eminent war god who occupied a special position in the empire as protector of the emperor. Domitian replaced the Temple of Jupiter Optimus Maximus on the Capitoline that burned in A.D. 80 with a magnificent building with gilded doors and roof, and he also rebuilt the Temple of Jupiter Tonans, probably also damaged in the same fire.
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