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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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This was the first coin issued in Caesar's name. It was minted after his invasion of Italy and crossing of the Rubicon on 10 January 49 B.C. until his defeat of Pompey at Pharsalus. The symbolism on the obverse appears to be the triumph of good over evil. The reverse refers to Caesar's office of Pontifex Maximus (high priest of Rome).
SH85591. Silver denarius, Crawford 443/1, Sydenham 1006, RSC I 49, Sear CRI 9, BMCRR Gaul 27, Russo RBW 1557, SRCV I 1399, VF, old collection rainbow toning, choice obverse, light marks, reverse 1/4 off center, weight 4.024 g, maximum diameter 9.6 mm, die axis 0o, military mint, traveling with Caesar, 49 B.C.; obverse elephant walking right trampling on a dragon or 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); $900.00 SALE PRICE $810.00


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

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A nice little boy portrait with no sign of the monster he would become.
RS79933. Silver denarius, RIC IV 68; RSC III 686; BMCRE V p. 234, 396; Hunter III p. 52, 23; SRCV II 6908, Choice VF, excellent boy portrait, well centered, weight 3.498 g, maximum diameter 18.3 mm, die axis 0o, Rome mint, 202 A.D.; obverse ANTONINVS PIVS AVG, laureate and draped boy's bust right; reverse VOT SVSC DEC PON TR P V COS, Caracalla standing left, togate and veiled, sacrificing over lit tripod altar from a patera in right hand, roll in left hand; scarce; $150.00 SALE PRICE $135.00


Geta, 209 - c. 26 December 211 A.D.

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References all identify the sacrificing figure as Geta. Indeed, it usually does appear to be a younger figure without a beard. We think the sacrificing figure on this coin looks like Septimius Severus. Perhaps it is just our imagination, or perhaps it was an engraver's error.
RS84972. Silver denarius, RIC IV 62b; RSC III 117; BMCRE V p. 275, 588; Hunter III 27 var. (also cuirassed); SRCV II 7189, Choice EF, excellent centering, attractive style, light encrustations, edge cracks, weight 3.261 g, maximum diameter 18.8 mm, die axis 0o, Rome mint, as caesar, early 209 A.D.; obverse P SEPTIMIVS GETA CAES, youth's bare-headed and draped (not cuirassed) bust right, from behind; reverse PONTIF COS II (priest, consul for the 2nd time), Geta standing left, veiled and togate, patera over lighted altar in right hand, baton in left hand; $150.00 SALE PRICE $135.00


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; $130.00 SALE PRICE $117.00


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; 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; $110.00 SALE PRICE $99.00


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).
RB83576. 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 19.43 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; $95.00 SALE PRICE $85.50


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; $90.00 SALE PRICE $81.00


Augustus, 16 January 27 B.C. - 19 August 14 A.D., Colonia Patricia, Hispania Baetica

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Cordova, a city in Andalusia was the first colony planted by the Romans in Spain. Its original name was Corduba. When it was made a Roman colony it was renamed Colonia Patricia, to honor the veterans and worthy men who settled it, to whom honor was due, as to Fathers (Patribus). This type may have been struck for Augustus' visit to the city in 15 - 14 B.C.
RP84536. Bronze quadrans, Villaronga-Benages 3359, RPC I 131, SNG Lorichs 1393, SNG Cop -, gVF, dark green patina, buff earthen deposits, light marks, edge cracks off center, weight 1.879 g, maximum diameter 14.0 mm, die axis 180o, Colonia Patricia (Cordoba, Spain) mint, 20 - 2 B.C., probably 15 - 14 B.C.; obverse PER CAE AVG, bare head left; reverse COLO PATR, priest's sacrificial implements: patera (bowl) above aspergillum (sprinkler), capis (jug), and lituus (wand); $90.00 SALE PRICE $81.00


Theodora, Augusta, 2nd Wife of Constantius I, Grandmother of Caesars and Emperors

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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.
RL79458. Billon reduced centenionalis, SRCV V 17501, Cohen VII 4, VF, attractive portrait, dark green patina, reverse struck with a worn die, areas of light corrosion, weight 1.693 g, maximum diameter 15.5 mm, die axis 180o, 1st officina, Treveri (Trier, Germany) mint, 337 - 340 A.D.; obverse FL MAX THEODORAE AVG, draped bust right, elaborate hairstyle, pearl necklace; reverse PIETAS ROMANA, Pietas standing facing, head right, holding infant at her breast, ēTRP[...] in exergue; $80.00 SALE PRICE $72.00


Theodora, Augusta, 2nd Wife of Constantius I, Grandmother of Caesars and Emperors

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Theodora is often referred to as a stepdaughter of Emperor Maximian by ancient sources, leading to claims by historians Otto Seeck and Ernest Stein that she was born from an earlier marriage between Eutropia, wife of Maximian, and Afranius Hannibalianus. This man was consul in 292 and praetorian prefect under Diocletian. Timothy Barnes challenges this view stating that all "stepdaughter sources" derive their information from the partially unreliable work Kaisergeschichte (written in the 4th century), while more reliable sources refer Theodora as Maximian's natural daughter. He concludes that she was born no later than c. 275 to an unnamed earlier wife of Maximian, possibly one of Hannibalianus' daughters.
RL79460. Billon reduced centenionalis, Hunter V 4 (also 2nd officina), RIC VIII Trier 91, LRBC I 129, Voetter 4, SRCV V 17502, Cohen VII 4, EF, struck with worn dies, small edge crack, light corrosion, slightly off-center on a broad flan, weight 1.257 g, maximum diameter 16.0 mm, die axis 180o, 2nd officina, Treveri (Trier, Germany) mint, 337 - 340 A.D.; obverse FL MAX THEODORAE AVG, draped bust right, wearing diadem, elaborate hairstyle, pearl necklace; reverse PIETAS ROMANA, Pietas standing facing, head right, holding infant at her breast, TRS followed by a branch in exergue; $70.00 SALE PRICE $63.00




  



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Piety