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Julia Soaemias, Augusta 16 May 218 - 11 March 222 A.D.
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.RS111520. Silver denarius, RIC IV 243, RSC III 14, BMCRE V 56, Hunter V 7, SRCV II 7720, Choice gVF, well centered, light tone, luster in recesses, flow lines, weight 2.963 g, maximum diameter 19.4 mm, die axis 0o, Rome mint, 220 A.D.; obverse IVLIA SOAEMIAS AVG, draped bust right; reverse VENVS CAELESTIS (heavenly Venus), Venus diademed seated left on throne, apple in right hand, scepter in left hand, child at her feet raising arms; ex Numismatik Naumann auction 124 (8 Jan 2023), lot 881 (part of); $195.00 SALE PRICE $176.00
Faustina Junior, Augusta 146 - Winter 175/176 A.D., Wife of Marcus Aurelius
Although many coin references classify Fecunditas as a personification of fertility rather than as an actual deity, Fecunditas was recognized as a Roman divinity by Nero, who erected a statue to her. Tacitus notes that upon the birth of Claudia Neronis, the senate decreed the construction of a temple of Fertility to be built at Antium. Fecunditas is always portrayed as a female figure holding a child, or children and often a scepter, cornucopia, palm branch or caduceus. Sometimes the children are depicted standing at her feet. Coins portraying her usually advertise the fertility of the imperial family.RS112535. Silver denarius, RIC III MA677; RSC II 99; BMCRE IV MA91; SRCV II 5252; Hunter II, p. 351, 4 var. (bust, pearls), Choice VF, radiating flow lines, well centered, toned, tiny edge cracks, weight 3.565 g, maximum diameter 19.4 mm, die axis 150o, Rome mint, struck under Marcus Aurelius, 161 - 175 A.D.; obverse FAVSTINA AVGVSTA, draped bust right; reverse FECVNDITAS, Fecunditas (fertility) standing half right, head right, long scepter vertical in right hand, infant in extended left hand; $190.00 SALE PRICE $171.00
Plautilla, Augusta 202 - 22 January 205 A.D., Wife of Caracalla
Although this coin suggests Caracalla and Plautilla desired an heir, it would have been difficult because their mutual hatred was so strong they even refused to dine together. Their marriage was likely never consummated. After the fall and execution of her father, Caracalla's praetorian prefect, she was exiled to the Lipari islands and executed in 212 A.D.RS111664. Silver denarius, RIC IV 367 (S); RSC III 16; BMCRE V p. 237, 422; Hunter III 8; SRCV II 7072, aVF, nice portrait, full legends, broad flan, flow lines, rev. die wear, tiny edge split, weight 2.681 g, maximum diameter 19.0 mm, die axis 0o, Rome mint, c. 203 A.D.; obverse PLAVTILLA AVGVSTA, draped bust right, hair wavy, plait looped at back of neck; reverse PIETAS AVGG (to the piety of the two emperors), Pietas standing facing, head right, long scepter vertical in right hand, child on left arm; ex Victoria Numismatics auction 4 (21 Dec 2022), lot 664; scarce; $130.00 SALE PRICE $104.00
Herennia Etruscilla, Augusta July 249 - April/August 253(?) A.D.
Although many coin references classify Fecunditas as a personification of fertility rather than as an actual deity, Fecunditas was recognized as a Roman divinity by Nero, who erected a statue to her. Tacitus notes that upon the birth of Claudia Neronis, the senate decreed the construction of a temple of Fertility to be built at Antium. Fecunditas is always portrayed as a female figure holding a child, or children and often a scepter, cornucopia, palm branch or caduceus. Sometimes the children are depicted standing at her feet. Coins portraying her usually advertise the fertility of the imperial family.RS112938. Silver antoninianus, RIC IV 56 (S), RSC IV 11, SRCV III 9492, Hunter I -, Choice VF, well centered, flow lines, tiny edge cracks, weight 2.906 g, maximum diameter 20.9 mm, die axis 0o, Rome mint, Aug 249 - Apr/Aug 253(?) A.D.; obverse HER ETRVSCILLA AVG, draped bust right, crescent behind shoulders, wearing stephane, hair in horizontal ridges, plait looped at the back of neck; reverse FECVNDITAS AVGG, Fecunditas standing half left, head left, right hand extended above child with raised hands who stands before her, cornucopia in left hand; scarce; $120.00 SALE PRICE $96.00
Valerian I, October 253 - c. June 260 A.D., Isinda, Pisidia
Isinda stood in a strategic position at the western end of the pass leading from Pamphylia by Termessus to Pisidia. The coinage of Isinda indicates the city considered itself an Ionian colony.RP97734. Bronze assarion, SNG BnF 1622; SNG Pfalz 234; BMC Lycia p. 227, 21; SNG Hunterian -; SNGvA -; SNG Cop -, aVF, dark brown patina, weight 8.444 g, maximum diameter 24.3 mm, die axis 180o, Isinda (Kisla, Turkey) mint, Oct 253 - c. Jun 260 A.D.; obverse AK ΠΛ OVAΛEPIANON CEB, laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, seen from behind; reverse ICIN-Δ-EΩN, mother goddess seated right on a high backed throne, holding swaddled infant on her lap, coiled serpent rising up before her; ex Numismatica Ars Classica Auction 100 (29 May 2017), lot 1320; $90.00 SALE PRICE $81.00
Valerian II, Caesar, Early 256 - 258 A.D.
