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

Courage (Virtus)

'Courage' is depicted as a helmeted soldier, often a female, in armor holding a spear, parazonium, victory or a shield. Virtus and Mars can be distinguished since Mars is usually shown nude and Virtus is always shown clothed.

Vespasian, 1 July 69 - 24 June 79 A.D.

|Vespasian|, |Vespasian,| |1| |July| |69| |-| |24| |June| |79| |A.D.|, |sestertius|
Vespasian could speak of Rome rising again in his reign; for he signally adorned her with new edifices and repaired old buildings, which had been damaged through neglect in prior times or from the ravages of fires under Nero and Vitellius. Vespasian estimated it would cost no less than 400 million aurei to restore the city. Even its inviolable Temple of Jupiter Capitolinus had been burned to the ground in the last days of Vitellius' regime. Tacitus remarked in his Annals (xv.41), "quamvis in tanta RESVRGENTIS VRBIS pulchitudine multa seniores meminerant, quoe reparari neguibant" (Although such a great number of works beautifully restored the city, elders remembered as much that could not be repaired).
RB63451. Orichalcum sestertius, RIC II 195 (same dies), BMCRE II 565 (same dies), Cohen 424, gF, weight 22.81 g, maximum diameter 33.3 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 71 A.D.; obverse IMP CAES VESPASIAN AVG P M TR P P P COS III, laureate head right, aegis on far shoulder; reverse ROMA RESVRGES (Rome rising again), Vespasian standing left, togate, extending his hand and raising Roma (the city) who kneels right before him; armed Virtus (or Roma the goddess) stands right in the background behind, S C (senatus consulto) in exergue; rare (RIC R2); SOLD

Probus, Summer 276 - September 282 A.D.

|Probus|, |Probus,| |Summer| |276| |-| |September| |282| |A.D.|, |antoninianus|
A very rare, fine style bust type, unlisted in RIC, and only known from two other coins: a die match listed by Bastien, and a different die with different obverse legend in the Philippe Gysen collection.
SH30384. Billon antoninianus, RIC V-2 435 var. (bust type not listed in RIC); obverse die match illustrated in Bastien's Buste Monetaire... pl. 126 number 11, aEF, weight 3.754 g, maximum diameter 22.8 mm, die axis 0o, Ticinum (Pavia, Italy) mint, obverse IMP C M AVR PROBVS AVG, radiate bust left, wearing cuirass, aegis on chest, Victory in right hand; reverse VIRTVS AVG (the valor of the Emperor), Virtus standing left, Victory presenting wreath extended in right, leaning on spear and grounded shield with left, QXXT in exergue; extremely rare; SOLD

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

|Antoninus| |Pius|, |Antoninus| |Pius,| |August| |138| |-| |7| |March| |161| |A.D.|, |dupondius|
Honos was the god of chivalry, honor and military justice. He was usually depicted in art with a spear and a cornucopia. He was sometimes identified with Virtus.
SH68901. Bronze dupondius, RIC III 802, BMCRE IV 1738, Cohen II 415, SRCV II -, EF, beautiful green patina, well centered, weight 12.822 g, maximum diameter 25.8 mm, die axis 0o, Rome mint, 145 - 147 A.D.; obverse ANTONINVS AVG PIVS P P TR P, radiate head right; reverse HONORI AVG COS IIII, Honos standing facing, head left, togate, branch in right hand, cornucopia in left hand, S - C (senatus consulto) flanking across field; a very attractive coin!; SOLD

Augustus, 16 January 27 B.C. - 19 August 14 A.D., Moneyer L. Aquillius Florus

|Augustus|, |Augustus,| |16| |January| |27| |B.C.| |-| |19| |August| |14| |A.D.,| |Moneyer| |L.| |Aquillius| |Florus|, |denarius|
The Senate voted that a golden shield be inscribed with Augustus' attributes and displayed in the Curia Iulia, including virtus, clementia, iustitia, and pietas. These political catchwords continued to be used as propaganda by later emperors.
SH20370. Silver denarius, RIC I 301, RSC I 354, BMCRE I 36, VF, banker's marks, toned, weight 3.630 g, maximum diameter 18.9 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 19 B.C.; obverse L AQVILLIVS FLORVS IIIVIR, helmeted and draped bust of Virtus right; reverse CAESAR AVGVSTVS, Augustus standing left in biga of elephants, holding laurel and scepter; rare (RIC R2); SOLD

Nero, 13 October 54 - 9 June 68 A.D.

|Nero|, |Nero,| |13| |October| |54| |-| |9| |June| |68| |A.D.|, |denarius|
In 60 A.D., King Prasutagus of the Celtic Iceni tribe died and left his kingdom to his two daughters and to Nero as co-heir and protector. Instead his kingdom in East Anglia was annexed and plundered as if conquered. Prasutagus' widow, Boudica, was flogged and forced to witness the public rape of their daughters. Tribal chiefs lost their land. Boudica, along with the Iceni, Cornovii, Durotriges and Trinovantes tribes revolted and defeated Legio IX Hispana. They sacked and destroyed Camulodunum (modern Colchester), Londinium (London) and Verulamium (St Albans). Thousands of Roman civilians were slaughtered. Boudica and the tribes were defeated in 61 A.D. According to Tacitus, she died by poisoning herself so she would not be enslaved. Cassius Dio, on the other hand, says simply that she "fell sick and died."
SH56868. Silver denarius, RIC I 26; RSC II 220, BMCRE I p. 204 note, VF, weight 3.314 g, maximum diameter 18.3 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 60 - 61 A.D.; obverse NERO CAESAR AVG IMP, bare head right; reverse PONTIF MAX TR P VII COS IIII P P (high priest, holder of Tribunitian power for 7 years, consul for the 4th time, father of the country), Virtus standing left, foot on pile of arms, parazonium in right, spear vertical behind in left, EX - S C (by special decree of the Senate) flanking across the field; uncleaned find patina, scattered marks, banker's mark on obverse, ex CNG; rare (RIC R3); SOLD

