DOMITIA, wife of Domitian.
|Sale: Triton VI, Lot: 853. Estimate $5000.
Closing Date: Monday, 13 January 2003.
Sold For $5750. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.
AR Denarius (3.51 gm). Struck 82-83 AD. DOMITIA AVGVSTA IMP DOMIT, draped bust right / DIVVS CAESAR IMP DOMITIANI F, infant seated left on globe with arms open; seven stars in field. RIC II 213 (Domitian); BMCRE 63 (Domitian); BN 71 (Domitian); RSC 11. EF. Rare. ($5000)
Domitia Longina, daughter of the great general Cn. Domitius Carbulo, who by his eastern campaigns gave Nero his triumphal arch only to be rewarded by execution in 66, married Domitian in 70. She gave him a daughter in 82, and a son in the following year, who evidently died at, or not long after, birth. On this coin, the image of the dead child is that of a young Jupiter in celestial bliss seated on the celestial globe and surrounded by the seven stars (septemtriones), an asterism of the constellation Great Bear (Ursa Maior), today known as the Big Dipper or Plough. According to Greek and Roman tradition, the Great and Little Bears originated as the wet nurses Helike and Cynosure, who protected and raised Jupiter as a youth in Crete, and were rewarded by being placed in heaven among the constellations.