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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ Themes & Provenance ▸ Types ▸ Family & ChildrenView Options:  |  |  | 

Family and Children on Ancient Coins

Vitellius, 2 January - 20 December 69 A.D.

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Vitellius' children, portrayed on this denarius, thought to have been named Vitellius Germanicus and Vitellia, were born to his second wife, Galeria Fundana. When Vitellius was made emperor by the senate, his son, who was about six years old, was sent to Lugdunum to meet him upon his arrival from Germany. The boy may have perished with his father, others say he was executed in 70, on orders of the praetorian prefect Licinius Mucianus. Vespasian arranged an excellent marriage for Vitellius' daughter and provided her with a wedding gown and dowry. Vitellius had another son, Petronianus, by his first wife. He died long before Vitellius became emperor. It was widely believed that Vitellius had poisoned him.
SH77008. Silver denarius, RIC I 103, RSC II 2, BMCRE I 29, BnF III 62, Hunter I -, SRCV I -, attractive gVF, fine style portraits, old cabinet toning, tight flan as usual for the type, light marks and scratches, closed flan crack, weight 3.208 g, maximum diameter 19.5 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, late Apr - 20 Dec 69 A.D.; obverse A VITELLIVS GERM IMP AVGVST TR P, laureate head right; reverse LIBERI IMP GERMAN, confronted draped busts of Vitellius' son (on left) and daughter (thought to have been named Vitellius Germanicus and Vitellia); from the Jyrki Muona Collection; very rare; $8000.00 (7120.00)


Theodora, Augusta, 2nd Wife of Constantius I, Grandmother of Caesars and Emperors

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This type is apparently unpublished with the cross in the right field. The cross is normally in the left field. We were unable to find another example of this variant online. It is, perhaps, unique.
RL79444. Billon reduced centenionalis, Unpublished with cross right; RIC VIII Trier 43 (S) var. (cross left), SRCV V 17499 var. (cross left), LRBC I 105, Cohen VII 5, Hunter V -, EF, well centered on a tight flan, some die wear, light marks, porous, weight 1.589 g, maximum diameter 15.0 mm, die axis 0o, 2nd officina, Treveri (Trier, Germany) mint, 337 - 340 A.D.; obverse FL MAX THEODORAE AVG, draped bust right, elaborate hairstyle, pearl necklace; reverse PIETAS ROMANA, Pietas standing facing, head right, holding infant at her breast, TRS in exergue; of greatest rarity; $280.00 (249.20)


Julia Mamaea, Augusta 13 March 222 - February or March 235 A.D.

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Although many coin references 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 usually advertise the fertility of the imperial family.
RB73634. Copper as, RIC IV SA669, BMCRE VI 924, Cohen IV 9, SRCV II 8241, aVF, green patina, light roughness, weight 9.921 g, maximum diameter 25.1 mm, die axis 315o, Rome mint, 15th emission, c. 232 A.D.; obverse IVLIA MAMAEA AVGVSTA, diademed and draped bust right; reverse FECVNDITAS AVGVSTAE, Fecunditas standing left, extending right hand over child standing before her with arms raised, cornucopia in left hand, S - C flanking very low in field; ex CNG e-auction 243 (27 Oct 2010), lot 385; ex J.S. Wagner Collection; $145.00 (129.05)


Fausta, Augusta 324 - 326 A.D., Second Wife of Constantine the Great

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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."
RL76975. Billon centenionalis, RIC VII Trier p. 209, 484; LRBC I 36; SRCV IV 16560; Cohen VII 17, EF, excellent centering, green patina, cleaning scratches, spot of corrosion, weight 2.804 g, maximum diameter 19.5 mm, die axis 180o, 1st officina, Treveri (Trier, Germany) mint, 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, PTR followed by dot over crescent with horns up in exergue; $135.00 (120.15)


Crispina, Wife of Commodus, Augusta 178 - 182 A.D.

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Juno Lucina was the Goddess of Light and of childbirth. In her honour, on 1st of March the Roman matrons celebrated the festival Matronalia and it was customary for their husbands or lovers to present gifts.
RB77892. Copper as, RIC III 680, Cohen III 24, BMCRE IV 433, SRCV II 6018, F, centered, nice dark patina, scratches, weight 10.542 g, maximum diameter 27.0 mm, die axis 0o, Rome mint, 180 - 182 A.D.; obverse CRISPINA AVGVSTA, draped bust right; reverse IVNO LVCINA S C, Juno standing left, patera in right hand, long scepter vertical behind in left hand; from the Butte College Foundation, ex Lindgren, ex Kirk Davis; $120.00 (106.80)


Theodora, Augusta, 2nd Wife of Constantius I, Grandmother of Caesars and Emperors

