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

Happiness (Felicitas)

Happiness, cheerfulness and joy (or gaiety) are personified on Roman coins by Felicitas, Hilaritas and Laetitia. Coins with these subjects celebrated the brighter side of life, or in harder times explained that the Empire was moving toward a happier future.


Trajan Decius, July 249 - First Half of June 251 A.D.

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The double sestertius, easily distinguished by its radiate crown, was also issued by Gallienus and especially by Postumus. This rare denomination, equal in value to the obsolete silver quinarius, was introduced with this issue. The c. 4g brass "semis" introduced at the same time, may well have been a "reduced as" half of the c. 8.5 gram dupondius, one quarter of the c. 17 g sestertius, and one eighth of this coin. Completing the sub-antoninianus denominations, a rare, small, silver coin of c. 1.6 g was a denarius.
SH82658. Orichalcum double sestertius, RIC IV 115c & pl. 12, 16 (R); Cohen V 40 (30 fr.); Hunter III 46 & pl. 78; SRCV III 9395, gVF, attractively centered on a full flan, green and brown surfaces, minor roughness, small areas of light smoothing , closed flan crack at obv. 7:00, weight 37.403 g, maximum diameter 37.0 mm, die axis 180o, 4th officina, Rome mint, 3rd emission, 250 A.D.; obverse IMP C M Q TRAIANVS DECIVS AVG, radiate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, from behind; reverse FELICITAS SAECVLI (age of good fortune), Felicitas standing slightly left, head left, long caduceus grounded and vertical in right hand, cornucopia in left hand, S - C flanking across field; ex CNG e-auction 410 (29 Nov 2017), lot 379; $1290.00 (1096.50)


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

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From 114 to 117 A.D. the Jews of Cyprus revolted and massacred gentiles in great numbers. After the uprising was put down, every known Jew in Cyprus was killed and a law was passed forbidding any Jew, even from a shipwreck, to set foot on the island. Nevertheless Jewish residents remained on the island and in 610 A.D. they were sufficiently numerous to participate in an insurrection against Heraclius. In 646, and again in 1154, Cyprus was devastated by Arabs.
RB86780. Orichalcum sestertius, Woytek 534v, RIC II 672, BMCRE III 1023, Hunter II 375, Cohen II 352, Banti 106, SRCV II 3192, BnF IV -, Choice VF, well centered and struck, nice portrait, brown tone, nice surfaces, minor bump on cheek, weight 24.276 g, maximum diameter 34.5 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, winter 114 - early 116 A.D.; obverse IMP CAES NER TRAIANO OPTIMO AVG GER DAC P M TR P COS VI P P, laureate and draped bust right; reverse SENATVS POPVLVSQVE ROMANVS, Felicitas standing slightly left, head left, caduceus in right hand, cornucopia in left hand, S - C (senatus consulto) flanking across field; $700.00 (595.00)


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

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Felicitas was the goddess or personification of happiness, good fortune, and success. She played an important role in Rome's state religion during the empire and was frequently portrayed on coins. She became a prominent symbol of the wealth and prosperity of the Roman Empire.
RB86762. Orichalcum dupondius, RIC II-1 539b; BMCRE II p. 150, 661; BnF III 652; Cohen I 151; Hunter I 128; cf. SRCV I 2346 (COS V), Choice gVF, superb portrait, brown patina, well centered, weight 12.943 g, maximum diameter 28.3 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 73 A.D.; obverse IMP CAES VESP AVG P M T P COS IIII CENS, Radiate head left; reverse FELICITAS PVBLICA, Felicitas standing slightly left, head left, raising winged caduceus in right hand, cornucopia in left hand, S - C flanking across field; Ex Tom Cederlind List 110 (1997); $400.00 (340.00)


Marcus Aurelius, 7 March 161 - 17 March 180 A.D.

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In 164, Marcus Aurelius gave his daughter Lucilla in marriage to his co-emperor Lucius Verus.
RS85768. Silver denarius, RIC III 112, RSC II 852c, BMCRE IV 257, Hunter II 16, SRCV II -, Choice VF, attractive portrait, toned, radiating flow lines, broad flan, small edge cracks, weight 3.517 g, maximum diameter 18.1 mm, die axis 0o, Rome mint, Dec 163 - Dec 164 A.D.; obverse M ANTONINVS AVG IMP II, laureate head right; reverse TR P XVIII COS III, Felicitas seated right on curule chair, long grounded caduceus vertical behind in right hand, cornucopia with tip turned outward in right hand; $160.00 (136.00)


Commodus, March or April 177 - 31 December 192 A.D.

