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Fertility, Pregnancy, and Childbirth on the Coinage of Ancient Rome

James S. Wilk, M.D.

While pregnancy and childbirth represent events of great magnitude in the lives of all humans of all periods of history, they were of seminal importance to the Roman Imperial family.  The birth and survival of a suitable heir to the throne was vital.  In fact, one of the great weaknesses of the ancient Roman political system was the lack of clear guidelines for choosing a successor to the emperor in the absence of a designated heir to the throne.  It comes as no surprise that an event of such primary importance as the birth of an heir was commemorated by Roman coinage.

The absence of an heir often meant years of civil war, political assassination and turbulent times.  This is well illustrated by the four years of civil war which followed the death of Commodus by assassination the last night of December, 192 AD.  Only by making the false claim that he was the son of Marcus Aurelius did Septimius Severus at last mollify his opposition, ending the unrest and establishing the relative stability of the period of Severan rule.

Furthermore, up until only the last century, pregnancy and childbirth were fraught with difficulty.  Pregnancy carried a high risk of death or serious illness for both mother and child.  The Hippocratic Corpus contains seven books of physician 's case notes.  Of the dozens of women in its pages afflicted with illness during pregnancy or shortly after delivery, only a few survived their illnesses.[1]  Maternal and neonatal mortality plagued even those who could afford the highest quality medical care at the time.  Caesar 's daughter Julia died in childbirth. The younger Pliny reports that both daughters of one of his friends, Helvidius, died during labor.[2]  The Athenian philanthropist, Herodes Atticus, was grief-stricken when his first child, a baby boy, died shortly after birth.[3]  The anxiety and grief of the aristocratic elite was surely felt also among the lower classes.  Even at the dawn of the twenty first century, the maternal death rate in some developing countries remains substantially above 10%, with infant mortality rates exceeding 50%.

Not only was maternal and neonatal mortality high in ancient Rome, but so was the rate of death in childhood.  Although by the standards of the ancient world, Roman sanitation and farming practices were the state of the art at the time, they were woefully inadequate by modern standards. The populace was at the mercy of both endemic diarrheal and febrile illnesses as well as number of epidemic pestilences that periodically swept through the Empire.  To give but one example, during the reign of Marcus Aurelius, a series of plagues were brought to the Empire by veterans of Lucius ' eastern armies as they returned from campaigns against the Parthians.  The particular cause of the epidemics is unclear, but they raged throughout the Empire, especially the east, for the next twenty years.  The army and city dwellers were disproportionately affected, suggesting overcrowding was a factor, with direct person to person or respiratory means of transmission.  In Rome, it is estimated that as many as 2,000 people died per day at the peak of the epidemic.[4]  Malnutrition from the ever-present threat of famine was a constant state of affairs for all but the wealthiest individuals.  Unfortunately adding to the misery inflicted by the natural processes of starvation and disease was intentionally inflicted trauma and violence as a result of warfare, slavery and abuse.  No one was spared the high pediatric death rate.  Of the fifteen children born by Faustina Junior to her husband, the emperor Marcus Aurelius, only six survived to adulthood.  This is despite the highest quality medical care available in the known world at the time:  the renowned Galen was their physician.[5]  Studies of neonatal mortality in ancient Rome estimates that 28[6]-32[7]% of Roman babies who were born alive died by their first birthday.

What was labor and delivery like for the Roman parturient?  In the absence of any hospitals, all women delivered at home--either their own or that of a trusted relative or friend.  Those women in the GrecoRoman world who could afford to pay for it received their maternity care from midwives who employed traditional methods and medications of folk medicine.  With no anesthetics, effective analgesics or means of augmenting or inducing labor, it would have been a painful and protracted experience.  Although these folk remedies probably did little to make childbirth safer (and some practices may have been harmful), it does seem clear by analogy to the traditional midwifery techniques employed by midwives in developing countries today that their efforts to give emotional support to the patient must have had a positive effect.

