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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ Themes & Provenance ▸ Personifications ▸ RomaView Options:  |  |  |   

Roma on Ancient Coins

Roma was a female deity who personified the city of Rome and more broadly, the Roman state. The earliest certain cult to dea Roma was established at Smyrna in 195 B.C., probably to mark the successful alliance against Antiochus III. In 30/29 B.C., the Koinon of Asia and Bithynia requested permission to honor Augustus as a living god. "Republican" Rome despised the worship of a living man, but an outright refusal might offend their loyal allies. A cautious formula was drawn up, non-Romans could only establish a cult for divus Augustus jointly with dea Roma. In the city of Rome itself, the earliest known state cult to dea Roma was combined with Venus at the Hadrianic Temple of Venus and Roma. This was the largest temple in the city, probably dedicated to inaugurate the reformed festival of Parilia, which was known thereafter as the Romaea after the Eastern festival in Roma's honor. The temple contained the seated, Hellenised image of dea Roma with a Palladium in her right hand to symbolize Rome's eternity.


Nero, 13 October 54 - 9 June 68 A.D.

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Roma was a female deity who personified the city of Rome and more broadly, the Roman state. The earliest certain cult to dea Roma was established at Smyrna in 195 B.C., probably to mark the successful alliance against Antiochus III. In 30/29 B.C., the Koinon of Asia and Bithynia requested permission to honor Augustus as a living god. "Republican" Rome despised the worship of a living man, but an outright refusal might offend their loyal allies. A cautious formula was drawn up, non-Romans could only establish a cult for divus Augustus jointly with dea Roma. In the city of Rome itself, the earliest known state cult to dea Roma was combined with Venus at the Hadrianic Temple of Venus and Roma. This was the largest temple in the city, probably dedicated to inaugurate the reformed festival of Parilia, which was known thereafter as the Romaea after the Eastern festival in Roma's honor. The temple contained the seated, Hellenised image of dea Roma with a Palladium in her right hand to symbolize Rome's eternity.
SH82657. Orichalcum sestertius, RIC I 330, Cohen I 271, BnF I 417, Mac Dowall WCN 163, Hunter I 100, SRCV I -, BMCRE I -, gVF, excellent portrait, fine style, dark green and brown patina, some corrosion, gently smoothed, weight 24.425 g, maximum diameter 34.3 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, c. 66 A.D.; obverse IMP NERO CLAVD CAESAR AVG GER P M TR P P P, laureate head left with light beard; reverse Roma seated left on cuirass, one round and one oblong shield behind, wearing crested helmet, right foot drawn back and resting on helmet, Victory offering wreath in Roma's extended right hand, her left hand rests on parazonium, ROMA in exergue, S - C (senatus consulto) at sides; Numismatica Ars Classica, auction 94 (6 Oct 2016), lot 127; ex Classical Numismatic Group 783132 ($1750); $1100.00 (935.00)


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

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This is an extremely rare coin, missing from most references and collections. RSC II and BMCRE IV both reference only the one single specimen in the Reka-Devnia Hoard. There are no sales of the type in the last two decades recorded on Coin Archives, but we do know of several additional examples.
RS85053. Silver denarius, Reka-Devnia p. 91, pl. III, 40 (1 spec.!); RSC II 854b; Szaivert MIR 559-4/30; BMCRE IV p. 705, †; RIC III -; Cohen III -; Hunter -; SRCV II -, F, nice portrait, well centered obverse, reverse a little off center, light bumps and marks, edge cracks, weight 2.525 g, maximum diameter 17.8 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, early 183 A.D.; obverse M COMMODVS ANTONINVS AVG, laureate head right; reverse TR P VIII IMP V COS IIII P P, Roma seated left, helmeted and draped, Victory in right hand, spear vertical behind in left hand, shield on near side of seat; extremely rare; $200.00 (170.00)


Hadrian, 11 August 117 - 10 July 138 A.D.

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Hadrian rebuilt the Pantheon in 126 A.D. First commissioned by Marcus Agrippa during the reign of Augustus, it was a temple dedicated to all the gods of ancient Rome. The building is circular with a portico of large granite Corinthian columns (eight in the first rank and two groups of four behind) under a pediment. A rectangular vestibule links the porch to the rotunda, which is under a coffered concrete dome, with a central opening (oculus) to the sky. Almost two thousand years after it was built, the Pantheon's dome is still the world's largest unreinforced concrete dome. The height to the oculus and the diameter of the interior circle are the same, 43.3 meters (142 ft. It is one of the best-preserved of all Roman buildings. It has been in continuous use throughout its history, and since the 7th century, the Pantheon has been used as a Roman Catholic church dedicated to "St. Mary and the Martyrs" but informally known as "Santa Maria Rotonda." The square in front of the Pantheon is called Piazza della Rotonda.Pantheon on Wikipedia

