70 A.D. Roman Empire Silver Denarius, Emperor Vespasian

70 A.D. Roman Empire Silver Denarius, Emperor Vespasian (r. 69-79 A.D.). Heavy wear and a strong strike. Well-centered on both sides. Some areas of golden-brown toning. 17mm diameter, 3.3g weight, silver.

In 68 AD, the Julio-Claudian imperial dynasty founded by Emperor Augustus collapsed after the suicide of Emperor Nero. Nero had been forced to flee the capital after the Praetorian Guard threw their support to the usurper Galba (governor of Spain). His suicide shortly thereafter was followed by another period of civil war, with four different men vying for the Empire.

Galba was murdered by the supporters of Otho (a rich noble who paid off the Praetorian Guard to orchestrate a coup), who was defeated by Vitellius (governor of Germany), who was defeated by Vespasian (commander in Judaea).

Vespasian’s decade-long reign was recounted positively by most ancient writers, though it’s possible his generous patronage of writers and academics helped gild his reputation. He is most well-known for suppressing the Jewish revolt, for expanding the Empire’s northern frontier to Scotland, and for hating philosophers.

 






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