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Dupondius Domitian - Victory against the Chatti


DOMITIAN. Æ As. Rome, 85 AD. Obv. IMP CAES DOMITIAN AVG GERM COS XI Laureated head right Rev. S C German arms: two decorated hexagonal shields, each with two spears over two crossed long trumpets and carnyces, all set upon Roman vexillum surmounted by crescent. Cohen 537 (5 F) Spectacular type showing German weapons; it belongs to the serie struck to commemorate the victory in the campaign against the Chatti, a German tribe, started in 83 AD. Domitian harboured an inferiority complex toward his brother and father. In the matter of military glory, the jealousy was acute: his brother had led the siege of Jerusalem, and his father had led most of the war in Judaea, and had won much glory in his earlier years, including a triumphia ornamentalia for his command in Claudius’ invasion of Britain. Domitian had always been eager for a military command, and Suetonius (Domitian 1) tells us that when his father established his government in Rome, Domitian greatly wanted glory so badly that he "…planned a quite unnecessary expedition into Gaul and Germany, from which his father’s friends managed to dissuade him". In actuality, his skills in the arts of war were enviable: he is said to have been able to shoot an arrow between the spread fingers of a hand without fail. His first campaign – which this well-composed issue celebrates – was against the Chatti in 83. Domitian led a perfectly successful campaign in which the Chatti were roundly defeated and the Roman border was extended beyond the Rhine. In honour of this victory Domitian was hailed Germanicus, won a triumph, and even had an arch erected. [NAC] Old collection patina. Bought from A. Weil at the Paris George V coin fair 27 November 1990. The first nice mid bronze I bought!

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