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Research Coins: Feature Auction

CNG 88, Lot: 1079. Estimate $300.
Sold for $700. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.

EGYPT, Alexandria. Domitian. AD 81-96. Æ Drachm (34mm, 18.26 g, 12h). Dated RY 14 (AD 94/5). Laureate head right / Triumphal arch with three bays between columns supporting spear-bearing figures, relief decoration above bays, pediment ornamented with two Nikes holding globe, attic surmounted by statuary group of Domitian driving quadriga of six horses between trophies; L I[Δ] (date) across field. Köln 410; Dattari (Savio) 542-3; K&G 22.224 (this coin illustrated); RPC 2708. Fine/VF. Rare.

From Group CEM. Ex Walter Niggeler Collection (Part 2, Bank Leu/Münzen und Medaillen, 21 October 1966), lot 696.

While often assumed to depict a local Egyptian monument, Fred Kleiner (“An arch of Domitian in Rome on coins of Alexandria,” NC 1989, pp. 69-81) has convincingly argued that the arch was erected elsewhere, almost certainly in the capital, to commemorate Domitian’s victories in Germany. Indeed, Suetonius (Dom. 13.2) records that the emperor erected so many arci – Latin for arches – in Rome that a Greek punster wrote on one of them ἀρκεῖ (enough).