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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ |Themes & Provenance| ▸ |Personifications| ▸ |Modesty & Chastity||View Options:  |  |  | 

Modesty and Chastity (Pudicitia)

Pudicitia was the personification of modesty and chastity and was a common type on the reverses of Roman empresses.

Otacilia Severa, Augusta February or March 244 - September or October 249 A.D.

|Otacilia| |Severa|, |Otacilia| |Severa,| |Augusta| |February| |or| |March| |244| |-| |September| |or| |October| |249| |A.D.|, |sestertius|
Pudicitia, modesty and chastity, was for Romans the highest regarded female virtue. For an unmarried girl, pudicitia meant virginity. For a wife, it meant faithfulness and devotion to her husband. Romans loved the story of Arria, an ultimate example of Roman pudicitia. When the emperor Claudius ordered her husband Paetus to end his own life, he hesitated. Arria took his dagger and stabbed herself to set an example, saying, "Paetus, it doesn't hurt."
RB87843. Orichalcum sestertius, RIC IV 209a, Cohen V 55, SRCV III 9169, Hunter III - (p. cxi), F, well centered, porosity, closed flan crack, weight 15.440 g, maximum diameter 29.9 mm, die axis 0o, Rome mint, c. 244 - 245 A.D.; obverse MARCIA OTACIL SEVERA AVG, diademed draped bust right; reverse PVDICITIA AVG (virtue of the Empress), Pudicitia seated left, drawing veil from face with right hand, long transverse scepter in left hand, S C (senatus consulto) in exergue; $70.00 SALE |PRICE| $63.00


Julia Domna, Augusta 194 - 8 April 217 A.D.

|Julia| |Domna|, |Julia| |Domna,| |Augusta| |194| |-| |8| |April| |217| |A.D.|, |denarius|
Pudicitia, modesty and chastity, was for Romans the highest regarded female virtue. For an unmarried girl, pudicitia meant virginity. For a wife, it meant faithfulness and devotion to her husband. Romans loved the story of Arria, an ultimate example of Roman pudicitia. When the emperor Claudius ordered her husband Paetus to end his own life, he hesitated. Arria took his dagger and stabbed herself to set an example, saying, "Paetus, it doesn't hurt."
RS94714. Silver denarius, RIC IV S576, RSC III 168, BMCRE V S74., Hunter III 29, SRCV II -, VF, well centered, flow lines, a little rough and porous, edge a little ragged, weight 3.180 g, maximum diameter 18.8 mm, die axis 45o, Rome mint, 193 - 196 A.D.; obverse IVLIA AVGVSTA, draped bust right; reverse PVDICITA, Pudicitia enthroned left, veiled, right hand on breast, left elbow resting on back of throne; from the Ray Nouri Collection; $60.00 SALE |PRICE| $54.00


Sabina, Augusta 128 - c. 136 A.D., Wife of Hadrian

|Members| |Auction| |Listed|, |Sabina,| |Augusta| |128| |-| |c.| |136| |A.D.,| |Wife| |of| |Hadrian|, |denarius|
Pudicitia was the personification of modesty and chastity. The empress Lucilla apparently felt she had too much chastity and her husband too little. 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).
MA95542. Silver denarius, RIC II-3 p. 242, 2507; BMCRE III Hadrian 911; Strack II 374; RSC II 62; Hunter II 5; SRCV II 3922, F, rough corrosion, weight 2.475 g, maximum diameter 17.6 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, c. 130 - 133 A.D.; obverse SABINA AVGVSTA HADRIANI AVG P P, diademed and draped bust right, hair combed over stephane and in long plait down neck; reverse PVDICITIA, Pudicitia standing left, veiled, adjusting veil with right hand, resting left hand at side; $43.00 (39.56)







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