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Research Coins: Feature Auction

 
11100676

DE IVDAEIS

CNG 111, Lot: 676. Estimate $7500.
Sold for $12000. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.

Vespasian. AD 69-79. AV Aureus (18mm, 7.09 g, 7h). “Judaea Capta” commemorative. Lugdunum (Lyon) mint. Struck AD 72-73. IMP CAES VESPAS AVG P M TR P IIII P P COS IIII, laureate head right / DE IVDAEIS, trophy, consisting of a crested helmet with cheek-pieces, cuirass, spear, and one rectangular shield on arm left, spear and round shield on one rectangular shield on arm right, spear, greaves, round, and rectangular shields on ground. RIC II 1179; Hendin 1476 (same dies as illustration); Lyon 55/1a (D134/R139); Calicó 627a; BMCRE 402; BN 305-6 (same dies); Biaggi 316; Jameson –; Mazzini –. Good Fine. Rare.


The coinage series celebrating the Flavian dynasty’s success in the Jewish War circa AD 66-73 was the broadest and most diverse issue of coins celebrating a Roman victory issued up to that time, comprising coins of every metal, denomination, and mint. They formed an important part of the overall propaganda campaign establishing the legitimacy of the regime, which had itself come to power as the result of a destructive civil war. The Gallic mint of Lugdunum, modern Lyon, produced this aureus with the inscription DE IVDAEIS (the DE abbreviating DEVICTA – “Judaea conquered”), from mid AD 72 to 73. During this period the last stronghold of the Judaean rebels, the mountaintop citadel of Masada, was placed under siege by the Roman governor of Judaea, L. Flavius Silva, leading Legio X Fretensis. After a titanic effort in constructing an immense siege ramp (with most of the labor provided by captive Jews), the Romans broke into the fortress on April 16, AD 73 only to find the defenders had committed mass suicide. Nevertheless, the Romans erected a trophy composed of enemy arms and armor, as on the reverse of this aureus, to commemorate their last victory of the long, bloody conflict.