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Object Description
Title/Object Name
Ob: T(itus) CAESAR VESPASIANVS | Re: ANNONA AVG(usta) [The Imperial Grain Supply]
1st century
79 - 81 CE
Portfolio / Series Title
The Twelve Caesars, Silver
Diameter, 0.7480 In, 1.9 Cm
Weight, 0.0069 Pounds, 3.126 Grams
Ob: Titus facing right, wearing a laureate crown; legend anti-clockwise, outwardly, from low right. Re: Personification of Annona seated left holding bundle of corn ears on lap in both hands.
Credit Line
Gift of Wilton Jaffee to the University of Colorado Classics Department (2003), Transfer, CU Art Museum, University of Colorado Boulder
Although this denarius features Titus on the obverse, the coin was actually minted during the reign of his father, Vespasian. Thus this coin is an example of an important development of coinage. Vespasian gave a greater number of obverses to his sons than any of his predecessors had given their heirs designate. This increase in references promoted the idea of a dynastic succession. By putting his son Titus on the obverse of his coinage while he was still ruling and by making his son look like a younger version of him, he was promoting his future heir. The reverse of this coin features Annona Augusta, the divine personification of the grain supply. Annona gained popularity in the Roman Empire and represents the emperor’s ability to care for the provision of his people through the grain supply. Because of the violent circumstances of Vespasian’s accession, it is clear why a theme of an emperor being able to care for his people should be selected. Furthermore, the figure of Annona together with the obverse of the future heir of the Empire declares that this care will continue after Vespasian’s reign, when Titus assumes power. Lauren Brooks 2011.
Object ID
RIC II, Part 1, p. 129, no. 972



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