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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ |Roman Coins| ▸ |The Adoptive Emperors| ▸ |Lucilla||View Options:  |  |  | 

Lucilla, Augusta c. 164 - 182 A.D., Wife of Lucius Verus

Lucilla was the daughter of Marcus Aurelius and Faustina II and was born in 149 A.D. She was married to the co-emperor Lucius Verus in 164 A.D and bore him several children. She was exiled then executed after being implicated in a conspiracy to assassinate her brother Commodus in 182 A.D.

|Lucilla|, |Lucilla,| |Augusta| |c.| |164| |-| |182| |A.D.,| |Wife| |of| |Lucius| |Verus||denarius|NEW
Concordia, the goddess of marital harmony, was not particularly generous to Lucilla. It was not considered adultery for a Roman husband to have sex with slaves or unmarried women. The historian Spartianus wrote that after Lucilla complained, Lucius Verus reproached her: "Uxor enim dignitatis nomen est, non voluptatis" (Wife is the name of dignity, not bliss).
RS97456. Silver denarius, RSC II 6b; BMCRE IV p. 427, 305 note; RIC III 758 var. (left arm on statuette of Spes); Hunter II 1 var. (same); SRCV II 5479 var. (same), Choice VF, well centered, attractive portrait, radiating flow lines, mild die wear, weight 3.446 g, maximum diameter 18.6 mm, die axis 0o, Rome mint, 164 - 169 A.D.; obverse LVCILLAE AVG ANTONINI AVG F, draped bust right, hair waived and knotted in chignon low at back; reverse CONCORDIA (harmony), Concordia seated left, patera in extended right hand, resting left arm on back of chair; ex Savoca Coins auction blue 90 (29 Nov 2020), lot 1275; $150.00 (€138.00)
 


|Lucilla|, |Lucilla,| |Augusta| |c.| |164| |-| |182| |A.D.,| |Wife| |of| |Lucius| |Verus||denarius|NEW
Venus (Aphrodite) can be faulted for the Trojan War. Upset that she was not invited to a wedding, she went anyway and maliciously left a golden apple inscribed "For the fairest" on the banquet table. The goddesses, as Aphrodite expected, argued who was the rightful possessor of this prize. It was determined the most handsome mortal in the world, a noble Trojan youth named Paris, would decide. Each of the three finalists offered Paris a bribe. Hera promised he would rule the world. Athena said she would make him victorious in battle. Aphrodite guaranteed the love of the most beautiful woman in the world. This was Helen, who was married to the king of Sparta. Paris awarded the golden apple to Aphrodite. Aphrodite enabled Paris to elope with Helen, Helen of Troy. Helen's husband raised a Greek army to retrieve his wife, starting the Trojan War.
RS97457. Silver denarius, RIC III 784, BMCRE IV 322, RSC II 70, Hunter II 70, SRCV II 5491, VF, toned, radiating flow lines, tight flan, light marks/scratches, light porosity, tiny edge cracks, weight 3.323 g, maximum diameter 18.9 mm, die axis 0o, Rome mint, 164 - 166 A.D.; obverse LVCILLA AVG ANTONINI AVG F, draped bust right, hair waived and knotted in chignon low at back; reverse VENVS, Venus standing left, apple in right hand, long scepter vertical in left hand; ex Savoca Coins auction blue 90 (29 Nov 2020), lot 1276; $140.00 (€128.80)
 


|Lucilla|, |Lucilla,| |Augusta| |c.| |164| |-| |182| |A.D.,| |Wife| |of| |Lucius| |Verus||denarius|NEW
Lucifer means lightbringer, from the Latin lux light and ferre to bear or bring. The word Lucifer is found in only one place in the Bible -- Isaiah 14:12 -- but only in the King James and related versions: How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! The King James Version is based on the Vulgate, the Latin translation of Jerome. Jerome translated the Hebrew helel (bright or brilliant one) as lucifer, which was a reasonable Latin equivalent. And yet it is this lucifer, the bright one or lightbearer, that came to be understood by so many as the name for Satan, Lord of Darkness.
RS96571. Silver denarius, RIC III MA762; RSC II 14; BMCRE IV p. 427, 310; Hunter II p. 388, 2; SRCV II 5482 var. (Diana standing right), Choice aVF, well centered, toned, radiating flow lines, a few scratches, edge a little ragged with edge cracks, weight 3.563 g, maximum diameter 20.8 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 166 - 169 A.D.; obverse LVCILLAE AVG ANTONINI AVG F, draped bust right, hair waived and knotted in chignon low at back; reverse DIANA LVCIFERA, Diana standing slightly left, head left, long torch transverse left held in both hands; $165.00 (€151.80)
 


