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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."

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

|Pisidia|, |Caracalla,| |28| |January| |198| |-| |8| |April| |217| |A.D.,| |Antiocheia,| |Pisidia||AE| |33|
There is some debate as to who is represented on the coin, Caracalla or Elagabalus. Krzyzanowska attributed the coins to Caracalla, while SNG France, based on the portrait, attributes them to Elagabalus. Auction and sales listings seem to consistently attribute the type to Caracalla. We think the portrait could be either emperor but have gone with the crowd.
RP99684. Bronze AE 33, Kryzanowska XXIV/42; SNGvA 4935; SNG BnF 1175 (Elagabalus); SNG Cop -; BMC Lycia -, Choice aVF, very thick heavy flan, green patina, highlighting earthen deposits, light scratches, central dimples, weight 29.677 g, maximum diameter 33.4 mm, die axis 180o, Antioch in Pisidia (Yalvac, Turkey) mint, 28 Jan 198 - 8 Apr 217 A.D.; obverse PIVS AVG ANTONINVS, laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right; reverse GE-NIVS CO-L ANTIOCH, Genius standing left, kalathos on head, extending branch in right hand, cornucopia in left hand, S - R (Senatus Romanum) across fields; $130.00 SALE PRICE $117.00


Maximian, 286 - 305, 306 - 308, and 310 A.D.

|Maximian|, |Maximian,| |286| |-| |305,| |306| |-| |308,| |and| |310| |A.D.||follis| |(large)|
The ruins of Antioch on the Orontes lie near the modern city of Antakya, Turkey. Founded near the end of the 4th century B.C. by Seleucus I Nicator, one of Alexander the Great's generals, Antioch's geographic, military and economic location, particularly the spice trade, the Silk Road, the Persian Royal Road, benefited its occupants, and eventually it rivaled Alexandria as the chief city of the Near East and as the main center of Hellenistic Judaism at the end of the Second Temple period. Antioch is called "the cradle of Christianity," for the pivotal early role it played in the emergence of the faith. It was one of the four cities of the Syrian tetrapolis. Its residents are known as Antiochenes. Once a great metropolis of half a million people, it declined to insignificance during the Middle Ages because of warfare, repeated earthquakes and a change in trade routes following the Mongol conquests, which then no longer passed through Antioch from the far east.6th Century Antioch
RT110027. Billon follis (large), RIC VI Antiochia 54b, SRCV IV 13275, Cohen VII 184, Hunter V 95 var. (3rd officina), Choice EF, well centered and struck on a broad flan, dark patina with highlighting earthen deposits, weight 10.441 g, maximum diameter 27.4 mm, die axis 180o, 1st officina, Antioch (Antakya, Turkey) mint, c. 300 - 301 A.D.; obverse IMP C M A MAXIMIANVS P F AVG, laureate head right; reverse GENIO POPVLI ROMANI (to the guardian spirit of the Roman People), Genius standing left, kalathos on head, nude but for chlamys over shoulders and left arm, pouring libation from patera in right hand, cornucopia in left hand, K - V divided across lower fields, A upper right, ANT in exergue; $110.00 SALE PRICE $99.00