There is very little in the historical record to reach any firm conclusions about the characteristics of those who practiced midwifery. They were uniformly women.  In the Hellenized East, they may have had a higher status than their counterparts in the Roman West.  Although some women of free birth went into midwifery as a profession, the bulk of them were probably of servile origin or the daughters of women of the lower classes.  A few of these "low born" women became obstetricians of some note.  For the wealthy elite, maternity care was potentially much better.  The corpus of medical literature certainly shows that some physicians and midwives employed enlightened techniques that at the very least were unlikely to harm either the mother or the baby.[8]  One might suppose that the rates of maternal and infant mortality in the Greco-Roman world varied with the socioeconomic class of the family and with the family 's choice between traditional folk medicine and professional obstetrical care, but there is little objective data to support this conclusion.  Medical care was largely ineffectual, and whether for rich or poor, the rates of death were high for mother and child.

In response to the high infancy and childhood mortality rate, a variety of religious rituals developed to protect the pregnant mother and her offspring during labor and delivery and in the years to follow.  The aid of quite literally dozens of deities, major and minor, could be invoked.[9]  It is quite likely that the typical parturient and her midwife prayed for assistance from one or more of these goddesses.

The process of expansion of the Roman Empire necessitated a ready and increasing supply of soldiers and labor--a difficult feat given the high rate of death in childhood and its "two steps forward and one step back" effect. Given the high rate of infant and childhood death, it has been calculated that to even maintain a stable population in ancient Rome required a birth rate of over five children per mother, live-born.[10]  It was thus in the best interest of the Roman state to encourage fertility among its families.  One way to do this was through the creation of official deities and celebrations of fertility, the other was to advertise fertility on its coinage.  This paper will focus on that coinage.  A handful of reverse types relating to pregnancy and fertility grace the coins of the Roman empire.  These reverse types include Fecunditas, Juno Sospita, Juno Lucina, Venus Genetrix, Laetitia, the Dei Genitales, and a few miscellaneous types.  Uberitas refers to the personification of agricultural fertility, not to human childbirth, and will not be discussed here.

 

Fecunditas - Fecundity

Although many reference works on ancient numismatics[11] classify Fecunditas as a personification of fertility rather than as an actual deity, Fecunditas was recognized as a Roman divinity by Nero, who erected a statue to her. Tacitus[12] notes that upon the birth of Claudia Neronis, the senate decreed the construction of a temple of Fertility, presumably to be built at Antium, which also was to host circus games. This building may be the one depicted on the only coin that honors Claudia Neronis[13] (fig. 1).[14]

Fecundity means fertility, and it is usually understood to be a female attribute. It is therefore more frequently found on the coins of empresses, and unusual for it to occur on coins of an emperor.  Fecundity is always portrayed as a female figure holding a child, or children and often a scepter, cornucopia, palm branch or caduceus. Sometimes the children are depicted standing at her feet. Coins portraying her usually advertise the fertility of the imperial family who issued the coin.  Empresses (and the occasional emperor) whose coins portray Fecunditas are Faustina Sr., Marcus Aurelius, Faustina Junior (figs. 2-4), Lucilla (figs. 5-6), Crispina, Julia Domna (figs. 7-8), Julia Maesa (figs. 9-10), Julia Mamaea (figs. 11-13), Otacilia Severa, Herennia Etruscilla (figs. 14-15), Salonina (fig. 16), Gallienus, Claudius II, Tetricus I, Uranius Antoninus and a few others.  On the coins of Gallienus, it is possible that this reverse occurs in error, and was intended to be used on coins of his wife Salonina.

 

Juno Sospita

In Roman mythology, Juno was the daughter of Saturn and the wife of Jupiter and she had many attributes.  Among these was Juno Sospita, who offered protection to women, accompanying them throughout their lives from birth to death[15].  She was often called upon by infertile women to aid in conception.  Juno Sospita (fig. 17) was characterized by her goatskin coat and headdress with the horns of a goat[16].

