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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ |Themes & Provenance| ▸ |Types| ▸ |Family & Children||View Options:  |  |  | 

Family and Children on Ancient Coins

Julia Domna, Augusta, 194 - 8 April 217 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.
RS89455. Silver denarius, RIC IV S534 (S); RSC III 42; BMCRE V p. 27, W46; SRCV II 6580; Hunter III -, VF/F, excellent portrait, toned, flaw on reverse, small edge cracks, weight 2.934 g, maximum diameter 17.6 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, c. 195 - 196 A.D.; obverse IVLIA DOMNA AVG, draped bust right, hair in horizontal ridges, large chignon at back of head; reverse FECVNDITAS (fertility), Fecunditas seated right on throne, holding child in her arms, another child at her feet on right, standing left; very rare; $300.00 (264.00)


Julia Domna, Augusta, 194 - 8 April 217 A.D.

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Julia Domna and her children as Terra and the Four Seasons! "The flatterers of Julia Domna pretended that all things were owing to her. The star-besprinkled globe represents the Roman world, which with her husband Septimius Severus she governed; and to the empire of which she destines her two sons, Caracalla and Geta, who, together with as many daughters, are the proof of her fecundity." -- Rasche, T. ii pl l p 932.
RS85789. Silver denarius, RIC IV S549 (R), RSC III 35, BMCRE V S21, Hunter III S22, SRCV II 6579, F, well centered, slightly rough with light even corrosion, edge cracks, weight 2.369 g, maximum diameter 20.0 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 207 A.D.; obverse IVLIA AVGVSTA, draped bust right, hair in horizontal ridges, bun at back of head; reverse FECVNDITAS (fertility), Terra reclining left under a vine, nude to the waist, right hand set on globe spangled with stars, leaning on left arm on basket of fruits, in background four children representing the four seasons; rare; $180.00 (158.40)


Trajan, 25 January 98 - 8 or 9 August 117 A.D.

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This coin celebrates Alimenta Italiae, a program to aid orphans and other needy children. Pliny, in his panegyric in 100 A.D., testified that infants were diligently looked after and registered, in order to be brought up at the expense of the state. "There were very nearly 5000 free-born children, whom the liberality of our prince sought out and adopted. A reserve in case of war, and an ornament in peaceful times, they are nourished at the public cost; and learn to love their country, not as their country only, but also as their nourishing mother. From the ranks of these will our camps, our tribes, be filled."
RS88842. Silver denarius, Woytek 395b2, BMCRE III 472, Strack I 173, RIC II 243, RSC II 9, BnF IV 664, SRCV II 3117, Choice gF, excellent portrait, well centered, flow lines, some die wear, a few small marks/scratches, two small edge cracks, weight 2.915 g, maximum diameter 20.0 mm, die axis 225o, Rome mint, 113 A.D.; obverse IMP TRAIANO AVG GER DAC P M TR P COS VI P P, laureate bust right, drapery on far shoulder; reverse S P Q R OPTIMO PRINCIPI, Annona standing slightly right, looking left, stalks of grain in right hand held over child at her feet on left, cornucopia in left hand, ALIM ITAL in exergue; ex Numismatik Naumann auction 72, part of lot 1047; $150.00 (132.00)


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

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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.
RB88150. Orichalcum sestertius, Gbl MIR 230d(2), RIC V 47 (S), Cohen V 86, Hunter IV J17, Banti 16, SRCV III 10680, F, squared flan, legend mostly unstruck or off flan, weight 18.499 g, maximum diameter 28.2 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 2nd - 4th emission of Gallienus, 255 - 257 A.D.; obverse CORNELIA SALONINA AVG, draped bust right, wearing stephane, hair in ridges and in plait looped below ear up the back of head; reverse PIETAS AVGG, Pietas seated left, holding scepter; two children (Valerian II and Saloninus?) at her feet left, third child (Egnatius?) below throne, S C (senatus consulto) in exergue; ex Moneta Numismatic Services; $140.00 (123.20)


Claudius, 25 January 41 - 13 October 54 A.D., Roman Egypt, Messalina, Britannicus & Octavia Reverse

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RPC I notes, "Messalina, who is shown as Demeter, holds two small figures. These were traditionally identified as the children of Claudius and Messalina, Britannicus and Octavia, but Dattari (RIN 1900, pp. 383-4) rejected this view, since Britannicus was born in 42 and the coin type is first used in 41; but Vogt (pp. 24-5) returned to the traditional description, arguing that the date of Britannicus' birth was not certain, and that these coins, in fact, show that he was born before August 41."
RX91431. Billon tetradrachm, RPC I 5131; Geissen 75; Dattari-Savio 123; BMC Alexandria p. 10, 71; Milne 84; Curtis 13; Kampmann 12.22; Emmett 74.3, aVF, toned, a few cuts, scratches, corrosion, struck with a damaged obverse die, weight 12.190 g, maximum diameter 25.5 mm, die axis 0o, Alexandria mint, 29 Aug 42 - 28 Aug 43 A.D.; obverse TI KΛAV∆I KAIΣ ΣEBA ΓEPMANI AVTOKP, laureate head right, date LΓ (year 3) before neck; reverse MEΣΣAΛINA KAIΣ ΣABAΣ, Messalina as Ceres standing facing, head left, two small figures in right hand, two stalks of grain in left hand; from the Maxwell |Hunt| Collection, ex Pegasi Coins; $140.00 (123.20)


