Home > Catalog > Roman Coins > The Severan Period > Julia Domna > RS89456
Julia Domna, Augusta 194 - 8 April 217 A.D.
Cybele was born a hermaphrodite, but castrated by the gods, she became female. Heeding the Sibylline oracle, the senate brought her worship to Rome in 204 B.C. as the first officially sanctioned Eastern cult. After approval, they were dismayed to learn that the priesthood required voluntary self-castration, which was abhorrent to the Romans. Romans were barred from entering the priesthood or even entering the priest's sanctuary. The eunuch priests, recruited from outside Rome, were confined to their sanctuary, leaving only to parade in the streets during festivals in April. Claudius removed the bans on Roman participation, making worship of Cybele and her consort Attis part of the state religion.
RS89456. Silver denarius
, RIC IV
S564; RSC III
123; BMCRE V
p. 163, S51; Hunter III
p. 42, S11; SRCV II
6593, Choice VF, well centered and struck
, a few light marks, small coppery spots, edge cracks, Rome
3.380g, maximum diameter
19.8mm, die axis
, c. 205 A.D.; obverse
, draped bust
right; reverse MATER DEVM
(mother of the gods), Cybele
seated left between two lions, wearing towered crown, branch in right hand, scepter
in left hand, resting left arm on drum; scarce
Catalog current as of Tuesday, April 23, 2019.
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