 

Juno Lucina

Lucina is the Roman name for the Greek goddess, Eileithyia, who was the protectress of midwives and who assisted during birth. She was later identified with Hera or Artemis.  To the Romans, she was sometimes considered a separate goddess from Juno, as in Ovid 's Metamorphoses IX, which describes how Lucina, bribed by Juno, delayed the onset of Hercules ' birth by using magic spells on his mother, Alcmene.[17]  Lucina, though, is more commonly identified as an aspect of the goddess Juno, as in Apuleius ' The Golden Ass, where Psyche prays to Juno, who is "venerated . . . by the whole West as Lucina, Goddess of Childbirth.[18]  Indeed, all Roman coins consider Lucina to be the aspect of Juno associated with light and childbirth, during which she eased the pain and made sure all went well.

Her name is sometimes used metaphorically as a synonym for child-birth, yet the origin of her name is a matter of some disagreement.  One theory is that it comes from the Latin word, "lucus" (grove). Indeed, Livy records that the grove on the Esquiline Hill in which a temple was dedicated to her in 375 B.C. is the origin of her name.  The Matronalia, held by Roman matrons on March 1, marked the anniversary of the foundation of the temple of Juno Lucina on the Esquiline.  However, by the second century B.C., Juno Lucina was associated with childbirth because the name Lucina was thought to have come from the Latin word, "lux" (light).[19] When a child was born it was said to have been "brought to light." Women who worshiped Juno Lucina had to untie knots and unbraid their hair lest these entanglements symbolically block delivery.  Of interest to numismatists, King Servius Tullius was said to have ordered that a coin should be placed in her temple for every birth to record the growth of the population.[20]

Empresses who issued coins portraying Juno Lucina include Faustina Junior (fig. 18), Lucilla (figs. 19-20), Crispina (fig. 21) and Julia Domna.  Coins portraying Lucina may commemorate a birth in the Imperial family or that the help of the goddess had been invoked.[21]  She is usually portrayed with or holding children. A variety of objects may accompany her, sometimes a patera and scepter--attributes of Juno--or more commonly, a flower.  The flower may recall the circumstance in which Juno conceived Mars.[22]  Ovid relates the story[23] that Juno, angry that Jupiter had given birth himself to Minerva, decided to do the same thing herself and become pregnant without her husband.  She consulted with the goddess Flora, who touched Juno with a flower from the fields of Olenus.  Juno thus conceived and gave birth to Mars.  Greek versions of the tale report that when Hera (identified by the Romans with Juno) touched a certain flower, she conceived Ares (Mars to the Romans) and his twin sister, Eris.

 

Venus Genetrix

Venus in her aspect as the divine ancestress of the Roman people was known as Venus Genetrix.  According to legend, and as recorded in Virgil 's Aeneid, Aeneis was the son of Venus who fled Troy after its destruction and founded the city of Rome.  Julius Caesar, being of the Gens Julia, claimed direct descent from Venus Genetrix and AeneasJulius Caesar built a Temple of Venus Genetrix in his new forum.  Most depictions of Venus Genetrix on Roman coinage are of the statue in the Forum, and do not directly refer to pregnancy or fertility.  However, at least one issue (fig. 22) which depicts the goddess specifically commemorates the birth of Faustina Junior 's first child in December, 147, the occasion of her proclamation as Augusta and of Marcus Aurelius ' assumption of the tribunician power.

 

Laetitia

Laetitia, the personification of gladness and joy, was depicted with many attributes typically a wreath and scepter or occasionally a rudder on a globe instead of a scepter[24].  On the coins of empresses, Laetitia may signal a birth in the Imperial family[25] (fig. 23).

 

Saeculi felicitas and Temporum felicitas

Like Laetitia, which personifies gladness and joy, the happy event of a royal child was commemorated on coins of Marcus Aurelius and his family with the more overtly celebratory legends, SAECVLI FELICIT (fig. 24) and TEMPOR FELIC (fig. 25), meaning "happy age" or "happy times".

 

Dis Genitalibus

The Dei Genitales were divinities thought by the Romans to be the parents of all things whether living or non-living.  Dis genitalibus is a dedicatory phrase to the gods of childbirth perhaps for having had children or to obtain fertility or to protect an unborn child.[26] The only coins which depict them are denarii of Crispina, the wife of Commodus (fig. 26). This rare type was likely issued in anticipation of the birth of an heir to the Antonine throne[27], however, there is no record of any offspring resulting from this marriage.