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Felicitas was the goddess or personification of happiness, good fortune, and success. She played an important role in Rome's state religion during the empire and was frequently portrayed on coins. She became a prominent symbol of the wealth and prosperity of the Roman Empire.
RS83948. Silver denarius, RSC II 805a, BMCRE IV 62, RIC III 15, Hunter II -, SRCV II -, gVF, centered on a tight flan, radiating flow lines, die wear, small edge cracks, weight 2.588 g, maximum diameter 18.5 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 10 Dec 180 - 10 Dec 181 A.D.; obverse M ANTONINVS COMMODVS AVG, laureate head right; reverse TR P VI IMP IIII COS III P P, Felicitas standing facing, head left, raising caduceus in right hand, long grounded scepter near vertical in left hand; Numismatik Naumann, auction 62, lot 1105 (part of); $130.00 (110.50)


Florianus, June or July - August or September 276 A.D.

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Laetitia is the Roman goddess of gaiety and joy, her name deriving from the root word laeta, meaning happy. She is typically depicted on coinage with a wreath in her right hand, and a scepter, a rudder, or an anchor in her left hand.
RA83679. Billon antoninianus, MER-RIC 4220, RIC V-1 34, BnF XII 1895, Venra 2475 - 2487, Gloucester 799, Hamburger Kunsthalle 1581, Maravielle 828, Navis-Mhlen 168, VF, centered, nice portrait, traces of silvering, scratches, weight 3.83 g, maximum diameter 22.1 mm, die axis 0o, 2nd officina, Rome mint, issue 1, Jul - Aug 276 A.D.; obverse IMP C FLORIANVS AVG, radiate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, from behind; reverse LAETITIA FVND, Laetitia standing left, wreath in right hand, anchor in left hand, XXIB in exergue; $110.00 (93.50)


Julia Mamaea, Augusta 13 March 222 - February or March 235 A.D.

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Felix (Lucky) was a traditional epithet for Venus. Venus Felix was her cult title at Hadrian's temple to Venus Felix and Roma Aeterna on the Via Sacra. In dice-games, a popular pastime among Romans of all classes, the luckiest, best possible roll was known as "Venus."
RS87239. Silver denarius, RIC IV 351, RSC II 60, BMCRE III 189, SRCV II 8214, Hunter - (p. lxxvi), Choice VF, excellent centering and strike, light toning, some luster, radiating flow lines, frosty areas, tiny edge cracks, weight 2.595 g, maximum diameter 20.0 mm, die axis 0o, Rome mint, c. 224 A.D.; obverse IVLIA MAMAEA AVG, draped bust right, wearing stephane, hair in horizontal ridges, with looped plait at the back of neck; reverse VENERI FELICI, Venus standing facing, head right, long scepter vertical in right hand, Cupid seated in her extended left hand; $90.00 (76.50)


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

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Felicitas was the goddess or personification of happiness, good fortune, and success. She played an important role in Rome's state religion during the empire and was frequently portrayed on coins. She became a prominent symbol of the wealth and prosperity of the Roman Empire.
RS87528. Silver antoninianus, RIC IV 3, RSC IV 124, Hunter III 4, SRCV III 8944, VF, excellent portrait, centered on a broad flan, toned, die wear, edge splits, weight 3.040 g, maximum diameter 23.7 mm, die axis 0o, Rome mint, 246 A.D.; obverse IMP M IVL PHILIPPVS AVG, radiate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, from behind; reverse P M TR P III COS P P, Felicitas standing left, long caduceus in right hand, cornucopia in left hand; from an American collection; $80.00 (68.00)


Philip II, July or August 247 - Late 249 A.D.

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Felicitas was the goddess or personification of happiness, good fortune, and success. She played an important role in Rome's state religion during the empire and was frequently portrayed on coins. She became a prominent symbol of the wealth and prosperity of the Roman Empire.
RS86824. Silver antoninianus, RIC IV 235 (R), RSC 38, Bland 89 (33 spec.), SRCV III 9269, Hunter III - (xciv), gVF, bold full circles strike, light toning, surface flaws, weight 4.583 g, maximum diameter 23.1 mm, die axis 0o, Antioch (Antakya, Turkey) mint, 249 A.D.; obverse IMP M IVL PHILIPPVS AVG, radiate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, from behind; reverse P M TR P VI COS P P (high priest, holder of tribune power for six year, consul, father of the country), Felicitas standing left, long caduceus in right hand, cornucopia in left hand; ex Beast Coins; rare; $75.00 (63.75)


Probus, Summer 276 - September 282 A.D.

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In 280, Proculus, a Roman usurper, started a rebellion at Lugdunum (Lyon, France) and proclaimed himself emperor. Probus suppressed the revolt and Proculus was executed.
RA47769. Silvered antoninianus, RIC V-2 104, Bastien IX 269, aMS, weight 3.473 g, maximum diameter 23.4 mm, die axis 180o, Lugdunum (Lyon, France) mint, obverse IMP C PROBVS P F AVG, radiate and cuirassed bust right; reverse TEMPOR FELICI (time of good fortune), Felicitas standing right holding long caduceus in right and cornucopia inwardly in left, I in exergue; full, solid silvering; $50.00 (42.50)




  



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Happiness