As Titus - Victoria on prow
TITUS (under VESPASIAN). Æ As. Rome, 77-78 AD
Obv. T CAESAR VESPASIANVS TR P COS VI Laureated head right
Rev. VICTORIA AVGVST SC Victory standing right on prow, holding wreath and palm
RIC 686, Cohen 364
This coin seems to commemorate a naval engagement that occurred during the Jewish Wars of 66 to 73 AD. According to Josephus in his Bellum Judaicarum (Wars of the Jews, or Jewish Wars), during the 67-68 AD campaign in Galilea, in September 67 AD following the fall of Jotapata, Titus led 600 cavalry men to capture a group of rebels who had fled to Tarichaeae. Tarichaeae fell in the ensuing engagement as Titus took incredible risks by charging the defenders. However, many rebels were able to escape the town to Lake Gennesaret (Lake Tiberias or Sea of Galilea) where they embarked by boat and rafts. Titus sent a dispatch to his father who pursued and captured them, in a one-sided but fierce fight in which the rag-tag Jewish fleet was utterly destroyed by Vespasian's hastily made fleet.
The same circumstance doubtless explains why Titus brought a large number of ships with him when he entered Rome in triumph in 71 AD.
London coin fair, ex. Monk, 4 Nov. 2000.