Colosseum on Sestertius's coins

2021-05-12 Wed

The above coin is an extremely rare Sestertius from the reign of Roman Emperor Titus with one of the earliest depictions of the Colosseum.

The Colosseum or Coliseum is an oval amphitheater in the center of the city of Rome, Italy. Built of travertine, tuff, and brick-faced concrete, it is the largest amphitheater ever built. Construction began under the emperor Vespasian in AD 72 and was completed in AD 80 under his successor and heir, Titus.

The Colosseum could hold between 50,000 and 80,000 spectators, having an average audience of some 65,000 and was used for gladiatorial contests and public spectacles such as mock sea battles, animal hunts, executions, re-enactments of famous battles, and dramas based on Classical mythology. This world-renowned architecture was depicted on a Bronze Sestertius issued by Titus in 80 AD celebrating the inauguration of the Colosseum.

The coin depicts the aerial perspective of the Colosseum along with porticus of the Baths of Titus to left, Meta Sudan to right on the Obverse Side. On the other hand, the reverse of the coin depicts Titus seated facing left on a chair, with the left arm across the lap and holding branch in the outstretched right hand.

Image Courtesy: https://www.dnw.co.uk