Check out this babe (on the right). She's busty. Her waist is narrow. Note how curvy her legs are. Her gown is diaphanous to the point of invisibility, and the aegis pinches her waist like a corset, giving her an hour-glass figure. Is this Minerva or is this Venus? This goddess is positively voluptuous! This is not the Flavian style we're used to.
Since this particular coin was struck in the first day or two of Domtian's reign, it's tempting to suggest that this is the way the cult statue actually appeared before the Flavian aesthetic kicked in and ruined everything. It is so tempting to turn there for an explanation, except for one thing: Domitian minted M1 reverses as Caesar under Titus, and none of them looked like this.
So who knows. I had more to say, but today I'm second-guessing all of it. All I really know is, it's weird to see Minerva like this.
Next week: A few final thoughts about M1, the Aventine Minerva.