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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ |Themes & Provenance| ▸ |Personifications| ▸ |Piety||View Options:  |  |  | 

Piety (Pietas)

Pietas in traditional Latin usage expressed a complex, highly valued Roman virtue; a man or woman with pietas respected his or her responsibilities to other people, gods and entities (such as the state), and understood his or her place in society with respect to others.

Lucilla, Augusta c. 164 - 182 A.D., Wife of Lucius Verus

|Lucilla|, |Lucilla,| |Augusta| |c.| |164| |-| |182| |A.D.,| |Wife| |of| |Lucius| |Verus||sestertius|
For Roman wives, piety often meant accepting neglect. It was not considered adultery for a Roman husband to have sex with slaves or unmarried women. The historian Spartianus wrote that after Lucilla complained, Lucius Verus reproached her: "Uxor enim dignitatis nomen est, non voluptatis" (Wife is the name of dignity, not bliss).
RB79813. Orichalcum sestertius, RIC III 1756, BMCRE IV 1161, Cohen III 54, Hunter II 27, SRCV II 5505, F, glossy dark sea-green patina, light corrosion on obverse, rough areas on reverse, squared tight flan, weight 19.430 g, maximum diameter 30.9 mm, die axis 0o, Rome mint, 164 - 166 A.D.; obverse LVCILLAE AVG ANTONINI AVG F, draped bust right; reverse PIETAS, Pietas standing left, veiled, raising her right hand, perfume-box in left hand, flaming altar at feet on left, S - C (senatus consulto) flanking across field; $100.00 (€92.00)
 


Otacilia Severa, Augusta, February or March 244 - September or October 249 A.D., Roman Egypt

|Roman| |Egypt|, |Otacilia| |Severa,| |Augusta,| |February| |or| |March| |244| |-| |September| |or| |October| |249| |A.D.,| |Roman| |Egypt||tetradrachm|
Otacilia Severa and Philip are sometimes identified as the first Christian imperial couple. They were tolerant of Christianity and ended persecution of Christians. Otacilia's personal intervention saved Saint Babylas and the Bishop of Antioch. Christian beliefs of the the Emperor and Empress have not, however, been proven.
RX92530. Billon tetradrachm, Dattari-Savio 10420; Milne 3654; RPC Online VIII U2831; BMC Alexandria p. 261, 2014 var. (obv. leg.); SNG Milan 1667 var. (same); Emmett 3549/4 (R1), VF, well centered, areas of corrosion and encrustation, small edge splits/cracks, weight 12.305 g, maximum diameter 23.1 mm, die axis 0o, Alexandria mint, 28 Aug 246 - 29 Aug 247 A.D.; obverse M WT CEOVHPA CE M CTPA, diademed and draped bust right; reverse Eusebeia (Pietas) standing slightly left, head left, dropping incense from right hand on lit altar to left, incense box in left hand, L ∆ (year 4) upper left; from the Errett Bishop Collection; rare; $70.00 (€64.40)
 


Gallienus, August 253 - September 268 A.D.

|Gallienus|, |Gallienus,| |August| |253| |-| |September| |268| |A.D.||antoninianus|
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.
RS93316. Billon antoninianus, Göbl MIR 1684m (Samosata), RSC IV 792b (Antioch), Hunter IV J68, Cunetio 849 (31 spec.), RIC V-1 J447, SRCV III 10312, Choice aEF, sharp portrait, well centered, toned, reverse die wear, ragged edge, weight 3.412 g, maximum diameter 22.2 mm, die axis 0o, uncertain Syrian mint, 256 - 258 A.D.; obverse IMP C P LIC GALLIENVS P F AVG, radiate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, from behind; reverse PIETAS AVGG (to the piety of the two emperors), Valerian and Gallienus standing confronting each other, facing center, sacrificing at flaming altar in center, togate, on left holding eagle-tipped scepter, on right hand on parazonium on left side; from the Errett Bishop Collection; $70.00 (€64.40)
 


Faustina Sr., Augusta 25 February 138 - Early 141, Wife of Antoninus Pius

|Faustina| |Sr.|, |Faustina| |Sr.,| |Augusta| |25| |February| |138| |-| |Early| |141,| |Wife| |of| |Antoninus| |Pius||denarius|
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.
RS94545. Silver denarius, RIC III AP373, RSC II 124a, BMCRE IV AP452, Hunter II -, SRCV II -, VF, well centered, light toning, coppery areas, flow lines, porosity, weight 3.241 g, maximum diameter 17.4 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, posthumous, 147 - 161 A.D.; obverse DIVA FAV-STINA, draped bust right, hair elaborately waived and banded, drawn up at the back and piled in a round coil at top; reverse AVGVSTA, Pietas standing half left, raising right hand, box of perfumes in left hand, lit altar left; from the Ray Nouri Collection; $70.00 (€64.40)
 


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

|Roman| |Egypt|, |Commodus,| |March| |or| |April| |177| |-| |31| |December| |192| |A.D.,| |Roman| |Provincial| |Egypt||tetradrachm|
Ptolemy Soter integrated Egyptian religion with that of the Hellenic rulers by creating Serapis, a deity that would win the reverence of both groups. This was despite the curses of the Egyptian priests against the gods of previous foreign rulers (i.e Set who was lauded by the Hyksos). Alexander the Great had attempted to use Amun for this purpose, but Amum was more prominent in Upper Egypt, and not as popular in Lower Egypt, where the Greeks had stronger influence. The Greeks had little respect for animal-headed figures, and so an anthropomorphic statue was chosen as the idol, and proclaimed as the equivalent of the highly popular Apis. It was named Aser-hapi (i.e. Osiris-Apis), which became Serapis, and was said to be Osiris in full, rather than just his Ka (life force). Ptolemy's efforts were successful - in time Serapis was held by the Egyptians in the highest reverence above all other deities, and he was adored in Athens and other Greek cities.
RX92519. Billon tetradrachm, Geissen 2212; Milne 2655; SNG Cop 571; RPC Online IV.4 T14197; Dattari 3847 var. (obv. leg.); BMC Alexandria p. 178, 1432 var. (same), VF, dark patina, centered, edge chip, area of corrosion damage, edge splits, weight 10.905 g, maximum diameter 24.9 mm, die axis 0o, Alexandria mint, 29 Aug 183 - 28 Aug 184 A.D.; obverse M A KO ANTW CEB EYCEB, laureate head right; reverse on left: bust of Serapis right on short column, wearing kalathos; on right: Commodus standing left, wearing high round cap with tails and priestly robes, dropping incense on flaming altar (or thymiaterion), L in exergue, K − ∆ across fields (year 24 [of Marcus Aurelius]); from the Errett Bishop Collection; $60.00 (€55.20)
 







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