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

|Pisidia|, |Caracalla,| |28| |January| |198| |-| |8| |April| |217| |A.D.,| |Antiocheia,| |Pisidia||AE| |23|NEW
St. Paul the Apostle and Barnabas visited Antioch in Pisidia on his first missionary journey. Paul's sermon in the Jewish synagogue there caused a great stir among the citizens, but the ensuing conflict with the Jews led to the expulsion of the two Christian missionaries from the city. They returned later and appointed elders for the Christian community there. Paul also visited the region in both his second and his third journeys. Paul's "persecutions and sufferings" at Antioch are spoken of in 2 Timothy 3:11. One of the most important building complexes of Antioch is the Great Basilica identified as the "Church of St. Paul" by an altar which was found in Yalvac market place. The foundations at the south side of the basilica are thought to belong to the synagogue where St. Paul first preached to the Gentiles. The altar is dated to the 6th century and the inscription reads AΓIOΣ ΠAYΛOΣ. It is not clear if the basilica was used for another purpose in its earlier levels. Conservation and lifting of the mosaics will shed further light on this important building.St Pauls of Antioch
RP110696. Bronze AE 23, Krzyzanowska XVIII/35; SNG BnF 1182 (Elagabalus); BMC Lycia -, aVF, near centered, brown tone, weight 5.227 g, maximum diameter 23.3 mm, die axis 0o, Antioch in Pisidia (Yalvac, Turkey) mint, c. 205 A.D.; obverse IMP CAES M AVR ANTONINVS A, laureate head right, bare right shoulder seen from behind; reverse ANTIOCH GEN COL CAE, Genius of the colony standing left, branch downward in right hand, cornucopia in left hand; scarce; $90.00 SALE PRICE $81.00


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

|Galerius|, |Galerius,| |1| |March| |305| |-| |5| |May| |311| |A.D.||follis| |(large)|
These legends and types were struck in two issues RIC VI 198a, c. 309 - 310, and RIC 207a, c. 310 - 5 May 311. The earlier issue was struck with only officiae A, B and Γ, therefore, without even considering other variations we can be certain this coin is from the second issue.
RT99299. Billon follis (large), RIC VI Siscia p. 480, 207a; SRCV IV 14505; Hunter V p. 62, 7 var. (2nd officina); Cohen VI 133 (Maximian), gVF, amusing style and sharp detail on the reverse, slight porosity, reverse slightly off center, weight 7.444 g, maximum diameter 27.0 mm, die axis 0o, 4th officina, Siscia (Sisak, Croatia) mint, c. 310 - 5 May 311 A.D.; obverse IMP MAXIMIANVS P F AVG, laureate head right; reverse GENIO AVGVSTI (to the guardian spirit of the Emperor), Genius standing slightly left, head left, kalathos on head, nude but for chlamys over shoulders and left arm, patera in right hand, cornucopia in left hand, crescent with horns upward lower left, Δ right, SIS in exergue; from a private collector in New Jersey; $80.00 SALE PRICE $72.00


Maximinus II Daia, May 310 - 30 April 313 A.D.

|Maximinus| |II|, |Maximinus| |II| |Daia,| |May| |310| |-| |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 Δ (5+4=9) right, ANT in exergue; from the Ray Nouri Collection; $60.00 SALE PRICE $54.00


Maximinus II Daia, May 310 - 30 April 313 A.D.

|Maximinus| |II|, |Maximinus| |II| |Daia,| |May| |310| |-| |30| |April| |313| |A.D.||follis|
Thessalonica was founded around 315 B.C. by Cassander, King of Macedonia, on or near the site of the ancient town of Therma. He named it after his wife Thessalonike, a daughter of Philip II and a half-sister of Alexander the Great. In 168 B.C. it became the capital of Macedonia Secunda and in 146 B.C. it was made the capital of the whole Roman province of Macedonia. Due to its port and location at the intersection of two major Roman roads, Thessalonica grew to become the most important city in Macedonia. Thessalonica was important in the spread of Christianity; the First Epistle to the Thessalonians written by Paul the Apostle is the first written book of the New Testament.
RT97955. Billon follis, Hunter V p. 97, 25 (also 2nd officina) RIC VI Thessalonica 61a; SRCV IV 14882; Cohen VII 126, gVF, double strike in the reverse legend, flan shape slightly irregular, weight 3.608 g, maximum diameter 25.6 mm, die axis 0o, 2nd officina, Thessalonica (Salonika, Greece) mint, 312 - 313 A.D.; obverse IMP C MAXIMINVS P F AVG, laureate, draped and cuirassed bust right; reverse IOVI CONSERVATORI AVGG NN (to Jove the protector of our two Emperors), Jupiter standing left, nude but for cloak over left shoulder and arm, Victory on globe in right hand, scepter in left hand, eagle at feet left with wreath in beak, TSB in exergue; $60.00 SALE PRICE $54.00