 

Providentia

The legend on the reverse of many late Roman coins reads PROVIDENTIAE CAESS.  In the case of Constantine II (fig. 27),  this acknowledges that the royal family had provided the Roman people and empire with a Caesar and the prospects of a smooth succession.[28]


[1]  Epidemics, in Hippocratic Writings, G.E.R. Lloyd, ed. 

[2]  Ep. 4.21.1-3.

[3]  Fronto, ad M.Caesar 1.6.7 and Epis.Graec. 3.

[4]  Burns, J.K. "Faustina the Younger--The New Messalina?" The Celator, Vol. 15, no. 7 (July 2001), p. 10.

[5]  The influence of Galen cannot be overstated.  He is considered to be one of the greatest physicians of ancient times and the father of experimental physiology.  The teachings contained in his 83 medical writings were accepted without question in Europe until the 16th century!

[6]  Keith Hopkins. "Death and Renewal". World Health Statistics Annual (1979). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1983, p. 225.

[7]  Parkin, T.G. Demography and Roman Society. Baltimore: John Hopkins University Press, 1992.

[8]  Valerie French. "Rescuing Creusa: New Methodological Approaches to Women in Antiquity," Helios, New Series 13(2), 1986, pp. 69-84.  See also Calvin Wells, "Ancient Obstetric Hazards and Female Mortality," Bulletin of the New York Academy of Medicine, 51 (1975), 1235-49.

[9]  A number of lists of the relevant deities are available online.  See Gregory Flood 's page at http://ancienthistory.about.com/library/bl/bl_gregory_gods_2.htm or http://www.novaroma.org/religio_romana/deities.html as examples.

[10]  Parkin, Demography and Roman Society.

[11]  Sear, D.R. Roman Coins and their Values: The Millennium Edition. London: Spink and Sons, Ltd., 2000, p. 38; Sayles, W.G. Ancient Coin Collecting. Iola, Wisconsin: Krause, 1996, p. 125; Klawans, Z.H. Handbook of Ancient Greek and Roman Coins. New York: Golden books, 1995, p. 212;  Vagi, D.L. Coinage and History of the Roman Empire, volume II: Coinage. Sidney, Ohio: Coin World, 1999, p. 66.

[12]  Annales 15,23

[13]  Vagi, D.L. Coinage and History of the Roman Empire, volume I: History. Sidney, Ohio: Coin World, 1999, p. 172.

[14]  Unless noted otherwise, all figures are from the author 's personal collection.

[15]  Penn, R.G. Medicine on Ancient Greek and Roman Coins. London: Seaby, 1994, p. 124.

[16]  Jones, J.M. A Dictionary of Ancient Roman Coins. London: Seaby, 1990, p. 16.

[17]  Ovid. Metamorphoses (A.D. Melville, trans.).  Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1986, pp. 202-209.

[18]  Apuleius. The Transformations of Lucius Otherwise Known as The Golden Ass (Robert Graves, trans.).  New York: Ferrar, Straus and Giroux, 1951, p. 128.

[19]  Lucretius I 5,22

[20] Penn, pp. 64-66; also Lesley Adkins in Dictionary of Roman Religion. Facts on File, 1996.

[21]  Jones, p. 153.

[22]  Penn, p. 65.

[23]  Fasti V, lines 225-260.

[24]  Sear, vol. II, p. 39.

[25]  Jones, p.156.

[26]  Penn, p. 66.

[27]  Sear vol. II, p. 421.

[28]  The coin illustrated in fig. 27 and this interesting piece of information and are taken from http://myron.sjsu.edu/romeweb/RCOINS/sub2/cg1aw.htm

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Figure 1. 19mm of Caesarea Panias, Trachonitis, Syria, struck AD 65 under Nero. Obv: DIVA POPPAEA AVG, distyle temple of Diva Poppaea, female figure within. Rev: DIVA CLAVD NER F, round hexastyle temple of Diva Claudia, female figure within. RPC I 4846; Hendin 578; Sear 2058; Vagi 746.  Photo courtesy of Harlan J. Berk.