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

|Hadrian|, |Hadrian,| |11| |August| |117| |-| |10| |July| |138| |A.D.|, |sestertius|
In 127, Hadrian returned to Rome after a seven year journey visiting the Roman provinces.
SH57712. Orichalcum sestertius, RIC II 638, Choice VF, weight 24.663 g, maximum diameter 32.3 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 125 - 128 A.D.; obverse HADRIANVS AVGVSTVS, laureate bust right, hint of drapery on far shoulder; reverse COS III S C, Virtus standing left in military garb, parazonium in right, spear vertical behind in left; a beautiful big bronze!; SOLD

Galerius, 1 March 305 - 5 May 311 A.D.

|Galerius|, |Galerius,| |1| |March| |305| |-| |5| |May| |311| |A.D.|, |argenteus|
Galerius was Caesar and tetrarch under Maximianus. Although a talented general and administrator, Galerius is better known for his key role in the "Great Persecution" of Christians. He stopped the persecution under the condition the Christians pray for his return to health from a serious illness. Galerius died horribly shortly after.
SH91317. Silver argenteus, RIC VI Roma 29b (R2), RSC V 219a, Hunter V 14, SRCV IV 14264, Choice VF, well centered, flow lines, nearly as struck but with die wear, weight 3.286 g, maximum diameter 19.5 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 294 A.D.; obverse MAXIMIANVS CAES, laureate head right; reverse VIRTVS MILITVM (courage of the soldiers), the four tetrarchs sacrificing over tripod in front of gated enclosure with six turrets; rare; SOLD

Constantine the Great, Early 307 - 22 May 337 A.D., Milvian Bridge Battle Commemorative

|Constantine| |the| |Great|, |Constantine| |the| |Great,| |Early| |307| |-| |22| |May| |337| |A.D.,| |Milvian| |Bridge| |Battle| |Commemorative|, |half| |follis|
This very rare type commemorates the valour of Constantine's Gallic army, which fought and won the historic battle at the Milvian bridge.
SH35069. Billon half follis, RIC VI Roma 360, VF, weight 3.337 g, maximum diameter 20.2 mm, die axis 180o, 4th officina, Rome mint, 312 - 313 A.D.; obverse FL VAL CONSTANTINVS AVG, radiate, draped, and cuirassed; reverse VIRTVS EXERCIT GALL (the courage of the army in Gual), Virtus standing left, spear in right hand, parazonium in left hand, X - VI across fields, RQ in exergue; very rare; SOLD

Gallienus, August 253 - September 268 A.D.

|Gallienus|, |Gallienus,| |August| |253| |-| |September| |268| |A.D.|, |sestertius|
Virtus is the personification of valor and courage. Valor was, of course, essential for the success of a Roman emperor and Virtus was one of the embodiments of virtues that were part of the Imperial cult. During his joint reign with his father, Gallienus proved his courage in battle; but his failure to liberate his father from Persian captivity was perceived as cowardice and a disgrace to the Emperor and Empire. It was not, however, actually fear that prevented a rescue. While others mourned Valerian's fate, Gallienus rejoiced in his new sovereignty.
RB76153. Orichalcum sestertius, Gbl MIR 38dd, RIC V-1 J248, Cohen V 1293, Hunter IV 33, SRCV III 10495, Nice gVF, excellent portrait, green patina, tight flan cutting off much legend, weight 10.962 g, maximum diameter 25.3 mm, die axis 0o, Rome mint, 253 - 255 A.D.; obverse IMP C P LIC GALLIENVS AVG, laureate and cuirassed bust right; reverse VIRTVS AVGG (valor of the two emperors), Virtus standing left, wearing crested helmet and military garb, right resting hand on grounded shield, inverted spear vertical behind in left, S - C (senatus consulto) flanking across field; SOLD

Gallic Empire, Marius, May - August or September 269 A.D.

|Marius|, |Gallic| |Empire,| |Marius,| |May| |-| |August| |or| |September| |269| |A.D.|, |antoninianus|
A blacksmith by trade, Marius worked his way up through the ranks until he was an officer in the Gallic Empire army under Postumus. Upon Postumus' death, Marius seized power but his reign was very short, perhaps only two or three days. He was murdered by his own officers, possibly with a sword of his own manufacture.
RA91615. Billon antoninianus, Schulzki N51, pl. 15, 9 (R5, same obv. die); RIC V-2 19 (R); Elmer 640; SRCV III 11125; Cohen VI 22; Cunetio 2512 (1 spec.); Hunter IV - (p. xcvi), VF, dark patina, light earthen deposits, small edge splits, weight 2.583 g, maximum diameter 20.0 mm, die axis 180o, Mogontiacum (Mainz) or Treveri (Trier) mint, May - Aug/Sep 269 A.D.; obverse IMP C M AVR MARIVS AVG, radiate and cuirassed bust right; reverse VIRTVS AVG, Virtus or Mars standing left, wearing military garb, right hand resting on grounded shield, spear vertical in left hand; from the Maxwell Hunt Collection; rare; SOLD


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