|Lucilla|, |Lucilla,| |Augusta| |c.| |164| |-| |182| |A.D.,| |Wife| |of| |Lucius| |Verus||denarius|NEW
Vesta was originally a household spirit. Later she was personified as the goddess of the hearth and given the stature of her Greek equivalent, Hestia. In the temple of Vesta, her sacred flame was kept alive by Vestal Virgins. In 394, by order of the Christian emperor Theodosius I in his campaign to eliminate pagan practices in Rome, the fire of Vesta was extinguished.
RS96578. Silver denarius, RIC III 788; BMCRE IV 325; RSC II 92, Szaivert MIR 18 21, SRCV II 5493, Choice VF, attractive rainbow toning, well centered, radiating flow lines, reverse die wear, many small edge splits, weight 3.416 g, maximum diameter 19.3 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 161 - 162 A.D.; obverse LVCILLAE AVG ANTONINI AVG F, draped bust right, hair waived and knotted in chignon low at back; reverse VESTA, Vesta standing left, flaming altar at feet on left, simpulum in right hand, palladium in left hand sloped at shoulder in left; $110.00 (€101.20)
 


|Lucilla|, |Lucilla,| |Augusta| |c.| |164| |-| |182| |A.D.,| |Wife| |of| |Lucius| |Verus||sestertius|
Hilaritas, the personification of rejoicing, is usually depicted as a matron, standing with a cornucopia in her left hand and a long palm frond on the ground in her right. Green branches were a sign of gladness and for special occasions, both public and private, it was the custom in ancient times to ornament streets, temples, gates, houses, and even entire cities, with branches and leaves of trees. This tradition carries on today in the form of wreaths and Christmas trees.
RB94225. Bronze sestertius, RIC III 1740, Cohen III 29, BMCRE IV 1203, Hunter II 51, SRCV II -, F, dark tone, partial green patina, porous, tight squared flan, weight 22.228 g, maximum diameter 29.7 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 166 - 169 A.D.; obverse LVCILLA AVGVSTA, draped bust right, hair waived and knotted in a coil low at back; reverse HILARITAS, Hilaritas standing left, long palm branch in right hand, cornucopia in left hand, S - C (senatus consulto) flanking low across field; $95.00 (€87.40)
 


|Lucilla|, |Lucilla,| |Augusta| |c.| |164| |-| |182| |A.D.,| |Wife| |of| |Lucius| |Verus||sestertius|
For Roman wives, piety often meant accepting neglect. It was not considered adultery for a Roman husband to have sex with slaves or unmarried women. The historian Spartianus wrote that after Lucilla complained, Lucius Verus reproached her: "Uxor enim dignitatis nomen est, non voluptatis" (Wife is the name of dignity, not bliss).
RB79813. Orichalcum sestertius, RIC III 1756, BMCRE IV 1161, Cohen III 54, Hunter II 27, SRCV II 5505, F, glossy dark sea-green patina, light corrosion on obverse, rough areas on reverse, squared tight flan, weight 19.430 g, maximum diameter 30.9 mm, die axis 0o, Rome mint, 164 - 166 A.D.; obverse LVCILLAE AVG ANTONINI AVG F, draped bust right; reverse PIETAS, Pietas standing left, veiled, raising her right hand, perfume-box in left hand, flaming altar at feet on left, S - C (senatus consulto) flanking across field; $100.00 (€92.00)
 










OBVERSE| LEGENDS|

LVCILLAAVGANTONINIAVGF
LVCILLAAVGVSTA
LVCILLAEAVGANTONINIAVGF
LVCILLAEAVGVSTAE


REFERENCES|

Banti, A. & L. Simonetti. Corpus Nummorum Romanorum. (Florence, 1972-1979).
Calicó, E. The Roman Avrei, Vol. I: From the Republic to Pertinax, 196 BC - 193 AD. (Barcelona, 2003).
Cayón, J. Los Sestercios del Imperio Romano, Vol. III: De Marco Aurelio a Caracalla (Del 161 d.C. al 217 d.C.). (Madrid, 1984).
Cohen, H. Description historique des monnaies frappées sous l'Empire Romain, Vol. 3: Marcus Aurelius to Clodius Albinus. (Paris, 1883).
Mattingly, H. & E. Sydenham. The Roman Imperial Coinage, Vol. III: Antoninus Pius to Commodus. (London, 1930).
Mattingly, H. & R. Carson. Coins of the Roman Empire in the British Museum, Vol. 4: Antoninus Pius to Commodus. (London, 1940).
Robinson, A.S. Roman Imperial Coins in the Hunter Coin Cabinet. II. Trajan to Commodus (London, 1971).
Szaivert, W. Die Münzprägung der Kaiser Marcus Aurelius, Lucius Verus un Commodus (161-192). (Wien, 1984).
Seaby, H. & R. Loosley. Roman Silver Coins, Vol. II: Tiberius to Commodus. (London, 1979).
Sear, D. Roman Coins and Their Values, Vol. II: The Accession of Nerva to the Overthrow of the Severan Dynasty AD 96 - AD 235. (London, 2002).
Strack, P. Untersuchungen zur römischen Reichsprägung des zweiten Jahrhunderts, Teil III: Die Reichsprägung zur Zeit Antoninus Pius. (Stuttgart, 1937).
Toynbee, J. Roman medallions. ANSNS 5. (New York, 1944).
Vagi, D. Coinage and History of the Roman Empire. (Sidney, 1999).

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