 

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Figure 2.  Faustina Junior -- Died 175/6. Wife of Marcus Aurelius. Augusta, AD 147-175/6.  AR Denarius (18mm, 3.28g), Rome mint, AD 161-175.  Obv: FAVSTINA AVGVSTA, diademed and draped bust right. Rev: FECVND AVGVSTAE. Faustina portrayed as Fecunditas, to left between two children (thought to represent Faustina III and Lucilla), holding two more in hand (thought to represent Fadilla & Cornificia).  RIC 676; RSC 95; BMCRE 89; Sear 5251; Cohen  95; Van Meter 12.

 

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Figure 3.  Faustina Junior -- Died 175/6. Wife of Marcus Aurelius. Augusta, AD 147-175/6.  AR Denarius (19mm, 3.16g), Rome mint, AD 161-175.  Obv: FAVSTINA AVGVSTA, draped bust right, a double band of pearls around her head. Rev: FECVNDITAS, Fecunditas standing right, holding scepter & child. RIC 677; RSC 99; BMC 91; Sear 5252; Cohen 99.

 

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Figure 4.  Faustina Junior -- Died 175/6. Wife of Marcus Aurelius. Augusta, AD 147-175/6. As or Dupondius (26mm, 15.5g), Rome mint, AD 161-175.  Obv: FAVSTINA AVGVSTA, draped bust right. Rev: FECVNDITAS SC, Fecunditas standing right, holding scepter & child. RIC 1639; BMC 980; Sear 5295; Cohen 101.

 

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Figure 5. Lucilla -- AD 148/9-182/3. Wife of Lucius Verus, sister of Commodus. Augusta, AD 164-182/3 AD.  AR denarius, Rome mint, AD 166-169. Obv: LVCILLA AVGVSTA, draped bust r. Rev: FECVNDITAS, Fecunditas seated r., holding child on lap, a second child standing l. at feet. RIC 765; BMCRE 337; Cohen 19; Sear 5483.

 

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Figure 6.  Lucilla -- AD 148/9-182/3. Wife of Lucius Verus, sister of Commodus. Augusta, AD 164-182/3 AD.  Sestertius (31.5mm, 24.7g), Rome mint, AD 166-9. Obv: LVCILLA AVGVSTA, Bare-headed and draped bust right. Rev: FECVNDITAS SC, Fecunditas seated right, nursing child, two children standing around. RIC 1736; BMC 1197; Sear 5499; Cohen 21.

 

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Figure 7.  Julia Domna -- c. AD 170-217. Wife of Septimius Severus, Augusta, AD 193-217.  AR Denarius (18.5mm, 3.49g), Rome mint, AD 195. Obv: IVLIA DOMNA AVG, Bare-headed and draped bust right. Rev: FECVNDITAS, Fecunditas seated right, with two children. RIC 534; RSC 42; BMC 27, 46; Sear 6580; Cohen 42; Hill 137.

 

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Figure 8. Julia Domna -- c. AD 170-217. Wife of Septimius Severus, Augusta, AD 193-217.  AR Denarius (3.24g, 20.0mm), Rome mint, AD 207. Obv: IVLIA AVGVSTA, draped bust right. Rev: FECVNDITAS, Terra reclining left under tree, left arm on basket of fruits, right hand set on globe, spangled with stars, in background four children representing the four Seasons. RIC 549, RSC 35, BMC 21, Sear 6579. Ex FORVM Ancient coins.

 

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Figure 9.  Julia Maesa -- Died AD 224/5. Sister of Julia Domna, grandmother of Elagabalus and Severus AlexanderAugusta, AD 218-224/5.  AR Denarius (18mm, 3.20g), Eastern mint (Antioch?/Emessa?/Laodicea?), AD 218-9.  Obv: IVLIA MAESA AVG, draped bust right. Rev: FECVNDITAS, Fecunditas seated, left, with plant and scepter, two children at side. RIC unl.; RSC 7b (var); BMC 65A; Sear 7748; Cohen 7; Spink sale #123, lot 1381.

