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

Gaiety (Laetitia)

Happiness, cheerfulness and gaity (or joy) 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.

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

|Julia| |Domna|, |Julia| |Domna,| |Augusta| |194| |-| |8| |April| |217| |A.D.||denarius|NEW
Hilaritas, the personification of rejoicing, is usually depicted as a matron, standing with a cornucopia in her left hand and a long palm frond on the ground in her right. Green branches were a sign of gladness and for special occasions, both public and private, it was the custom in ancient times to ornament streets, temples, gates, houses, and even entire cities, with branches and leaves of trees. This tradition carries on today in the form of wreaths and Christmas trees.

The two children on the reverse represent Cararcalla and Geta.
RS110998. Silver denarius, RIC IV S557, RSC III 79; Hunter III p. 43, 27; BMCRE V p. 161, 35; SRCV II 6587, EF, well centered, ragged oval flan, areas of light porosity, weight 2.250 g, maximum diameter 20.2 mm, die axis 0o, Rome mint, c. 200 - 202 A.D.; obverse IVLIA AVGVSTA, draped bust right, hair in waved horizontal ridges, bun at back of head; reverse HILARITAS, Hilaritas standing facing between two naked small boys (Caracalla and Geta), her head left, her right leg forward, long grounded near vertical palm frond in her right hand, cornucopia in her left, the boy on the left touches the palm, the boy on the right touches her drapery; ex Solidus Numismatik auction 106 (11 Oct 2022), lot 1568; $120.00 (121.20)


Faustina Junior, Augusta 146 - Winter 175/176 A.D., Wife of Marcus Aurelius

|Faustina| |Jr.|, |Faustina| |Junior,| |Augusta| |146| |-| |Winter| |175/176| |A.D.,| |Wife| |of| |Marcus| |Aurelius||aureus|
Laetitia is the Roman goddess of gaiety and joy, her name deriving from the root word laeta, meaning happy. She is typically depicted on coinage with a wreath in her right hand, and a scepter, a rudder, or an anchor in her left hand. On the coins of empresses, Laetitia may signal a birth in the Imperial family.
SH93043. Gold aureus, Calic 2066 (same rev. die); RIC III MA699; BMCRE IV MA129 note; Cohen III 146; SRCV II 5242; Hunter II -, gVF, light marks on edge, weight 6.763 g, maximum diameter 17.7 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 161 - 175 A.D.; obverse FAVSTINA AVGVSTA, diademed and draped bust right, hair in bun at the back; reverse LAETITIA, Laetitia standing facing, wreath in right hand, long scepter in left; ex Numismatik Naumann auction 80 (04 Aug 2019), lot 563; ex Roma Numismatics 14 (27 Jan 2019), lot 761; Numismatica Ars Classica auction 106 (09 May 2018), lot 973; ex Roma Numismatics sale XIV (21 Sep 2017), 761 (realized 4,600 plus fees); extremely rare; SOLD


Pertinax, 31 December 192 - 28 March 193 A.D.

|Pertinax|, |Pertinax,| |31| |December| |192| |-| |28| |March| |193| |A.D.||denarius|
Laetitia is the Roman goddess of gaiety and joy, her name deriving from the root word laeta, meaning happy. She is typically depicted on coinage with a wreath in her right hand, and a scepter, a rudder, or an anchor in her left hand.
RS96977. Silver denarius, RIC IV 4a (R2); BMCRE V p. 2, 9; RSC III 20; Hunter III 2; SRCV II 6041, Choice VF/gF, superb portrait, well centered, toned, flow lines, tiny edge cracks, weight 3.396 g, maximum diameter 18.3 mm, die axis 18.3o, Rome mint, 1 Jan - 28 Mar 193 A.D.; obverse IMP CAES P HELV PERTIN AVG, laureate head right; reverse LAETITIA TEMPOR COS II (joyous time, consul two times), Laetitia standing slightly left, head left, wreath in right hand, long scepter vertical in left hand; ex FORVM 2009; very rare; SOLD


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

|Gordian| |III|, |Gordian| |III,| |29| |July| |238| |-| |25| |February| |244| |A.D.||sestertius|
Laetitia is the Roman goddess of gaiety and joy, her name deriving from the root word laeta, meaning happy. She is typically depicted on coinage with a wreath in her right hand, and a scepter, a rudder, or an anchor in her left hand.
SH77375. Orichalcum sestertius, RIC IV 300a, Cohen V 122, Banti 38, Hunter III 140, SRCV III 8712, Choice EF, superb portrait, excellent centering and strike, slight double strike in legends, small flan crack, very light scratches reverse upper right field, weight 24.355 g, maximum diameter 32.5 mm, die axis 0o, Rome mint, late 240 - early 243 A.D.; obverse IMP GORDIANVS PIVS FEL AVG, laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, from behind; reverse LAETITIA AVG N (the joy of our Emperor), Laetitia standing facing, head left, wreath in right hand, anchor in left, S - C (senatus consulto) flanking low in field; ex Kirk Davis Classical Numismatics; SOLD


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

|Hadrian|, |Hadrian,| |11| |August| |117| |-| |10| |July| |138| |A.D.||sestertius|
This type of reverse usually indicates the birth of a prince, and we would normally assume the boy and girl on the reverse represent children of the emperor. Hadrian and Sabina, however, had no children.
RB92353. Orichalcum sestertius, RIC II-3 988A1, BMCRE III 1370, Hunter II 447, Strack II 629, Cohen II 819, SRCV II 3602 var. (slight drapery), VF, dark green patina, full border centering on a broad flan, nice portrait, slight double strike on rev., minor edge flaw 3:00 on obverse, weight 28.452 g, maximum diameter 34.9 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 128 A.D.; obverse HADRIANVS AVGVSTVS P P, laureate head right, long neck; reverse HILARITAS P R (Joy of the Roman People), Hilaritas standing half left, palm frond in right hand, cornucopia in left hand, at her feet on left a small nude boy standing right also holding the palm frond, at feet on right a dressed small girl standing left and reaching up to Hilaritas' drapery, S - C (senatus consulto) flanking across field, COS III in exergue; SOLD


Pertinax, 31 December 192 - 28 March 193 A.D.

|Pertinax|, |Pertinax,| |31| |December| |192| |-| |28| |March| |193| |A.D.||denarius|
Laetitia is the Roman goddess of gaiety and joy, her name deriving from the root word laeta, meaning happy. She is typically depicted on coinage with a wreath in her right hand, and a scepter, a rudder, or an anchor in her left hand.
RS94122. Silver denarius, RIC IV 4a (R2); BMCRE V p. 2, 9; RSC III 20; Hunter III 2; SRCV II 6041, F, nice portrait for the grade, well centered, light tone, flow lines, scratches, edge cracks, weight 2.754 g, maximum diameter 18.7 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 1 Jan - 28 Mar 193 A.D.; obverse IMP CAES P HELV PERTIN AVG, laureate head right; reverse LAETITIA TEMPOR COS II (joyous time, consul two times), Laetitia standing slightly left, head left, wreath in right hand, long scepter vertical in left hand; very rare; SOLD







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