Please add updates or make corrections to the NumisWiki text version as appropriate.
Laetitia, Joy, or Rejoicing, is personified on many Roman medals, and characterised by different attributes.
This Laetitia first occurs on a gold coin of Antoninus Pius, struck in his fourth consulate (VC 902), under the figure of a woman, having corn-ears in her right hand and an apple in her left; and the same type is frequently found, in subsequent reigns, emgraved on imperial coins with various additions to the name, viz., Laetitia, Aug., Temporum, Publica, Fundata, etc. Nor (says Eckhel), is there any room for doubt but that sacred rites were publicly dedicated to her, the same as, on an ancient marble we read, were paid to Jucunditas: GENIO IVCVNDITATI MVSIS FLORAEQ S.
On other coins she appears sometimes holding a sceptre or wand in one hand, and in the other a crown, because in public festal rejoicings the people were accustomed to wear crowns. Sometimes she holds the branch of a tree, because the verdure of boughs and branches delight the mind; on which account, during public occasions of rejoicing, the houses and streets of a city were ornamented with them.
On some medals Laetitia holds an anchor, to shew that the cause of hilarity was of a solid and lasting kind. It is thus that we see her represented on coins of Gordian III, Philip I, Valerian I, Gallienus, Victorinus, Quintillus, Aurelian and Severina, Tetricus, Florianus, Probus, Carausius, Allectus, Galerius.
Sometimes Laetitia is depictured standing, with a garland and a rudder, as on coins of Crispina, Septimius Severus, Julia Domna, Caracalla, Elagabalus, Aquilia Severa, Severus Alexander, Julia Maesa, Philip I, Tacitus, and Carinus.
On other meals she is seated with the same attributes, as we see in the case of Philip I.
View whole page from the |Dictionary Of Roman Coins|