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

Piety (Pietas)

Pietas in traditional Latin usage expressed a complex, highly valued Roman virtue; a man or woman with pietas respected his or her responsibilities to other people, gods and entities (such as the state), and understood his or her place in society with respect to others.


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

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Pietas in traditional Latin usage expressed a complex, highly valued Roman virtue; a man or woman with pietas respected his or her responsibilities to the gods, family, other people and entities (such as the state), and understood his or her place in society with respect to others.
RB82751. Orichalcum sestertius, RIC II 771(f), BMCRE III 1534, Cohen II 1035, SRCV II 3616 var. (laureate head), Hunter II 547 (draped, head bare), VF, well centered on a tight flan, dark green patina, some light corrosion, weight 25.535 g, maximum diameter 31.0 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 134 - 138 A.D.; obverse HADRIANVS AVG COS III P P, laureate and draped bust right, from behind; reverse PIETAS AVG (piety of the Emperor), Pietas standing slightly left, head left, praying with hands upraised, altar to left; stork to right, S - C (senatus consulto) across fields; $370.00 (314.50)


Roman Republic, Dictatorship of Julius Caesar, Lucius Hostilius Saserna, 48 B.C.

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The events of 48 B.C. are among the best known of ancient history. Caesar defeated Pompey at Pharsalus and later was greeted at Alexandria with a gift of Pompey's head. The twenty-one year old Cleopatra VII had herself delivered to him rolled in a carpet and became his mistress. Caesar and Cleopatra defeated Ptolemy XIII, but during the battle the Library of Alexandria was burned.
RR88450. Silver denarius, Crawford 448/1a, Sydenham 951, BMCRR I Rome 3989, RSC I Hostilia 5, Sear CRI 17, RBW Collection 1567, SRCV I 417, EF, lightly toned, tight flan cutting off left side of reverse legend, weight 3.667 g, maximum diameter 17.7 mm, die axis 270o, Rome mint, 48 B.C.; obverse female head (Pietas or Clementia?) right, wearing oak wreath, cruciform earring, necklace, jewel above her ear, hair collected into a knot behind, and lock falling down her neck; reverse L HOSTILIVS SASERNA clockwise from upper right, Victory running right, winged caduceus in right, Gallic trophy and palm fronds in left; ex Naville Numismatics, auction 42 (22 Jul 2018), lot 471; $240.00 (204.00)


Roman Republic, Marcus Herennius, 108 - 107 B.C.

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The Cantanaean brothers, Amphinomus and Anapias, saved their parents after an eruption of Mt. Etna, carrying them on their shoulders to safety. This was a favorite story among the Romans, for whom duty to family was among the most important virtues, fundamental to the Roman ideal of pietas. This moneyer had some connection to Sicily.
RR88377. Silver denarius, Crawford 308/1a, RSC I Herennia 1, Sydenham 567, SRCV I 185, BMCRR I Rome 1263 var. (control), RBW Collection 1149 var. (control), Choice gVF, well centered and struck, light marks, frosty surfaces with slightest porosity, weight 3.791 g, maximum diameter 17.8 mm, die axis 0o, Rome mint, 108 - 107 B.C.; obverse diademed head of Pietas right, PIETAS (TA ligate) downward behind, (control symbol) below chin; reverse one of Cantanaean brothers running right, nude, bearing his father on his shoulders, his father looking back and raising right hand, MHERENNI (HE ligate) downward on left; $225.00 (191.25)


Roman Republic, M. Herennius, 108 - 107 B.C.