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Theodora is often referred to as a stepdaugher of Emperor Maximian by ancient sources, leading to claims by historians Otto Seeck and Ernest Stein that she was born from an earlier marriage between Eutropia, wife of Maximian, and Afranius Hannibalianus. This man was consul in 292 and praetorian prefect under Diocletian. Timothy Barnes challenges this view stating that all "stepdaughter sources" derive their information from the partially unreliable work Kaisergeschichte (written in the 4th century), while more reliable sources refer Theodora as Maximian's natural daughter. He concludes that she was born no later than c. 275 to an unnamed earlier wife of Maximian, possibly one of Hannibalianus' daughters.
RL79457. Billon reduced centenionalis, Hunter V 2 (also 1st officina), RIC VIII Trier 91, LRBC I 129, Voetter 4, SRCV V 17502, Cohen VII 4, EF, nice portrait, some luster, reverse slightly off center, area of light corrosion on reverse, weight 1.323 g, maximum diameter 15.4 mm, die axis 180o, 1st officina, Treveri (Trier, Germany) mint, 337 - 340 A.D.; obverse FL MAX THEODORAE AVG, draped bust right, wearing diadem, elaborate hairstyle, pearl necklace; reverse PIETAS ROMANA, Pietas standing facing, head right, holding infant at her breast, TRP followed by branch in exergue; $120.00 (106.80)


Antoninus Pius, August 138 - 7 March 161 A.D.

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In 160 A.D., manufacture of soap containing grease, lime and ashes began in Rome.
RB73710. Orichalcum sestertius, RIC III 1031, BMCRE IV 2088, Hunter II 359, Cohen II 621, SRCV II 4205, F, weight 22.702 g, maximum diameter 32.2 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 159 - 160 A.D.; obverse ANTONINVS AVG PIVS P P TR P XXIIII, laureate head right; reverse PIETATI AVG COS IIII S C, Pietas standing slightly left, head left, globe in extended right hand, child in left arm, flanked both left and right at feet by a small girl child standing left and raising her right hand; $105.00 (93.45)


Theodora, Augusta, 2nd Wife of Constantius I, Grandmother of Caesars and Emperors

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Pietas in traditional Latin usage expressed a complex, highly valued Roman virtue; a man or woman with pietas respected his or her responsibilities to the gods, family, other people and entities (such as the state), and understood his or her place in society with respect to others.
RL79459. Billon reduced centenionalis, SRCV V 17500 ff., Cohen VII 4, EF, superb portrait, excellent reverse detail, tight flan cutting off most of mintmark, porous, weight 1.702 g, maximum diameter 15.1 mm, die axis 0o, Treveri (Trier, Germany) mint, 337 - 340 A.D.; obverse FL MAX THEODORAE AVG, draped bust right, elaborate hairstyle, pearl necklace; reverse PIETAS ROMANA, Pietas standing facing, head right, holding infant at her breast, [...]TR[...] in exergue; $100.00 (89.00)


Fausta, Augusta 324 - 326 A.D., Second Wife of Constantine the Great

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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."
RL74497. Billon centenionalis, RIC VII Nicomedia p. 621, 131 (R4); LRBC I 1102; SRCV IV 16575; Cohen VII 17, VF, excellent centering, dark green patina, marks, light corrosion, weight 2.800 g, maximum diameter 18.5 mm, die axis 0o, 1st officina, Nicomedia (Izmit, Turkey) mint, 325 - 326 A.D.; obverse FLAV MAX FAVSTA AVG, draped bust right hair waived, bun at back, wearing pearl necklace; reverse SPES REIPVBLICAE, Fausta standing facing, looking left, holding infants Constantine II and Constantius II, MNA in exergue; scarce; $95.00 (84.55)


Theodora, Augusta, 2nd Wife of Constantius I, Grandmother of Caesars and Emperors

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Pietas in traditional Latin usage expressed a complex, highly valued Roman virtue; a man or woman with pietas respected his or her responsibilities to the gods, family, other people and entities (such as the state), and understood his or her place in society with respect to others.
RL79458. Billon reduced centenionalis, SRCV V 17501, Cohen VII 4, VF, attractive portrait, dark green patina, reverse struck with a worn die, areas of light corrosion, weight 1.693 g, maximum diameter 15.5 mm, die axis 180o, 1st officina, Treveri (Trier, Germany) mint, 337 - 340 A.D.; obverse FL MAX THEODORAE AVG, draped bust right, elaborate hairstyle, pearl necklace; reverse PIETAS ROMANA, Pietas standing facing, head right, holding infant at her breast, TRP[...] in exergue; $90.00 (80.10)


Theodora, Augusta, 2nd Wife of Constantius I, Grandmother of Caesars and Emperors

