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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.


Julius Caesar, Imperator and Dictator, October 49 - 15 March 44 B.C.

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In Feb 44 B.C. the senate named Julius Caesar dictator for life. Fearing that he wished to become king, on the 15th of Mar, 63 senators assassinated him with their knives. His assassination plunged the Roman Republic into 17 years of civil war, after which it would re-emerge as the Roman Empire.
SH82705. Silver denarius, AlfŲldi Caesar, type III, 115 (this coin); BMCRR Rome 4147 (also I); Crawford 480/3; RSC I 34; Sydenham 1056; Sear Imperators 100; RBW 1678 (H) , gVF, toned, bankerís mark on obverse, areas of flat strike, attractive deep old cabinet toning, with hints of iridescence around the devices, weight 3.607 g, maximum diameter 21.8 mm, die axis 30o, Rome mint, moneyer M. Mettius, Jan - Feb 44 B.C.; obverse CAESAR∑IMP, wreathed head of Caesar right, cymbium (boat shaped cup used as a wine ladle) and lituus (augural wand) behind; reverse M METTIVS, Venus standing left, Victory in her extended right hand, long transverse scepter in left hand, resting left elbow on shield which rests on globe, I (control letter) in lower left field; ex Roma Numismatics e-sale 23 (9 Jan 2016), lot 376; ex Andrew McCabe Collection; ex CNG e-auction 237 (21 July 2010), lot 344; ex Professor L Fontana Collection; rare; $2000.00 SALE PRICE $1800.00


Julius Caesar, Imperator and Dictator, October 49 - 15 March 44 B.C.

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This is a scarcer variety of the type with the elephant's legs parallel and a human-like ear, attributed to Spain. The engravers were apparently unfamiliar with elephants.
SH82717. Silver denarius, BMCRR Gaul 27 (also with human-like ear), Russo RBW 1557 (same), RSC I 49, Sydenham 1006, Crawford 443/1, Sear CRI 9, SRCV I 1399, EF, well struck on a broad flan, iridescent toning, some die wear, weight 3.947 g, maximum diameter 18.9 mm, die axis 45o, Spain, traveling military mint, traveling with Caesar, 49 B.C.; obverse elephant walking right, legs parallel, ear resembling a human ear more than an elephant ear, trampling on a carnyx (Celtic war trumpet) ornamented to look like a dragon, CAESAR below; reverse implements of the pontificate: culullus (cup) or simpulum (ladle), aspergillum (sprinkler), securis (sacrificial ax), and apex (priest's hat); ex CNG (59305, 5/2/2000, www.historicalcoins.com); $1650.00 SALE PRICE $1485.00


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

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In addition to rule, the Emperor was the Pontifex Maximus, the high priest of Rome, the president of the college of pontiffs, and responsible for overseeing the religion and sacred ceremonies of the Romans. On 17 December 384, after the Christian emperor Gratian refused the title, Pope Siricius took the title Pontifex Maximus.
RS85639. Silver denarius, RIC IV 204 (S), RSC III 682, BMCRE V 578, SRCV II 6906, Hunter III -, Choice gVF, unusual older youth portrait, well centered and struck, toned, light porosity, edge cracks, weight 3.493 g, maximum diameter 20.3 mm, die axis 0o, Rome mint, 208 - 210 A.D.; obverse ANTONINVS PIVS AVG, older youth's unbearded laureate head right; reverse VOTA SOLVT DEC COS III (Additional sacrifices for the tenth anniversary of rule, consul for the 3rd time), Caracalla standing left, veiled and togate, sacrificing out of patera in right hand over flaming tripod altar, roll in left hand, slain sacrificial bull recumbent on the far side of the altar; $200.00 SALE PRICE $180.00


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; $125.00 SALE PRICE $113.00


