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

Roma on Ancient Coins

Roma was a female deity who personified the city of Rome and more broadly, the Roman state. The earliest certain cult to dea Roma was established at Smyrna in 195 B.C., probably to mark the successful alliance against Antiochus III. In 30/29 B.C., the Koinon of Asia and Bithynia requested permission to honor Augustus as a living god. "Republican" Rome despised the worship of a living man, but an outright refusal might offend their loyal allies. A cautious formula was drawn up, non-Romans could only establish a cult for divus Augustus jointly with dea Roma. In the city of Rome itself, the earliest known state cult to dea Roma was combined with Venus at the Hadrianic Temple of Venus and Roma. This was the largest temple in the city, probably dedicated to inaugurate the reformed festival of Parilia, which was known thereafter as the Romaea after the Eastern festival in Roma's honor. The temple contained the seated, Hellenised image of dea Roma with a Palladium in her right hand to symbolize Rome's eternity.

Claudius, 25 January 41 - 13 October 54 A.D., Ephesos, Ionia

|Claudius|, |Claudius,| |25| |January| |41| |-| |13| |October| |54| |A.D.,| |Ephesos,| |Ionia||cistophorus|
In 30/29 B.C., the Koinon of Asia and Bithynia requested permission to honor the Augustus as a living god. "Republican" Rome despised the worship of a living man, but an outright refusal might offend their loyal allies. A cautious formula was drawn up, non-Romans could establish cults and build temples for divus Augustus jointly with dea Roma. Communitas Asiae (Community of Asia) was pro-consular Roman province comprised of Lydia, Iconia, Caria, Mysia, Phrygia, and Hellespontus.
SL113456. Silver cistophorus, RPC Online I 2221, RIC I 120 (R3, Pergamon), RSC II 3, BMCRE I 228, SRCV I 1838, NGC F, strike 5/5, surface 3/5 (2400265-002), weight 10.53 g, maximum diameter 26 mm, die axis 180o, probably Ephesos (near Selcuk, Turkey) mint, 41 - 42 A.D.; obverse TI CLAVD CAES AVG, bare head left; reverse Temple of Roma and Augustus, two columns, podium with four steps, within temple Augustus and Roma stand facing, Augustus in military garb with spear in right hand and shield in left, Fortuna crowns him with wreath in right hand and holds cornucopia in left hand, ROM ET AVG (Roma and Augustus) on entablature, COM - ASI (Communitas Asiae) across field at center; from a Virginia Collector, ex Eastern Numismatics Inc. (Garden City, NY, 17 Jan 2013, $1695); NGC| Lookup; very rare; $1700.00 (1598.00)


Elagabalus, 16 May 218 - 11 March 222 A.D.

|Elagabalus|, |Elagabalus,| |16| |May| |218| |-| |11| |March| |222| |A.D.||antoninianus|NEW
On 8 June 218, Elagabalus' Syrian legions defeated the forces of Macrinus. Macrinus fled, but was captured near Chalcedon and later executed in Cappadocia. His son Diadumenian attempted escape to the Parthian court but was captured at Zeugma and also put to death.
RS112939. Silver antoninianus, RIC IV 1e; RSC III 125; BMCRE V p. 530, 4; SRCV II 7493; Hunter III p. 112, 2 var. (also cuirassed), VF/F, well centered, flow lines, some legend weak, weight 3.820 g, maximum diameter 21.8 mm, die axis 0o, Rome mint, 16 May - end 218 A.D.; obverse IMP CAES M AVR ANTONINVS AVG, radiate and draped bust right, seen from behind; reverse P M TR P COS P P, Roma seated left, wearing crested helmet, Victory in extended right hand offering wreath to Roma, long scepter or spear in left hand, oval shield against near side of throne; $110.00 (103.40)


Maxentius, February 307 - 28 October 312 A.D.

|Maxentius|, |Maxentius,| |February| |307| |-| |28| |October| |312| |A.D.||follis|
With the legend CONSERV VRB SVAE, Maxentius declares he is the Savior of the City (Rome), protecting its customs and privileges.
RT111557. Billon follis, Hunter V 14, RIC VI Roma 210, SRCV IV 15001, Cohen VII 52, Choice gVF, well centered, dark patina, edge cracks/splits, areas of weak strike, areas of mild porosity, weight 7.798 g, maximum diameter 25.6 mm, die axis 180o, 2nd officina, Rome mint, 308 - 310 A.D.; obverse IMP C MAXENTIVS P F AVG, laureate head right; reverse CONSERV - VRB SVAE, Roma seated facing in ornate hexastyle temple, head left, holding globe in right hand, spear in left hand, shield at side on right, wreath in pediment, Victories as acroteria, RBS in exergue; ex Numismatik Naumann auction 124 (8 Jan 2023), lot 946 (part of); $100.00 (94.00)


Philip I the Arab, February 244 - End of September 249 A.D.

|Philip| |I|, |Philip| |I| |the| |Arab,| |February| |244| |-| |End| |of| |September| |249| |A.D.||antoninianus|
The empire is history but Rome is still today, the Eternal City.

