Domitian's Coinage of the Ludi Saeculare (88 CE): John's "Inspiration" for the Apocalypse?

In 88 C.E. Domitian held one of the most significant festivals of his reign: the Ludi Saeculare (the Secular Games). This ten-day festival celebrated the dawning of a new era and was oriented around religious rites and rituals associated with the Sibylline Oracles. While some literary and epigraphic evidence survives regarding this event, the most intriguing material evidence for this festival are the coins. Domitian minted fifteen coin types that are unique in Roman monetary practice. They were minted across all six denominations of coins and occurred in all metals, gold, silver, and bronze. As illustrated by previous scholars, the iconograph of imperial coinage, with its imperial ideology and theology, was challenged by the writer of John in his Apocalypse. This paper contends that John was familiar with the events surrounding the Ludi Saeculare and that some of the images in the Apocalypse mimic and parody the central themes found on the coinage related to the Ludi Saeculare.