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CLOACIN


Obv: CONCORDIA Veiled and diad. head of Concordia right star below chin.  
Rev: L. MVSSIDIVS LONGVS Shrine of Venus Cloacina consisting of circular
platform, inscribed CLOACIN, surmounted by two statues of the goddess.
Rome, 42 BC 3.42g Sear 494, RRC 494/42

In Roman mythology, Cloacina (Latin, cloaca: "sewer" or "drain") was the goddess who presided over the Cloaca Maxima the main sewer drain in Rome. The Cloaca Maxima is traditionally said to have beeen started by one of Rome's Etruscan kings, Tarquinius Priscus. Despite her Etruscan origins, she later became identified with Venus. Titus Tatius, who reigned with Romulus, erected a statue to Cloacina as the spirit of the "Great Drain". As well as controlling sewers, she was also a protector of sexual intercourse in marriage. The Romans believed that a good sewage system was important for the success of Rome, as a good sewer system was necessary for the physical health of Roman citizens. Additionally, Romans worshipped Cloacina as the goddess of purity. Cloacina was worshipped as an aspect of Venus at the small Shrine of Venus Cloacina, located in front of the Basilica Aemilia in the Roman Forum and directly above the Cloaca Maxima. The depiction on the reverse of this coin is of that shrine.


Dictionary of Roman Coins



CLOACIN.  Cloacina. From cloaca, or common sewer, at Rome in which a statue of Venus was found; and, as all events contributed to furnish the Romans with occasions for giving new names to their divinities, so that of Cloacina was from this alleged circumstance assigned by them to Venus herself.  On two denarii of the Mussidia gens, we see this abbreviated name at the bottom of the revers, as follows:



1. Obv.- Radiated head of Sol, full-faced. Rev.- Q. MVSSIDIVS LONGVS. A structure in form like a galley, upon it stand two figures. On the lower part of it we read the word CLOACIN

2. Obv.- CONCORDIA.  Veiled head of Concord, sometimes with a star or crescent before it. Rev.-Same legend and type as above.

With regard to the legend CLOACIN, Eckhel says: This word denotes the Comitium itself; for T. Tatius, king of the Sabines, in consequence of a statue of Venus having been found in a cloaca, named it Cloacina, and dedicated it at a Comitium.

The cloacae, or common sewers at Rome were begun by Tarquinius Priscus, and finished by Tarquinius Superbus.  They extended under the whole area of the city.  Their construction was so strong, and the stones with which they were built were so large and so firmly cemented, that though flushed perpetually by rapid torrents, they remained in a perfect state for 700 years and upwards.


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