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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; $10000.00 (8800.00)

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; $165.00 (145.20)

Katane, Sicily, c. 186 - 70 B.C.

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For rescuing their aged parents from an eruption of Mt. Etna, the Romans idolized the Katanean brothers as the embodiment of the Roman virtue pietas.
GI75646. Bronze AE 21, Calciati III p. 98, 10; SNG ANS 1285; SNG Cop 196; SNG Mnchen 454; BMC Sicily p. 52, 72; HGC 2 626 (R2), aVF, weak reverse center, porous, weight 6.881 g, maximum diameter 21.0 mm, die axis 180o, Katane (Catania, Sicily) mint, Roman rule, c. 186 - 70 B.C.; obverse head of Dionysos right, wearing ivy wreath, ΛAΣIO (magistrate) above, monogram (ΩΣI?) behind; reverse KATANΩN, the Katanean brothers, Amphinomos and Anapias, carrying their aged parents, saving them from an eruption of Mt. Etna; ex CNG; very rare; $150.00 (132.00)

Caracalla and Geta, 209 - c. 26 December 211 A.D., Marcianopolis, Moesia Inferior

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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 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 (118.80)

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; $120.00 (105.60)

Faustina Junior, Augusta 146 - Winter 175/176 A.D., Wife of Marcus Aurelius

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"Saeculi Felicit" means happy times, referring to the empire's new heirs. The two infants are the twin sons of Marcus Aurelius and Faustina Junior, Commodus and Antoninus. Antoninus died at age four. Commodus succeeded Marcus Aurelius as emperor.
RS76916. Silver denarius, RIC III 712, RSC II 191, BMCRE IV 139, Hunter II 16, SRCV II 5260, VF, well centered, flan crack, light marks and scratches, small areas of dark toning, weight 3.001 g, maximum diameter 17.4 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 161 A.D.; obverse FAVSTINA AVGVSTA, diademed and draped bust right; reverse SAECVLI FELICIT, two infant boys seated facing on a throne; $120.00 (105.60)

Greek, Terracotta Child's Head, 4th Century B.C.

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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; $100.00 (88.00)

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, Hunterian 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, diademed and draped bust right, hair in ridges and plait 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 (24.64)


Catalog current as of Tuesday, February 09, 2016.
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Family & Children