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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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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 Billon antoninianus, apparently unpublished; RIC V-2 1034 var.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; $175.00 SALE PRICE $158.00


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; $175.00 SALE PRICE $158.00


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; $160.00 SALE PRICE $144.00


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; $135.00 SALE PRICE $122.00


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; $125.00 SALE PRICE $113.00


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; $120.00 SALE PRICE $108.00


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

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This is the only specimen of this type known to Forum. We did not find another online or in the many references examined. The type must have been struck during a very short period after the mintmark was changed from S - C / C to S - P / C but before the reverse legends were changed to the plural ending AVGGG.
RA73244. Billon antoninianus, RIC V-2 -, Webb Carausius -, Borne Carausius -, SRCV IV -, Hunter IV -, Linchmere -, Burton Latimer -, Bicester -, Carausian Hoard -, et al., aF, broad flan, near black patina, rough, corrosion, scratches, weight 4.186 g, maximum diameter 23.1 mm, die axis 225o, Camulodunum (Colchester, England) mint, c. mid 292; obverse IMP C CARAVSIVS P F AVG, radiate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, late reign tetrarchic portrait; reverse VIRTVS AVG (the valor of the Emperor), Mars walking right, transverse spear in right hand, shield or trophy in left hand, S - P flanking across field, C in exergue; from the Charles Peters Carausius Collection; extremely rare; $110.00 SALE PRICE $99.00


Constantine the Great, Early 307 - 22 May 337 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 was a father (pater) of the Roman people. He was the father of Romulus and Remus, the legendary founders of Rome. In early Rome, he was second in importance only to Jupiter, and the most prominent of the military gods in the religion of the Roman army. Most of his festivals were held in March, the month named for him (Latin Martius), and in October, which began and ended the season for military campaigning and farming.
RL85638. Billon half follis, RIC VII Trier 897 (S), SRCV IV 16156, Cohen VII 323, Hunter V -, aEF, some silvering, full circle centering on obverse, die wear reverse slightly off center, some porosity, weight 1.842 g, maximum diameter 9.7 mm, die axis 180o, 1st officina, Treveri (Trier, Germany) mint, 310 - 311 A.D.; obverse CONSTANTINVS AVG, laureate and cuirassed bust right; reverse MARTI CONSERV (Mars the Protector), Mars standing half right, helmeted, nude but for paludamentum over shoulders, inverted spear in right hand, left hand on grounded shield at side, PTR in exergue; rare; $100.00 SALE PRICE $90.00


Probus, Summer 276 - September 282 A.D.

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In 278 A.D., Probus defeated the Alamanni, expelled the Franks from Gaul, reorganized the Roman defenses on the Rhine and resettled the Germanic tribes in the devastated provinces. He adopted the titles Gothicus Maximus and Germanicus Maximus.
SH62614. Silvered antoninianus, Alfldi Siscia V type 96, n 79; RIC V-2 811 var. (bust type), EF, sharp, near full silvering and centering, weight 3.665 g, maximum diameter 22.7 mm, die axis 180o, Siscia (Sisak, Croatia) mint, 278 A.D.; obverse IMP C M AVR PROBVS AVG, radiate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, from behind; reverse VIRTVS PROBI AVG (the valor of Emperor Probus), Mars walking right, nude but for cloak flying behind, transverse spear in right hand, trophy over shoulder in left, XXIVI in exergue; $80.00 SALE PRICE $72.00


Septimius Severus, 9 April 193 - 4 February 211 A.D., Rabbathmoba-Areopolis, Provincia Arabia

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Rabbathmoba, probably the Biblical Ir-Moab, was conquered by Alexander Jannaeus. Its ruins are 18 kilometers north of Kerak in Jordan.
RP84127. Bronze AE 27, Sofaer 5; Spijkerman p. 264, 8; cf. Rosenberger IV 1-3 (bust and legend variations, etc.); SNG ANS 1414 (same), VF, no patina, weight 6.492 g, maximum diameter 27.4 mm, die axis 180o, Rabbathmoba-Areopolis mint, obverse AVT KAIC Λ CEΠ - CEOVHPOC ΠEB, laureate bust right; reverse RABBAΘM-WBHNWN APHC, cult statue of Ares standing facing in military dress, sword erect in right hand, spear and round shield in left hand, on platform with four legs set on base; rare; $80.00 SALE PRICE $72.00




  



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Ares or Mars