Numismatic and History Discussions > Roman Coins

Venus with a bra??

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EmpressCollector:
This Julia Titi denarius is currently for sale and I noticed an interesting feature:  Venus has a horizontal band across her upper back.  This is interesting insofar as I have never noticed this before and I wonder why it is there.  Could it depict a bikini top of some kind?  Why?  The usual iconography is to portray Venus topless...

I know this isn't the most earth shattering of discoveries, but it tells us something about the history of women's clothes in antiquity, I think.

LordBest:
Its the right size for the back of a Roman bra, right position too, lts face it, there arent many places youd put it. ::) A friend of mine recently sent me a big pic of the mosaic depicting Roman bras, lets see if i can find it again.

                                           LordBest. 8)

LordBest:
A shy model? ;D
                                     LordBest. 8)

Jerome Holderman:
Do you really think that the engravers of these dies had models posing for them??  ??? I would not have even considered that as a possibility?

EmpressCollector:
I don't think it was copied from live models.  It is likely a depiction of a famous statue.  John Dominis in the June, 2003 Celator proposes it is the statue from the temple of Venus Victrix in the theater of Pompey.  This Venus is portrayed on dozens and dozens of coins since Augustus: http://www.ruark.org/coins/Venus/

The original statue almost certainly was nude from the waist up, and I remain puzzled by the bra depicted on some of these issues.

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