Antoninus Pius, August 138 - 7 March 161 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.
RS85784. Silver denarius, RIC III 201 (S), RSC II 616, Strack III 230, BMCRE IV 735, SRCV II 4074, Hunter III 76 var. (no HADR), VF, light toning, radiating flow lines, obverse slightly off center, bumps and marks, small edge cracks, weight 3.141 g, maximum diameter 18.3 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 151 - 152 A.D.; obverse IMP CAES T AEL HADR ANTONINVS AVG PIVS P P, laureate head right; reverse TR POT XIIII COS IIII, Pietas standing front, head right, holding with right hand the forelegs of a hind which stands on it's back legs, dish of fruit in left hand, column altar on right, PIETAS in exergue; $120.00 SALE PRICE $108.00


Gordian III, 29 July 238 - 25 February 244 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.
RS77586. Silver RIC IV 129, RSC IV 186, SRCV III 8677, Hunter III -, Choice EF, very broad flan, some luster, tiny edge cracks, weight 2.904 g, maximum diameter 21.7 mm, die axis 0o, Rome mint, 241 A.D.; obverse IMP GORDIANVS PIVS FEL AVG, laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, from behind; reverse PIETAS AVGVSTI (the piety of the Emperor), Pietas standing slightly left, veiled head left, raising both hands in prayer; $115.00 SALE PRICE $104.00


Antoninus Pius, August 138 - 7 March 161 A.D.

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When the young heir Aelius suddenly died on 1 January 138 A.D., the aged Hadrian selected Antoninus, a distinguished senator, as the new heir. Since Antoninus was already 52-year-old, Hadrian also selected heirs for Antoninus himself: his 17-year-old nephew Marcus Aurelius and the 8-year-old son of the late Aelius, Lucius Verus.
RS86683. Silver denarius, RIC II H449, RSC II 1060, BMCRE IV H1010, Strack II H408, Hunter II -, SRCV II -, VF/F well centered, nice portrait, toned, high-points a bit flatly struck, tiny edge cracks, weight 2.895 g, maximum diameter 18.1 mm, Rome mint, as caesar, 25 Feb - 10 Jul 138 A.D.; obverse IMP T AEL CAES ANTONINVS, bare head right; reverse TRIB POT COS, Pietas standing left, veiled and draped, patera in extended right hand, left elbow rests on a column, double cornucopia in left hand; from the Jyrki Muona Collection, ex Barry Murphy (Oct 2007); $110.00 SALE PRICE $99.00


Julia Domna, Augusta, 194 - 8 April 217 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.
RS79616. Silver denarius, RIC IV S572, BMCRE V S165, RSC III 150, Hunter III 16, SRCV II 6600, VF, nice portrait, full circles centering on obverse and reverse, some die wear, flan cracks, weight 3.543 g, maximum diameter 19.9 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 204 A.D.; obverse IVLIA AVGVSTA, draped bust right, hair in horizontal ridges, flat coil at back of head; reverse PIETAS AVGG (to the piety of the two emperors), Pietas standing half left, veiled, dropping incense on altar with right hand, box in left hand; $95.00 SALE PRICE $85.50


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; $90.00 SALE PRICE $81.00


Antoninus Pius, August 138 - 7 March 161 A.D.

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Antoninus Pius is depicted on the reverse in his role as Pontifex Maximus, the high priest of Rome, the president of the college of pontiffs, and responsible for overseeing the religion and sacred ceremonies of the Romans. On 17 December 384, after the Christian emperor Gratian refused the title, Pope Siricius took the title Pontifex Maximus.
RB73733. Orichalcum sestertius, RIC III 794 (S), Hunter II 387, BMCRE IV 1726, cf. SRCV II 4246 (TR P XXII), Cohen -, F, well centered, green patina, weight 28.792 g, maximum diameter 32.1 mm, die axis 315o, Rome mint, c. 158 - 159 A.D.; obverse ANTONINVS AVG PIVS P P, laureate head right; reverse VOTA SVSCE-PTA DEC III, emperor standing left, togate, sacrificing over flaming tripod altar (no bull), S - C (senatus consulto) flanking across field, COS IIII in exergue; big 32 mm bronze!; scarce; $80.00 SALE PRICE $72.00




  



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Piety