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

Generosity (Liberalitas)

Liberalitas coin types attest to occasions when the emperor has displayed his generosity towards the people by a distribution to them of money, provisions, or both. The first mention of Liberalitas was on coins of Hadrian. It was a type frequently repeated by the succeeding emperors. Indeed these instances of imperial generosity are more carefully recorded on coins than they are by history. Liberality is personified by the image of a woman, holding in one hand a counting board, or square tablet with a handle on which are cut a certain number of holes. These boards were used to quickly count the proper number of coins or other items for distribution to each person. In the other hand she holds a cornucopia, to indicate the prosperity of the state and the abundance of wheat contained in the public graineries.


Geta, 209 - c. 26 December 211 A.D.

|Geta|, |Geta,| |209| |-| |c.| |26| |December| |211| |A.D.|, |denarius|
Between 209 and their father's death in February 211, both brothers were shown as equally mature young men with a short full beard. Both sons were presented as equally suitable heirs to the throne, showing thus more "depth" to the dynasty. Between the death of Septimius Severus and the assassination of Geta, Caracalla's portraits did not change, while Geta was depicted with a long beard with hanging hairs much like his father, a strong indication of Geta's efforts to be seen as the "true" successor of his father.
RS86671. Silver denarius, RIC IV 88, RSC III 68, BMCRE V 65, SRCV II -, Choice EF, nearly as struck except for light toning, fantastic portrait, luster in recesses, perfect centering on a broad flan, some legend just a little weak, tiny edge cracks, weight 3.250 g, maximum diameter 20.0 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 210 - 212 A.D.; obverse P SEPT GETA PIVS AVG BRIT, laureate head right; reverse LIBERALITAS AVG V (the 5th liberality [distribution of gifts to the people] by the Emperor), Liberalitas standing half-left, coin counting board in right hand, cornucopia in left hand; from the Jyrki Muona Collection; $240.00 SALE |PRICE| $216.00


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

|Philip| |I|, |Philip| |I| |the| |Arab,| |February| |244| |-| |End| |of| |September| |249| |A.D.|, |sestertius|
Liberalitas coin types attest to occasions when the emperor has displayed his generosity towards the people by a distribution to them of money, provisions, or both. The first mention of Liberalitas was on coins of Hadrian. It was a type frequently repeated by the succeeding emperors. Indeed these instances of imperial generosity are more carefully recorded on coins than they are by history. Liberality is personified by the image of a woman, holding in one hand a counting board, or square tablet with a handle on which are cut a certain number of holes. These boards were used to quickly count the proper number of coins or other items for distribution to each person. In the other hand she holds a cornucopia, to indicate the prosperity of the state and the abundance of wheat contained in the public graineries.
RB91023. Orichalcum sestertius, RIC IV 180a, Cohen V 88, Hunter III 88, SRCV III 8999, VF, green patina, well centered, excellent portrait, light corrosion, porosity, weight 21.816 g, maximum diameter 29.9 mm, die axis 0o, Rome mint, c. 245 A.D.; obverse IMP M IVL PHILIPPVS AVG, laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, from behind; reverse LIBERALITAS AVGG II, Liberalitas standing half-left, coin counting board in right hand, cornucopia in left hand, S - C (senatus consulto) flanking low across field; from the Eric J. Engstrom Collection; scarce; $170.00 SALE |PRICE| $153.00


Philip II, July or August 247 - Late 249 A.D.

|Philip| |II|, |Philip| |II,| |July| |or| |August| |247| |-| |Late| |249| |A.D.|, |antoninianus|
The curule chair was for senior magistrates including dictators, masters of the horse, consuls, praetors, censors, and the curule aediles. As a form of a throne, it might be given as an honor to foreign kings recognized formally as a friend (amicus) by the Roman people or senate. Designed for use by commanders in the field, the curule chair could be folded for easy transport. It had no back, low arms, curved legs forming an X, and was traditionally made of or veneered with ivory.
RS91831. Silver antoninianus, RIC IV 230, RSC IV 17, Hunter III 23, SRCV III 9265, VF, well centered, toned, flow lines, light deposits and marks, reverse die wear, bottom of edge ragged with small splits, weight 3.034 g, maximum diameter 22.8 mm, die axis 0o, Rome mint, 11th emission, 249 A.D.; obverse IMP PHILIPPVS AVG, radiate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, from behind; reverse LIBERALITAS AVGG III, Philip I and Philip II seated left on curule chairs presiding at their third largesse, both laureate, togate, and extending right hand, Philip I on left and holding short scepter in right hand; $60.00 SALE |PRICE| $54.00







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Catalog current as of Thursday, February 27, 2020.
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Generosity