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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ Themes & Provenance ▸ Gods, Olympians ▸ Ares or MarsView Options:  |  |  |   

Ares or Mars

God of war and bloodshed. Symbols include the boar and the spear. Son of Zeus and Hera.


Romano-British Empire, Carausius, Mid 286 - Spring or Early Summer 293 A.D.

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In 288 or 289, Maximian prepared an invasion of Britain to oust Carausius, but it failed. A panegyric delivered to Constantius Chlorus attributes this failure to bad weather, but notes that Carausius claimed a military victory. Eutropius says that hostilities were in vain thanks to Carausius' military skill, and peace was agreed. Carausius began to entertain visions of official recognition. He minted his coins acknowledging and honoring Maximian and Diocletian.
RA73267. Billon antoninianus, RIC V-2 1038 (S), Webb Carausius 1174, Carausian Hoard 77, Hunter IV -, SRCV IV -, Burton Latimer -, Bicester Hoard -, F, green patina, obverse off center, slightly irregular ragged flan, weak centers, earthen deposits, weight 3.160 g, maximum diameter 23.0 mm, die axis 270o, unmarked mint, c. mid 286 - 287; obverse IMP CARAVSIVS P F AVG, radiate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, early reign moustache portrait; reverse VIRTVS AVG (the valor of the Emperor), Mars standing right, nude but for cloak over shoulders, spear vertical in right hand, resting left hand on grounded shield, no mint marks; from the Charles Peters Carausius Collection; scarce; $150.00 (127.50)


Severus Alexander, 13 March 222 - March 235 A.D.

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"Mars the Pacifier" may be seen as ironic today, but the Romans knew that victory in war (hopefully including the total destruction of your enemy) is an effective way to achieve peace.
RS87264. Silver denarius, RIC IV 23, RSC III 231, SRCV II 7895, VF, well centered, edge cracks, weight 2.792 g, maximum diameter 20.4 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 223 A.D.; obverse IMP C M AVR SEV ALEXAND AVG, laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, from behind; reverse P M TR P II COS P P (high priest, holder of Tribunitian power for two years, consul, father of the country), Mars the Pacifier standing left, olive branch in extended right hand, reversed spear in left hand; $120.00 (102.00)


Philip I the Arab, February 244 - End of September 249 A.D.

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In 248, Trajan Decius put down the revolts of Pacatianus in Moesia and Iotapianus in Syria. In 249, after his legionaries proclaimed him emperor, Trajan Decius marched to Verona, where his forces defeated and killed Philip the Arab.
RS86809. Silver antoninianus, RIC IV 7, RSC IV 145, Hunter III 40, SRCV III 8949, EF, excellent portrait, well centered and struck, toned, reverse die wear and minor damage, edge slightly ragged, weight 4.279 g, maximum diameter 23.4 mm, die axis 30o, 1st officina, Rome mint, 248 A.D.; obverse IMP PHILIPPVS AVG, radiate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, from behind; reverse P M TR P V COS III P P, Marti Pacifero (Mars the Pacifier) standing left, wearing helmet and military garb, raising olive branch in right hand, supporting grounded shield with left hand, grounded inverted spear leaning on left arm, A (1st officina) left; ex Beast Coins; $115.00 (97.75)


Tacitus, 25 September 275 - June 276 A.D.

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Mars holds both the implements of war and the olive branch of peace. "Peace through strength" is an ancient phrase and concept implying that strength of arms is a necessary component of peace. The phrase has famously been used by many leaders from Roman Emperor Hadrian in the first century A.D., to Ronald Reagan in the 1980s.
RA84987. Billon antoninianus, MER-RIC 3408 (96 spec.), RIC V-1 145, BnF XII 1681, La Venra 1565 - 1604, Gloucester 727, Maravielle 785, Hamburger Kunsthalle 1573, Choice VF, silvering, well centered, some light corrosion, weight 4.335 g, maximum diameter 22.3 mm, die axis 180o, 2nd officina, Ticinum (Pavia, Italy) mint, issue 2, early ? June 276; obverse IMP C M CL TACITVS AVG, radiate, draped, and cuirassed bust right; reverse MARTI PACIF (to Mars the peacemaker), Mars advancing left, wearing crested helmet and military dress, olive branch raised in right hand, transverse spear and oval shield in left hand, S in exergue; $110.00 (93.50)


Licinius I, 11 November 308 - 18 September 324 A.D.

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On 8 October 314, at the Battle of Cibalae, Constantine defeated Licinius near Colonia Aurelia Cibalae (modern Vinkovci, Croatia). Licinius was forced to flee to Sirmium and lost all of the Balkans except for Thrace. The two Augusti initiated peace negotiations, but they failed and they would not make peace until 1 March 317.
RL76327. Billon follis, Unlisted bust variety of a very rare type; RIC VII Ticinum 4 (R4) var. (head), SRCV IV 15258 var. (same), Cohen VII 139, Hunter V -, VF, well centered, light contact marks and corrosion, weight 3.147 g, maximum diameter 21.5 mm, die axis 180o, 1st officina, Ticinum (Pavia, Italy) mint, 313 A.D.; obverse IMP LICINIVS P F AVG, laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, from front; reverse MARTI CONSERVATORI (Mars the Protector), Mars standing right, helmeted, in military dress, reversed spear in right hand, left hand resting on grounded shield, PT in exergue; $105.00 (89.25)


Romano-British Empire, Carausius, Mid 286 - Spring or Early Summer 293 A.D.

