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A silver denarius of the empress Julia Domna with a reverse showing Isis and Horus Coin Type: Silver denarius of Julia Domna, 194-218 CE
Mint and Date: Rome, 201 CE.
Size and Weight: 18mm, 2.71g
Draped bust right.
Isis standing right, left foot on prow, the infant Horus held at her breast, right hand holding a small wreath, rudder resting against the stern of a vessel behind.
Ref: RCV (2002) 6606, RIC 577; BMCRE V p.166 and 167, 76-82.
Provenance: rolgm (eBay), September 2002.
BW Ref: 004 027 037
Click on the picture for a larger scale view of the coin

Note: On this coin, Isis seems to be holding beaded circlet, maybe a form of rattle. On other coins from the Rome mint this object is clearly a leafy wreath; in yet others it is indistinct. Coins from the Laodicea mint show no such object, just the hand at the breast (subject to correction if someone finds one that does!). I suspect that the original intent was to show Isis offering her breast (which is the description given in the British Museum catalogue), and that the hand pushing at the breast was transformed in the Rome mint into a range of ill-understood objects, in the same way that the stern of the ship was shown correctly in Laodicea but was sometimes shown as a quite separate and distinct altar in Rome.

The content of this page was last updated on 17 January 2008