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

Women's Fertility (Hera, Fecunditas, and other Fertility Goddesses)

Many ancient gods and godesses were associated with women's fertility. For the Greeks, Hera was associated with women's fertility and childbirth, but Artemis was responsible for women's health and thus also fertility. The Egyptian frog-goddess Heget was a fertility goddess, but Isis and many others Egyptian gods and goddesses had fertility roles. Fecunditas, the Roman goddess of fertility, is often depicted on coins of the empresses. See Wikipedia for a list of fertility deities - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_fertility_deities

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||denarius|
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 (Ä178.60)


Herennia Etruscilla, Augusta July 249 - April/August 253(?) A.D.

|Herennia| |Etruscilla|, |Herennia| |Etruscilla,| |Augusta| |July| |249| |-| |April/August| |253(?)| |A.D.||antoninianus|
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 (Ä112.80)


Julia Mamaea, Augusta 13 March 222 - February or March 235 A.D.

|Julia| |Mamaea|, |Julia| |Mamaea,| |Augusta| |13| |March| |222| |-| |February| |or| |March| |235| |A.D.||denarius|
Many shiny silver denarii looked more like this when found. This coin is attractive as-is and should never be cleaned.
RS112222. Silver denarius, RIC IV 331, RSC III 5, BMCRE VI 917 ff., Hunter IV 9, SRCV II 8207, VF, as found dark toning and highlighting earthen deposits, parts of obv. leg. weak, weight 3.027 g, maximum diameter 19.5 mm, Rome mint, 232 A.D.; obverse IVLIA MAMAEA AVG, draped bust right, wearing stephane, hair in horizontal ridges, looped plait at back of neck; reverse FECVND AVGVSTAE, Fecunditas standing left, extending right hand over small boy standing before her, boy nude and raising arms to her, cornucopia in left hand; $100.00 (Ä94.00)


Knossos, Crete, c. 330 - 300 B

|Crete|, |Knossos,| |Crete,| |c.| |330| |-| |300| |B||drachm|
SH35118. Silver drachm, BMC Crete p. 21, 26; SNG Cop 374, Fair, rough cleaning, weight 3.172 g, maximum diameter 19.2 mm, die axis 180o, Knossos mint, obverse head of Hera left, wearing stephane; reverse square labyrinth with entrance; rare; SOLD


Roman, Bronze Priapus Amulet, c. 1st Century B.C. - 1st Century A.D.

|Amulets|, |Roman,| |Bronze| |Priapus| |Amulet,| |c.| |1st| |Century| |B.C.| |-| |1st| |Century| |A.D.|
Priapus or Priapos was a minor rustic fertility god, protector of livestock, fruit plants, gardens and male genitalia. Priapus is marked by his absurdly oversized permanent erection, which gave rise to the medical term priapism. He became a popular figure in Roman erotic art and Latin literature, and is the subject of the often humorously obscene collection of verse called the Priapeia. The word "amulet" comes from the Latin word amuletum, which Pliny's Natural History describes as "an object that protects a person from trouble."
AS91386. cf. Rolland Bronzes 136, BnF Bronzes 502, Choice, complete and intact; 41mm (1 5/8") tall, 14.4g, Priapus standing, bearded, wearing long garment and boots, holding open drapery to expose his large phallus; from a New England collector; SOLD







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