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Mars, the god of war, and Virtus, the personification of courage and valor, are sometimes confused in coin descriptions. Mars is male and usually nude. Virtus is female and is never nude.
RA73247. Billon antoninianus, apparently unpublished; RIC V-2 1034 var. (legends), Webb Carausius 1180 var. (obv. legend), Burton Latimer -, Carausian Hoard -, Bicester -, F, nice green patina, slight bend in coin, corrosion, weight 4.222 g, maximum diameter 24.3 mm, die axis 0o, uncertain British mint, c. 290 - summer 293 A.D.; obverse IMP CARAVSIVS P F AVG, radiate, draped, and cuirassed bust right; reverse VIRTVS AVG (the valor of the Emperor), Mars walking right, helmeted, nude but for cloak on his shoulders and flying behind, transverse spear in right hand, trophy across shoulder in left hand; from the Charles Peters Carausius Collection; extremely rare; $100.00 (85.00)


Romano-British Empire, Carausius, Mid 286 - Spring or Early Summer 293 A.D.

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Virtus was a specific virtue in ancient Rome. It carried connotations of valor, manliness, excellence, courage, character, and worth, perceived as masculine strengths (from Latin vir, "man"). Virtus applied exclusively to a man's behavior in the public sphere, that is to the application of duty to the res publica in the cursus honorum. Private business was no place to earn virtus, even when it involved courage or feats of arms or other good qualities. There could be no virtue in exploiting one's manliness in the pursuit of personal wealth, for example. It was thus a frequently stated virtue of Roman emperors and was personified as the deity Virtus.
RA73256. Billon antoninianus, Webb Carausius 1172, RIC V-2 1040 (R), Hunter IV -, SRCV IV -, Burton Latimer -, Bicester -, F, green patina, obverse slightly off center, earthen deposits, scratches, weight 2.586 g, maximum diameter 20.8 mm, die axis 225o, unmarked mint, c. mid 286 - 287; obverse IMP CARAVSIVS P AVG, radiate, draped, and cuirassed bust right; reverse VIRTVS AVG (courage of the Emperor), Virtus (or Mars) standing right, helmeted and draped, spear vertical in left hand, right hand resting on large grounded shield, no mint marks; from the Charles Peters Carausius Collection; rare; $100.00 (85.00)


Tacitus, 25 September 275 - June 276 A.D.

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Although Ares was viewed by the Greeks primarily as destructive and destabilizing, worthy of contempt and revulsion, for the Romans, Mars represented military power as a way to secure peace, and was a father (pater) of the Roman people.
RA87254. Billon double aureliani, MER-RIC 4114 (11 spec.), BnF XII 1847, RIC V-1 214 (R), Hunter IV -, Venra -, F, well centered, light corrosion, weight 4.323 g, maximum diameter 23.2 mm, die axis 0o, Tripolis (Tripoli, Lebanon) mint, issue 2, Jan - Jun 276; obverse IMP C M CL TACITVS AVG, radiate, draped, and cuirassed bust right; reverse CLEMENTIA TEMP (time of peace and calm), Mars standing left, wearing helmet and military garb, branch in right hand, vertical spear point up and shield at feet in left hand, star lower left, I A in exergue; very rare type, very rare denomination; $100.00 (85.00)


Probus, Summer 276 - September 282 A.D.

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Virtus was a specific virtue in ancient Rome. It carried connotations of valor, manliness, excellence, courage, character, and worth, perceived as masculine strengths (from Latin vir, "man"). Virtus applied exclusively to a man's behavior in the public sphere, that is to the application of duty to the res publica in the cursus honorum. Private business was no place to earn virtus, even when it involved courage or feats of arms or other good qualities. There could be no virtue in exploiting one's manliness in the pursuit of personal wealth, for example. It was thus a frequently stated virtue of Roman emperors and was personified as the deity Virtus.
RA84026. Silvered antoninianus, RIC V-2 816; SRCV III 12071 var. (...P F AVG); Cohen VI 894; Hunter IV -, Choice EF, full silvering, full circles centering, some flatly struck areas, weight 3.888 g, maximum diameter 22.4 mm, die axis 180o, 5th officina, Siscia (Sisak, Croatia) mint, emission 5, 278 A.D.; obverse IMP C M AVR PROBVS P AVG, radiate bust left in consular robe, eagle-tipped scepter in right hand; reverse VIRTVS PROBI AVG (the valor of Emperor Probus), Mars walking right, helmeted, nude but for cloak tied in belt at waist and flying behind, transverse spear upward right in right hand, trophy of captured arms over left shoulder in left hand, XXIV in exergue; $90.00 (76.50)


Probus, Summer 276 - September 282 A.D.

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Virtus was a specific virtue in ancient Rome. It carried connotations of valor, manliness, excellence, courage, character, and worth, perceived as masculine strengths (from Latin vir, "man"). Virtus applied exclusively to a man's behavior in the public sphere, that is to the application of duty to the res publica in the cursus honorum. Private business was no place to earn virtus, even when it involved courage or feats of arms or other good qualities. There could be no virtue in exploiting one's manliness in the pursuit of personal wealth, for example. It was thus a frequently stated virtue of Roman emperors and was personified as the deity Virtus.
RA87246. Billon antoninianus, Alfldi Siscia V 96, 46; RIC V-2 812; Pink VI-1, p. 51; SRCV III 12071; Cohen VI 885 var. (bust left), Choice EF, well centered, much silvering, some die wear, weight 3.340 g, maximum diameter 21.7 mm, 2nd officina, Siscia (Sisak, Croatia) mint, 4th emission, 277 A.D.; obverse IMP C PROBVS P F AVG, radiate and cuirassed bust right; reverse VIRTVS PROBI AVG (the valor of Emperor Probus), Mars walking right, helmeted, transverse spear in right hand, trophy over shoulder in left, XXIS in exergue; $80.00 (68.00)




  



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Ares or Mars