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Research Coins: Feature Auction


The Seven Hills of Rome

CNG 87, Lot: 986. Estimate $2000.
Sold for $3250. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.

Vespasian. AD 69-79. Æ Sestertius (34mm, 26.27 g, 6h). Rome mint. Struck AD 71. Laureate bust right, wearing aegis / Roma seated right on the seven hills of Rome, propping head on hand and holding parazonium; to left, she-wolf and twins; to right, the River Tiber reclining left, holding reed. RIC II 108; BMCRE 774 (Tarraco mint, same dies); BN 523 (same dies); NAC 54, 361 (same dies). Good Fine, brassy brown and red brown surfaces, green and earthen deposits, porous, harshly cleaned. Extremely rare. All known examples are struck from the same reverse die, indicating a very small output.

This reverse type was struck to celebrate the resurgent Rome. From AD 68-69 civil war took its toll, but Rome was victorious under the capable leadership of Vespasian. While Galba had claimed that Rome was reborn, Vespasian liked to think of Rome as resurgent and victorious. This issue was initially limited to sestertii alone in the first and second emissions.