During the Early Middle Ages, the population fell to a mere 20,000, reducing the sprawling city to groups of inhabited buildings interspersed among large areas of ruins and vegetation.
RS113146. Silver antoninianus, RIC IV 65, RSC IV 171, SRCV III 8955, Hunter III - (p. lxxxix), Choice gVF, excellent portrait, full borders centering, flow lines, die wear, weight 4.228 g, maximum diameter 23.5 mm, die axis 0o, Rome mint, 247 A.D.; obverse IMP PHILIPPVS AVG, radiate, draped, and cuirassed bust right; reverse ROMAE AETERNAE (to eternal Rome), Roma seated left on shield, Victory in right hand, long scepter vertical in left hand, altar before; ex Numismatik Naumann auction 130 (2 Jul 2023), lot 1309 (part of); $90.00 (84.60)


Valentinian II, 17 November 375 - 15 May 392 A.D.

|Valentinian| |II|, |Valentinian| |II,| |17| |November| |375| |-| |15| |May| |392| |A.D.||centenionalis|
After the defeat of Maximus, Valentinian and his court were installed at Vienne, Gaul. Theodosius' trusted general, the Frank Arbogast, was appointed magister militum for the Western provinces (except Africa) and guardian of Valentinian. Acting in the name of Valentinian, Arbogast was actually subordinate only to Theodosius. Arbogast's domination over the emperor was considerable, he even murdered Harmonius, Valentinian's friend, suspected of taking bribes, in the emperor's presence. The crisis reached a peak when Arbogast prohibited the emperor from leading the Gallic armies into Italy to oppose a barbarian threat. Valentinian, in response, formally dismissed Arbogast. The latter ignored the order, publicly tearing it up and arguing that Valentinian had not appointed him in the first place. The reality of where the power lay was openly displayed. Valentinian wrote to Theodosius and Ambrose complaining of his subordination to his general. On 15 May 392, Valentinian was found hanged in his residence in Vienne. Arbogast maintained that the emperor's death was suicide. Most sources agree, however, that Arbogast murdered him with his own hands, or paid the Praetorians. Valentinian's Christian beliefs make suicide unlikely.
RL112089. Bronze centenionalis, RIC IX Antioch 46(d)3, LRBC II 2690, cf. SRCV V 20308 (controls), Hunter V 48 (same), VF, nice desert patina with highlighting earthen deposits, weight 2.624 g, maximum diameter 19.9 mm, die axis 0o, Antioch (Antakya, Turkey) mint, 9 Aug 378 - 25 Aug 383 A.D.; obverse D N VALENTINIANVS P F AVG, pearl-diademed, draped, and cuirassed bust right; reverse CONCORDIA AVGGG (harmony among the three emperors), Roma seated facing on throne, head left, helmeted, left leg bare, globe in right hand, reversed spear in left hand, Θ (control) left, ANTΓ in exergue; from the Michael Arslan Collection; $80.00 (75.20)


Philip I the Arab, February 244 - End of September 249 A.D.

|Philip| |I|, |Philip| |I| |the| |Arab,| |February| |244| |-| |End| |of| |September| |249| |A.D.||antoninianus|NEW
The empire is history but Rome is still today, the Eternal City.

Rome's influence on Western Civilization can hardly be overestimated. In sum, Rome has perhaps had greater influence than any other city on earth, making important contributions to politics, literature, culture, the arts, architecture, music, religion, education, fashion, cinema and cuisine.
RS113148. Silver antoninianus, RIC IV 44b, RSC IV 169, SRCV III 8952, Hunter III - (p. lxxxviii), Choice gVF/F, well centered, flow lines, light toning, rev. die wear, edge ragged, weight 2.956 g, maximum diameter 23.1 mm, die axis 0o, Rome mint, 245 - 247 A.D.; obverse IMP M IVL PHILIPPVS AVG, radiate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, seen from behind; reverse ROMAE AETERNAE (to eternal Rome), Roma seated left on shield, Victory in right hand, long scepter vertical in left hand; ex Numismatik Naumann auction 130 (2 Jul 2023), lot 1309 (part of); $80.00 (75.20)


Valentinian II, 17 November 375 - 15 May 392 A.D.

