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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ |Themes & Provenance| ▸ |Personifications| ▸ |Forgiveness & Mercy||View Options:  |  |  | 

Forgiveness and Mercy (Clementia)

In Roman mythology, Clementia was the goddess of forgiveness and mercy. She was deified as a celebrated virtue of Julius Caesar, who was famed for his forbearance, especially following Caesar's civil war with Pompey from 49 B.C. In 44 B.C., a temple was consecrated to her by the Roman Senate, possibly at Caesar's instigation as Caesar was keen to demonstrate that he had this virtue. In a letter to his friend Atticus, Cicero is discussing Caesar's clementia: "You will say they are frightened. I dare say they are, but I'll be bound they're more frightened of Pompey than of Caesar. They are delighted with his artful clemency and fear the other's wrath." Again in Pro rege Deiotaro (For King Deiotarus) Cicero discusses Caesar's virtue of clementia. There is not much information surrounding Clementia's cult; it would seem that she was merely an abstraction of a particular virtue, one that was revered in conjunction with revering Caesar and the Roman state. Clementia was seen as a good trait within a leader, it also the Latin word for "humanity" or "forbearance". This is opposed to Saevitia which was savagery and bloodshed. Yet, she was the Roman counterpart of Eleos the Greek goddess of mercy and forgiveness who had a shrine in Athens. In traditional imagery, she is depicted holding a branch and a scepter, and may be leaning on a column.

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

|Hadrian|, |Hadrian,| |11| |August| |117| |-| |10| |July| |138| |A.D.||denarius|
In 122, Hadrian gave up the conquered territories in Scotland. During a personal visit to the area, Hadrian ordered construction of a 73 mile (117-kilometer) long wall to mark the northern border and keep the Caledonians, Picts and other tribes at bay. Construction of Hadrian's Wall began on 13 September.
RS94586. Silver denarius, RIC II-3 497, RSC II 212b, BMCRE III 252, Hunter II 91, Strack II 60, SRCV II 3463, aVF, light toning, flow lines, reverse a little off center, small edge split/cracks, weight 3.237 g, maximum diameter 18.3 mm, die axis 150o, Rome mint, late 121 - 123 A.D.; obverse IMP CAESAR TRAIAN HADRIANVS AVG, laureate head right; reverse P M TR P COS III, Clementia (mercy) standing left, leaning on column, patera in right hand held over altar, long scepter vertical in left hand, left elbow rests on column, CLEM in exergue; from the Ray Nouri Collection; $130.00 SALE |PRICE| $117.00
 


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

|Hadrian|, |Hadrian,| |11| |August| |117| |-| |10| |July| |138| |A.D.||denarius|
Clementia was the goddess of forgiveness and mercy, which the Romans considered good traits for a caesar or emperor. In 44 B.C., a temple was consecrated to her by the Roman Senate, possibly at Julius Caesar's instigation. She was deified as a celebrated virtue of Julius Caesar, who was famed for his forbearance, especially following his civil war with Pompey from 49 B.C.
RS94582. Silver denarius, RIC II-3 1066 (S), BMCRE III 536, RSC II 218, Hunter II 182, SRCV II 3464 var. (bare head left), aVF/F, nice portrait, flow lines, toning, porous, small edge cracks, weight 2.828 g, maximum diameter 18.1 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 129 - 130 A.D.; obverse HADRIANVS AVGVSTVS, bare head right; reverse CLEMENTIA AVG COS III P P, Clementia (mercy) standing slightly left, head left, patera in extended right hand, long scepter vertical in left hand; from the Ray Nouri Collection; scarce; $120.00 SALE |PRICE| $108.00
 


Tacitus, 25 September 275 - June 276 A.D.

|Tacitus|, |Tacitus,| |25| |September| |275| |-| |June| |276| |A.D.||antoninianus|
Clementia was the goddess of forgiveness and mercy, which the Romans considered good traits for a caesar or emperor. In 44 B.C., a temple was consecrated to her by the Roman Senate, possibly at Julius Caesar's instigation. She was deified as a celebrated virtue of Julius Caesar, who was famed for his forbearance, especially following his civil war with Pompey from 49 B.C.
SH14028. Silvered antoninianus, MER-RIC 3578, RIC V-1 84, Venèra 1080 - 1110, BnF XII 1644, Hunter IV -,, Choice VF, full circle centering, attractive bust type, weight 4.210 g, maximum diameter 23.1 mm, die axis 0o, 7th officina, Rome mint, issue 3, early - Jun 276 A.D.; obverse IMP C M CL TACITVS AVG, radiate bust right with bare chest, drapery on far shoulder; reverse CLEMENTIA TEMP (time of peace and calm), Clementia standing left, scepter in right hand, leaning with left forearm on column, XXIZ in exergue; scarce; SOLD







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