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As Titus - Triumph in Rome, 71 AD


TITUS (under VESPASIAN). AE As. Rome, 73 AD Obv. T CAES IMP PON TR P COS II CENS Laureated head right, Rev. SC Titus in triumphal quadriga RIC 658 (S), Cohen 227 (6 F) Rare. Commemorates the triumph held in Rome in June 71 AD for Vespasian and Titus in the Jewish War. The triumphal quadriga reverse was used in 72 and 73 for sestertii and asses struck in the name of all three Flavian men. Titus brought with him booty, slaves and exotic animals, all of which were displayed in the triumphal procession that is memorialized on the interior panels of the Arch of Titus. Rather than taking the separate triumphs they had been granted by the senate, Vespasian and Titus combined theirs into a single, splendid procession. Not only did this show family unity, but it was typical of the spendthrift Vespasian, who had little money to spare in the wake of the civil war. In his Book VI, Chapter V, Josephus does not describe Titus or Vespasian riding in a quadriga, but Titus clearly was for at least part of the procession, as is proven by this coinage and by the famous panel on the Arch of Titus. Titus was greeted by Vespasian well outside of the city, accompanied by crowds lining the path for miles. Josephus tells us that most of the city’s population left the capital to find a place along the road taken by the Flavians. After having rested the night in the Temple of Isis, they entered Rome, passing through the Porta Triumphalis. Josephus notes: “Vespasian and Titus came out crowned with laurel, and clothed in those ancient purple habits which were proper to their family…and when they had put on their triumphal garments…they sent the triumph forward, and marched through the theatres, that they might be more easily seen by the multitudes. …Vespasian marched in the first place, and Titus followed him; Domitian also rode along with them, and made a glorious appearance, and rode on a horse that was worthy of admiration.” [NAC] Paris coin fair, ex. A. Weil, 16 Oct. 2004

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