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Gemini, LLC
Auction 13  6 April 2017
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Lot 162

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Estimate: 85 000 USD
Price realized: 85 000 USD

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Titus. 79-81 AD. Sestertius, 27.95g (5h). Rome, 80-81 AD. Obv: Colosseum seen from front and above between obelisk on base (Meta Sudans) and porticoed building of two stories (Baths of Titus), without legend. Rx: [IMP] T CAES V[ESP] AVG P M TR P P P COS VIII S - C Titus seated left holding branch and roll on curule chair set on globe among arms. BM 190, pl. 50.2 (same rev. die). Paris 189, pl. LXXXI (same dies). RIC 184 (R2). Cohen 400 (80 Fr.). From a British collection, acquired in 1978 by Paul Munro Walker, Bournmouth. See N.T. Elkins, The Flavian Colosseum Sestertii, Numismatic Chronicle 166, 2006, p. 216, 6, pl. 31 (our dies). To demonstrate the popular nature of Vepasian's rule, the Colosseum was built on the site of Nero's demolished Golden Palace. The reverse type of Titus seated as master of the world (his curule chair set on globe), bringing peace (olive branch) by means of victory over enemies (captured arms), fits well with the recently discovered dedicatory inscription of the Colosseum, stating that the emperors constructed it "from booty" (ex manubis), doubtless chiefly the booty of the Jewish War.
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