SH89701. Silver denarius, RIC II 380 (S), RSC II 1100 (hybrid), BMCRE II -, Hunter III -, SRCV II -, Choice gVF, excellent portrait, mint luster, well centered, edge cracks, weight 3.391 g, maximum diameter 19.3 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, c. 128 - 129 A.D.; obverse HADRIANVS AVGVSTVS P P, laureate bust right, drapery on far shoulder; reverse P M TR P COS III, Roma seated left on cuirass, right foot drawn back and resting on helmet, Victory offering wreath in extended right hand, inverted spear vertical behind in left hand, grounded shield behind; ex Beast Coins; very rare; $200.00 (170.00)


Septimius Severus, 9 April 193 - 4 February 211 A.D.

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To the ancient Romans, Rome was "Roma Aeterna" (The Eternal City) and "Caput Mundi" (Capital of the World). The empire is history but Rome is still today, the eternal city. Rome's influence on Western Civilization can hardly be overestimated; perhaps a greater influence than any other city on earth, making important contributions to politics, literature, culture, the arts, architecture, music, religion, education, fashion, cinema and cuisine.
RS87248. Silver denarius, RIC IV 350G (R); RSC III 615; BMCRE V p. 84, W323; Hunter III -; SRCV II 6358x, F, well centered, toned, exotic Alexandria style portrait, reverse legend weak, mild porosity, tiny coppery spots, small edge cracks, weight 3.079 g, maximum diameter 17.1 mm, die axis 0o, Alexandria mint, 194 A.D.; obverse IMP CAE L SEP - SEV PERT AVG, laureate head right; reverse ROMAE AE-TERNAE, Roma seated left, helmeted and draped, shield in front of seat, Victory offering wreath in extended right hand, spear vertical behind in left hand; rare; $150.00 (127.50)


Hadrian, 11 August 117 - 10 July 138 A.D.

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Roma was a female deity who personified the city of Rome and more broadly, the Roman state. The earliest certain cult to dea Roma was established at Smyrna in 195 B.C., probably to mark the successful alliance against Antiochus III. In 30/29 B.C., the Koinon of Asia and Bithynia requested permission to honor Augustus as a living god. "Republican" Rome despised the worship of a living man, but an outright refusal might offend their loyal allies. A cautious formula was drawn up, non-Romans could only establish a cult for divus Augustus jointly with dea Roma. In the city of Rome itself, the earliest known state cult to dea Roma was combined with Venus at the Hadrianic Temple of Venus and Roma. This was the largest temple in the city, probably dedicated to inaugurate the reformed festival of Parilia, which was known thereafter as the Romaea after the Eastern festival in Roma's honor. The temple contained the seated, Hellenised image of dea Roma with a Palladium in her right hand to symbolize Rome's eternity.
RS88839. Silver denarius, RIC II 160, RSC II 353, BMCRE III 356, Hunter II 139, Strack II 183, SRCV II -, Choice VF, superb portrait, light toning, edge splits, weight 3.206 g, maximum diameter 18.9 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 125 - 128 A.D.; obverse HADRIANVS AVGVSTVS, laureate bust right, slight drapery on left shoulder; reverse COS III, Roma standing right, left foot on helmet, inverted spear in right hand, parazonium at side in left hand; ex Numismatik Naumann auction 72, part of lot 1045; $150.00 (127.50)


Probus, Summer 276 - September 282 A.D.

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The reverse depicts the double temple of Venus and Roma, designed by Hadrian, the largest and most splendid temple in Rome, finished by Antoninus Pius. Damaged by fire in 307, the temple was restored "in magnificent manner" by Maxentius. When Constantius visited Rome fifty years later, the "Temple of the City" was one of the sights he most admired. In 625, Pope Honorius received a special dispensation from Heraclius to strip the gilded bronze roof tiles for the repair of St. Peter's. During a twelve-day visit to Rome in 663, Constans II stripped it of its remaining bronze ornaments. It was damaged by an earthquake in 847. Later a church was built in the ruins.
RA76944. Silvered antoninianus, Hunter IV 32 (also 3rd officina); RIC V-2 185; Cohen VI 530; Pink VI-1, p. 56-57/4; SRCV III -, Choice EF, near full silvering, superb portrait, light marks, weight 4.097 g, maximum diameter 24.1 mm, die axis 180o, 3rd officina, Rome mint, emission 4, 279 A.D.; obverse IMP PROBVS AVG, radiate and cuirassed bust right; reverse ROMAE AETER (eternal Rome), statue of Roma seated facing inside a hexastyle temple, head left, Victory in right, long scepter in left hand, R pellet in crescent with horns up Γ in exergue; $140.00 (119.00)


Roman Republic, Marcus Vargunteius, c. 130 B.C.

