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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."

Domitius Domitianus, c. Aug 296 - Dec 297 A.D.

|Domitius| |Domitianus|, |Domitius| |Domitianus,| |c.| |Aug| |296| |-| |Dec| |297| |A.D.||follis|
Nothing is known of the background and family of Domitianus. He may have served as prefect of Egypt before he proclaimed himself emperor, though no known document makes his previous position clear. Domitianus revolted against Diocletian in 297 A.D. It is possible that the rebellion was sparked by a new tax edict, but this is uncertain. Numismatic and papyrological evidence support Domitianus' claim to the purple. Domitianus died in December of the same year, when Diocletian went to Aegyptus to quell with the revolt. Domitianus' corrector, Aurelius Achilleus, responsible for the defense of Alexandria, appears to have succeeded to Domitianus in Alexandria. In fact, it was only in March 298 that Diocletian succeeded in re-conquering the city.
SH110097. Billon follis, RIC VI Alexandria p. 663, 20; SRCV IV 12980; Cohen VI 1, gF, well centered, dark green and brown patina, edge flaws, weight 9.643 g, maximum diameter 25.4 mm, die axis 330o, 3rd officina, Alexandria mint, c. Aug 296 - Dec 297 A.D.; obverse IMP C L DOMITIVS DOMITIANVS AVG, laureate head right; reverse GENIO POPVLI ROMANI (to the guardian spirit of the Roman People), Genius standing half left, head left, nude but kalathos on head and chlamys over shoulders and left arm, patera in right hand, cornucopia in left hand; eagle at feet left on left with hear right, wings open, and wreath in beak; Γ right, ALE in exergue; from the Shawn Caza Collection (purchased 2011), ex Gerhard Herinek Jr. (sold 2011), ex Girol Guyes Jr. (sold 2011), ex Girol Guyes Sr. (purchased c. 1970), ex Munzen und Medaillen Gerhard Herinek [Sr.] (purchased in his Vienna shop, 1970), ex old Viennese collection (15th district); rare emperor; $2800.00 SALE PRICE $2240.00


Trajan, 25 January 98 - 8 or 9 August 117 A.D.

|Roman| |Egypt|, |Trajan,| |25| |January| |98| |-| |8| |or| |9| |August| |117| |A.D.||drachm|NEW
The Nilometer measured the height of the annual Nile flood. Sixteen cubits was considered the ideal height of the annual Nile flood. Less could mean drought or famine. Even in modern times, grand celebrations were held when the flood reached 16 cubits. In years when the flood failed to reach 16 cubits, the celebrations were canceled, and prayers and fasting were held instead. The peak flood occurred at the end of August, which explains why the Egyptian year began on 29 August.
RX110549. Bronze drachm, RPC Online III 4837 (6 spec.), Dattari 992, Kampmann-Ganschow 27.602, Geissen 677 var. (laureate, draped and cuirassed), F, well centered, part of obv. legend weak/unstruck, weight 14.271 g, maximum diameter 32.9 mm, die axis 0o, Alexandria mint, 29 Aug 114 - 28 Aug 115 A.D.; obverse AYT TPAIAN CEB ΓEPM ∆AKIK (Imperator Traianus Augustus Germanicus Dacicus), laureate half-length nude bust of Trajan right, chest bare, slight drapery on left shoulder; reverse Nilus reclining left on hippopotamus, trunk bare, himation around hips and legs and over left arm, reed in right hand, cornucopia in left hand, genius standing by nilometer in background on left on far side of legs, LIH (year 18) in exergue; $180.00 SALE PRICE $162.00


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

|Pisidia|, |Caracalla,| |28| |January| |198| |-| |8| |April| |217| |A.D.,| |Antiocheia,| |Pisidia||AE| |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; $150.00 SALE PRICE $135.00


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

|Pisidia|, |Caracalla,| |28| |January| |198| |-| |8| |April| |217| |A.D.,| |Antioch,| |Pisidia||AE| |23|
The end of the reverse die legend has CAES re-cut to CA, though a shadow of the earlier letters remains.
RP110425. Bronze AE 23, Krzyzanowska pl. XVI, X/18; SNGvA 4934 (bust type); BMC Lycia -; SNG BnF -, gVF, bold centered strike, green patina, some earthen encrustation, scratches, weight 5.086 g, maximum diameter 23.1 mm, die axis 180o, Antioch in Pisidia (Yalvac, Turkey) mint, 28 Jan 198 - 8 Apr 217 A.D.; obverse PIVS AVG ANTONINVS, laureate and cuirassed bust right, slight drapery on left shoulder; reverse ANTIOCH GENI COL C A (Genius of Antioch, Colonia Caesarea Antiochia), female Genius of Antioch standing facing, head left, kalathos on head, wearing long chiton and peplos, branch in right hand, cornucopia in left hand; $120.00 SALE PRICE $108.00


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


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, ∆ 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 ∆ (5+4=9) right, ANT in exergue; from the Ray Nouri Collection; $70.00 SALE PRICE $63.00


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; $65.00 SALE PRICE $58.50


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

|Maximinus| |II|, |Maximinus| |II| |Daia,| |May| |310| |-| |30| |April| |313| |A.D.||follis| |(large)|
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 (large), 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; $70.00 SALE PRICE $56.00


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

|Maximinus| |II|, |Maximinus| |II| |Daia,| |May| |310| |-| |30| |April| |313| |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 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; $70.00 SALE PRICE $56.00




  



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