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Home>Catalog>Themes&Provenance>Personifications>Money
Money (Moneta)

Coins about...money! One of our favorite collecting themes. Roman propaganda often recorded largesses (represented by Liberalitas) on coins. She is usually depicted holding what was traditionally described as an abacus, a counting board. The object is also described as a tessera, type of banner, showing a number of painted marks equal to the number of aurei or denarii offered. Curtis Clay suggested it is actually a money shovel, a wooden shovel with shallow round depressions which could extract the exact number of coins needed from a chest. Another popular type is that of Moneta holding scales. One quite interesting coin is the Republic denarius of T.Carisius depicting mint tools: an anvil, tongs, a hammer and a die.


Carausius, Mid 286 - Mid 293 A.D., Overstrike on Denarius, Probably Severus Alexander

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Overstruck over a denarius of Severus Alexander, which suggests that the new coin was worth at least as much of the old one. Otherwise, it would have made more sense to melt the denarius.
RS73221. Silver antoninianus, RIC V 287 (S), Webb Carausius 336, VF, toned, weight 2.664 g, maximum diameter 23.8 mm, die axis 225o, Camulodunum (Colchester, England) mint, obverse IMP CARAVSIVS P F AVG, radiate, draped and cuirassed bust right; reverse MONETA AVG, Moneta standing left, scales in right hand, cornucopia in left, C in exergue (obscured by overstrike effects); undertype bust (Severus Alexander?) visible; ex Forum (2010); scarce; $200.00 SALE PRICE $180.00


Caracalla, 28 January 198 - 8 April 217 A.D.

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Liberality is personified by the image of a woman, holding in one hand a counting board, or square tablet with a handle on which are cut a certain number of holes. These boards were used to quickly count the proper number of coins or other items for distribution to each person. It appears they were held over a container, covered with coins and the excess swept away back into the container. The proper number of coins would fill the holes and then would be dumped out to the recipient. On coins this symbol indicated the prince had given to the people money, grain, or other articles of consumption. In the other hand she holds a cornucopia, to indicate the abundance of wheat contained in the public graineries.
RS73547. Silver denarius, RIC IV 136b; RSC III 124; BMCRE V p. 209, 286; Hunter III 41; cf. SRCV II 6815 (AVG VI), Choice VF, excellent portrait, small flan crack, surfaces a little frosty, weight 3.452 g, maximum diameter 19.4 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 201 - 206 A.D.; obverse ANTONINVS PIVS AVG, laureate and draped bust right; reverse LIBERALITAS AVGG V, Liberalitas standing slightly left, head left, counting board in right, cornucopia in left; $150.00 SALE PRICE $135.00


Hadrian, 11 August 117 - 10 July 138 A.D.

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Liberalitas coin types attest to occasions when the emperor has displayed his generosity towards the people by a distribution to them, in money, provisions, or both. The first mention of Liberalitas was on coins of Hadrian. It was a type frequently repeated by the succeeding emperors. Indeed these instances of imperial generosity are more carefully recorded on coins than they are by history. This coin advertises that Hadrian has made his sixth distribution to the people. Liberality is personified by the image of a woman, holding in one hand a counting board, or square tablet with a handle on which are cut a certain number of holes. These boards were used to quickly count the proper number of coins or other items for distribution to each person. In the other hand she holds a cornucopia to indicate the abundance contained in the public graineries.
RS73151. Silver denarius, RIC II 253, RSC II 938, BMCRE III 663, SRCV II 3506, Hunter II -, VF, attractive style, weight 2.917 g, maximum diameter 18.3 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 137 A.D.; obverse HADRIANVS AVG COS III P P, laureate head right; reverse LIBERALITAS AVG VI, Liberalitas standing slightly left, counting board in right, cornucopia in left; ex Roma Numismatics e-sale 12, lot 1194; $145.00 SALE PRICE $131.00


Septimius Severus, 9 April 193 - 4 February 211 A.D.

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Emesa was famous for its Temple of the Sun, the center of worship for the ancient pagan cult El-Gebal (or Elagabal). El-Gebal, worshipped in the form of a conical black stone, was the Aramaic name for the Syrian Sun God and means God of the Mountain. Julia Domna was born in Emesa in 170 A.D. She was the youngest daughter of high-priest Julius Bassianus, a descendant of the Royal House of Emesa.
RS65354. Silver denarius, RSC III 279a, RIC IV 398, BMCRE V 373, SRCV II 6305 var (LIBERA AVG), gVF, porous, weight 3.554 g, maximum diameter 16.8 mm, die axis 0o, Emesa (Homs, Syria) mint, 194 A.D.; obverse IMP CAE L SEP SEV PERT AVG COS II, laureate head right; reverse LIBER AVG, Liberalitas standing left, polos on head, counting board in right, cornucopia in left; scarce; $125.00 SALE PRICE $113.00


Elagabalus, 16 May 218 - 11 March 222 A.D.