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The Romans regarded Jupiter as the equivalent of Greek Zeus, and in Latin literature and Roman art, the myths and iconography of Zeus are adapted under the name Iuppiter. In the Greek-influenced tradition, Jupiter was the brother of Neptune and Pluto. Each presided over one of the three realms of the universe: sky, the waters, and the underworld.
RR88365. Silver denarius, Crawford 257/1, Sydenham 507, RSC I Vargunteius 1, BMCRR I Rome 1068, RBW Collection 1048, SRCV I 133, aVF, light tone, light and scratches marks, minor flan wave, slightest porosity, weight 3.700 g, maximum diameter 19.5 mm, die axis 15o, Rome mint, c. 130 B.C.; obverse head of Roma left in winged helmet, crest with griffin head, peaked visor in three pieces, wearing single drop earring and necklace, hair in three locks, M VARG (VAR ligate) behind, X (XVI ligature, mark of value=16 asses) below chin; reverse Jupiter in a slow quadriga right, nude to the waist, upright branch in right hand, thunderbolt and reins in left hand, ROMA in exergue; $125.00 (106.25)


Roman Republic, C. Coelius Caldus, c. 104 B.C.

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In 104 B.C., the Republic was in a state of emergency. The Cimbri had just dealt Rome its most severe defeat since Cannae; two armies were destroyed. Italy was nearly defenseless. The consul Gaius Marius asked King Nicomedes III of Bithynia to provide troops. Nicomedes III turned down the request declaring, "All those eligible for military service in my kingdom have been robbed by the Roman tax-farmers and sold into slavery." In response, about 800 Italian slaves in Sicily were freed. Non-Italians slaves incorrectly believed they had also been freed. When ordered back to servitude, these slaves amassed an army 2,000 cavalry and 20,000 infantry. The revolt, the Second Servile War, lasted until 100 B.C., caused famine in Rome, and was defeated only after great effort. It was the second of a series of three slave revolts in the Roman Republic.
RR88362. Silver denarius, BMCRR I Rome 1463 var. (control: A), RSC I Coelia 3, Crawford 318/1b, Sydenham 582a, SRCV I 196 var. (noted), Nice F, light toning, light marks and scratches, weight 3.738 g, maximum diameter 18.3 mm, die axis 90o, Rome mint, c. 104 B.C.; obverse head of Roma left in winged helmet, crest with griffin head, peaked visor in three pieces, wearing triple drop earring and necklace; reverse Victory in a biga left, holding reins in both hands, CALD below horses, A (control mark) in exergue; $110.00 (93.50)


Roman Republic, C. Poblicius Malleolus, A. Postumius Albinus & L. Caecilius Metellus, 96 B.C.

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C. Poblicius Malleolus, A. Postumius Albinus, and L. Caecilius Metellus, were moneyers during 96 B.C., magistrates responsible for the production of the Roman coinage. Magistrates were not simple mint workers, they were officials who controlled the process, including the design on the coins themselves. During the Roman Republic, moneyers were called tresviri aere argento auro flando feriundo, literally "three men for casting [and] striking bronze, silver, [and] gold [coins]."
RR88383. Silver denarius, Crawford 335/1a, BMCRR II Italy 724, RSC I Caecilia 46a, RBW Collection 1200, Sydenham 611, SRCV 220 (refs. for no control symbol), VF, dark toning, banker's marks, scratches, crowded flan, weight 3.838 g, maximum diameter 18.9 mm, die axis 0o, Rome mint, c. 96 B.C.; obverse laureate head of Apollo right, hair in ringlets, AALBSF upward before, LMETEL downward behind, no control symbol; reverse Roma seated left on a pile of shields, spear vertical in right hand, crowned with wreath by Victory standing left behind her, CMALL (AL ligate) downward on left, ROMA in exergue; ex FORVM (2002); $110.00 (93.50)


Roman Republic, Q. Marcius, C. Fabius & L. Roscius, c. 118 - 117 B.C.

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In 118 B.C., the Second Dalmatian War ended with victory for Rome. Lucius Caecilius Metellus assumed the surname Delmaticus.
RR88373. Silver denarius, Crawford 283/1b, Sydenham 541a, RSC I Marcia 17, RSC I Fabia 13, BMCRR I Italy 479, RBW Collection 1112, SRCV 159 var. (noted), F, toned, a little rough, reverse slightly off center, weight 3.564 g, maximum diameter 19.4 mm, die axis 45o, Rome mint, c. 118 - 117 B.C.; obverse head of Roma left in winged helmet, crest with griffin head, peaked visor in three pieces, wearing single drop earring and necklace, hair in three locks, X (mark of value) behind; reverse Victory in quadriga right, raising wreath in extended right hand, reins in left hand, ROMA below, CFLRQM in exergue; $100.00 (85.00)




  



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