|Valentinian| |II|, |Valentinian| |II,| |17| |November| |375| |-| |15| |May| |392| |A.D.||centenionalis|
After the defeat of Maximus, Valentinian and his court were installed at Vienne, Gaul. Theodosius' trusted general, the Frank Arbogast, was appointed magister militum for the Western provinces (except Africa) and guardian of Valentinian. Acting in the name of Valentinian, Arbogast was actually subordinate only to Theodosius. Arbogast's domination over the emperor was considerable, he even murdered Harmonius, Valentinian's friend, suspected of taking bribes, in the emperor's presence. The crisis reached a peak when Arbogast prohibited the emperor from leading the Gallic armies into Italy to oppose a barbarian threat. Valentinian, in response, formally dismissed Arbogast. The latter ignored the order, publicly tearing it up and arguing that Valentinian had not appointed him in the first place. The reality of where the power lay was openly displayed. Valentinian wrote to Theodosius and Ambrose complaining of his subordination to his general. On 15 May 392, Valentinian was found hanged in his residence in Vienne. Arbogast maintained that the emperor's death was suicide. Most sources agree, however, that Arbogast murdered him with his own hands, or paid the Praetorians. Valentinian's Christian beliefs make suicide unlikely.
RL112090. Bronze centenionalis, RIC IX Antioch 46(d)3, LRBC II 2690, cf. SRCV V 20308 (controls), Hunter V 48 (same), Choice F, well centered, highlighting earthen deposits, weight 2.082 g, maximum diameter 18.4 mm, die axis 0o, 3rd officina, Antioch (Antakya, Turkey) mint, 9 Aug 378 - 25 Aug 383 A.D.; obverse D N VALENTINIANVS P F AVG, pearl-diademed, draped, and cuirassed bust right; reverse CONCORDIA AVGGG (harmony among the three emperors), Roma seated facing on throne, head left, helmeted, left leg bare, globe in right hand, reversed spear in left hand, Θ (control) left, ANTΓ in exergue; from the Michael Arslan Collection; $70.00 (65.80)


Probus, Summer 276 - September 282 A.D.

|Probus|, |Probus,| |Summer| |276| |-| |September| |282| |A.D.||antoninianus|
Roma was a female deity who personified the city of Rome and more broadly, the Roman state. The earliest certain cult to dea Roma was established at Smyrna in 195 B.C., probably to mark the successful alliance against Antiochus III. In 30/29 B.C., the Koinon of Asia and Bithynia requested permission to honor Augustus as a living god. "Republican" Rome despised the worship of a living man, but an outright refusal might offend their loyal allies. A cautious formula was drawn up, non-Romans could only establish a cult for divus Augustus jointly with dea Roma. In the city of Rome itself, the earliest known state cult to dea Roma was combined with Venus at the Hadrianic Temple of Venus and Roma. This was the largest temple in the city, probably dedicated to inaugurate the reformed festival of Parilia, which was known thereafter as the Romaea after the Eastern festival in Roma's honor. The temple contained the seated, Hellenised image of dea Roma with a Palladium in her right hand to symbolize Rome's eternity.
RA112893. Billon antoninianus, RIC V-2 737H; Cohen VI 556; Pink VI-1, p. 50; SRCV III -, aVF, well centered, green patina, scattered tiny pits, rev. a little rough, tiny edge cracks, weight 3.212 g, maximum diameter 22.4 mm, die axis 0o, 2nd officina, Siscia (Sisak, Croatia) mint, 277 A.D.; obverse IMP C M AVR PROBVS P F AVG, radiate bust left in consular robe, eagle-tipped scepter in right; reverse ROMAE AETERNAE (to eternal Rome), hexastyle temple, statue of Roma seated left inside, Victory in her right hand, long scepter vertical in her left hand, shield leaning against seat, three steps, wreath on pediment, XXIS in exergue; $70.00 (65.80)


City of Rome Commemorative, 330 - 333 A.D.

|Roma|, |City| |of| |Rome| |Commemorative,| |330| |-| |333| |A.D.||reduced| |centenionalis|
On some examples of the VRBS ROMA series, a symbol is found on the wolf's shoulder. It might look like the letter Θ (at Thessalonica and Alexandria) or a flock of hair. We don't know of any symbols on earlier depictions (Republic and early empire) of the she-wolf.
RL85737. Billon reduced centenionalis, RIC VII Thessalonica 187, SRCV IV 16516, LRBC I 838, Cohen VII 17, Hunter V 7, gVF, well centered and struck, tight flan, some porosity, weight 2.078 g, maximum diameter 17.1 mm, die axis 0o, 5th officina, Thessalonica (Salonika, Greece) mint, 330 - 333 A.D.; obverse VRBS ROMA, helmeted bust of Roma left wearing imperial mantle; reverse she-wolf standing left, head turned back right, suckling the infant twins Romulus and Remus, two stars above, SMTSE in exergue; SOLD


Flavius Nepotianus, 10 May - 7 June 351 A.D.

|Nepotianus|, |Flavius| |Nepotianus,| |10| |May| |-| |7| |June| |351| |A.D.||AE| |3|
On this obverse die the legend is spelled CONSTANTNS in error.
SH22812. Bronze AE 3, RIC VIII Rome 203 var. (obv legend error), VF+, weight 5.398 g, maximum diameter 24.5 mm, 5th officina, Rome mint, 10 May - 7 Jun 351 A.D.; obverse FL NEP CONST-ANTNS AVG, laurel and rosette diademed, draped, and cuirassed bust right; reverse VRBS ROMA (City of Rome), Roma seated left on cuirass, holding spear and Victory on globe, RE in exergue; extremely rare; SOLD







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Catalog current as of Tuesday, December 5, 2023.
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