As Vespasian - Jupiter Capitoline temple reconstruction
VESPASIAN. Æ As. Rome, 71 AD.
Obv. IMP CAES VESPASIAN AVG COS III Laureated head right
Rev. SC The Temple of Jupiter Optimus Maximus: hexastyle temple set on base with stair represented by 3 steps; within, statue of Jupiter standing, holding sceptre, flanked by statues of Juno and Minerva standing; niches (small pediments) on each side; temple pediment decorated with standing figure holding scepter (Jupiter?) and bigas (?) on each side; quadriga (on apex) and bigas (on basal angles of the pediment) as acroteria.
RIC II, 496 (R); Cohen 486 (20 F)
Type commemorationg the reconstruction of the temple of Jupiter Optimus Maximus (Best and Greatest). This temple sat on the Capitoline Hill at the head of the Roman Forum. The first temple, tetrastyle and of the Tuscan order, was founded by the last king of Rome, Tarquinius Superbus, and dedicated on 13 September 509 BC, the first year of the Republic. After burning down on 6 July 83 BC, it was rebuilt by Sulla and the consul Q. Lutatius Catulus. In 69 AD the temple was again burned during the fighting between the followers of Vitellius and Vespasian, when the Capitol was stormed by partisans of Vitellius. The foundation stone of the 3rd temple was laid on 21 June 70 and the dedication took place in 75. However, it again burned down 5 years later, and the ultimate version was rebuilt by Domitian, to survive until the early Christian period.
The representation of the As emitted in 71 can hardly have represented the completed building, and must have been a kind of 'blueprint', intending to show the temple as it would eventually appear, while the later Sestertius version (earliest type struck in 74 AD) must have been based on the completed building (see as example the remarkable ex auctioned by Tklaec on 2006: http://www.acsearch.info/record.html?id=77650 )
[from Curtis Clay]
"Appendix E in Colin Kraay's unpubl. dissertation on the Flavian bronze coinage treats "Hexastyle temples on the aes of Vespasian's reign",
(a) Rome-mint asses like yours, two rev. dies, your die is the same as BMC pl. 23.14.
(b) Rome-mint sestertii, two rev. dies, e.g. Hall 1191 and BMC pl. 29.5, the Tkalec coin is from the second of these.
(c) Lugdunum-mint asses, three dies, two of them being BMC pl. 41.4 and pl. 42.8.
Conclusions, after an exhaustive description of the details of each die:
(1) Asses of both mints represent the same temple, and the Lugdunese dies COPY the Roman dies.
(2) The sestertius dies represent the newly reconstructed Capitoline Temple.
(3) Asses too probably represent the same temple, since on one Lugdunese rev. die, as on the sestertius dies of Rome, the three statues "are clearly characterized as the deities of the Capitoline Triad." As the middle-bronze depiction was created earlier, in 71 rather than 74 like the sestertius type, it may represent an earlier stage of the reconstruction, or the engraver may have invented details which had not yet taken form in the reconstruction itself."
Very rare coin, hard to find in any condition. Nice natural patina.