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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ Themes & Provenance ▸ Personifications ▸ LibertyView Options:  |  |  | 

Liberty (Liberitas)

Vitellius, 2 January - 20 December 69 A.D.

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Libertas (Latin for Liberty) was the Roman goddess and embodiment of liberty. The pileus liberatis was a soft felt cap worn by liberated slaves of Troy and Asia Minor. In late Republican Rome, the pileus was symbolically given to slaves upon manumission, granting them not only their personal liberty, but also freedom as citizens with the right to vote (if male). Following the assassination of Julius Caesar in 44 B.C., Brutus and his co-conspirators used the pileus to signify the end of Caesar's dictatorship and a return to a Republican system of government. The pileus was adopted as a popular symbol of freedom during the French Revolution and was also depicted on some early U.S. coins.
SH87605. Silver denarius, RIC I 105, RSC II 47, BMCRE I 31, BnF III 67, Hunter I 11, SRCV I 2198, VF, toned, centered on a tight flan, light scratches and marks, tiny edge crack, weight 3.100 g, maximum diameter 18.4 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, May - Jul 69 A.D.; obverse A VITELLIVS GERM IMP AVG TR P, laureate head right; reverse LIBERTAS RESTITVTA (Liberty restored), Libertas standing facing, head right, pileus in extended right hand, long rod vertical in left hand; rare; $780.00 (663.00)


Nerva, 18 September 96 - 25 January 98 A.D.

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"Nerva maintained that he had liberated Rome from the tyranny of Domitian and restored a constitutionally-based regime." -- David Van Meter
SH87510. Silver denarius, RIC II 19, RSC II 113, BMCRE III 46, Hunter I 22, SRCV II -, gVF, well centered, attractive toning, radiating flow lines, scratches, die wear, weight 3.522 g, maximum diameter 18.7 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, Jan - Sep 97 A.D.; obverse IMP NERVA CAES AVG P M TR P COS III P P, laureate head right; reverse LIBERTAS PVBLICA, Libertas standing half left, pileus in right hand, rod pointing up slightly right in left hand; ex Numismatik Naumann, auction 63 (4 Mar 2018), lot 865; $380.00 (323.00)


Pontos (Uncertain City), c. 119 - 100 B.C.

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This is apparently a recently discovered new type. All the known examples might be from a single find. The stars depicted are almost certainly the comets described in Justin's epitome of the Historiae Philippicae of the Augustan historian Pompeius Trogus (Justin 37.2.1-2): "The future greatness of this man [Mithridates Eupator] had been foretold by heavenly portents. For both in the year in which he was born [134/133 B.C.] and in the year in which he first began to rule [120/119 B.C.], a comet gleamed so brightly for 70 days throughout each period that the whole sky seemed to be on fire. In its extent, each of these comets filled one quarter of the sky and surpassed the sun in brilliance. They took four hours to rise and four hours to set."
SH71047. Bronze AE 14, Unpublished in standard refs, six specimens known to Forum, F, cleaning scratches, weight 2.121 g, maximum diameter 13.9 mm, uncertain Pontic mint, c. 119 - 100 B.C.; obverse comet star of six rays and center pellet superimposed on pileus; reverse comet star of eight rays and central pellet; extremely rare; $125.00 (106.25)


Pontos (Uncertain City), c. 119 - 100 B.C.

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This is apparently a recently discovered new type. All the known examples might be from a single find. The stars depicted are almost certainly the comets described in Justin's epitome of the Historiae Philippicae of the Augustan historian Pompeius Trogus (Justin 37.2.1-2): "The future greatness of this man [Mithridates Eupator] had been foretold by heavenly portents. For both in the year in which he was born [134/133 B.C.] and in the year in which he first began to rule [120/119 B.C.], a comet gleamed so brightly for 70 days throughout each period that the whole sky seemed to be on fire. In its extent, each of these comets filled one quarter of the sky and surpassed the sun in brilliance. They took four hours to rise and four hours to set."
SH90651. Bronze AE 13, Unpublished in standard references, six examples known to Forum, VF, green patina, earthen encrustation, light scratches, reverse off-center, weight 2.431 g, maximum diameter 12.9 mm, die axis 0o, uncertain Pontic mint, c. 119 - 100 B.C.; obverse comet star of six rays and center pellet superimposed on pileus; reverse comet star of eight rays and central pellet; extremely rare; $100.00 (85.00)


Commodus, March or April 177 - 31 December 192 A.D.

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Libertas (Latin for Liberty) was the Roman goddess and embodiment of liberty. The pileus liberatis was a soft felt cap worn by liberated slaves of Troy and Asia Minor. In late Republican Rome, the pileus was symbolically given to slaves upon manumission, granting them not only their personal liberty, but also freedom as citizens with the right to vote (if male). Following the assassination of Julius Caesar in 44 B.C., Brutus and his co-conspirators used the pileus to signify the end of Caesar's dictatorship and a return to a Republican system of government. The pileus was adopted as a popular symbol of freedom during the French Revolution and was also depicted on some early U.S. coins.
RB87466. Orichalcum dupondius, RIC III MA1591; Szaivert MIR 427-18/50; Cohen III 333; Hunter II 37; BMCRE IV MA1690; SRCV II -, VF, dark patina, rough, weight 14.385 g, maximum diameter 25.9 mm, die axis 0o, Rome mint, Dec 177 - Dec 178 A.D.; obverse L AVREL COMMODVS AVG TR P III, radiate head right; reverse LIBERTAS AVG IMP II COS P P, Libertas standing slightly left, head left, pileus in right hand, rod in right hand, S C (senatus consulto) flanking across field below center; $100.00 (85.00)


Trebonianus Gallus, June or July 251 - July or August 253 A.D.

