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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ |Themes & Provenance| ▸ |Gods, Non-Olympian| ▸ |Genius||View Options:  |  |  |   

Genius - The Guardian Spirt

In Roman religion, every man has a genius, a presiding spirit. In De Die Natali, Censorinus says, from the moment we are born, we live under the guard and tutelage of Genius. Cities, organizations, and peoples also had a genius. On coins, we find inscriptions to the Genius of the Army, of the Senate, of the Emperor, etc. The legend GENIO POPVLI ROMANI, for example, dedicates the coin to the Genius of the Roman People. Genius' image is of a man with a cloak half covering the shoulders leaving the rest of his body naked, holding a cornucopia in one hand, and a simpulum or a patera in the other. In Roman Bronze Coins From Paganism to Christianity 294-364 A.D., Victor Failmezger writes, "This reverse is modeled after the famous statue of the Spirit of the Roman People in the Roman Forum. It is unclear when this statue was last seen as it is now lost. Although the coins celebrate a wide range of spirits (e.g., Rome, Augustus, the Army, etc.), the basic design comes from the same statue...The act of pouring the libation to the emperor illustrates what the Christians were required to do in order not to be persecuted."

Constantine the Great, Early 307 - 22 May 337 A.D.

|Constantine| |the| |Great|, |Constantine| |the| |Great,| |Early| |307| |-| |22| |May| |337| |A.D.||follis|NEW
"The letters C I H S in the reverse field probably relate to Constantine's weight reduction of the follis, thought their precise meaning remains unclear. The formula appears to contain as its elements the numeral 101 (CI) and the sign of the sestertius (HS)." -- Roman Coins and Their Values IV by David Sear.
RL98403. Billon follis, RIC VI Lugdunum 287 (S), Bastien 509, SRCV IV 15922, Cohen VII 215, Hunter V 75 ff., Choice aEF, well centered and struck, sharp detail, attractive style, slightest porosity, small edge crack, weight 6.10 g, maximum diameter 26.3 mm, die axis 180o, 1st officina, Lugdunum (Lyon, France) mint, autumn 308 - early 309 A.D.; obverse IMP C CONSTANTINVS P F AVG, laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, from behind; reverse GENIO POP ROM (to the guardian spirit of the Roman people), Genius standing left, chest bare, himation around hips and legs and over left shoulder and arm, sacrificing from patera in right hand over flaming altar, cornucopia in left hand, CI-H/S across fields, PLG in exergue; scarce; $120.00 (€98.40)
 


Julia Domna, Augusta 194 - 8 April 217 A.D., Antiocheia, Pisidia

|Pisidia|, |Julia| |Domna,| |Augusta| |194| |-| |8| |April| |217| |A.D.,| |Antiocheia,| |Pisidia||AE| |22|
Tyche (Greek for luck; the Roman equivalent was Fortuna) was the presiding tutelary deity that governed the fortune and prosperity of a city, its destiny. Increasingly during the Hellenistic period, cities had their own specific iconic version of Tyche, wearing a mural crown (a crown like the walls of the city).
RP93151. Bronze AE 22, Krzyzanowska XVII/-; SNG BnF 1127 var. (same obv. die, rev. leg. var.); SNG PfPs 47 var. (same); BMC Lycia p. 181, 34 var. (rev. leg.), VF, dark green patina, minor earthen deposits, small edge splits, weight 6.118 g, maximum diameter 21.6 mm, die axis 180o, Antioch in Pisidia (Yalvac, Turkey) mint, 194 - 8 Apr 217 A.D.; obverse IVLIA AVGVSTA, draped bust right; reverse ANTIOCH GEN CL CA, Tyche (Genius of the colony) standing slightly left, head left, kalathos on head, wearing long chiton and peplos, branch in right hand, cornucopia in left hand; from the Errett Bishop Collection; $115.00 (€94.30)
 


Maximinus II Daia, Late 309 - 30 April 313 A.D.

|Maximinus| |II|, |Maximinus| |II| |Daia,| |Late| |309| |-| |30| |April| |313| |A.D.||follis|
The officina number is expressed as E∆ (5 + 4 = 9) because Θ, theta, the Greek numeral nine, was considered unlucky. Theta (Θ), was used as an abbreviation for Thanatos (death) and used as a warning symbol of death, in the same way that skull and crossbones are used in modern times. It survives on potsherds used by Athenians voting for the death penalty. Also, after a funeral "Nine Days of Sorrow" were solemnly observed by the Roman family. Romans avoided the use of theta, as we avoid the use of the number 13 today.
RL94868. Billon follis, Hunter V 68 (also 9th officina), SRCV IV 14845, Cohen VII 47, RIC VI Antiochia 147c var. (no crescent), Choice VF, well centered, black patina with highlighting red earthen "desert patina", weight 6.809 g, maximum diameter 23.4 mm, die axis 0o, 9th officina, Antioch (Antakya, Turkey) mint, 310 - 311 A.D.; obverse IMP C GAL VAL MAXIMINVS P F AVG, laureate head right; reverse GENIO EXERCITVS (to the guardian spirit of the army), Genius standing slightly left, head left, nude but for chlamys over shoulders and left arm, kalathos on head, pouring libations from patera in right hand, cornucopia in left hand, flaming altar at feet on left, crescent horns up upper left, E over ∆ (5+4=9) right, ANT in exergue; from the Ray Nouri Collection; $90.00 (€73.80)
 