 

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Figure 10.  Julia Maesa -- Died AD 224/5. Sister of Julia Domna, grandmother of Elagabalus and Severus AlexanderAugusta, AD 218-224/5.  AR Denarius (19.5mm, 3.1g), Rome mint, AD 219.  Obv: IVLIA MAESA AVG, draped bust right. Rev: FECVNDITAS AVG, Fecunditas standing left, right hand over child and holding cornucopia.  RIC 249; RSC 8; BMC 61; Sear 7749; Cohen 8.

 

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Figure 11. Julia Mamaea -- Died AD 235. Mother of Severus Alexander. Augusta, AD 222-235.  AR Denarius (19mm, 3.39g), Rome mint, AD 232. Obv: IVLIA MAMAEA AVG, diademed and draped bust right. Rev: FECVND AVGVSTAE, Fecunditas standing left, extending her right hand to a child standing before her and holding a cornucopiae. RIC 331; RSC 5; BMC 917; Sear-8207; Cohen 5.


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Figure 12.  Julia Mamaea -- Died AD 235. Mother of Severus Alexander. Augusta, AD 222-235.  Sestertius (30mm, 19.5g), Rome mint, AD 232. Obv: IVLIA MAMAEA AVGVSTA, diademed and draped bust right. Rev: FECVNDITAS AVGVSTAE SC, Fecunditas standing left, extending her right hand to a child standing before her and holding a cornucopiae. RIC 668; BMC 920; Sear 8226; Cohen 8; VanMeter 12.

 

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Figure 13. Julia Mamaea -- Died AD 235. Mother of Severus Alexander. Augusta, AD 222-235.  AR Denarius (20mm, 2.95g), Rome mint, AD 232. Obv: IVLIA MAMAEA AVG, diademed and draped bust right. Rev: FECVND AVGVSTAE, Fecunditas seated left, reaching out to child. RIC 332; RSC 6; BMC 913; Sear 8208; Cohen 6.

 

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Figure 14.  Herennia Etruscilla -- Lifespan unknown. Wife of Trajan Decius. Augusta, AD 249-253(?).  AR Antoninianus (22mm, 4.16), Rome mint, AD 249-251. Obv: HER ETRVSCILLA AVG, diademed and draped bust right on a crescent. Rev: FECVNDITAS AVG, Fecunditas standing left holding cornucopia, holding hand over child before her. RIC 55b; RSC 8; Sear(1984) 2728; Cohen 8; VanMeter 2.

 

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Figure 15.  Herennia Etruscilla -- Lifespan unknown. Wife of Trajan Decius. Augusta, AD 249-253(?).  Sestertius (28mm), Rome mint, AD 250.  Obv: HERENNIA ETRVSCILLA AVG, Diademed and draped bust right.  Rev: FECVNDITAS AVG S C, Fecunditas standing left holding cornucopia, holding hand over child before her.  RIC 134c; Sear(1984) 2733; Cohen 9; VanMeter 13.

 

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Figure 16. Salonina -- Died AD 268. Wife of Gallienus. Augusta, AD 253/4-268. Silvered antoninianus (22mm, 3.12g), Rome mint, AD 253-68. Obv: SALONINA AVG,  diademed and draped bust right on crescent. Rev: FECVNDITAS AVG, Fecunditas standing left holding cornucopiae, child at feet. RIC 5; Sear(1984) 3039; Cohen 39.

 

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Figure 17. L. Roscius Fabatus --AR Serrate Denarius. Head of Juno Sospita R/Girl facing snake, FABATI below (refers to festival of Juno Sospita). Roscia 3. Photo courtesy of Heather Howard.

 

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Fig. 18. Faustina Junior -- Died 175/6. Wife of Marcus Aurelius. Augusta, AD 147-175/6. As or Dupondius (25.9 mm) Rome mint, AD 148-152. Obv: FAVSTINAE AVG P II AVG FIL, Draped bust right with strand of pearls around head. Rev: IVNONI LVCINAE SC, Juno, veiled, standing l., holding patera and scepter. RIC.1400A; BMC.2153; Sear 4728.

