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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ Themes & Provenance ▸ Gods, Olympians ▸ Ares or MarsView Options:  |  |  |   

Ares or Mars

God of war and bloodshed. Symbols include the boar and the spear. Son of Zeus and Hera.


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

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In 213, Caracalla summoned Abgar IX Severus, King of Edessa (Osroene), with his son to Rome and then ordered them murdered. A year later, Caracalla incorporated Edessa as a Roman province. Caracalla would be assassinated by his legionaries near Edessa in 217.
RS89487. Silver denarius, RIC IV 235; RSC III 151; BMCRE III p. 441, 60; cf. Hunter III 14 (obv. legend, 210 - 213 A.D.); SRCV II 6819 (same), Choice gVF, appropriately wicked depiction of the monstrous emperor, broad flan, light toning, weight 2.924 g, maximum diameter 19.4 mm, die axis 0o, Rome mint, 213 A.D.; obverse ANTONINVS PIVS FEL AVG, laureate head right; reverse MARTI PROPVGNATORI (to Mars the defender), Mars hurrying left, in military garb, cloak flying behind, spear in right hand, trophy in left; ex Numismatik Naumann auction 73, part of lot 970; scarce; $130.00 (110.50)


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

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Although Ares was viewed by the Greeks primarily as destructive and destabilizing, worthy of contempt and revulsion, for the Romans, Mars was a father (pater) of the Roman people. He was the father of Romulus and Remus, the legendary founders of Rome. In early Rome, he was second in importance only to Jupiter, and the most prominent of the military gods in the religion of the Roman army. Most of his festivals were held in March, the month named for him (Latin Martius), and in October, which began and ended the season for military campaigning and farming.
RA73268. Billon antoninianus, RIC V-2 844 (S), Webb 940, Hunter IV -, SRCV IV -, aF, well centered, nice green patina, weight 3.971 g, maximum diameter 22.1 mm, die axis 180o, uncertain British mint, c. mid 286 - 287; obverse IMP CARAVSIVS P AVG, radiate and draped bust right, early reign "moustache" portrait; reverse MARS VICTOR (Mars the Victor), Mars walking right, transverse spear in right hand, trophy over shoulder in left, no field marks, nothing in exergue; from the Charles Peters Carausius Collection; scarce; $125.00 (106.25)


Constantine the Great, Early 307 - 22 May 337 A.D.

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Although Ares was viewed by the Greeks primarily as destructive and destabilizing, worthy of contempt and revulsion, for the Romans, Mars was a father (pater) of the Roman people. He was the father of Romulus and Remus, the legendary founders of Rome. In early Rome, he was second in importance only to Jupiter, and the most prominent of the military gods in the religion of the Roman army. Most of his festivals were held in March, the month named for him (Latin Martius), and in October, which began and ended the season for military campaigning and farming.
RL87890. Billon follis, RIC VII 80 (R2), SRCV IV 15984, Cohen VII 345, Hunter V 49 var. (2nd officina), Choice VF, dark patina, well centered and struck, die wear, weight 3.222 g, maximum diameter 20.8 mm, die axis 180o, 1st officina, Treveri (Trier, Germany) mint, autumn 307 - end of 308 A.D.; obverse IMP CONSTANTINVS AVG, laureate and cuirassed bust right; reverse MARTI CONSERVATORI (Mars the Protector), Mars standing right, wearing military garb, inverted spear in right hand, left hand on grounded shield, A left, S right, PTR in exergue; ex Beast Coins, ex Harlan Berk (CICF April 2013); $120.00 (102.00)


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

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In 248, Trajan Decius put down the revolts of Pacatianus in Moesia and Iotapianus in Syria. In 249, after his legionaries proclaimed him emperor, Trajan Decius marched to Verona, where his forces defeated and killed Philip the Arab.
RS86809. Silver antoninianus, RIC IV 7, RSC IV 145, Hunter III 40, SRCV III 8949, EF, excellent portrait, well centered and struck, toned, reverse die wear and minor damage, edge slightly ragged, weight 4.279 g, maximum diameter 23.4 mm, die axis 30o, 1st officina, Rome mint, 248 A.D.; obverse IMP PHILIPPVS AVG, radiate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, from behind; reverse P M TR P V COS III P P, Marti Pacifero (Mars the Pacifier) standing left, wearing helmet and military garb, raising olive branch in right hand, supporting grounded shield with left hand, grounded inverted spear leaning on left arm, A (1st officina) left; ex Beast Coins; $115.00 (97.75)


Licinius I, 11 November 308 - 18 September 324 A.D.

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On 8 October 314, at the Battle of Cibalae, Constantine defeated Licinius near Colonia Aurelia Cibalae (modern Vinkovci, Croatia). Licinius was forced to flee to Sirmium and lost all of the Balkans except for Thrace. The two Augusti initiated peace negotiations, but they failed and they would not make peace until 1 March 317.
RL76327. Billon follis, Unlisted bust variety of a very rare type; RIC VII Ticinum 4 (R4) var. (head), SRCV IV 15258 var. (same), Cohen VII 139, Hunter V -, VF, well centered, light contact marks and corrosion, weight 3.147 g, maximum diameter 21.5 mm, die axis 180o, 1st officina, Ticinum (Pavia, Italy) mint, 313 A.D.; obverse IMP LICINIVS P F AVG, laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, from front; reverse MARTI CONSERVATORI (Mars the Protector), Mars standing right, helmeted, in military dress, reversed spear in right hand, left hand resting on grounded shield, PT in exergue; $105.00 (89.25)


