From Art to Artifact:  Making Sense of Roman Coins

Denarius of Vespasian

Mint One
Distinctive Fetures: Elongated heads and central dot
Location: Lugdunum, possibly
(Modern Lyon, France)

Mint Two
Mint Mark: EPE
Location: Ephesus
(West coast of modern-day Turkey)

Mint Three
Mint Mark: φ
Location: Philippi
(Northern coastal Greece)

Provincial Mints

The Hood Museum’s denarius was struck in Rome in 70CE before the return of the Emperor Vespasian from his conquests in the East.
At least three mints outside Rome produced the facing portrait type, bearing two different legends.

The denarius from Mint One is differentiated from the Roman denarius by a central dot between the two facing heads. The legend repeats the Roman type:
Inscription:
(Left) CAESAR AVG F COS
Caesar, Son of Augustus, Consul
(Right) CAESAR AVG F PR
Caesar, Son of Augustus, Praetor

Mint Two depicts a bearded Titus, with a mint mark EPE positioned between the two facing heads. The legend shifts away from the Roman coin:
Inscription:
LIBERI IMP AUG VESPAS
The Generosity of Imperator Augustus Vespasian

Mint Three combines the central dot with beards on both figures. A mint mark (perhaps a Greek “Phi”) can be seen in the lower left of the field, and the inscription is consistent with Mint Two.