Licinius I, 11 November 308 - 18 September 324 A.D.

|Licinius| |I|, |Licinius| |I,| |11| |November| |308| |-| |18| |September| |324| |A.D.||follis|
Most references describe this bust as laureate and cuirassed. Hunter V breaks from tradition and correctly recognizes that the loop on the left shoulder indicates drapery, the paludamentum. To avoid confusion, we use the traditional description omitting "draped" from the description.
RT97778. Billon follis, Hunter V 4, RIC VII Londinium 3, SRCV IV 15184, Cohen VII 49, gVF, choice bold obverse, light marks, scattered porosity, small green encrustations, weight 3.045 g, maximum diameter 20.9 mm, die axis 180o, Londinium (London, England) mint, 313 - 314 A.D.; obverse IMP LICINIVS P F AVG, laureate and cuirassed bust right; reverse GENIO POP ROM (to the guardian spirit of the Roman people), Genius standing slightly left, head left, kalathos on head, himation over left arm/shoulder and around hips and legs, patera in right hand, cornucopia in left hand, S and F left and right, PLN in exergue; $90.00 (€73.80)
 


Licinius I, 11 November 308 - 18 September 324 A.D.

|Licinius| |I|, |Licinius| |I,| |11| |November| |308| |-| |18| |September| |324| |A.D.||follis|
Most references describe this bust as laureate and cuirassed. Hunter V breaks from tradition and correctly recognizes that the loop on the left shoulder indicates drapery, the paludamentum. To avoid confusion, we use the traditional description omitting "draped" from the description.
RT97779. Billon follis, RIC VI Londinium 209c, Hunter V 1, SRCV IV 15183, Cohen VII 53, EF, well centered on an oval flan, small green encrustations, edge crack, weight 4.081 g, maximum diameter 23.0 mm, die axis 180o, Londinium (London, England) mint, mid 310 - late 312 A.D.; obverse IMP LICINIVS P F AVG, laureate and cuirassed bust right; reverse GENIO POP ROM (to the guardian spirit of the Roman people), Genius standing left, nude but for cloak over shoulder, patera in right hand, cornucopia in left hand, star right, PLN in exergue; $90.00 (€73.80)
 


Maximinus II Daia, Late 309 - 30 April 313 A.D.

|Maximinus| |II|, |Maximinus| |II| |Daia,| |Late| |309| |-| |30| |April| |313| |A.D.||follis|
On 11 November 308, attempting to keep peace within the Roman Empire, at the Congress of Carnuntum, the Tetrarchy declared Maxentius a public enemy, Licinius was proclaimed Augustus, and Constantine I was made Caesar of Britain and Gaul.
RT97958. Billon follis, Hunter V 20 (also 2nd officina), RIC VI Heraclea 36, SRCV IV 14721, Cohen VII 40, VF, well centered, traces of silvering, mild porosity, weight 5.940 g, maximum diameter 27.2 mm, die axis 0o, 2nd officina, Heraclea (Marmara Ereglisi, Turkey) mint, 308 - 309 A.D.; obverse GAL VAL MAXIMINVS NOB CAES, laureate head right; reverse GENIO CAESARIS (to the guardian spirit of the prince), Genius standing slightly left, head left, nude but for chlamys over shoulders and left arm, kalathos on head, pouring libations from patera in right hand, cornucopia in left hand, •HTB• in exergue; $90.00 (€73.80)
 


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

|Galerius|, |Galerius,| |1| |March| |305| |-| |5| |May| |311| |A.D.||follis| |(large)|
In Roman religion, every man has a genius, a presiding spirit. In De Die Natali, Censorinus says, from the moment we are born, we live under the guard and tutelage of Genius. Cities, organizations, and peoples also had a genius. On coins, we find inscriptions to the Genius of the Army, of the Senate, of the Emperor, etc. The legend GENIO POPVLI ROMANI dedicates this coin to the Genius of the Roman People. Genius' image is of a man with a cloak half covering the shoulders leaving the rest of his body naked, holding a cornucopia in one hand, and a simpulum or a patera in the other.
RT97959. Billon follis (large), Hunter V p. 65, 32 (also 2nd officina); RIC VI Cyzicus 44; SRCV IV 14516; Cohen VII 49, Choice gVF, well centered, scattered porosity, weight 5.989 g, maximum diameter 27.7 mm, die axis 0o, 2nd officina, Cyzicus (Kapu Dagh, Turkey) mint, 308 - 309 A.D.; obverse GAL VAL MAXIMIANVS P F AVG, laureate head right; reverse GENIO IMPERATORIS (to the guardian spirit of the Commander in Chief), Genius standing slightly left, head left, nude but for chlamys over shoulders and left arm, kalathos on head, pouring libations from patera in right hand, cornucopia in left hand, B lower left, MKV in exergue; $90.00 (€73.80)
 


