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Index Of All Titles


Ancient Coin Collecting 101
Ancient Glass
Anonymous Follis
Anonymous Class A Folles
Armenian Numismatics Page
Coins of Pontius Pilate
Dictionary of Roman Coins
Doug Smith's Ancient Coins
Greek Alphabet
Greek Dates
Greek Mythology Link
Helvetica's ID Help Page
Historia Numorum
Latin Plurals
Latin Pronunciation
Library of Ancient Coinage
Life in Ancient Rome
Maps of the Ancient World
Mint Marks
Nabataean Numerals
Not in RIC
Numismatic Bulgarian
Numismatic Excellence Award
Numismatic French
Numismatic German
Numismatic Italian
Numismatic Spanish
Paleo-Hebrew Alphabet
Phoenician Alphabet
Pi-Style Athens Tetradrachms
Roman Coin Attribution 101
Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum
Syracusian Folles
The Temple Tax Hoard
Travels of Paul
Tribute Penny
Tyrian Shekels
What I Like About Ancient Coins
Widow's Mite



Pater Patriae

Father of the Fatherland (Father of our country), an honorary title of the Roman Republic and Empire, which was bestowed by the Senate.  See the Dictionary of Roman Coins entry below.

  Pater Patriae - The man who first of all obtained this glorious title was Cicero, on whom it was conferred by the Senate of Rome, in acknowledgment of his paternal gaurdianship of the republic, as the detector of Catiline's conspiracy  It is a phrase purely of honour, unconnected with power. - Nor indeed was it (says Oiselius) bestowed immediately on all the Roman Emperors. - It was from Julius Caesar that the custom of conferring this cognomen passed to his successors; and this is shown by coins struck during his lifetime, on which he is called CAESAR PARENS PATRIAE. - To Augustus, on account of his clemency (as Aurelius Victor affirms), the cognomen of Pater Patriae was given in the year of Rome 752, and in the twenty-first renewal of his tribunitian power, in consequence of which medals were forthwith struck, charged with the inscription of CAESAR AVGVSTVS DIVI F. PATER PATRIAE.- And on some large brass, struck out of Rome, supposed to be of the mint of Lyons, we moreover read the same inscription round the Emperor's head - the reverse exhibiting the altar, dedicated by the Gaulish tribes to ROME. ET AVGustus. - Tiberius constantly refused this title, and his cons omit it. - Nero also, at the beginning of his reign, rejected the honourable surname, but soon after accepted it, as appears from his coins. - The same distinction was borne by Vespasian, according to Suetonius, and is recorded on medals of his, struck in the second year of his reign. - We likewise read the well deserved compliment of Pater Patriae on the coins of Nerva. - Of Trajan it is related by the younger Pliny, that he declined the offer of this title, made to him on his accession to the throne, assigning as a reason that he did not esteem himself worthy of being denominated the Father of his Country.  Nevertheless, we find coins struck in his second year, and frequently afterwards inscribed, among the rest, with Pater Patriae. - Hadrian's coins, bearing the senatorial mark S.C., and struck in the first year of his Imperatorship and tribunitian power, present numerous examples in which be is styled P.P. - And the same initial letters are frequently found appended to the names of other Emperors.

View whole page from the Dictionary Of Roman Coins