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Concordia was the Roman goddess of agreement, understanding, and marital harmony. Her Greek version is Harmonia, and the Harmonians and some Discordians equate her with Aneris. Her opposite is Discordia (or the Greek Eris).
The cult of Concordia Augusta ("Majestic Harmony") was of special importance to the imperial household. Dedicatory inscriptions to her, on behalf of emperors and members of the imperial family, were common.
In art, Concordia was depicted sitting, wearing a long cloak and holding onto a patera (sacrificial bowl), a cornucopia (symbol of prosperity), or a caduceus (symbol of peace). She was often shown in between two other figures, such as standing between two members of the Royal House shaking hands. She was associated with a pair of female deities, such as Pax and Salus--or Securitas and Fortuna. The latter pair of concepts (security and fortune) could also be represented by Hercules and Mercury.
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CONCORDIA.—The Goddess of Concord was an object of religious faith and worship with the Romans, because through her authority and influence "small things were rendered great". As Sallust expresses it, "Concordia parvae res crescunt, discordia vero dilabuntur."
A magnificent temple was erected to her honour at Rome, which, having being consumed by a fire, was rebuilt by the Senate and People. Tiberius added some splendid embellishments to that edifice, and consecrated it to DIVVS AVGVSTVS. There were also temples of Concord in other quarters of the city. The feast of this deity was celebrated on the 16th of January, the day when her principal temple was dedicated.
Concord was worshipped under the form of a stork, either because that bird was held sacred to Concord, or because it was accustomed to show much agreement with, and attachment towards, its parents. On other coins she is symbolised under the figure of a dove. See CONCORDIA of Faustina jun. On a silver coin of Julia Titi, "the Concord of the Empress" is accompanied with a peacock.
Concord's more common types (particularly the CONCORDIA AVGVSTI, or AVGVSTORVM) are those in which she is represented under the figure of a woman, either seated or standing by herself, holding in one hand a patera, or a branch, and in the other a hasta, or a cornucopiae. Two right hands joined is a frequent symbol of Concord. These sometimes hold a caduceus, to which are now and then united two horns of plenty.—Two right hands joined, holding a winged caduceus, may be seen on coins of Antonia and other moneyers, either denoting concord and peace between the Triumviri Reipublicae Constituendae, or as indicating the concord and harmony of Caesar with the Senate.
Concord holds forth her patera over the altar, that she may be strengthened and confirmed by religious rites. On these occasions she displays a double cornucopiae, and sometimes a star is placed near her.
CONCORDIA.—The head of the goddess veiled, appears on coins of the Aemilia and Scribonia families, to shew the concord subsisting between Paulus Lepidus and Scribonius Libo; or Paulus adopts this legend and type to denote his state of good understanding with his adopted brother M. Lepidus.—See TER. PAVLVS.
CONCORDIA.—On a gold coin of Faustina junior, a Dove is typified as the symbol of Concord. On other coins of the same empress, with the same legend, in gold, silver, and first brass, the type is a woman standing, who draws her cloak closer with her right hand, and in her left holds a cornucopiae. On others, a woman is seated, with a flower in her right hand. Gold, and first and second brass.
Eckhel (vii. 77), noting all these from the imperial cabinet, observes, that a Dove is a novel type of Concordia, but one appropriately adopted in allusion to that bird's nature, the idea having been long ago expressed by Horace, where he says of himself and his friend Fuscus Aristius (Epist. x. v. 4):—
Ancient historians have in more than one instance alluded to the concord which existed between Faustina and her husband (Aurelius); though, considering the opposite nature of their dispositions, it must have been due to the philosophy and inherent forbearance of the latter.
In the Pembroke collection was a gold coin of Crispius, bearing for its reverse legend VENVS FELIX, and for type the Empress, as Venus, seated on a throne; a winged Cupid, with box, on her extended right hand, and a sceptre in her left: a dove under the throne.
[This coin, in very good preservation, and of great rarity, sold for £7 7s. See Sale Catalogue, p. 157, lot 733].
Whilst touching on the Columbus or Columba, as a bird consecrated in mythology to Venus, we may not irrelevantly refer to p. 72, in which, as illustrative of the article ARA, a wood-cut is introduced, which had been carefully copied from a first brass of Faustina senior. The reverse type of this coin, in perfect preservation (with legend PIETAS AVG.) is a high square altar, and flame in the centre: a device sufficiently common. But there are besides, at each end, two objects, similar to each other, yet both so different in conformation from the usual horns of a Roman altar, and so decidedly bird-like, as to induce the compiler (in whose possession the specimen remains), to class, in his own mind, their appearance there, with the foregoing examples of doves delineated on coins of the empresses.—His friend Mr. Goddard Johnson has another good specimen of this first brass of the same empress, and is fully impressed with the belief that the two little objects alluded to, are the figures of birds, and probably meant for doves.—See FAUSTINA junior.