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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.


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; $90.00 (Ä76.50)


Elagabalus, 16 May 218 - 11 March 222 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, in 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. This coin advertises that Elagabalus has made his third distribution to the people. 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.
RS74122. Silver denarius, RIC IV 103; RSC III 86; Hunter III 60; SRCV II 7522; BMCRE V p. 563, 216 var. (star right), VF, well centered on a tight flan, coppery spots, reverse legend weak, weight 3.032 g, maximum diameter 18.0 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 221 A.D.; obverse IMP ANTONINVS PIVS AVG, laureate and draped bust right, from behind; reverse LIBERALITAS AVG III, Liberalitas standing left, counting board in right hand, cornucopia in left hand, star lower left; $70.00 (Ä59.50)


Commodus, March or April 177 - 31 December 192 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.
RS85030. Silver denarius, BMCRE IV 4, RSC II 301a, RIC III 10b (S) var. (laureate head), Hunter II 3 var. (laureate head), SRCV II 5705, VF, bumps and scratches, spotty toning, edge cracks, weight 2.642 g, maximum diameter 18.2 mm, die axis 0o, Rome mint, 17 Mar - 31 Jan 180 A.D.; obverse M COMMODVS ANTONINVS AVG, laureate head right; reverse LIB AVG TR P V IMP IIII COS II P P, Liberalitas standing slightly left, holding up coin counting board in right hand, cornucopia in left hand; rare with this bust; $70.00 (Ä59.50)







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Catalog current as of Tuesday, January 23, 2018.
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Generosity