Last Updated on October 2, 2023 Posted by Colonial Acres Coins
Learning about ancient leaders and events is all the more exciting when you can have a personal connection to the information. Coin collecting makes ancient history come alive, allowing you to experience in person a tangible piece of the great economies, arts and communities that once existed. A Vespasian Roman coin from the first century is a great way to get into the coins of the distant past. These ancient Roman coins are almost 2,000 years old but still have plenty to offer modern coin collectors. Find out more about these ancient coins you can purchase at Colonial Acres in this article.
Who Was Vespasian?
Vespasian was Emperor of Rome from 69 to 79 AD. The exact date of his succession to power is debated. Vespasian himself claims that he became Emperor on July 1, 69, when the legion proclaimed him as their leader. However, the Roman Senate did not proclaim him emperor until December 21.
Emperor Vespasian is remembered for preventing the dissolution of the Roman Empire, which had been in chaos from previous rulers. One of his first duties as emperor was to stabilize the military, a fitting task given that he was well known for his military success in Jerusalem and Judea. The ancient Roman coins minted during his reign were circulated across empires that we can only read about today.
What Is Vespasian’s Legacy?
Vespasian spent money on restoring and beautifying Rome. Construction of the Colosseum began under his watch. He was generous to both impoverished communities and Senators, but his generosity was underscored by a desire to fill Rome’s treasury. He is known for debasing the denarius, the standard silver coin of the Romans, by reducing the purity of the silver by about 3%.
Beyond currency, one of Vespasian’s biggest and strangest legacies is that in several Romance languages, the urinal is named after him. Urine was an expensive commodity in ancient times, used for softening hides and for bleaching fabrics, so the emperor placed a tax on urine collection as a way to make money. Modern public urinals in many countries take his name: France (vespasiennes), Italy (vespasiani), and Romania (vespasiene).
What Is the Vespasian Silver Denarius?
In the Book of Matthew from the Bible, a denarius is referred to as a day’s wage for a common labourer. Experts believe that would be about $50 in today’s money.
There were several designs of Vespasian silver denarius. The Vespasian silver denarius from 74 AD often features a profile of Emperor Vespasian that captures his authoritative presence, with detailed facial features and a laurel wreath symbolizing victory.
On the reverse, you might find Pax, the goddess of peace, seated with her trademark olive branch and a sceptre of authority.
Flip over a 75 AD denarius and you might reveal a powerful depiction of a winged Victory figure, standing triumphantly with a wreath in one hand and a palm branch in the other, representing success and glory.
These ancient Roman coins were intricately designed, showcasing the prowess of the artists of this era. The minters were very skilled as well, using a hinged die to press a design into each side of the coin. Each denarius coin sold now displays the talents of those ancient peoples.
Appreciating Ancient Roman Coins Value
Ancient Roman and Greek coins are considered the ancestors of modern coinage. Holding an ancient Roman coin puts history in your hands, but you don’t have to be a history buff to appreciate the value of such a piece. It’s simply amazing to touch something that was also changing hands with people from two millennia ago.
Collecting coins from different eras of the Roman Empire can not only showcase the evolution of money but make tangible ancient history, the era of the Bible, and relics of the past. Find a selection of ancient Roman coins for sale at Colonial Acres Coins to collect an artifact that connects you to the past, and share or develop your love of history and coins with your family and friends.