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The Cantanaean brothers, Amphinomus and Anapias, saved their parents after an eruption of Mt. Etna, carrying them on their shoulders to safety. This was a favorite story among the Romans, for whom duty to family was among the most important virtues, fundamental to the Roman ideal of pietas. This moneyer had some connection to Sicily.
RR88989. Silver denarius, BMCRR I Rome 1250 (same control), Crawford 308/1a, RSC I Herennia 1a, Sydenham 567a, SRCV I 185, RBW Collection 1149 var. (X?), Choice VF, perfect centering, toned, light marks, tiny edge cracks, weight 3.891 g, maximum diameter 18.8 mm, die axis 0o, Rome mint, 108 - 107 B.C.; obverse diademed head of Pietas right, PIETAS (TA ligate) downward behind; reverse One of Cantanaean brothers running right, nude, bearing his father on his shoulders, his father looking back and raising right hand, M?HERENNI (HE ligate) downward on left, Q (control symbol) lower right; ex Harlan J. Berk; $225.00 (191.25)


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

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According to Strabo the Greek name Amaseia comes from Amasis, the queen of the Amazons, who were said to have lived here. The name has changed little throughout history: Amaseia, Amassia, and Amasia are all found on ancient Greek and Roman coinage and continue to be used in modern Greek. Modern Turkish Amasya represents the same pronunciation. Amaseia was captured by the Roman Lucullus in 70 B.C. from Armenia. Pompey designated it a free city and the administrative center of the new province of Bithynia and Pontus. Amaseia was a thriving city, the home of thinkers, writers, and poets. Strabo left a full description of Amaseia as it was between 60 B.C. and 19 A.D.
RP88308. Bronze AE 29, Dalaison, type 25, 471; SNGvA 36; Waddington 18; Rec Gn I p. 38, 75; BMC Pontus -; SNG Cop -; SNG Tbingen -; SNG Leypold -, aF, dark patina, highlighting earthen deposits, porosity, a few light scratches, legends weak, weight 14.100 g, maximum diameter 29.1 mm, die axis 180o, Amaseia (Amasya, Turkey) mint, 206 - 207 A.D.; obverse AY KAI M AYP ANTΩNINOC, laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, seen from behind; reverse A∆P CEY ANT AMACIAC MHT NE ΠP Π (NT, MHT, NE, and ΠP ligate), Caracalla standing slightly left, wearing military garb, head bare, spear vertical in left hand, sacrificing from a patera in his right hand above a flaming altar on the left, star above left, ET / CΘ (year 209) in two lines in right field; ex Gerhard Rohde Ancient Coins; very rare; $160.00 (136.00)


Salonina, Augusta 254 - c. September 268 A.D.

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Pietas in traditional Latin usage expressed a complex, highly valued Roman virtue; a man or woman with pietas respected his or her responsibilities to the gods, family, other people and entities (such as the state), and understood his or her place in society with respect to others.
RB88150. Orichalcum sestertius, Gbl MIR 230d(2), RIC V 47 (S), Cohen V 86, Hunter IV J17, Banti 16, SRCV III 10680, F, squared flan, legend mostly unstruck or off flan, weight 18.499 g, maximum diameter 28.2 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 2nd - 4th emission of Gallienus, 255 - 257 A.D.; obverse CORNELIA SALONINA AVG, draped bust right, wearing stephane, hair in ridges and in plait looped below ear up the back of head; reverse PIETAS AVGG, Pietas seated left, holding scepter; two children (Valerian II and Saloninus?) at her feet left, third child (Egnatius?) below throne, S C (senatus consulto) in exergue; ex Moneta Numismatic Services; $140.00 (119.00)


Gallienus, August 253 - September 268 A.D.

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Pietas in traditional Latin usage expressed a complex, highly valued Roman virtue; a man or woman with pietas respected his or her responsibilities to the gods, family, other people and entities (such as the state), and understood his or her place in society with respect to others.
RA86673. Billon antoninianus, Gbl MIR 1684m (Samosata), RSC IV 792b (Antioch), Hunter IV J68 (uncertain Eastern), RIC V-1 J447 (Asia), SRCV III 10312 (uncertain Syrian), EF, white metal, mint luster, areas of light porosity, weight 3.925 g, maximum diameter 21.2 mm, die axis 180o, uncertain Syrian mint, 256 - 258 A.D.; obverse IMP C P LIC GALLIENVS P F AVG, radiate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, from behind; reverse PIETAS AVGG (to the piety of the two emperors), Valerian and Gallienus standing confronting each other, facing center, sacrificing at flaming altar in center, togate, on left holding eagle-tipped scepter, on right hand on parazonium on left side; from the Jyrki Muona Collection; $125.00 (106.25)


