Access

You are not currently logged in.

Access your personal account or get JSTOR access through your library or other institution:

login

Log in to your personal account or through your institution.

If You Use a Screen Reader

This content is available through Read Online (Free) program, which relies on page scans. Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.

Visualizing Ceremony: The Design and Audience of the Ludi Saeculares Coinage of Domitian

Melanie Grunow Sobocinski
American Journal of Archaeology
Vol. 110, No. 4 (Oct., 2006), pp. 581-602
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/40025059
Page Count: 22
  • Read Online (Free)
  • Download ($12.00)
  • Subscribe ($19.50)
  • Cite this Item
Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
Visualizing Ceremony: The Design and Audience of the Ludi Saeculares Coinage of Domitian
Preview not available

Abstract

Domitian's Ludi Saeculares coinage (88 C.E.) violates the usual patterns of Roman mint production: one festival dominates all six denominations of gold, silver, and bronze. Consistency in legends and in reverse types across the issue suggests that unusual care was taken in designing these coins. One composition is even repeated in both silver and bronze. Ten events during the Ludi Saeculares, nine of them religious rituals prescribed by the Sibylline oracle, are depicted on the bronze coinage. Variations among specimens within each type, however, indicate that some details, such as the pedimental iconography of temples, were created by individual die carvers and must not have been specified in the original design. Using the textual evidence for other imperial celebrations of the Ludi Saeculares, previous scholars have focused on matching each coin type with a known event and each architectural background with a specific location in Rome. This article reveals the problems with such an approach and uses instead a variety of historical, iconographic, and numismatic methodologies to explore questions of design, audience, context, and interpretation. I conclude that, for a limited audience, these coins attempted to send a coherent message emphasizing the solemnity and ritual completeness of Domitian's Ludi Saeculares and linking his celebration to Augustus' Ludi Saeculares of 17 B.C.E. But, because Domitian's experiment in using the coinage for detailed communication was not subsequently imitated, this set of coins is unique.

Page Thumbnails

  • Thumbnail: Page 
581
    581
  • Thumbnail: Page 
582
    582
  • Thumbnail: Page 
583
    583
  • Thumbnail: Page 
584
    584
  • Thumbnail: Page 
585
    585
  • Thumbnail: Page 
586
    586
  • Thumbnail: Page 
587
    587
  • Thumbnail: Page 
588
    588
  • Thumbnail: Page 
589
    589
  • Thumbnail: Page 
590
    590
  • Thumbnail: Page 
591
    591
  • Thumbnail: Page 
592
    592
  • Thumbnail: Page 
593
    593
  • Thumbnail: Page 
594
    594
  • Thumbnail: Page 
595
    595
  • Thumbnail: Page 
596
    596
  • Thumbnail: Page 
597
    597
  • Thumbnail: Page 
598
    598
  • Thumbnail: Page 
599
    599
  • Thumbnail: Page 
600
    600
  • Thumbnail: Page 
601
    601
  • Thumbnail: Page 
602
    602