EGYPT. Alexandria. Domitius Domitianus, usurper, 297-298. Tetradrachm (Bronze, 18 mm, 7.90 g, 12 h), RY 2 = 297/8. ΔOMΙTIANOC CЄB Laureate head of Domitius Domitianus to right. Rev. L - B Nike advancing left, holding wreath in her right hand and palm frond in her left. Dattari (Savio) 6181. Emmett 4245.2. K&G 126.5. Very rare. An unusually attractive example with a splendid portrait. About extremely fine.
From the Rhakotis Collection, formed in the 1960s and 1970s (with collector’s ticket).
Historical evidence regarding the Egyptian revolt of 297 (or 296?) is scanty. Literary sources style Aurelius Achilleus as the leader of the uprising, but sparse surviving papyri and the numismatic record show that the dominant figure was, in fact, the otherwise unknown L. Domitius Domitianus. The revolt arose in the ancient city of Thebes, but the rebels quickly gained control over Lower Egypt and Alexandria, where Domitius struck a rare series of imperial aurei and folles and a small number of Alexandrinian okto- and tetradrachms. Whether he was still alive when Diocletian crushed the revolt in early 298 is a matter of debate, as some historians have tried to dissolve the contradicting sources by suggesting that Domitius died in late 297 and was succeeded by Aurelius Achilleus, whose name would then be remembered in historiography as the usurper whom Diocletian killed after breaching the walls of Alexandria.