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Liberality is personified by the image of a woman, holding in one hand a counting board, or square tablet with a handle on which are cut a certain number of holes. These boards were used to quickly count the proper number of coins or other items for distribution to each person. It appears they were held over a container, covered with coins and the excess swept away back into the container. The proper number of coins would fill the holes and then would be dumped out to the recipient. On coins this symbol indicated the prince had given to the people money, grain, or other articles of consumption. In the other hand she holds a cornucopia, to indicate the abundance of wheat contained in the public graineries.
RS68507. Silver denarius, RIC IV 100, RSC III 81a, BMCRE V 214, SRCV 7521 var (cornucopia on base), VF+, centered, toned, weight 2.973 g, maximum diameter 19.1 mm, die axis 45o, Rome mint, 219 A.D.; obverse IMP ANTONINVS PIVS AVG, laureate and draped bust right, from behind; reverse LIBERALITAS AVG II, Liberalitas standing left, counting board in right, cornucopia in left; from the Butte College Foundation, ex Lindgren with Antioch Associates tag; $120.00 SALE PRICE $108.00


Septimius Severus, 9 April 193 - 4 February 211 A.D.

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Liberality is personified by the image of a woman, holding in one hand a counting board, or square tablet with a handle on which are cut a certain number of holes. These boards were used to quickly count the proper number of coins or other items for distribution to each person. It appears they were held over a container, covered with coins and the excess swept away back into the container. The proper number of coins would fill the holes and then would be dumped out to the recipient. On coins this symbol indicated the prince had given to the people money, grain, or other articles of consumption. In the other hand she holds a cornucopia, to indicate the abundance of wheat contained in the public graineries.
RS73368. Silver denarius, RIC IV 278a, RSC III 298, BMCRE V 349, SRCV II 6306, VF, superb portrait, excellent centering and strike, flan cracks as expected for this issue, small flaw on reverse at 12:30, weight 2.786 g, maximum diameter 19.8 mm, die axis 0o, Rome mint, c. 209 A.D.; obverse SEVERVS PIVS AVG, laureate head right; reverse LIBERALITAS AVG VI, Liberalitas standing left, counting board in right, cornucopia in left; $90.00 SALE PRICE $81.00


Commodus, March or April 177 - 31 December 192 A.D.

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This type has the earliest depiction of the Three Monetae on coinage.
RB63622. Orichalcum sestertius, RIC III 500, Fair, weight 19.208 g, maximum diameter 30.1 mm, die axis 0o, Rome mint, 187 A.D.; obverse M COMMODVS ANT P FELIX AVG BRIT, laureate head right; reverse P M TR P XII IMP VIII COS V P P/ MON AVG/ S C, Three Monetae standing left, each holding scale in right and cornucopia in left; $80.00 SALE PRICE $72.00


Septimius Severus, 9 April 193 - 4 February 211 A.D.

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Three Monetae are depicted, one for each metal: gold, silver and copper.
RB65851. Orichalcum sestertius, RIC IV 670, SRCV II 6404, Fine/Fair, flan crack, weight 19.409 g, maximum diameter 30.4 mm, die axis 0o, Rome mint, 194 A.D.; obverse L SEPT SEV PERT AVG IMP III, laureate head right; reverse MONET AVG COS II P P S C, three Monetae standing facing, each with head left, scales in right hand, cornucopia in left; big 30mm brass; scarce; $50.00 SALE PRICE $45.00


Trajan Decius, July 249 - First Half of June 251 A.D.

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A scarce denomination for the period.
RB90373. Bronze as, RIC IV 120a, Cohen V 71, aF, rough, corrosion, weight 7.785 g, maximum diameter 24.4 mm, die axis 0o, Rome mint, obverse IMP C M Q TRAIANVS DECIVS AVG, laureate and cuirassed bust right; reverse LIBERALITAS AVG, Liberalitas standing left, counting board in right, cornucopia in left, S - C flanking across field; scarce; $50.00 SALE PRICE $45.00



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Catalog current as of Friday, May 29, 2015.
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