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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ Themes & Provenance ▸ Personifications ▸ PeaceView Options:  |  |  |   

Peace (Pax the Goddess of Peace)

Ancient rulers often used coins to send their messages to the people. In the late Roman Empire, particularly when threats were most ominous, coins frequently boasted of the peace and security brought by Rome, the army and the emperor. From our vantage we can see these coins as propaganda and lies, and as failed promises and doomed dreams.


Titus, 24 June 79 - 13 September 81 A.D.

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The caduceus is a wand or rod entwined at one end by two serpents, whose body folds form two half circles. It is a symbol of peace. According to Livy, it was held by the caduceator, a diplomat negotiating peace.
RS85583. Silver denarius, RIC II, part 1, 694 (R2); RSC II 167; BMCRE p. 29, * (citing Cohen 167); SRCV II -; Hunter I -, VF, toned, bumps, scratches, some porosity, tight flan, closed edge crack, weight 3.211 g, maximum diameter 19.5 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, as caesar, 74 A.D.; obverse T CAESAR IMP VESP, laureate head right; reverse PONTIF TR POT (priest, holder of Tribunitian power), winged caduceus; rare; $270.00 (229.50)


Vespasian, 1 July 69 - 24 June 79 A.D.

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The Roman curule chair made its way along the Silk Road to China, where it was adopted in various forms including the hu chuang (barbarian bed). In Han China, the folding chair was used out-of-doors in a military, rather than domestic, setting by the 2nd century A.D. Its foreign origin was addressed in a poem by Yu Jianwu, written about 552:

By the name handed down you are from a foreign region
coming into [China] and being used in the capital
With legs leaning your frame adjusts by itself
With limbs slanting your body levels by itself...
RS86448. Silver denarius, RIC II, part 1, 702; RSC II 364; BMCRE II 136; BnF III 110; cf. SRCV I 2301 (COS VI), VF, superb portrait, toned, edge cracks, weight 3.432 g, maximum diameter 19.1 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 74 A.D.; obverse IMP CAESAR VESPASIANVS AVG, laureate head right; reverse PON MAX TR P COS V (high priest, holder of Tribunitian power, consul for the 5th time), Vespasian seated right on curule chair, feet on footstool, long scepter behind in right hand, olive branch in left hand; ex Gitbud & Naumann auction 36 (4 Oct 2015), lot 616; $250.00 (212.50)


Romano-British Empire, Carausius, Mid 286 - Spring or Early Summer 293 A.D.

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Colchester (Camulodunum) and its wall were rebuilt by the Romans after Queen Boudica led a rebellion in A.D. 60 and destroyed the town. Balkerne Gate in Colchester is the largest Roman arch in Britain. Balkerne Gate Colchester
RA73495. Billon antoninianus, Webb Carausius 391; RIC V, part 2, 335 (S); Cohen VII 240; SRCV IV 13666; Hunter IV 143 var. (...P F IN AVG), VF, green patina, well centered, areas of corrosion, weight 3.604 g, maximum diameter 22.6 mm, die axis 180o, Camulodunum (Colchester, England) mint, c. 292 - early 293 A.D.; obverse IMP C CARAVSIVS P AVG, radiate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, from the front; reverse PAX AVGGG (the peace of the three emperors), Pax standing half left, head left, raising olive-branch in right hand, long scepter vertical behind in left hand, S - P flanking across field, C in exergue; from the Charles Peters Carausius Collection; very scarce; $200.00 (170.00)


Romano-British Empire, Carausius, Mid 286 - Spring or Early Summer 293 A.D.

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The quantity of PAX coinage issued by Carausius probably exceeded the entire output of all his other types combined. The type was an appeal by the usurper Carausius for peace with the "official" emperors. Diocletian and Maximian did not recognize Carausius as emperor, nor did they reciprocate his desire for peace.
RA73500. Billon antoninianus, Webb Carausius 167; RIC V, part 2, 141 (R); SRCV IV 13665; Cohen VII 241; Hunter IV 50 var. (scepter transverse), VF, attractive green patina with earthen highlighting, light marks, weight 2.846 g, maximum diameter 22.8 mm, die axis 45o, Londinium (London, England) mint, c. 292 - early 293; obverse IMP C CARAVSIVS P F AVG, radiate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, from the front; reverse PAX AVGGG (the peace of the three emperors), Pax standing half left, head left, raising olive branch in right hand, long scepter vertical behind in left, S - P flanking across field, MLXXI in exergue; from the Charles Peters Carausius Collection; rare; $195.00 (165.75)


Romano-British Empire, Carausius, Mid 286 - Spring or Early Summer 293 A.D.

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The quantity of PAX coinage issued by Carausius probably exceeded the entire output of all his other types combined. The type was an appeal by the usurper Carausius for peace with the "official" emperors. Diocletian and Maximian did not recognize Carausius as emperor, nor did they reciprocate his desire for peace.
RA73497. Billon antoninianus, RIC V, part 2, 334 (S); Webb Carausius 392, Cohen VII 241, SRCV IV 13666, Hunter IV - (p. ccvii), aVF, well centered, corrosion, bumps and scratches, weight 4.015 g, maximum diameter 22.3 mm, die axis 180o, Camulodunum (Colchester, England) mint, c. 292 - early 293 A.D.; obverse IMP C CARAVSIVS P F AVG, radiate and draped [and cuirassed?] bust right, from the front; reverse PAX AVGGG (the peace of the three emperors), Pax standing half left, head left, raising olive-branch in right hand, long scepter transverse in left hand, S - P flanking across field, C in exergue; from the Charles Peters Carausius Collection; very scarce; $180.00 (153.00)


Romano-British Empire, Carausius, Mid 286 - Spring or Early Summer 293 A.D.

