TITUS (under VESPASIAN). Æ As. Lugdunum, 76-77 AD
Obv. T CAES IMP AVG F TR P COS VI CENSOR Laureated head right
Rev. IVDAEA CAPTA SC Jewess, in attitude of mourning, seated right on cuirass under palm tree; helmets, shields and vexillum behind.
RIC 784, Cohen 117 (3 F)
Vespasian’s greatest military triumph was the war he and his son Titus waged in Judaea at the end of Nero’s reign. The campaign was so difficult that the Flavians celebrated its conclusion with triumphal processions, games, a triumphal arch and an uncommonly extensive series of coins ... With dual sympathies the chronicler Josephus wrote an in-depth narrative of the Roman campaign in Judaea. We are told of great suffering by both Jews and Romans, though in the final analysis the Jews bore the lion’s share of the consequences. The Roman dead numbered in the tens of thousands, and Josephus counts the number of Jewish dead in the millions, with most having succumbed to famine or pestilence. Josephus describes what the Romans encountered when they breached the walls of Jerusalem and began to search the subterranean portion of the city: "So horrible was the stench from the bodies which met the intruders, that many instantly withdrew, but others penetrated further through avarice, trampling over heaps of corpses; for many precious objects were found in these passages…" In the aftermath, Josephus reports that the Romans "…selected the tallest and most handsome of the youth and reserved each of them for the triumph; of the rest, those over seventeen years of age he sent in chains to the mines in Egypt, while multitudes were presented by Titus to the various provinces, to be destroyed in the theaters by the sword or by wild beasts; those under seventeen were sold." [NAC]