Roman Province Tyre Vespasian 69 - 79 AD

Obv: Head. Rev: Eagle on alter.  Metal: Silver 15 grams, 24 mm diameter. Condition: good F.

History of Tyre under Vespasian 

Tyre was part of the Roman province of Syria. Tyre and Jerusalem continued to strike the famous "Shekel of Tyre" (30 pieces of silver) well into the Roman occupation period, but when Jerusalem rebelled in 69 AD all coinage autonomy was taken away. Vespasian was the first of a new kind of Roman ruler he came from the middle-class rather than the partrician class and he was an experienced soldier who had visited much of the empire during his military career under Tiberius and Caligula. Vespasian led the conquest of Britain (43 - 47 AD) under the emperor Claudius. For his victory, he was awarded consulship in 51 AD and in 63 AD he was made governor of Africa. He became official "Companion" to the emperor Nero, but he gained Nero's displeasure for falling asleep during one of Nero's performances. Nero sent him to Judea, as governor, in order to put down the revolt. Upon Nero's assassination in 69 AD, Vespasion was declared emperor and with the help of Mucianus the governor of Syria they defeated Vitellius. Meanwhile, in Rome his son Domitian took power, while Vespasian waited out the Judean revolt in Alexandria. With the collapse of the revolt in 70 AD (Masada actually held out to 74 AD), Vespasian and his son Titus returned to Rome and had a Triumph in October 70 AD. Vespasian appointed both his sons (Domitian and Titus) as Caesar and his heirs and told the senate that either his sons succeeded him or no one would. Above all Vespasian loved money, as governor of Africa and during his stay in Alexandria he was hated for his high taxes. In Rome, he found the treasury lacking and declared a need for forty thousand million sesterces and he raised taxes to meet this requirement. He was also noted for selling public office. He instituted new taxes including a tax on urinals. When asked if taxing urinals was not beneath imperial dignity, he picked up a gold coin and asked if it smelled. On the other hand, Vespasian was noted for justice and leniency and never had anyone killed in order to acquire their wealth. He died in 79 AD after visiting a mineral spring for an illness, but he drank too much water and died of diarrhoea. He is noted for starting the Colesseum on the site of Nero's golden house. Tacitus states "He was the only emperor who was changed for the better by his office".