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The pileus liberatis was a soft felt cap worn by liberated slaves of Troy and Asia Minor. In late Republican Rome, the pileus was symbolically given to slaves upon manumission, granting them not only their personal liberty, but also freedom as citizens with the right to vote (if male). Following the assassination of Julius Caesar in 44 B.C., Brutus and his co-conspirators used the pileus to signify the end of Caesar's dictatorship and a return to a Republican system of government. The pileus was adopted as a popular symbol of freedom during the French Revolution and was also depicted on some early U.S. coins.
RS87919. Silver antoninianus, RIC IV 70, RSC IV 68, Hunter III 50, SRCV III 9636, gVF, superb portrait, choice obverse, reverse struck with a worn die, tiny edge cracks, weight 3.432 g, maximum diameter 22.1 mm, die axis 180o, Mediolanum (Milan, Italy) mint, 252 A.D.; obverse IMP C C VIB TREB GALLVS AVG, radiate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, from behind; reverse LIBERTAS PVBLICA, Libertas standing slightly left, head left, pileus liberatis in right, long transverse scepter in left; ex Beast Coins; $95.00 (80.75)


Gordian III, 29 July 238 - 25 February 244 A.D.

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A rare and very unusual coin with the image of Liberty but the legend for Liberalitas. Apparently the mint officials in Antioch didn't know the difference between these two Roman personifications.
RS87920. Silver antoninianus, RIC IV 187a (R), RSC IV 126, SRCV III 8618, Hunter III -, F, well centered and struck on a broad flan, grainy/porous surfaces, scrape in reverse center, some dark spots, weight 4.713 g, maximum diameter 23.5 mm, die axis 180o, Antioch (Antakya, Turkey) mint, 238 - 239 A.D.; obverse IMP CAES M ANT GORDIANVS AVG, radiate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, from behind; reverse LIBERALITAS AVG, Libertas standing slightly left, head left, pileus (freedom cap) in right hand, long transverse rod in left hand; ex Beast Coins; rare; $75.00 (63.75)


Galba, 3 April 68 - 15 January 69 A.D., Roman Provincial Egypt

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Minted during a less than two month period from 9 June to 28 August 68 A.D.
RX88111. Billon tetradrachm, RPC I 5327; Dattari 306; Geissen 220; Milne 316; Curtis 220; BMC Alexandria p. 23, 192; Kampmann-Ganschow 17.4, F, toned, porous, edge split, small spots of corrosion, weight 9.946 g, maximum diameter 23.9 mm, die axis 0o, Alexandria mint, 9 Jun - 28 Aug 68 A.D.; obverse ΛOYK ΛIB ΣOYΛΠ ΓAΛBA KAIΣ ΣEB AY, laureate head right, L A (year 1) right; reverse EΛEY-ΘEPIA, Eleutheria (Liberty) standing left, leaning on a column, wreath extended in right hand, scepter in left hand; $70.00 (59.50)


Claudius, 25 January 41 - 13 October 54 A.D.

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Libertas (Latin for Liberty) was the Roman goddess and embodiment of liberty. The pileus liberatis was a soft felt cap worn by liberated slaves of Troy and Asia Minor. In late Republican Rome, the pileus was symbolically given to slaves upon manumission, granting them not only their personal liberty, but also freedom as citizens with the right to vote (if male). Following the assassination of Julius Caesar in 44 B.C., Brutus and his co-conspirators used the pileus to signify the end of Caesar's dictatorship and a return to a Republican system of government. The pileus was adopted as a popular symbol of freedom during the French Revolution and was also depicted on some early U.S. coins.
RB88110. Copper as, RIC I 97, BMCRE I 145, BnF II 177, Cohen I 47, SRCV I 1859, gF, compact flan, a little rough, corrosion, earthen deposits, weight 11.715 g, maximum diameter 27.5 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, c. 41 - 42 A.D.; obverse TI CLAVDIVS CAESAR AVG P M TR P IMP, bare head left; reverse LIBERTAS AVGVSTA, Libertas standing facing, head right, pileus (liberty cap worn by freed slaves) in right hand, extending left hand, S - C (senatus consulto) flanking at sides; ex Moneta Numismatic Services; $60.00 (51.00)


Tripolis, Phoenicia, c. 77 - 76 B.C.

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Although this type is dated, the date it was struck is uncertain. Cohen dates the civic era from 205 B.C., when Tripolis received autonomy from the Seleukid Kingdom.
GB74036. Bronze AE 16, BMC Phoenicia p. 203, 15 ff.; SNG Cop 272; HGC 10 312 (S); Cohen DCA 726 (R2), F, weight 3.616 g, maximum diameter 15.9 mm, die axis 180o, Tripolis mint, c. 77 - 76 B.C.; obverse bust of Tyche right, wearing turreted crown and veil, palm frond behind shoulder; reverse prow right, pilei (caps of the Dioscuri) above, LΘK (year 29) downward on left, TPIΠOΛITΩN below; scarce; $28.00 (23.80)







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Catalog current as of Tuesday, December 11, 2018.
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Liberty