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Research Coins: Feature Auction

Sale: CNG 73, Lot: 876. Estimate $2000. 
Closing Date: Wednesday, 13 September 2006. 
Sold For $2000. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.

Domitian. AD 81-96. Æ As (13.17 g, 6h). Rome mint. Struck AD 88. Laureate head right / Domitian standing left, holding patera, sacrificing over altar; harpist and flute-player on left, standing right; temple in background. RIC II 385a. EF, green patina, a little light smoothing. Rare and historically significant.

The principal types celebrating the Ludi Saeculares (Secular Games) of 88 AD 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 88 AD 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 204 AD were apparently calculated from the actual date of the celebration of the Augustan festival.