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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ |Themes & Provenance| ▸ |Types| ▸ |Love & Beauty||View Options:  |  |  | 

Love & Beauty on Ancient Coins

Venus is the Roman goddess principally associated with love and beauty, the rough equivalent of the Greek goddess Aphrodite. The son of Venus and Mars, Cupid to the Romans, Eros to the Greeks, is the god of desire, affection and erotic love.

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

|Lucilla|, |Lucilla,| |Augusta| |c.| |164| |-| |182| |A.D.,| |Wife| |of| |Lucius| |Verus|, |as|
The story of Commodus and Lucilla in the movie Gladiator was not historically accurate but the characters were based, in part, on the real emperor and his sister. Lucilla did plot to assassinate her brother Commodus and the plot did fail. Commodus actually did fight as a gladiator. But Maximus, entirely fictional, was not there to save Lucilla. Commodus won every time. Lucilla was banished to Capri and executed a year later.
RB92462. Bronze as, RIC III 1766, Cohen III 75, BMCRE IV 1224, Hunter II 60, SRCV II 5524 var. (obv. leg.), VF, well centered, olive patina, legends weak, edge flaking, weight 10.336 g, maximum diameter 26.1 mm, die axis 210o, Rome mint, 164 - 166 A.D.; obverse LVCILLA AVGVSTA, draped bust right, hair elaborately waived and knotted in chignon low at back; reverse VENVS, Venus standing left, apple in extended right hand, long grounded scepter in left, S - C (senatus consulto) flanking across field below center; from the Errett Bishop Collection, ex B. A. Seaby Numismatists (69, Great Portland Street, London, W.1.); scarce; $135.00 SALE |PRICE| $122.00


Galeria Valeria, Augusta, June 293(?) - 311 A.D., Second Wife of Galerius

|Galeria| |Valeria|, |Galeria| |Valeria,| |Augusta,| |June| |293(?)| |-| |311| |A.D.,| |Second| |Wife| |of| |Galerius|, |follis|
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.
RB95399. Billon follis, RIC VI Heraclea 43, SRCV IV 14593, Hunter V 10 var. (3rd officina), aVF, well centered, small edge split, mild porosity, weight 7.204 g, maximum diameter 26.8 mm, die axis 330o, 4th officina, Heraclea (Marmara Ereglisi, Turkey) mint, c. 309 - 310 A.D.; obverse GAL VALERIA AVG, draped bust right, wearing stephane; reverse VENERI VICTRICI, Venus standing facing, head left, raising apple in right hand, raising drapery over shoulder with left hand, HT∆ in exergue; from the Errett Bishop Collection; $120.00 SALE |PRICE| $108.00


Galeria Valeria, Augusta, June 293(?) - 311 A.D., Second Wife of Galerius

|Galeria| |Valeria|, |Galeria| |Valeria,| |Augusta,| |June| |293(?)| |-| |311| |A.D.,| |Second| |Wife| |of| |Galerius|, |follis|
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.
RT91453. Billon follis, Hunter V 9 (also 2nd officina), RIC VI Heraclea 43, SRCV IV 14593, Cohen VII 10, VF, well centered, dark brown tone, weight 4.755 g, maximum diameter 25.6 mm, die axis 0o, 4th officina, Heraclea (Marmara Ereglisi, Turkey) mint, c. 309 - 310 A.D.; obverse GAL VALERIA AVG, draped bust right, wearing stephane; reverse VENERI VICTRICI, Venus standing facing, head left, raising apple in right hand, raising drapery over shoulder with left hand, HTB in exergue; from the Maxwell Hunt Collection, ex Pegasi Coins; $110.00 SALE |PRICE| $99.00


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

|Lucilla|, |Lucilla,| |Augusta| |c.| |164| |-| |182| |A.D.,| |Wife| |of| |Lucius| |Verus|, |denarius|
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.
RS92464. Silver denarius, RIC III 784, BMCRE IV 322, RSC II 70, SRCV II 5491, Cohen 70, VF, toned, flow lines, mild die wear, slightly off center on a broad flan, edge cracks, weight 2.860 g, maximum diameter 19.6 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, long scepter in left; from the Errett Bishop Collection; $95.00 SALE |PRICE| $85.50


Ptolemaic Kingdom of Egypt, Ptolemy I Soter, 305 - 282 B.C.

|Macedonian| |Kingdom|, |Ptolemaic| |Kingdom| |of| |Egypt,| |Ptolemy| |I| |Soter,| |305| |-| |282| |B.C.|, |hemiobol|
In Coins of the Ptolemaic Empire, C. Lorber writes, "This series combines a type of local significance -- Aphrodite, patroness of Cyprus -- with Ptolemy's personal badge, the eagle on thunderbolt, and names Ptolemy as issuing authority." Of the likely mint, Lorber writes, "The pattern of finds for this issue is consistent with an origin at Palai Paphos, home to the great sanctuary of Aphrodite Cypria."
GP85879. Bronze hemiobol, Lorber CPE B120; Svoronos 81 (2 spec.); BMC Ptolemies p. 7, 60; SNG Milan 28; SNG Cop 643; Weiser 3; Noeske -; Malter -, F, tight flan, rough corrosion, weight 3.046 g, maximum diameter 17.1 mm, die axis 0o, Cyprus, Palai Paphos(?) mint, 294 - 282 B.C.; obverse head of Aphrodite Paphia right, wearing plain taenia; reverse eagle standing left on thunderbolt, wings open, head left, ΠTOΛE (upward on left); rare; $60.00 SALE |PRICE| $54.00







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