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

Generosity (Liberalitas)

Liberalitas coin types attest to occasions when the emperor has displayed his generosity towards the people by a distribution to them of money, provisions, or both. The first mention of Liberalitas was on coins of Hadrian. It was a type frequently repeated by the succeeding emperors. Indeed these instances of imperial generosity are more carefully recorded on coins than they are by history. Liberality is personified by the image of a woman, holding in one hand a counting board, or square tablet with a handle on which are cut a certain number of holes. These boards were used to quickly count the proper number of coins or other items for distribution to each person. In the other hand she holds a cornucopia, to indicate the prosperity of the state and the abundance of wheat contained in the public graineries.

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

|Antoninus| |Pius|, |Antoninus| |Pius,| |August| |138| |-| |7| |March| |161| |A.D.||denarius|NEW
Liberalitas coin types attest to occasions when the emperor has displayed his generosity towards the people by a distribution to them of money, provisions, or both. The first mention of Liberalitas was on coins of Hadrian. It was a type frequently repeated by the succeeding emperors. Indeed these instances of imperial generosity are more carefully recorded on coins than they are by history. Liberality is personified by the image of a woman, holding in one hand a counting board, or square tablet with a handle on which are cut a certain number of holes. These boards were used to quickly count the proper number of coins or other items for distribution to each person. In the other hand she holds a cornucopia, to indicate the prosperity of the state and the abundance of wheat contained in the public graineries.
RS97467. Silver denarius, RSC II 517a; RIC III 228c (S); BMCRE p. 116, 708*; Hunter II 90 var. (slight drapery); Strack III 262; SRCV II -, VF, toned, radiating flow lines, tight flan, reverse off center, small edge spits/cracks, weight 3.292 g, maximum diameter 18.1 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 152 - 153 A.D.; obverse ANTONINVS AVG PIVS P P TR P XVI, laureate bust right; reverse LIBERALITAS VII COS IIII, Liberalitas standing left, emptying coins out of cornucopias held in both hands; ex Savoca Coins auction blue 89 (07 Nov 2020), lot 1250; rare; $150.00 SALE |PRICE| $135.00
 


Caracalla, 28 January 198 - 8 April 217 A.D.

|Caracalla|, |Caracalla,| |28| |January| |198| |-| |8| |April| |217| |A.D.||denarius|NEW
Liberality is personified by the image of a woman, holding in one hand a counting board, or square tablet with a handle on which are cut a certain number of holes. These boards were used to quickly count the proper number of coins or other items for distribution to each person. It appears they were held over a container, covered with coins and the excess swept away back into the container. The proper number of coins would fill the holes and then would be dumped out to the recipient. On coins this symbol indicated the prince had given to the people money, grain, or other articles of consumption. In the other hand she holds a cornucopia, to indicate the abundance of wheat contained in the public graineries.
RS97470. Silver denarius, RIC IV 158, RSC III 128, BMCRE V 257, SRCV II 6815, VF, nice portrait, well centered, light toning, long closed flan cracks, weight 2.833 g, maximum diameter 18.5 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 209 A.D.; obverse ANTONINVS PIVS AVG, laureate head right; reverse LIBERALITAS AVG VI (the 6th liberality [distribution of gifts to the people] by the Emperor), Liberalitas standing half-left, coin counting board in right hand, cornucopia in left hand; ex Numismatik Naumann auction 96 (01 Nov 2020), lot 864 (part of); $120.00 SALE |PRICE| $108.00
 


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

|Hadrian|, |Hadrian,| |11| |August| |117| |-| |10| |July| |138| |A.D.||sestertius|
The generosity and munificent largesses of Hadrian, after having been recorded many times on various coins and in diverse ways, are on the reverse of a first brass medal of great rarity, glorified altogether by the above splendid title, "The Benefactor of the World," a superlative the more remarkable, inasmuch as, neither before nor afterward, is it found conferred on any other emperor. -- Dictionary| of Roman| Coins|
RB87802. Orichalcum sestertius, RIC II 552 (R), Hunter II 324, BMCRE III 1137, Cohen II 914, SRCV II 3606 var. (band over shoulder, S - C at sides), Choice VF, excellent portrait, beautiful green patina, light marks, small spots of corrosion, weight 25.807 g, maximum diameter 35.1 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 123 A.D.; obverse IMP CAESAR TRAIANVS HADRIANVS AVG, laureate head right, "heroic" bare chest portrait, seen from the front, drapery on left shoulder; reverse PONT MAX TR POT COS II, Hadrian seated left on raised platform, before him sits an attendant distributing coins to a togate citizen climbing steps of platform, Liberalitas standing left on far side of attendant, holding coin counter, LIBERALITAS AVG / S C (senatus consulto) in exergue; very rare; SOLD







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