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Constantius I divorced his first wife Helena to marry Theodora, the daughter and step-daughter of the emperor Maximianus. Her grandchildren included Delmatius, Hanniballianus, Constantius Gallus, Julian II, Licinius II and Nepotian. Her coins were struck after Constantine's death and after the massacre of most of her descendants. Although the date of her death is unknown, her title Augusta and her coinage were probably posthumous. The reason for her coinage is uncertain, but it may have been directed by Constantine the Great's will.
RL79462. Billon reduced centenionalis, SRCV V 17500 ff., Cohen VII 4, gVF, well centered on a tight flan, some die wear, weight 1.645 g, maximum diameter 14.8 mm, die axis 0o, uncertain (Treveri?) mint, 337 - 340 A.D.; obverse FL MAX THEODORAE AVG, draped bust right, wearing diadem, elaborate hairstyle, and pearl necklace; reverse PIETAS ROMANA, Pietas standing facing, head right, holding infant at her breast, mintmark in exergue (off flan); $80.00 (71.20)


Julia Mamaea, Augusta 13 March 222 - February or March 235 A.D.

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Hera (Juno to the Romans) is the wife and one of three sisters of Zeus in the Olympian pantheon of Greek mythology and religion. Hera's mother is Rhea and her father Cronus. Her chief function was as the goddess of women and marriage. The cow, lion and the peacock were considered sacred to her. Portrayed as majestic and solemn, often enthroned, and crowned with the kalathos. Hera was known for her jealous and vengeful nature against Zeus' lovers and offspring, but also against mortals who crossed her. Paris earned Hera's hatred by choosing Aphrodite as the most beautiful goddess.
RB77900. Orichalcum sestertius, RIC IV SA683, BMCRE VI SA759, Hunter III 38, Cohen IV 33, SRCV II 8230, VF/F, areas of encrustation, weight 20.397 g, maximum diameter 29.2 mm, die axis 0o, Rome mint, c. 231 A.D.; obverse IVLIA MAMAEA AVGVSTA, draped bust right, wearing stephane; reverse IVNO AVGVSTAE, Juno seated left, flower in right hand, swathed infant in crook of left arm, S C in exergue; from the Butte College Foundation, ex Lindgren; $45.00 (40.05)


Salonina, Augusta 254 - c. September 268 A.D.

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The epithet Genetrix identifies Venus as the goddess of motherhood and domesticity. Venus is shown consulting with Cupid, her partner in her better known role as the goddess of love.
RS65800. Silvered antoninianus, Gbl MIR 245b, Cunetio 993 (91 spec.), RIC V S30 corr. (holds helmet or apple), RSC IV 121a (same), SRCV V 10657 (same), Hunter IV - (p. lxxii), gF, white metal, edge cracks, marks, porous, weight 2.973 g, maximum diameter 22.1 mm, die axis 45o, 6th officina, Rome mint, 257 - 258 A.D.; obverse SALONINA AVG, draped bust right, wearing stephane, hair in horizontal ridges and in plait looped below ear up the back of head, thin crescent behind shoulders; reverse VENVS GENETRIX (Mother Venus), Venus standing left, child in extended right hand, long scepter vertical behind in left hand, a second child at feet on left standing right reaching up to her, VI right; $35.00 (31.15)


Salonina, Augusta 254 - c. September 268 A.D.

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Although many coin references 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 usually advertise the fertility of the imperial family.
RS65788. Billon antoninianus, Gbl MIR 935t (Mediolanum), RIC V J26 (Rome), RSC IV 44, Hunter III J8 (Rome), SRCV III 10634 var. (Rome, officina ∆), F, well centered, reverse struck with a very worn die, weight 3.011 g, maximum diameter 22.4 mm, die axis 180o, Mediolanum (Milan) or Rome mint, c. 258 - 260 A.D.; obverse SALONINA AVG, draped bust right, wearing stephane, hair in ridges and in plait looped below ear up the back of head, crescent behind shoulders; reverse FECVNDITAS AVG, Fecunditas standing facing, head right, reaching down with right hand to child at her feet, infant in left hand; $28.00 (24.92)


Salonina, Augusta 254 - c. September 268 A.D.

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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).

RIC assigns this issue to Antioch but MIR gives the issue to a second Eastern mint located at Samosata.
RS65802. Billon antoninianus, Gbl MIR 1706s (Samosata), RSC IV 31a (Antioch), RIC V J63 (Antioch), SRCV III 10630, Hunter IV J33 var. (no star), VF, both sides a little off center on a tight flan, porous, small encrustations, weight 3.778 g, maximum diameter 20.0 mm, die axis 0o, uncertain Syrian mint, 255 - 258 A.D.; obverse CORN SALONINA AVG, draped bust right, wearing stephane, hair in horizontal ridges and in plait looped below ear up the back of head, crescent behind shoulders; reverse CONCORDIA AVGG, Gallienus (on left) and Salonina standing confronted, clasping hands, star above center; $28.00 (24.92)







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Family & Children