The Roman goddess of clemency (mercy).


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Clemency - whom the Romans worshipped as a goddess, and for the most part set at naught as a virtue - had a temple erected to her honor, as in memory of the mercy which Julius Caesar exercised toward his enemies after the victories he had gained. 

On a denarius of the Aemilia gens the obverse bears PAVLLVS LEPIDVS CONCORD. A veiled female head. -- Rev. CLEMENTIAE. S. C Head of a female in the middle of an ornamented buckler.  L. Paulus is said to have given liberty, instead of servitude, to the Macedonians, whom he had fought and subdued.  The memory of this good action was handed down to posterity, through the durable medium of a coin, by a descendant of his.

A denarius of L. Buca, a moneyer of Julius Caesar exhibits on its reverse the legend CLEMENTIA, and the head of that goddess, with a laurel branch before it.

CLEMENTIAE. To Clemency. S. C. This dedicatory inscription occurs on a dupondius of Tiberius, over a shield, of which the design is evidently borrowed from the Clementia of the Aemilia family already described.  The full-faced bust in the center is, in some specimens of this rare coin, that of a female (perhaps personifying Clemency), on others that of a man (probably meant for Tiberius himself) immediately surrounded by a laurel crown, with a double outer circle of a highly ornamented patter.

The praise of clemency, admitted by all ancient historians to have been justly bestowed on Julius Caesar, was afterwards prostituted to the flattery of the most cruel emperors.  Thus not only the clemency but the moderation of Tiberius is celebrated on his coins; and the Roman Senate commanded sacrifices to be made in the acknowledgement of the same god-like quality in Caligula.

The mark of Senatorial sanction on this coin seems by implication to indicate the wish of that obsequious body, the the emperor should in future be merciful, which for a long time previous he had not been.

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