About this artwork
Obverse: Head of Vespasian right, laureate
Reverse: Fortuna, standing left on low garlanded altar, holding rudder in right hand and cornucopia in left
In A.D. 68 the chaotic reign of the Roman emperor Nero came to an end with his forced suicide, but what followed was an equally chaotic struggle to succeed him. The support of the army was critical: the year A.D. 69 saw one general after another claim the throne only to be killed by one of his rivals. Finally, the Roman army in Egypt joined the army in Syria to back General Vespasian. Knowing that Egypt was the empire’s breadbasket, Vespasian’s first effort as emperor was to pacify and control this important province. The armor he wears on this coin emphasizes his role as a warrior king.
- On View, Gallery 153
- Arts of the Ancient Mediterranean and Byzantium
- Ancient Roman
- Aureus (Coin) Portraying Emperor Vespasian
- Rome (Minted in)
- 75 CE–79 CE
- Obverse: IMP CAESAR VESPASIANVS AVG "Emperor Caesar Vespasian Augustus" Reverse: FORTVNA AVGVST "Fortuna Augusta"
- Diam.: 2 cm (13/16 in.)
- Gift of Martin A. Ryerson