Maximinus II Daia, Late 309 - 30 April 313 A.D.

|Maximinus| |II|, |Maximinus| |II| |Daia,| |Late| |309| |-| |30| |April| |313| |A.D.||follis|
In Roman religion, every man has a genius, a presiding spirit. In De Die Natali, Censorinus says, from the moment we are born, we live under the guard and tutelage of Genius. Cities, organizations, and peoples also had a genius. On coins, we find inscriptions to the Genius of the Army, of the Senate, of the Roman People, etc. The legend GENIO AVGVSTI dedicates this coin to the Genius of the Augusti, the Emperors. The figure depicted is the statue of the Spirit of the Roman People which was then in the Roman Forum (it is now lost). The act of pouring the libation to the emperor illustrates what the Christians were required to do in order not to be persecuted.
RT93355. Billon follis, RIC VI Alexandria 152b, SRCV IV 14841, Cohen VII 17, Hunter V -, gVF, dark brown patina, flow lines, porosity, slightly off center, reverse die wear, tiny edge crack, weight 5.116 g, maximum diameter 23.3 mm, die axis 0o, 2nd officina, Alexandria mint, 312 A.D.; obverse IMP C GAL VAL MAXIMINVS P F AVG, laureate head right; reverse GENIO AVGVSTI (to the guardian spirit of the Emperor), Genio standing facing, head left, kalathos on head, nude but for chlamys over shoulders and left arm, head of Serapis in right hand, cornucopia in left hand, crescent upper left, X in left field, B in right field, ALE in exergue; from the Errett Bishop Collection; $80.00 (€65.60)
 


Septimius Severus, 9 April 193 - 4 February 211 A.D., Nikopolis ad Istrum, Moesia Inferior

|Nikopolis|, |Septimius| |Severus,| |9| |April| |193| |-| |4| |February| |211| |A.D.,| |Nikopolis| |ad| |Istrum,| |Moesia| |Inferior||assarion|
The figure on the reverse is most often identified as Eros (Cupid) or a generic winged Genius. The inverted torch represents a life extinguished, indicating the figure is Thanatos (death). By the Severan Era, there was increased hope for an afterlife in pleasant Elysium rather than in dismal Hades. Thanatos was associated more with a gentle passing than a woeful demise. Thanatos as a winged boy, very much akin to Cupid, with crossed legs and an inverted torch, became the most common symbol for death, depicted on many Roman sarcophagi.
RP97238. Bronze assarion, H-H-J Nikopolis 8.14.16.16 (R3), Moushmov 926, AMNG I/I 1367 (R3) var. (leg.), Varbanov I 2481 (R3) var. (obv. leg., bust), BMC Thrace -, SNG Cop -, F, rough, edge ragged, part of reverse legend not struck, weight 3.040 g, maximum diameter 15.9 mm, die axis 30o, Nicopolis ad Istrum (Nikyup, Bulgaria) mint, 9 Apr 193 - 4 Feb 211 A.D.; obverse AV KAI CEVHP, laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right; reverse NIKOΠOΛITΩN ΠPOC I, winged Thanatos standing right, legs crossed legs, leaning on reversed torch on right set on low base; scarce; $80.00 (€65.60)
 


Maximinus II Daia, Late 309 - 30 April 313 A.D.

|Maximinus| |II|, |Maximinus| |II| |Daia,| |Late| |309| |-| |30| |April| |313| |A.D.||follis| |(large)|NEW
In Roman religion, every man has a genius, a presiding spirit. In De Die Natali, Censorinus says, from the moment we are born, we live under the guard and tutelage of Genius. Cities, organizations, and peoples also had a genius. On coins, we find inscriptions to the Genius of the Army, of the Senate, of the People, of the Emperor, etc. The legend GENIO CAESARIS dedicates this coin to the Genius of the Caesar. Genius' image is of a man with a cloak half covering the shoulders leaving the rest of his body naked, holding a cornucopia in one hand, and a simpulum or a patera in the other.
RT97967. Billon follis (large), RIC VI Heraclea 38, Cohen VII 49, SRCV IV 14731, Hunter V -, VF, well centered, flow lines, scattered light porosity/pitting, toned with spots of bare copper, weight 6.508 g, maximum diameter 26.6 mm, die axis 0o, 1st officina, Heraclea (Marmara Ereglisi, Turkey) mint, as caesar, 308 - 309 A.D.; obverse GAL VAL MAXIMINVS NOB CAES, laureate head right; reverse GENIO IMPERATORIS (to the guardian spirit of the Emperor as Commander in Chief), Genius standing half left, head left, kalathos on head, nude but for paludamentum over shoulders and left arm, pouring libations from patera in right hand, cornucopia in left hand, •HTA• in exergue; $80.00 (€65.60)
 




  



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