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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ Themes & Provenance ▸ Personifications ▸ Good LuckView Options:  |  |  |   

Luck (Forutuna)

The Romans believed that Fortuna after deserting the Persians and Assyrians took flight over Macedonia and saw Alexander perish as she passed into Egypt and into Syria. At last arriving on Mount Palatine she threw aside her wings and casting away her wheel, entered Rome where she took up her abode forever. Fortuna distributed good and evil among mankind according to her caprice and without any regard to merit. Fortuna Redux, one of the many aspects of Fortuna, was in charge of bringing people home safely, primarily from wars - redux means "coming back" or "returning."


Caligula, 16 March 37 - 24 January 41 A.D.

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The first Rome mint portrait sestertius type, and a highly sought after reverse type.
SH84794. Orichalcum sestertius, RIC I 33; BMCRE p. 152, 36; BnF II 47; Cohen I 4; SRCV I 1800, gF, excellent centering and strike, attractive portrait, patina worn and scraped on high points, bumps and scratches, weight 27.881 g, maximum diameter 35.6 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 37 - 38 A.D.; obverse C CAESAR AVG GERMANICVS PON M TR POT, laureate head left; reverse AGRIPPINA DRVSILLA IVLIA, the three sisters of Caligula standing, in the guises of Securitas, Concordia, and Fortuna, S C (senatus consulto) in exergue; rare; $2000.00 (1780.00)


Roman Republic, M. Plaetorius Cestianus, 69 B.C.

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The moneyer, M. Plaetorius Cestianus, was from Praeneste, in Latium, 23 miles east-southeast of Rome, home of the great temple to Fortuna Primigenia. Her sanctuary was an immense complex of buildings rising up the hillside on five vast terraces, connected with each other by grand staircases, visible even from the sea. The reverse likely depicts a pediment in the sanctuary. The epithet of Primigenia means "Original." She was represented suckling two babes, said to be Jupiter and Juno, and she was especially worshiped by matrons. The oracle continued to be consulted down to Christian times, until Constantine the Great, and again later Theodosius I, forbade the practice and closed the temple.
SH76980. Silver denarius, BMCRR Rome 3524 (same wheel control); Crawford 405/1b; Sydenham 800a; SRCV I 340, F, banker's mark, weight 3.563 g, maximum diameter 19.5 mm, die axis 135o, Rome mint, 69 B.C.; obverse diademed and draped bust of Fortuna Primigenia right, hair in net, wheel (control symbol) behind; reverse temple pediment, ornamented with sculpture of an anguipede (snake legged) giant holding a club(?) in his left hand, M PLAETORI (AE ligate) on the architrave, CEST S C in exergue; very rare; $640.00 (569.60)


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

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Felicitas was the goddess or personification of good luck 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.
RS75697. Silver antoninianus, RIC IV 75A (R); RSC IV 130, SRCV III 8945, Hunter III -, EF, superb strike with sharp dies, nice metal, weight 4.966 g, maximum diameter 22.4 mm, die axis 0o, Antioch (Antakya, Turkey) mint, 247 - 248 A.D.; obverse IMP M IVL PHILIPPVS AVG, radiate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, from behind; reverse P M TR P IIII COS P P (high priest, tribune of the people for four years, consul, father of the country), Felicitas standing left, long caduceus in right hand, cornucopia in left hand; $350.00 (311.50)


Hadrian, 11 August 117 - 10 July 138 A.D.

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Fortuna Redux, one of the many aspects of Fortuna, was in charge of bringing people home safely, primarily from wars - redux means "coming back" or "returning." She may be one of the later aspects of Fortuna, as the earliest mention of her is on an altar dedicated by the Senate in 19 B.C. for the safe return of Emperor Augustus. This type refers to Hadrian's return to Rome from his second tour of the provinces in about 132 A.D. It may have been struck before his return to appeal for her protection or after to thank her.
RS84673. Silver denarius, RSC II 789e corr. (789d listed twice in error), BMCRE III 655 var. (draped), RIC II 248 var. (Fortuna leans on rudder), SRCV II 3495 var. (same), gVF, excellent portrait, tight flan, reverse slightly off center, reverse die wear, porous, edge cracks, weight 2.976 g, maximum diameter 18.2 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 134 - 138 A.D.; obverse HADRIANVS AVG COS III P P, bare head right; reverse FORTVNAE REDVCI, Hadrian on left, standing right, togate, scroll in left hand, clasping right hands with Fortuna, goddess standing left, cornucopia in her left hand; rare variety; $270.00 (240.30)


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

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The obverse and reverse legends and types are known from the London mint with MLXXI in the exergue and B - E across the reverse field (RIC V 31, Web Carausius 34). This variety, without marks and perhaps unofficial, is unpublished in the many references examined by Forum. We also could not find an example online. This is the only example known to Forum.
RA73246. Billon antoninianus, Apparently unpublished, RIC V -, Webb Carausius -, Casey -, Hunter -, SRCV IV -, King Unmarked -, Burton Latimer -, et al., aVF, green patina, broad flan, crude, light marks, weight 3.624 g, maximum diameter 22.1 mm, die axis 180o, uncertain mint, obverse IMP CARAVSIVS P F AVG, radiate and draped bust right; reverse FELICITAS AVG (the good fortune of the Emperor), Felicitas standing facing, head left, long caduceus vertical in right hand, cornucopia in left hand; from the Charles Peters Carausius Collection; possibly unique!; $200.00 (178.00)