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 Roman People, etc. The legend GENIO IMPERATORIS dedicates this coin to the Genius of the Imperators, the Commanders-in-Chief of the Army. 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.
RT99302. Billon follis (large), RIC VI Heraclea 37a; SRCV IV 14513; Cohen VII 48; Hunter V p. 63, 16 var. (1st officina), aVF/VF, nearly centered, flow lines, obv. die wear, marks, porosity, weight 6.136 g, maximum diameter 25.3 mm, die axis 0o, 3rd officina, Heraclea (Marmara Ereglisi, Turkey) mint, c. 308 - 309 A.D.; obverse IMP C GAL VAL MAXIMIANVS P F AVG, laureate head right; reverse GENIO IMPERATORIS (to the guardian spirit of the Emperor as 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, HTΓ in exergue; from a private collector in New Jersey; $60.00 SALE PRICE $54.00


Maximinus II Daia, May 310 - 30 April 313 A.D.

|Maximinus| |II|, |Maximinus| |II| |Daia,| |May| |310| |-| |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.
RL94872. Billon follis, RIC VI Alexandria 162b, SRCV IV 14843, Cohen VII 17, Hunter V 126 var. ( no wreath), aVF, heavy earthen deposits, weight 5.300 g, maximum diameter 20.4 mm, die axis 0o, 3rd officina, Alexandria mint, 313 A.D.; obverse IMP C GAL VAL MAXIMINVS P F AVG, laureate head right; reverse GENIO AVGVSTI (to the guardian spirit of the Emperor), Genius standing slightly left, kalathos on head left, head of Serapis in right hand, cornucopia in left hand, star upper left, N over palm-branch left, Γ over wreath right, ALE in exergue; from the Ray Nouri Collection; $45.00 SALE PRICE $40.50


Maximinus II Daia, May 310 - 30 April 313 A.D.

|Maximinus| |II|, |Maximinus| |II| |Daia,| |May| |310| |-| |30| |April| |313| |A.D.||follis| |(large)|
This follis was struck while Maximinus II Daia officially held the title filius augustorum. Galerius assigned this title to Constantine and Maximinus II after the conference of Carnuntum in November 308. Constantine rejected it as a demotion, as he had already taken the title augustus in 307. Maximinus also rejected it because he thought he should be made augustus following the death of Severus II, and this new title was below that rank. Only the mints in the east used this title. The mints in the west, under the control of Constantine and Maximinus, did not use it. In May 310 A.D., Galerius put an end to the issue and recognized them as augusti.
RT90629. Billon follis (large), RIC VI 32a (S), SRCV IV 14804, Cohen VII 42, Hunter V 18 var. (6th officina), VF/F, well centered, light corrosion, encrustations, weight 7.342 g, maximum diameter 26.8 mm, die axis 180o, 4th officina, Thessalonica (Salonika, Greece) mint, as filius augustorum, c. Dec 308 - late 309 A.D.; obverse MAXIMINVS FIL AVGG (Maximinus Filius Augustorum - Maximinus son of the Emperors), 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, star left, Δ right,SMTS in exergue; scarce; $45.00 SALE PRICE $40.50


Maximinus II Daia, May 310 - 30 April 313 A.D.

|Maximinus| |II|, |Maximinus| |II| |Daia,| |May| |310| |-| |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.
RL94877. Billon follis, RIC VI Alexandria 149b, SRCV IV 14841, Cohen VII 17, Hunter V 124 var. (2nd officina), aVF, well centered, dark green patina, earthen deposits, scratches, weight 5.691 g, maximum diameter 22.6 mm, die axis 0o, 3rd 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), Genius standing facing, head left, kalathos on head, nude but for chlamys over shoulders and left arm, head of Serapis wearing kalathos in right hand, cornucopia in left hand, X lower left, Γ right, ALE in exergue; from the Ray Nouri Collection; $40.00 SALE PRICE $36.00




  



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