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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ Themes & Provenance ▸ Personifications ▸ Modesty & ChastityView Options:  |  |  | 

Modesty and Chastity (Pudicitia)

Pudicitia was the personification of modesty and chastity and was a common type on the reverses of Roman empresses.


Julia Maesa, Augusta 8 June 218 - 224 or 225 A.D.

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Pudicitia, modesty and chastity, was the finest quality that a Roman woman could possess. Romans gave their highest praise to women, such as Julia Domna, who had only one husband in their lifetimes. Few women obtained this distinction in Roman society, where girls married young, husbands often died while their wives were still young, and divorce was easy to obtain and common.
RS87888. Silver denarius, RIC IV 268, BMCRE V 76, RSC III 36, Hunter III 9, SRCV IV 7756, Choice VF, toned, nice portrait, well centered, weight 2.598 g, maximum diameter 18.8 mm, die axis 0o, Rome mint, 218 - 222 A.D.; obverse IVLIA MAESA AVG, mature draped bust right, hair in nearly vertical waves, and flat chignon at the back; reverse PVDICITIA, Pudicitia seated left, drapery at neck in right hand, scepter in left hand; ex Beast Coins; ex Harlan Berk, CICF show, Apr 2013; $85.00 (Ä72.25)


Herennia Etruscilla, Augusta July 249 - April/August 253 A.D.

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Pudicitia, modesty and chastity, was for Romans the highest regarded female virtue. For an unmarried girl, pudicitia meant virginity. For a wife, it meant faithfulness and devotion to her husband. Romans loved the story of Arria, an ultimate example of Roman pudicitia. When the emperor Claudius ordered her husband Paetus to end his own life, he hesitated. Arria took his dagger and stabbed herself to set an example, saying, "Paetus, it doesn't hurt."
RS72575. Silver antoninianus, RIC IV 59b, RSC IV 19, Hunter III 10, SRCV III 9495, VF/F, well centered, light toning, porosity, reverse die wear, tiny edge cracks, weight 3.874 g, maximum diameter 24.0 mm, die axis 0o, Rome mint, 250 A.D.; obverse HER ETRVSCILLA AVG, draped bust right, crescent behind shoulders, wearing stephane, hair in plait looped at the back of head; reverse PVDICITIA AVG, Pudicitia (modesty) seated left, drawing veil from face with right hand, scepter in left hand; $80.00 (Ä68.00)


Herennia Etruscilla, Augusta July 249 - April/August 253 A.D.

Click for a larger photo
Pudicitia, modesty and chastity, was for Romans the highest regarded female virtue. For an unmarried girl, pudicitia meant virginity. For a wife, it meant faithfulness and devotion to her husband. Romans loved the story of Arria, an ultimate example of Roman pudicitia. When the emperor Claudius ordered her husband Paetus to end his own life, he hesitated. Arria took his dagger and stabbed herself to set an example, saying, "Paetus, it doesn't hurt."
RS72574. Silver antoninianus, RIC IV 59b, RSC IV 19, Hunter III 10, SRCV III 9495, Choice VF, full circles strike on a broad flan, golden toning, porosity, reverse die wear, small edge cracks, weight 3.135 g, maximum diameter 24.5 mm, die axis 0o, Rome mint, 250 A.D.; obverse HER ETRVSCILLA AVG, draped bust right, crescent behind shoulders, wearing stephane, hair in horizontal ridges, plait looped at the back of neck; reverse PVDICITIA AVG, Pudicitia (modesty) seated left, drawing veil from face with right hand, scepter in left hand; $70.00 (Ä59.50)







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Catalog current as of Wednesday, December 12, 2018.
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Modesty & Chastity