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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ Themes & Provenance ▸ Personifications ▸ GenerosityView 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.


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

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The reverse depicts a Commodus' forth liberalitas, a gift distribution of money to the people of Rome. A citizen is using his drapery to catch coins thrown from above - the coins are depicted by four pellets. Liberalitas holds a counting board, a money shovel with shallow holes in it, used to quickly distribute a specific number of coins to each recipient.
RB82726. Orichalcum sestertius, RIC III 310(b) (S), BMCRE IV 455, Cohen III 310 var. (no drapery), Hunter II 82 var. (same), SRCV II -, F/aF, dark brown patina, well centered, areas of corrosion, weight 25.932 g, maximum diameter 32.2 mm, die axis 0o, Rome mint, 181 - 182 A.D.; obverse M COMMODVS ANTONINVS AVG, laureate bust right, drapery on left shoulder; reverse TR P VI IMP IIII COS III P P, Commodus seated left on platform; behind him, officer standing facing with head to left; in front of him, Liberalitas standing front, head to left, holding counting-board in her right hand and cornucopia in her left; below on steps, citizen standing right, holding up fold of toga catching coins, S - C flanking platform, LIB AVG IIII in exergue; scarce; $220.00 (Ä187.00)


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

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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. It appears they were held over a container, covered with coins and the excess swept away back into the container. The proper number of coins would fill the holes and then would be dumped out to the recipient. On coins this symbol indicated the prince had given to the people money, grain, or other articles of consumption. In the other hand she holds a cornucopia, to indicate the abundance of wheat contained in the public graineries.
RS72573. Silver antoninianus, RIC IV 38b, RSC IV 87, Hunter III 21, SRCV III 8937, VF, well centered, rose gold toning, weight 4.364 g, maximum diameter 21.9 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 245 A.D.; obverse IMP M IVL PHILIPPVS AVG, radiate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, from behind; reverse LIBERALITAS AVGG II, Liberalitas standing left, counting board in right hand, cornucopia in left hand; $80.00 (Ä68.00)


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

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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.
RS15365. Silver denarius, RIC IV 398, nice VF, nice portrait, weight 2.780 g, maximum diameter 17.5 mm, Emesa (Homs, Syria) mint, 194 - 195 A.D.; obverse IMP CAE L SEP SEV PERT AVG COS II, laureate head right; reverse LIBER AVG, Liberalitas standing half-left, coin counting board in right hand, cornucopia in left hand; scarce; SOLD


Marcus Aurelius, 7 March 161 - 17 March 180 A.D.

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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.
RB16643. Orichalcum dupondius, RIC III 913, Cohen III 74, VF, weight 11.154 g, maximum diameter 25.3 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, Dec 165 - summer 166 A.D.; obverse M AVREL ANTONINVS AVG ARMENIACVS P M, radiate head right; reverse CONG AVG III TR P XX IMP III COS III, Liberalitas standing half-left, coin counting board in right hand, cornucopia in left hand, S - C across field; SOLD







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Catalog current as of Wednesday, June 20, 2018.
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Generosity