 

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Figure 19. Lucilla -- AD 148/9-182/3. Wife of Lucius Verus, sister of Commodus. Augusta, AD 164-182/3 AD. AR denarius (18mm, 3.24g), Rome mint, AD 166. Obv: LVCILLAE AVG ANTONINI AVG F, Bare-headed and draped bust right. Rev: IVNONI LVCINAE, Juno standing. l., holding baby in swaddling clothes in left arm. RIC-771, Sear-5485, BMC-313, Cohen-38.

 

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Figure 20. Lucilla -- AD 148/9-182/3. Wife of Lucius Verus, sister of Commodus. Augusta, AD 164-182/3 AD. Sestertius (31mm), Rome mint, AD 166. Obv: LVCILLAE AVG ANTONINI AVG F, Bare-headed and draped bust right. Rev: IVNONI LVCINAE SC, Juno seated left, holding flower and an infant in swaddling clothes.  RIC-1747, BMC-1154, Sear-5504, Cohen-37

 

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Figure 21. Crispina -- Died AD 182/3. Wife of Commodus. Augusta, AD 177-182/3. As or Dupondius (25mm), Rome mint, AD 180-182. Obv: CRISPINA AVGVSTA, Bare-headed and draped bust right.  Rev: IVNO LVCINA S C, Juno standing l., holding patera and scepter.  RIC-680, Sear-6018, BMC-433, Cohen-24.

 

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Figure 22. Faustina Junior -- Died 175/6. Wife of Marcus Aurelius. Augusta, AD 147-175/6. Sestertius issued under Antoninus Pius, Rome mint, AD 147-148.  Obv:  FAVSTINAE AVG PII AVG FIL, Draped bust right, wearing stephane. Rx: VENERI GENETRICI S C, Venus standing left, holding apple and baby wrapped in swaddling clothes. BM-2145, C-237.  From Juan R. Cayon, Los Sestercios del Imperio Romano, Vol. III, p. 180.

 

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igure 23. Faustina Junior -- Died 175/6. Wife of Marcus Aurelius. Augusta, AD 147-175/6. As or Dupondius (25 mm), Rome mint, AD 161-175.  Obv:  FAVSTINA AVGVSTA, Bare-headed and draped bust right. Rev: LAETITIA S C, Laetitia standing right, holding scepter and wreath. RIC-1657, Sear-5300, BMC-987, Cohen-152.

 

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Figure 24. Faustina Junior -- Died 175/6. Wife of Marcus Aurelius. Augusta, AD 147-175/6. AR denarius (17mm), Rome mint, AD 161.  Obv:  FAVSTINA AVGVSTA, Bare-headed and draped bust right. Rev: SAECVLI FELICIT, Throne, upon which are seated two infant boys, Commodus and Antoninus.  RIC-711, Sear-5260 var., BMC-139 var., Cohen-190 var.

 

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Figure 25. Faustina Junior -- Died 175/6. Wife of Marcus Aurelius. Augusta, AD 147-175/6. Sestertius, Rome mint, AD 161-175.  Obv:  FAVSTINA AVGVSTA, Bare-headed and draped bust right. Rev: TEMPOR FELIC S C, Faustina standing left, holding two children, four more at her feet. RIC-1673, Sear-5284 var., Cohen-222. Photo courtesy of Heather Howard.

 

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Figure 26.  Crispina -- Died AD 182/3. Wife of Commodus. Augusta, AD 177-182/3. AR Denarius (19.5mm, 3.15g), Rome mint, AD 180-181. Obv: CRISPINA AVGVSTA, bare-headed and draped bust right. Rev: DIS GENITALIBVS, large rectangular altar. RIC-281A, Sear 5999 var., BMC 31, RSC 15, Cohen 15. Crispina 's scarce earliest obverse legend (CRISPINA AVGVSTA, RIC-281B; C-16; BMC-39, is usual for this issue).[28]

 

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Figure 27.  Constantine II AE3 Nicomedia mint. Obv: CONSTANTINVS IVN NOB C, Laureate, draped and cuirassed bust, r. Rev: PROVIDEN-TIAE CAESS, campgate with two turrets, no doors, star above. In exergue, SMHG. RIC 77.

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