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

Click for a larger photo
Felicitas was the goddess or personification of good luck 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.
RB84935. Orichalcum sestertius, RIC IV 169a, Hunter III 61, Cohen V 44, SRCV III 8992, VF, well centered, nice green patina, scratches, slightly rough, weight 18.348 g, maximum diameter 29.8 mm, die axis 0o, Rome mint, 245 A.D.; obverse IMP M IVL PHILIPPVS AVG, radiate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, from behind; reverse FELICITAS TEMP (happy times), Felicitas standing facing, head left, long caduceus in right hand, cornucopia in left hand, S - C (senatus consulto) flanking across field; $160.00 (142.40)


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

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Felicitas was the goddess or personification of good luck 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.
RB83480. Orichalcum sestertius, RIC IV 150a, Cohen V 138, Hunter III - (p. lxxxvii), SRCV III 9005, gVF, superb portrait, centered on a tight squared flan, green encrustations, weight 17.859 g, maximum diameter 28.5 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 247 A.D.; obverse IMP M IVL PHILIPPVS AVG, radiate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, from behind; reverse P M TR P IIII COS II P P (high priest, tribune of the people for 4 years, consul 2 times, father of the country), Felicitas standing half left, long caduceus in right hand, cornucopia in left hand; $150.00 (133.50)


Septimius Severus, 9 April 193 - 4 February 211 A.D.

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Bonus Eventus, the god of good outcomes, was originally worshiped by the Romans as a deity especially presiding over agriculture and successful harvests. During the Imperial era, he was associated with other types of success. The epithet Bonus, "the Good," is used with other abstract deities such as Bona Fortuna ("Good Fortune"), Bona Mens ("Good Thinking" or "Sound Mind"), and Bona Spes ("Good Hope," perhaps to be translated as "optimism"), as well as with the mysterious and multivalent Bona Dea, a goddess whose rites were celebrated by women.
RS76958. Silver denarius, SRCV II 6267, RIC IV 369, RSC III 68, BMCRE V 343, VF, excellent eastern style portrait, some light corrosion, weight 2.130 g, maximum diameter 18.1 mm, Emesa (Homs, Syria) mint, 194 A.D.; obverse IMP CAE L SEP SEV PERT AVG COS II, laureate head right; reverse BONI EVENTVS, Bonus Eventus standing left, basket of fruit in right, two heads of grain in left; $110.00 (97.90)


Domitian, 13 September 81 - 18 September 96 A.D.

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The Romans believed that Fortuna, after deserting the Persians and Assyrians, took flight over Macedonia and saw Alexander perish as she passed into Egypt and into Syria. At last arriving on Mount Palatine, she threw aside her wings and casting away her wheel, entered Rome where she took up her abode forever.
RB73737. Copper as, RIC II, part 1, 545; BnF III 430; Cohen I 126; BMCRE II 401 var. (no aegis); Hunter I 152 var. (same); cf. SRCV I 2805 (COS XIIII), F, centered, green patina, scratches, corrosion, weight 9.523 g, maximum diameter 28.0 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 87 A.D.; obverse IMP CAES DOMIT AVG GERM COS XIII CENS PER P P, laureate bust right, wearing aegis; reverse FORTVNAE AVGVSTI, Fortune standing left, grounded rudder held by tiller in right hand, cornucopia in left hand, S - C (senatus consulto) flanking across field below center; $95.00 (84.55)


Septimius Severus, 9 April 193 - 4 February 211 A.D.

Click for a larger photo
Bonus Eventus, the god of good outcomes, was originally worshiped by the Romans as a deity especially presiding over agriculture and successful harvests. During the Imperial era, he was associated with other types of success. The epithet Bonus, "the Good," is used with other abstract deities such as Bona Fortuna ("Good Fortune"), Bona Mens ("Good Thinking" or "Sound Mind"), and Bona Spes ("Good Hope," perhaps to be translated as "optimism"), as well as with the mysterious and multivalent Bona Dea, a goddess whose rites were celebrated by women.
RS84448. Silver denarius, RIC IV 347 (R); BMCRE V p. 83, 321; RSC III 66; cf. SRCV 6267 (Emesa), VF, toned, porous, edge cracks, edge split, weight 2.509 g, maximum diameter 18.3 mm, die axis 0o, Alexandria mint, Feb - Aug 194 A.D.; obverse IMP CAE L SEP SEV PERT AVG, laureate head right; reverse BONI EVENTVS, Bonus Eventus standing left, basket of fruit in right, stalks of grain downward at side in left; rare; $95.00 (84.55)




  



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