Roman Empire

Vespasian, Emperor AD 69-79

RIC 1; Hendin 1464; BN 20-2; BMC 31-4; Calicó 643). Boldly struck and perfectly centered, Extremely Fine

‘Judaea Capta’ type. Rome, AD 69/70. IMP CAESAR VESPASIANVS AVG, laureate head of Vespasian right. Reverse: IVDAEA in exergue, Jewess seated right, head resting on hand in attitude of mourning; behind, trophy.

Ex New York Sale XXXIX (10 January 2017), 232; Nelson Bunker Hunt Collection (Sotheby’s, 21-22 June 1990), 699

The triumph in the Jewish War was a major feature of Flavian propaganda. It presented Vespasian and Titus both as great war leaders and the plunder derived from it paid for a variety of monuments and public works in Rome—most notably the Colosseum and the Arch of Titus. Types related to the Jewish War are frequent on the coins of Vespasian, some of which were probably distributed as largesse on the occasion of the triumphal procession. The iconic types of the Jewish war series feature the female personification of Judaea seated and weeping below a trophy or palm tree. She is sometimes joined by a bound and defeated Jewish warrior or by Vespasian overseeing her distress. Some or all of these types may be related to statues that later adorned the Colosseum.