NEW The infant Jupiter was suckled by the goat Amaltheia on Mount Ida.RA113501. Silver antoninianus, GŲbl MIR 907e; Hunter IV p. 31, 9; SRCV III 10731; RIC V-1 p. 116, 3 (Lugdunum); RSC IV 26 (same), F, flow lines, die wear, marks, weight 3.431 g, maximum diameter 21.6 mm, die axis 0o, Colonia Agrippinensis (Cologne, Germany) mint, 1st emission, 257 - 258 A.D.; obverse VALERIANVS CAES, radiate and draped bust right, seen from behind; reverse IOVI CRESCENTI (to the thriving/growing Jove), child Jupiter riding right on goat, looking back, raising right hand; $100.00 SALE PRICE $80.00
Fausta, Augusta, 8 November 324 - Autumn 326 A.D., Second Wife of Constantine the Great
Fausta is depicted as Spes, the Roman personification of hope. She holds her infant children, Constantine II and Constantius II, her hopeful promise for the future of the "Republic."RL112542. Billon centenionalis, RIC VII Antioch p. 689, 69 (R5); LRBC I 1343; SRCV IV 16580; Cohen VII 17; Hunter V -, gF, centered on a tight flan, earthen deposits, weight 3.375 g, maximum diameter 19.3 mm, die axis 0o, 8th officina, Antioch (Antakya, Turkey) mint, 325 - 326 A.D.; obverse FLAV MAX - FAVSTA AVG, draped bust right hair waved, bun at back, wearing pearl necklace; reverse SPES REIP-VBLICAE, Fausta standing facing, looking left, holding infants Constantine II and Constantius II in her arms, SMANTH in exergue; ex Numismatik Naumann auction 129 (4 Jun 2023), lot 1002 (part of); rare; $80.00 SALE PRICE $72.00
Valerian I, October 253 - c. June 260 A.D., Isinda, Pisidia
Isinda stood in a strategic position at the western end of the pass leading from Pamphylia by Termessus to Pisidia. The coinage of Isinda indicates the city considered itself an Ionian colony.RP110212. Bronze assarion, SNG BnF 1622; VA Pisidiens 940; SNG Pfalz 234; BMC Lycia p. 227, 21; SNG Hunterian -; SNGvA -; SNG Cop -, Choice aVF, well centered, green patina, light earthen deposits, reverse struck a little flat, weight 10.475 g, maximum diameter 25.8 mm, die axis 180o, Isinda (Kisla, Turkey) mint, Oct 253 - c. Jun 260 A.D.; obverse AK ΠΛ OVAΛEPIANON - CEB, laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, seen from behind; reverse ICIN-Δ-EΩN, mother goddess seated right on a high backed throne, holding swaddled infant on her lap, coiled serpent rising up before her; $80.00 SALE PRICE $64.00
Orbiana, Augusta Late 225 - 227 A.D., Wife of Severus Alexander
SH08839. Copper as, RIC IV 656, BMCRE VI 297, Cohen IV 5, SRCV II 8195, aVF, weight 8.69 g, maximum diameter 25.5 mm, die axis 0o, Rome mint, 225 A.D.; obverse SALL BARBIA ORBIANA AVG, diademed and draped bust right; reverse CONCORDIA AVGVSTORVM (harmony between the emperor and empress), Concordia seated left holding patera and double cornucopia, S C (senatus consulto) in exergue; reverse weakly struck on left side, nice brown patina; very scarce; SOLD
Aquilia Severa, Augusta 221 - 222 A.D.
Aquilia Severa was the second and fourth wife of Elagabalus. She was a Vestal Virgin and Elagabalus was the high priest of the sun-god Heliogabal. Elagabalus held parallel marriage ceremonies; Elagabalus married Aquilia and Heliogabal married Vesta. This was extremely offensive to the Romans since Vestal Virgins were prohibited from marriage during their 30-year vow of chastity. Elagabalus and Aquilia, as well as Heliogabal and Vesta, were divorced in order to restore public confidence and Elagabalus was quickly remarried. However, Elagabalus divorced his third wife within a few months and remarried Aquilia Severa. Returning to Aquilia Severa sealed his fate. Elagabalus and his mother were murdered; their bodies were dragged through the streets of Rome and thrown into the Tiber.SH13693. Silver denarius, RIC IV E225 (S), RSC III 2a, BMCRE V E185, SRCV II 7679 var. (star right), gVF, nice portrait, uncleaned and a little frosty, weight 3.211 g, maximum diameter 20.2 mm, die axis 0o, Rome mint, 221 A.D.; obverse IVLIA AQVILIA SEVERA AVG, draped bust right; reverse CONCORDIA (harmony), Concordia standing half left, sacrificing out of patera in right over lit altar, double cornucopia in left hand, star upper left; scarce; SOLD