Isis was a goddess in Ancient Egyptian religious beliefs, whose worship spread throughout the Greco-Roman world. She was worshiped as the ideal mother, wife, matron of nature and magic. She was the friend of slaves, sinners, artisans, the downtrodden, as well as listening to the prayers of the wealthy, maidens, aristocrats and rulers. Isis is the Goddess of motherhood and fertility.
DICTIONARY OF ROMAN COINS
Please add updates or make corrections to the NumisWiki text version as appropriate.
Isis, the most ancient and most celebrated of the Egyptian divinities. Her husband was Osiris, the symbol of the sun and the source of all fertility. Amongst the various foreign deities whose worship became in time introduced to the Romans, Isis appears to have been one of the greatest favourites of the superstitious people. In Roma itself she had several temples, the ceremonies in which, whatever their mystic meaning, real or pretended, teemed with abominations. [See note 1]
The festivals of the goddess were indeed so frequently marked by indecencies that decrees were passed for their abolution, but they were often re-established. In year of Rome 711, Augusutus and Mark Antony pandered to the depraved and dissolute taste of their age by dedicating to Isis a temple in the city. Even Tiberius, however, found it needful to close it.
But the prohibition of her worship was not of long duration. Domitian, Commodus, and Caracalla became her priests. And some of the empresses are represented under the figure of Isis.
On a coin of the Caecilia family [See note 2], edited by Morell, (p. 52 tab iii), Isis appears standing: she has the head of a lion, ornamented with the lotus flower; she is clothed in the Egyptian fashion, and holds in her right hand the sistrum, and her left hand is in the act of pressing her right breast. The legend to this type is METELlus PIVS SCIPIO IMPerator. Near the head of this figure are the letters G T A which are interpreted to mean Genius Tutelaris Africa, (by others Aegypti), Isis being called the tutelary genius of Africa.
We also see the figure of this goddess on coins of Commodus and Caracalla, with the sistrum and situla (or bucket) and sometimes carried by a dog. -See Osiris
Note 1: This author is biased against people and things not Christian. Original text remains.
Note 2: Families did not mint coins directly. As officials of gevernment, the ruling "families" caused coins to be minted as official issues. Early numismatists dwelt heavily on gens and familia in their research and writings.
View whole page from the |Dictionary Of Roman Coins|