Family and Children on Ancient Coins
Claudius, 25 January 41 - 13 October 54 A.D., Cyzicus, Mysia; Britannicus, Octavia and Antonia
Britannicus was the son of Claudius and Messalina, and the presumptive heir. Octavia was his older sister. Antonia was a daughter of Claudius, by an earlier wife.SH67894. Bronze AE 12, RPC I 2248, BMC Mysia -, SNG Cop -, SNGvA -, SNG Hunterian -, F, weight 1.770 g, maximum diameter 12.4 mm, die axis 0o, Kyzicus mint, 25 Jan 41 - 42 A.D.; obverse NEΩΣ ΓEPMANIKOΣ K Y, bare head of Britannicus right; reverse AN OKTA, confronted, draped busts of Antonia and Octavia; very rare; $360.00 (313.20)
Otacilia Severa, Augusta February or March 244 - September or October 249 A.D.
In Roman religion, Concordia was the goddess of agreement, understanding, and marital harmony. The cult of Concordia Augusta ("Majestic Harmony") was of special importance to the imperial household. She is usually depicted wearing a long cloak and holding a patera (sacrificial bowl), a cornucopia (symbol of prosperity), or a caduceus (symbol of peace).RB68880. Orichalcum sestertius, RIC IV 203a, Cohen 10, SRCV III 9164, Nice gVF, centered, superb as-found green patina, weight 20.216 g, maximum diameter 30.8 mm, die axis 0o, Rome mint, 244 - 249 A.D.; obverse MARCIA OTACIL SEVERA AVG, diademed draped bust right; reverse CONCORDIA AVGG, Concordia seated left, patera in right, double cornucopia in left, S C in exergue; from the Jyrki Muona Collection; $225.00 (195.75)
Plautilla, Augusta 202 - 22 January 205 A.D., Wife of Caracalla
Although this coin suggests Caracalla and Plautilla desired an heir, it would have been difficult because their mutual hatred was so strong they even refused to dine together. Their marriage was likely never consummated. After the fall and execution of her father, Caracalla's Praetorian Prefect, she was exiled to the Lipari islands and executed in 212 A.D.RS68921. Silver denarius, RIC IV 367, RSC III 16, BMCRE V 422, SRCV II 7072, VF, excellent centering, weight 2.582 g, maximum diameter 19.5 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, c. 203 A.D.; obverse PLAVTILLA AVGVSTA, draped bust right; reverse PIETAS AVGG, Pietas standing facing, head right, long scepter in right, child in left; scarce; $200.00 (174.00)
Hadrian, 11 August 117 - 10 July 138 A.D.
This type of reverse usually indicates the birth of a prince, and we would normally assume the boy and girl on the reverse represent children of the emperor. Hadrian and Sabina, however, had no children.
RB72513. Orichalcum sestertius, RIC II 970b, Hunter II 447, BMCRE III 1370, Cohen II 817 (Hilaritas half nude, probably in error), SRCV II 3602 var (drapery), aF, nice green patina, weight 22.368 g, maximum diameter 32.5 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 128 A.D.; obverse HADRIANVS AVGVSTVS P P, laureate head right, long neck; reverse HILARITAS P R (Joy of the Roman People), Hilaritas standing half left, palm frond in right, cornucopia in left, at her feet on left a small nude boy standing right also holding the palm frond, at feet on right a dressed small girl standing left and reaching up touching Hilaritas' drapery, S - C flanking across field, COS III in exergue; ex Morton & Eden auction 59 (13 - 14 Nov 2012), part of lot 957; ex Kenneth Edwin Day Collection; $160.00 (139.20)
Fausta, Augusta 324 - 326 A.D., Second Wife of Constantine the Great
Fausta is depicted as Spes, the Roman personification of hope. She holds her infant children, Constantine II and Constantius II, her hopeful promise for the future of the "Republic."RL70607. Bronze AE 3, RIC Heraclea VII 80, aEF, green patina, well centered, slight porosity, weight 3.379 g, maximum diameter 19.1 mm, die axis 315o, Heraclea (Marmara Ereglisi, Turkey) mint, 325 - 326 A.D.; obverse FLAV MAX FAVSTA AVG, draped bust right, hair waived, bun at back, wearing pearl necklace; reverse SPES REIP-VBLICAE, Fausta standing facing, looking left, holding infants Constantine II and Constantius II, SMH∆ in ex; rare; $150.00 (130.50)
Julia Domna, Augusta 194 - 8 April 217 A.D.
