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The Ludi Saeculares of AD 88

446707. Sold For $4500

Domitian. AD 81-96. AR Denarius (18mm, 3.44 g, 6h). Secular Games issue. Rome mint. Struck 14 September-31 December AD 88. IMP CΛES DOMIT ΛVGGERM P M TR P VIII, laureate head right / COS XIIII across field, column inscribed LVD/ SΛEC/ FEC in three lines; all within laurel wreath. RIC II 604; RSC 70; BMCRE 138. Superb EF, toned, traces of deposits.


From the Gasvoda Collection. Ex Numismatica Ars Classica 29 (11 May 2005), lot 524; Triton I (2 December 1997), lot 1400.

The principal types celebrating the Ludi Saeculares (Secular Games) of AD 88 appeared on the aes denominations of Domitian's coinage. When Augustus decided to stage his Secular Games, the length of the saeculum was fixed at 110 years. Domitian's celebration of his Ludi Saeculares in AD 88 rather than 93 would seem to suggest that Augustus' games of 17 BC had been postponed from an originally intended date of 22 BC. However, Severus' games of AD 204 were apparently calculated from the actual date of the celebration of the Augustan festival.