Nero, 13 October 54 - 9 June 68 A.D., Cyzicus, Mysia, Poppaea or Statilia Messalina Reverse

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RPC I notes, "although certainty is not at the moment possible (because of the small size and relatively poor preservation of the coins), the portrait of Nero seems to be the "steps" portrait, introduced in 63. If so, the bust should be that of Poppaea (or possibly Statilia Messalina)." In 62 A.D., Nero divorced Octavia and married Poppaea. In the summer of 65, Nero and Poppaea quarreled. She was pregnant. In a fit of rage, Nero kicked her in the abdomen, killing her. Statilia Messalina was already Nero's mistress. After Poppaea's death, Nero forced Statilia's husband to commit suicide, so he could marry her. Statilia kept a low profile in public and survived the fall of his reign. After Nero's death, Otho promised to marry her, before his suicide in 69.
RP85905. Bronze AE 16, RPC I 2249 (3 spec.), BMC Mysia -, SNG BnF -, SNG Cop -, SNGvA -, SNG Hunterian -, SNG Tbingen -, Lindgren -, aF, green patina, weight 3.390 g, maximum diameter 15.8 mm, die axis 0o, Cyzicus (Kapu Dagh, Turkey) mint, 63 - 65 A.D.; obverse NEPΩN (counterclockwise on right), bare head of Nero right, ΦY monogram behind; reverse K-Y-Z (K over Z in left field, Z appearing as I, Y in right field), draped bust of empress right; only one specimen on Coin Archives; extremely rare; $125.00 (110.00)


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

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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.
RS91448. Silver denarius, RIC III MA676, RSC II 95, BMCRE IV MA89, MIR 18 10, SRCV II 5251, Choice F, excellent centering, good portrait, old collection toning, light marks, tiny edge cracks, weight 3.219 g, maximum diameter 17.9 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, struck under Marcus Aurelius, 161 - 175 A.D.; obverse FAVSTINA AVGVSTA, draped bust right; reverse FECVND AVGVSTAE, Fecunditas standing facing, head left, cradling an infant in each arm, flanked by two children standing at feet; from the Maxwell |Hunt| Collection; $110.00 (96.80)


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

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Andreas Alfoldi in "The Numbering of The Victories of the Emperor Gallienus and of the Loyalty of His Legions," suggests this type was struck c. 265 - 266 A.D. to commemorate the birth of a third son to Salonina and Gallienus, named Marinianus after his grandmother. Alfoldi also writes that he is convinced that the third son of Gallienus was the Marinianus made consul ordinarius in 268 A.D.
RB89479. Billon antoninianus, Gbl MIR 579aa, RSC IV 39, Hunter IV 15, RIC V-1 S5, SRCV III 10633, Choice aVF, well centered, dark patina with earthen highlighting, centers a little weakly struck, scratches, weight 2.824 g, maximum diameter 22.6 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, c. 264 - 265 A.D.; obverse SALONINA AVG, draped bust right, wearing stephane, hair in ridges and in plait looped below ear up the back of head, thin crescent behind shoulders; reverse FECVNDITAS AVG, Fecunditas (Fertility) standing left, reaching down to child at her feet with right, cornucopia in left hand; ex Numismatik Naumann auction 73, part of lot 970; $80.00 (70.40)


Fausta, Augusta, 8 November 324 - Autumn 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."
RL91457. Billon centenionalis, RIC VII Ticinum p. 387, 203 (R5); LRBC I 488; SRCV IV 16565; Cohen VII 17; Hunter V 7 var. (1st officina), Choice VF, well centered, dark patina with earthen highlighting, weight 2.823 g, maximum diameter 18.6 mm, die axis 0o, 3rd officina, Ticinum (Pavia, Italy) mint, c. 326 A.D.; obverse FLAV MAX FAVSTA AVG, draped bust right with hair waved, bun at back, wearing pearl necklace; reverse SPES REIPVBLICAE, Fausta standing facing, looking left, holding infants Constantine II and Constantius II, T crescent T in exergue; from the Maxwell |Hunt| Collection; rare; $80.00 (70.40)


Fausta, Augusta, 8 November 324 - Autumn 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."
RL88805. Billon centenionalis, RIC VII Heraclea p. 551, 80 (R1); LRBC I 875; SRCV IV 16572; Cohen VII 17, F, some silvering remains, well centered, scratches, earthen deposits, weight 2.375 g, maximum diameter 19.0 mm, die axis 0o, 1st officina, Heraclea (Marmara Ereglisi, Turkey) mint, 325 - 326 A.D.; obverse FLAV MAX FAVSTA AVG, draped bust right, hair waved, bun at back, wearing pearl necklace; reverse SPES REIP-VBLICAE, Fausta standing facing, looking left, holding infants Constantine II and Constantius II, SMHA in exergue; scarce; $16.00 (14.08)







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Family & Children