The epithet Genetrix identifies Venus as the goddess of motherhood and domesticity, an appropriate reverse type for Julia Domna during her son's reign. Venus is shown consulting with Cupid, her partner in her better known role as the goddess of love.RS73188. Silver antoninianus, RIC IV C389a (S); RSC III 206; BMCRE V p. 434, C27; SRCV II 7099; Hunter III -, VF, weight 4.135 g, maximum diameter 22.3 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, c. 217 A.D.; obverse IVLIA PIA FELIX AVG, diademed draped bust right on crescent; reverse VENVS GENETRIX, Venus seated left, apple in right, long scepter vertical behind in left, Cupid at feet with his hand on her knee; scarce; $150.00 (130.50)
Caracalla and Geta, 209 - c. 26 December 211 A.D., Marcianopolis, Moesia Inferior
The brothers, Caracalla and Geta, pledged to their dying father, Septimius Severus, they would rule together. But each had a rival faction and vied for supremacy. Pretending reconciliation, Caracalla scheduled a meeting at their mother's house where instead Geta was murdered, dying in his mother's arms.RP72141. Bronze pentassarion, H-J Marcianopolis 18.104.22.168 corr. (same dies, H-J assumes full ethnic off flan, R4), Varbanov I 1086 var (full ethnic, R3); AMNG I/I 652 var (same), nice F, weight 10.733 g, maximum diameter 26.2 mm, die axis 180o, Markianopolis (Devnya, Bulgaria) mint, consular legate Flavius Ulpianus, 210 - 211 A.D.; obverse AY K M AY ANTΩNINOC AY K CEΠ, ΓETAC (ending below busts), laureate and draped confronted busts of Caracalla and Geta; reverse Y ΦΛ OYΛΠIANOY MAPKIANOΠOΛIT, Tyche standing left, rudder in right hand, cornucopia in left, E (mark of value) in field left; ex Henrik Angdal collection; $135.00 (117.45)
Julia Domna, Augusta 194 - 8 April 217 A.D.
Isis was the goddess of motherhood and fertility in Ancient Egyptian religious beliefs, whose worship spread throughout the Greco-Roman world. In later myths about Isis, she had a brother, Osiris, who became her husband, and she then was said to have conceived Horus.RS69956. Silver denarius, RSC III 174, RIC IV 577, SRCV II 6606, VF, weight 3.223 g, maximum diameter 18.4 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 196 - 211 A.D.; obverse IVLIA AVGVSTA, draped bust right; reverse SAECVLI FELICITAS, Isis nursing the infant Horus, right foot on prow, anchor rests against altar behind; uncommon reverse type; $110.00 (95.70)
Greek, Terracotta Child's Head, 4th Century B.C.
From the collection of Alex G. Malloy, former dealer in antiquities for 40 years. AT34468. 4 cm (1 1/2") high, grey terracotta, hair back, fragment with left side missing, charming style, Superb face, unmounted; $90.00 (78.30)
Greek, Terracotta Child's Head, 4th Century B.C.
From the collection of Alex G. Malloy, former dealer in antiquities for 40 years. AT34465. 2.8 cm (1") high, brown-beige terracotta, fine details, Choice, unmounted; $80.00 (69.60)
Gordian III and Tranquillina, May 241 - 25 February 244 A.D., Marcianopolis, Moesia Inferior
Nemesis, the winged balancer of life, is the goddess of revenge, the avenger of crimes and punisher of wicked doers. She distributes fortune, good or bad, in due proportion to each according to what is deserved. The wheel of fate rests against her side and she holds scales to measure each man's just deserts. The cornucopia seems to indicate that Nemesis favors Marcianopolis and brings prosperity.
RP71792. Bronze pentassarion, H-J Marcianopolis 22.214.171.124 (same dies, R5), Varbanov I 2051 (R3), AMNG I/I 1185, Moushmov 834, F, well centered, flan crack, weight 13.129 g, maximum diameter 28.1 mm, die axis 45o, Markianopolis (Devnya, Bulgaria) mint, cos. legate Tertullianus, May 241 - 25 Feb 244; obverse AYT K M ANT ΓOP∆IANOC AYΓ CEB, TPANKIΛ/ΛEINA (ending in two lines below the busts), laureate, draped and cuirassed bust of Gordian right confronting diademed and draped bust of Tranquillina left; reverse YΠ TEPTYΛΛIANOY MAPKIANOΠOΛI,T/Ω/N (final three letters in right field), Homonoia standing left, holding patera in right, cornucopia in left, E (mark of value) in left field; $46.00 (40.02) ON RESERVE
Julia Mamaea, Augusta 13 March 222 - February or March 235 A.D.
RS50678. Silver denarius, RIC IV 341, RSC III 32, gF, frosted surfaces, weight 2.244 g, maximum diameter 19.8 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, obverse IVLIA MAMAEA AVG, draped bust right; reverse IVNO AVGVSTAE, Juno seated left, flower in right, swaddled infant in left; $40.00 (34.80)
Faustina Junior, Augusta 146 - Winter 175/176 A.D., Wife of Marcus Aurelius
Although many coin reference books classify Fecunditas as a personification of fertility rather than as an actual deity, Fecunditas was recognized as a Roman divinity by Nero, who erected a statue to her. Tacitus notes that upon the birth of Claudia Neronis, the senate decreed the construction of a temple of Fertility to be built at Antium. Fecunditas is always portrayed as a female figure holding a child, or children and often a scepter, cornucopia, palm branch or caduceus. Sometimes the children are depicted standing at her feet. Coins portraying her ususally advertise the fertility of the imperial family.RS72893. Silver denarius, RIC III 677, RSC II 99, BMCRE IV 91, aF, weight 2.472 g, maximum diameter 18.1 mm, die axis 315o, Rome mint, 161 - 175 A.D.; obverse FAVSTINA AVGVSTA, draped bust right; reverse FECVNDITAS, Fecunditas standing right, long scepter vertical in right, infant in left; $30.00 (26.10)
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