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References list numerous Carausius varieties with Pax reverse legends but depicting Salus and also types with Salus reverse legends but depicting Pax. The references provided for comparison list a PAX AVG, with Salus type, without controls or a mintmark; David Sear attributes to London, 286 - 287 A.D. References do not list our variety but other types with F - O across the field and ML in the exergue are attributed to London, c. 289 - 290 A.D. This is the only example of this variant known to Forum.
RA73904. Billon antoninianus, Apparently unpublished; cf. RIC V, part 2, 930 ff. (no mintmarks); Webb Carausius 1031 ff. (same); SRCV IV 13661 (same, London, 286 - 287), aVF, nice green patina, overstruck or double-struck, tight flan cutting off parts of legends and mintmark, weight 2.615 g, maximum diameter 20.3 mm, die axis 315o, Londinium(?) or unofficial(?) mint, 289 - 290 A.D.; obverse IMP CARAVS[IVS P AVG] (or similar), radiate, draped, and cuirassed bust right; reverse PAX AVG[GG?], Salus standing half left, head left, feeding snake rising from altar at left from patera in her right hand, vertical scepter in left hand, [F?] - O flanking across the field, M[L?] in exergue; from the Charles Peters Carausius Collection; possibly unique!; $180.00 (153.00)


Romano-British Empire, Carausius, Mid 286 - Spring or Early Summer 293 A.D.

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Colchester (Camulodunum) and its wall were rebuilt by the Romans after Queen Boudica led a rebellion in A.D. 60 and destroyed the town. Balkerne Gate in Colchester is the largest Roman arch in Britain. Balkerne Gate Colchester
RA73506. Billon antoninianus, Webb Carausius 397; RIC V, part 2, 339 (S); Cohen VII 238; Hunter IV 143 var. (obv. leg); SRCV IV 13666 var. (same, also scepter vertical), aVF, green patina with some flaking, edge crack, light marks and corrosion, weight 2.563 g, maximum diameter 23.1 mm, die axis 180o, Camulodunum (Colchester, England) mint, c. 292 - early 293 A.D.; obverse IMP C CARAVSIVS P AVG, radiate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, from the front; reverse PAX AVGGG (the peace of the three emperors), Pax standing half left, head left, raising olive-branch in right hand, long scepter transverse in left hand, S - P flanking across field, C in exergue; from the Charles Peters Carausius Collection; very scarce; $160.00 (136.00)


Elagabalus, 16 May 218 - 11 March 222 A.D.

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Pax, regarded by the ancients as a goddess, was worshiped not only at Rome but also at Athens. Her altar could not be stained with blood. Claudius began the construction of a magnificent temple to her honor, which Vespasian finished, in the Via Sacra. The attributes of Peace are the hasta pura, the olive branch, the cornucopia, and often the caduceus. Sometimes she is represented setting fire to a pile of arms.
RS77585. Silver denarius, RIC IV 125; RSC III 120; BMCRE V p. 564, 223; Hunter III 63; SRCV II 7527, Choice EF, lustrous, nearly as struck, well centered, some die wear, tiny edge cracks, weight 2.919 g, maximum diameter 19.6 mm, die axis 0o, Rome mint, 220 - 221 A.D.; obverse IMP ANTONINVS PIVS AVG, laureate and draped bust right, no horn, from behind; reverse PAX AVGVSTI (to the peace of the emperor), Pax advancing left, raising olive branch in right hand, long scepter in left hand; $160.00 (136.00)


Tacitus, 25 September 275 - June 276 A.D.

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Mars holds both the implements of war and the olive branch of peace. "Peace through strength" is an ancient phrase and concept implying that strength of arms is a necessary component of peace. The phrase has famously been used by many leaders from Roman Emperor Hadrian in the first century A.D., to Ronald Reagan in the 1980s.
RA84987. Billon antoninianus, MER-RIC 3408 (96 spec.), RIC V 145, BnF XII 1681, La Venra 1565 - 1604, Gloucester 727, Maravielle 785, Hamburger Kunsthalle 1573, Choice VF, silvering, well centered, some light corrosion, weight 4.335 g, maximum diameter 22.3 mm, die axis 180o, 2nd officina, Ticinum (Pavia, Italy) mint, issue 2, early ? June 276; obverse IMP C M CL TACITVS AVG, radiate, draped, and cuirassed bust right; reverse MARTI PACIF (to Mars the peacemaker), Mars advancing left, wearing crested helmet and military dress, olive branch raised in right hand, transverse spear and oval shield in left hand, S in exergue; $140.00 (119.00)


Philip I the Arab, February 244 - End of September 249 A.D.

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"Peace founded with Persis" - after murdering young Gordian III, Philip needed a quick return Rome to secure his spot, so he made peace with Shapur and ended the campaign. The "P M" on the obverse possibly means "Persicus Maximus" boasting total victory, rather than the traditional "Pontifex Maximus".
RS84988. Silver antoninianus, RIC IV 69 (S), RSC IV 113, Hunter III 120, SRCV III 8941, VF, broad flan, light toning, a few light marks, edge cracks, mild porosity, weight 3.849 g, maximum diameter 24.8 mm, die axis 0o, Antioch (Antakya, Turkey) mint, 1st issue, Feb 244 - 245 A.D.; obverse IMP C M IVL PHILIPPVS P F AVG P M, radiate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, from behind; reverse PAX FVNDATA CVM PERSIS, Pax advancing left, branch in right hand, scepter in left; scarce; $140.00 (119.00)




  



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Peace