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

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Virtus was a specific virtue in ancient Rome. It carried connotations of valor, manliness, excellence, courage, character, and worth, perceived as masculine strengths (from Latin vir, "man"). Virtus applied exclusively to a man's behavior in the public sphere, that is to the application of duty to the res publica in the cursus honorum. Private business was no place to earn virtus, even when it involved courage or feats of arms or other good qualities. There could be no virtue in exploiting one's manliness in the pursuit of personal wealth, for example. It was thus a frequently stated virtue of Roman emperors and was personified as the deity Virtus.
RA73256. Billon antoninianus, Webb Carausius 1172, RIC V-2 1040 (R), Hunter IV -, SRCV IV -, Burton Latimer -, Bicester -, F, green patina, obverse slightly off center, earthen deposits, scratches, weight 2.586 g, maximum diameter 20.8 mm, die axis 225o, unmarked mint, c. mid 286 - 287; obverse IMP CARAVSIVS P AVG, radiate, draped, and cuirassed bust right; reverse VIRTVS AVG (courage of the Emperor), Virtus (or Mars) standing right, helmeted and draped, spear vertical in left hand, right hand resting on large grounded shield, no mint marks; from the Charles Peters Carausius Collection; rare; $100.00 (85.00)


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

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Mars, the god of war, and Virtus, the personification of courage and valor, are sometimes confused in coin descriptions. Mars is male and usually nude. Virtus is female and is never nude.
RA73247. Billon antoninianus, apparently unpublished; RIC V-2 1034 var. (legends), Webb Carausius 1180 var. (obv. legend), Burton Latimer -, Carausian Hoard -, Bicester -, F, nice green patina, slight bend in coin, corrosion, weight 4.222 g, maximum diameter 24.3 mm, die axis 0o, uncertain British mint, c. 290 - summer 293 A.D.; obverse IMP CARAVSIVS P F AVG, radiate, draped, and cuirassed bust right; reverse VIRTVS AVG (the valor of the Emperor), Mars walking right, helmeted, nude but for cloak on his shoulders and flying behind, transverse spear in right hand, trophy across shoulder in left hand; from the Charles Peters Carausius Collection; extremely rare; $90.00 (76.50)


Probus, Summer 276 - September 282 A.D.

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Virtus was a specific virtue in ancient Rome. It carried connotations of valor, manliness, excellence, courage, character, and worth, perceived as masculine strengths (from Latin vir, "man"). Virtus applied exclusively to a man's behavior in the public sphere, that is to the application of duty to the res publica in the cursus honorum. Private business was no place to earn virtus, even when it involved courage or feats of arms or other good qualities. There could be no virtue in exploiting one's manliness in the pursuit of personal wealth, for example. It was thus a frequently stated virtue of Roman emperors and was personified as the deity Virtus.
RA84026. Silvered antoninianus, RIC V-2 816; SRCV III 12071 var. (...P F AVG); Cohen VI 894; Hunter IV -, Choice EF, full silvering, full circles centering, some flatly struck areas, weight 3.888 g, maximum diameter 22.4 mm, die axis 180o, 5th officina, Siscia (Sisak, Croatia) mint, emission 5, 278 A.D.; obverse IMP C M AVR PROBVS P AVG, radiate bust left in consular robe, eagle-tipped scepter in right hand; reverse VIRTVS PROBI AVG (the valor of Emperor Probus), Mars walking right, helmeted, nude but for cloak tied in belt at waist and flying behind, transverse spear upward right in right hand, trophy of captured arms over left shoulder in left hand, XXIV in exergue; $90.00 (76.50)


Probus, Summer 276 - September 282 A.D.

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In 278 A.D., Probus defeated the Alamanni, expelled the Franks from Gaul, reorganized the Roman defenses on the Rhine and resettled the Germanic tribes in the devastated provinces. He adopted the titles Gothicus Maximus and Germanicus Maximus.
SH62614. Silvered antoninianus, Alfldi Siscia V type 96, n 79; RIC V-2 811 var. (bust type), Choice EF, sharp, near full silvering and centering, weight 3.665 g, maximum diameter 22.7 mm, die axis 180o, Siscia (Sisak, Croatia) mint, 278 A.D.; obverse IMP C M AVR PROBVS AVG, radiate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, from behind; reverse VIRTVS PROBI AVG (the valor of Emperor Probus), Mars walking right, nude but for cloak flying behind, transverse spear in right hand, trophy over shoulder in left, XXIVI in exergue; $80.00 (68.00)


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.
RA87905. Billon antoninianus, RIC V-2 84; SRCV III 11992; Cohen VI 334; Pink p. 68, series 3; Hunter IV 85 var. (2nd officina), Choice VF, traces of silvering, porosity, weight 3.365 g, maximum diameter 23.4 mm, die axis 180o, 3rd officina, Lugdunum (Lyon, France) mint, 277 A.D.; obverse IMP C M PROBVS P F AVG, radiate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, drapery on left shoulder; reverse MARS VICTOR (Mars the Victor), Mars advancing right, nude but for helmet, chlamys and boots, transverse spear in right hand, trophy over shoulder in left, III in exergue; ex Beast Coins; $80.00 (68.00)




  



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Ares or Mars