Lucilla, Augusta c. 164 - 182 A.D., Wife of Lucius Verus

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For Roman wives, piety often meant accepting neglect. It was not considered adultery for a Roman husband to have sex with slaves or unmarried women. The historian Spartianus wrote that after Lucilla complained, Lucius Verus reproached her: "Uxor enim dignitatis nomen est, non voluptatis" (Wife is the name of dignity, not bliss).
RB79813. Orichalcum sestertius, RIC III 1756, BMCRE IV 1161, Cohen III 54, Hunter II 27, SRCV II 5505, F, glossy dark sea-green patina, light corrosion on obverse, rough areas on reverse, squared tight flan, weight 19.430 g, maximum diameter 30.9 mm, die axis 0o, Rome mint, 164 - 166 A.D.; obverse LVCILLAE AVG ANTONINI AVG F, draped bust right; reverse PIETAS, Pietas standing left, veiled, raising her right hand, perfume-box in left hand, flaming altar at feet on left, S - C (senatus consulto) flanking across field; $110.00 (93.50)


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

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The reverse announces that Septimius has completed vows (prayers and sacrifices) to ask the gods for 20 years of rule. In a religious context, votum, plural vota, is a vow or promise made to a deity. The word comes from the past participle of voveo, vovere; as the result of the verbal action, a vow, or promise. The votum is an aspect of the contractual nature of Roman religion and sacrifice, a bargaining expressed by "do ut des" (I give that you might give).
RS87222. Silver denarius, RIC IV 308, RSC III 791, BMCRE V 375, Hunter III 103, SRCV II 6393, VF, well centered, toned, tiny edge cracks, weight 3.624 g, maximum diameter 19.0 mm, die axis 0o, Rome mint, 201 - 210 A.D.; obverse SEVERVS PIVS AVG, laureate head right; reverse VOTA SVSCEPTA XX, Severus (his pointy beard well visible) sacrificing left over a lit tripod altar; $100.00 (85.00)


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

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During 191, the city of Rome was extensively damaged by a fire that raged for several days, during which many public buildings including the Temple of Pax, the Temple of Vesta and parts of the imperial palace were destroyed. Perhaps seeing this as an opportunity, early in 192 Commodus, declaring himself the new Romulus, ritually re-founded Rome, renaming the city Colonia Lucia Annia Commodiana. All the months of the year were renamed to correspond exactly with his (now twelve) names: Lucius, Aelius, Aurelius, Commodus, Augustus, Herculeus, Romanus, Exsuperatorius, Amazonius, Invictus, Felix, Pius. The legions were renamed Commodianae, the fleet which imported grain from Africa was termed Alexandria Commodiana Togata, the Senate was entitled the Commodian Fortunate Senate, his palace and the Roman people themselves were all given the name Commodianus, and the day on which these reforms were decreed was to be called Dies Commodianus.
RS85779. Silver denarius, RSC II 574a, BMCRE IV 325, Hunter II 58, RIC III 236, SRCV II 5686, VF, well centered on a tight flan, die wear, a little frosty, weight 2.706 g, maximum diameter 18.2 mm, die axis 0o, Rome mint, Dec 191 - Dec 192 A.D.; obverse L AEL AVREL COMM AVG P FEL, laureate head right; reverse P M TR P XVII IMP VIII COS VII P P (high priest, holder of Tribunitian power for 17 years, imperator 8 times, consul 7 times, father of the country), Pietas seated left on high backed throne, extending her right hand to child standing with legs crossed at her feet, transverse scepter in her left hand, star in left field; $80.00 (68.00) ON RESERVE




  



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Piety