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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ |Themes & Provenance| ▸ |Personifications| ▸ |Happiness||View Options:  |  |  | 

Happiness (Felicitas)

Happiness, cheerfulness and joy (or gaiety) are personified on Roman coins by Felicitas, Hilaritas and Laetitia. Coins with these subjects celebrated the brighter side of life, or in harder times explained that the Empire was moving toward a happier future.

Hadrian, 11 August 117 - 10 July 138 A.D.

|Hadrian|, |Hadrian,| |11| |August| |117| |-| |10| |July| |138| |A.D.||sestertius|
Felicitas was the goddess or personification of happiness, good fortune, and success. She played an important role in Rome's state religion during the empire and was frequently portrayed on coins. She became a prominent symbol of the wealth and prosperity of the Roman Empire.
RB110108. Orichalcum sestertius, RIC II-3 2255, BMCRE III 1497, Cohen II 620, SRCV II 3595, Strack II 663, Hunter II 517 var. (slight drapery), aF, porosity/light corrosion, weight 24.130 g, maximum diameter 33.1 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 134 - 138 A.D.; obverse HADRIANVS AVG COS III P P, laureate head right; reverse FELICITAS AVG (the good fortune of the Emperor), Felicitas standing slightly left, head left, olive branch in right hand, long caduceus in left hand, S - C (senatus consulto) flanking across the field; from the Shawn Caza Collection, ex Anciennes Collections (Clermont Ferrand, France); $90.00 SALE PRICE $81.00


Trajan Decius, September 249 - June or July 251 A.D.

|Trajan| |Decius|, |Trajan| |Decius,| |September| |249| |-| |June| |or| |July| |251| |A.D.||double| |sestertius|
Rare denomination introduced with this issue, and equal in value to the obsolete silver quinarius. The c. 4g brass "semis" introduced at the same time as this issue, may well have been a "reduced as" half of the c. 8.5 gram dupondius, one quarter of the c. 17 g sesterius, and one eighth of this coin. Completing the sub-antoninianus denominations, a rare, small, silver coin of c. 1.6 g was a denarius. The double sestertius, easilly distiguished by its radiate crown, was also issued by Gallienus and especially Postumus. A rare denomination of Aurelian and Severina is sometimes referred to as a "dupondius," sometimes as an "double sestertius." its rarity precludes its use as a smaller than half fraction of the c. 275 A.D. aurelianus. Probably the 7 g "as" was a half of the aurelianus, making the 14 g radiate Aurelian / Severina bronze an attempted bronze aurelianus.
SH26392. Orichalcum double sestertius, RIC IV 115d, Cohen V 39, Hunter III 47, SRCV III 9395, Choice VF, weight 34.518 g, maximum diameter 36.3 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 249 - 251 A.D.; obverse IMP C M Q TRAIANVS DECIVS AVG, radiate and cuirassed bust right, drapery in left shoulder; reverse FELICITAS SAECVLI S C, Felicitas standing left, caduceus in right hand, cornucopia in left hand; exceptional quality for this late issue, olive patina; ex The New York Sale, Auction XIV, 10 January 2007, lot 373; SOLD


Trajan, 25 January 98 - 8 or 9 August 117 A.D.

|Trajan|, |Trajan,| |25| |January| |98| |-| |8| |or| |9| |August| |117| |A.D.||sestertius|
In 114, Trajan defeated the Parthians and overran Armenia and northern Mesopotamia. The kingdom of Osroene became a vassal kingdom of the Roman Empire.
SH53311. Orichalcum sestertius, Woytek 499v, RIC II 671, BnF IV 840, BMCRE III 1015, Strack I 451, Cohen II 351, Hunter II -, SRCV II -, gVF, flat reverse strike, weight 24.484 g, maximum diameter 34.4 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, late summer - fall 114 A.D.; obverse IMP CAES TRAIANO OPTIMO AVG GER DAC P M TR P COS VI P P, laureate and draped bust right; reverse SENATVS POPVLVSQVE ROMANVS S C, Felicitas standing left, caduceus in right hand, cornucopia in left hand; ex Frederick S. Knobloch Collection of Roman Imperial Coins, Stacks Auction, May 1980; SOLD


Trajan Decius, September 249 - June or July 251 A.D.

|Trajan| |Decius|, |Trajan| |Decius,| |September| |249| |-| |June| |or| |July| |251| |A.D.||double| |sestertius|
The double sestertius, easily distinguished by its radiate crown, was also issued by Gallienus and especially by Postumus. This rare denomination, equal in value to the obsolete silver quinarius, was introduced with this issue. The c. 4g brass "semis" introduced at the same time, may well have been a "reduced as" half of the c. 8.5 gram dupondius, one quarter of the c. 17 g sestertius, and one eighth of this coin. Completing the sub-antoninianus denominations, a rare, small, silver coin of c. 1.6 g was a denarius.
SH82658. Orichalcum double sestertius, RIC IV 115c & pl. 12, 16 (R); Cohen V 40 (30 fr.); Hunter III 46 & pl. 78; SRCV III 9395, gVF, attractively centered on a full flan, green and brown surfaces, minor roughness, small areas of light smoothing , closed flan crack at obv. 7:00, weight 37.403 g, maximum diameter 37.0 mm, die axis 180o, 4th officina, Rome mint, 3rd emission, 250 A.D.; obverse IMP C M Q TRAIANVS DECIVS AVG, radiate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, from behind; reverse FELICITAS SAECVLI (age of good fortune), Felicitas standing slightly left, head left, long caduceus grounded and vertical in right hand, cornucopia in left hand, S - C (senatus consulto) flanking across field; ex CNG e-auction 410 (29 Nov 2017), lot 379; SOLD


Antoninus Pius, August 138 - 7 March 161 A.D.

|Antoninus| |Pius|, |Antoninus| |Pius,| |August| |138| |-| |7| |March| |161| |A.D.||denarius|
Felicitas was the goddess or personification of happiness, good fortune, and success. She played an important role in Rome's state religion during the empire and was frequently portrayed on coins. She became a prominent symbol of the wealth and prosperity of the Roman Empire.
RS99569. Silver denarius, RIC III 299; RSC II 374; BMCRE IV p. 145, 972; Hunter II 124; Strack III 361; SRCV II 4081, VF, light toning, some obverse die damage, small edge cracks, weight 3.389 g, maximum diameter 18.7 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 159 - 160 A.D.; obverse ANTONINVS AVG PIVS P P TR P XXIII, laureate head right; reverse FELICITATI AVG COS IIII, Felicitas standing slightly left, head left, celestial globe in right hand, cornucopia in left hand; from the Ed Strivelli Collection, ex FORVM (2016); SOLD







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