Roman Empire Vespasian Denarius 69 - 79 AD

Obv: Laureated head r. "IMP CAESAR VESPASIANVS AVG"

Rev: "Judaea Capta" issue Jewess in attitude of mourning seated right trophy behind "IVDAEA" in exergue

. Metal: Silver 3.35 grams, 17 mm diameter. Condition: Nice VF

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History of Vespasian

Vespasian was born in 9 AD a simple man from a modest family background. His father was a self made man who amassed a small fortune as a tax collector in Asia and a banker in Helvetian (Switzerland). Vespasian had a predictable career as a military tribune, quaestor, aedile and finally became praetor under Caligula in 40 AD. His family enjoyed the patronage of Claudius' freedman "Narcissus" and Vespasian's career took off. In 43 AD when he commanded Legion II in the invasion of Britain where he became closely associated with the emperor "Claudius". Vespasian was awarded the "ornamenta triumphalia", two priestshoods and was eventually elected consul suffectus in 51 AD. In 62/63 AD he was proconsul of Africa and in 66 AD he traveled to Greece with Nero for the Olympics.

In 66 AD he was expelled by Nero, for falling asleep during one of Nero's singing performances, and sent to Judea in command of three legions to fight the Jewish war and in 67 AD he was made governor of Judea. During the civil wars of 68 - 69 AD, Vespasian was declared emperor by the eastern legions. Vespasian left his eldest son "Titus" in charge of the Judea campaign and Vespasian moved to Egypt to take control of the grain supply. Vetellius was defeated and murdered on 20 December 69 AD. Vespasian left Alexandria for Rome in mid 70 AD

Vespasian estimated that he would need 400 million Aurei to get the Empire back on solid footing and he soon acquired a reputation for greed and stinginess. He shamelessly sold pardons to convicted criminals and government posts. to politicians. Suetonius tells us that these appointees were nicknames "sponges" because Vespasian ". put them in to soak, only to squeeze them dry later". Vespasian restored the fiscal health of the empire.

Vespasian died at a family villa outside Rome on 24 June 79 AD from a fever.