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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ |Themes & Provenance| ▸ |Personifications| ▸ |Gaiety||View Options:  |  |  | 

Gaiety (Laetitia)

Happiness, cheerfulness and gaity (or joy) are personified on Roman coins by Felicitas, Hilaritas and Laetitia. Coins with these subjects celebrated the brighter side of life, or in harder times explained that the Empire was moving toward a happier future.


Faustina Junior, Augusta 146 - Winter 175/176 A.D., Wife of Marcus Aurelius

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Laetitia is the Roman goddess of gaiety and joy, her name deriving from the root word laeta, meaning happy. She is typically depicted on coinage with a wreath in her right hand, and a scepter, a rudder, or an anchor in her left hand. On the coins of empresses, Laetitia may signal a birth in the Imperial family.
SH93043. Gold aureus, Calic 2066 (same rev. die); RIC III MA699; BMCRE IV MA129 note; Cohen III 146; SRCV II 5242; Hunter II -, gVF, light marks on edge, weight 6.763 g, maximum diameter 17.7 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 161 - 175 A.D.; obverse FAVSTINA AVGVSTA, diademed and draped bust right, hair in bun at the back; reverse LAETITIA, Laetitia standing facing, wreath in right hand, long scepter in left; ex Numismatik Naumann auction 80 (04 Aug 2019), lot 563; ex Roma Numismatics 14 (27 Jan 2019), lot 761; Numismatica Ars Classica auction 106 (09 May 2018), lot 973; ex Roma Numismatics sale XIV (21 Sep 2017), 761 (realized 4,600 plus fees); extremely rare; $5200.00 (4576.00)


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

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This type of reverse usually indicates the birth of a prince, and we would normally assume the boy and girl on the reverse represent children of the emperor. Hadrian and Sabina, however, had no children.
RB92353. Orichalcum sestertius, RIC II 970b, Hunter II 447, BMCRE III 1370, Cohen II 817 (Hilaritas half nude, probably in error), SRCV II 3602 var. (drapery), VF, dark green patina, full border centering on a broad flan, nice portrait, slight double strike on rev., minor edge flaw 3:00 on obverse, weight 28.452 g, maximum diameter 34.9 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 128 A.D.; obverse HADRIANVS AVGVSTVS P P, laureate head right, long neck; reverse HILARITAS P R (Joy of the Roman People), Hilaritas standing half left, palm frond in right hand, cornucopia in left hand, at her feet on left a small nude boy standing right also holding the palm frond, at feet on right a dressed small girl standing left and reaching up to Hilaritas' drapery, S - C (senatus consulto) flanking across field, COS III in exergue; $400.00 (352.00)


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

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Laetitia is the Roman goddess of gaiety and joy, her name deriving from the root word laeta, meaning happy. She is typically depicted on coinage with a wreath in her right hand, and a scepter, a rudder, or an anchor in her left hand. On the coins of empresses, Laetitia may signal a birth in the Imperial family.
RA73263. Billon antoninianus, Linchmere p. 216, 55 (3 spec.), RIC V-2 50 (S), Webb Carausius -, Bourne Carausius -, Hunter IV -, SRCV IV -, Burton Latimer -, Carausian Hoard -, VF, some silvering, scratches, some corrosion, reverse legend weak, weight 4.601 g, maximum diameter 24.9 mm, die axis 0o, Londinium (London, England) mint, 288 A.D.; obverse IMP CARAVSIVS P F AVG, radiate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, middle reign portrait type; reverse LAETITIA AVG (the joy of the Emperor), Laetitia standing half left, wreath in right hand, anchor or staff in left hand, L in left field, ML in exergue; from the Charles Peters Carausius Collection; very scarce; $110.00 (96.80)


Julia Domna, Augusta 194 - 8 April 217 A.D.

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Laetitia is the Roman goddess of gaiety and joy, her name deriving from the root word laeta, meaning happy. She is typically depicted on coinage with a wreath in her right hand, and a scepter, a rudder, or an anchor in her left hand. On the coins of empresses, Laetitia may signal a birth in the Imperial family.
RS92478. Silver denarius, RIC IV S641, RSC III 101, Hunter III 65, Choice VF, well centered and struck, toned, flow lines, minor die wear, tiny edge cracks, weight 3.440 g, maximum diameter 20.0 mm, die axis 0o, Laodicea ad Mare (Latakia, Syria) mint, c. 210 A.D.; obverse IVLIA AVGVSTA, draped bare-headed bust right, hair in horizontal ridges, flat coil at the back of head, annulet earring on cheek, annulet at top of drapery on neck; reverse LAETITIA, Laetitia standing facing, head left, wreath in right hand, rudder in left hand; from the Errett Bishop Collection; $100.00 (88.00)


Gallic Empire, Tetricus I, mid 271 - Spring 274 A.D.

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Hilaritas, the personification of rejoicing, is usually depicted as a matron, standing with a cornucopia in her left hand and a long palm frond on the ground in her right. Green branches were a sign of gladness and for special occasions, both public and private, it was the custom in ancient times to ornament streets, temples, gates, houses, and even entire cities, with branches and leaves of trees. This tradition carries on today in the form of wreaths and Christmas trees.
RA91624. Billon antoninianus, RIC V-2 80, Cohen VI 57, Hunter III 16, SRCV III 11237, VF, well centered, attractive portrait, nice dark brown patina, light marks, minor encrustations, reverse die wear, small edge splits, weight 3.262 g, maximum diameter 19.3 mm, die axis 0o, Mainz or Treveri (Trier) mint, 273 - 274 A.D.; obverse IMP TETRICVS P F AVG, radiate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, drapery on left shoulder; reverse HILARITAS AVGG, Hilaritas standing left, long branch in right hand, cornucopia in left hand; from the Maxwell Hunt Collection; $90.00 (79.20)


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

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Laetitia is the Roman goddess of gaiety and joy, her name deriving from the root word laeta, meaning happy. She is typically depicted on coinage with a wreath in her right hand, and a scepter, a rudder, or an anchor in her left hand.
RA73224. Billon antoninianus, RIC V-2 456; Webb Carausius 510; Hunter IV 118 var. (P AVG); Burton Latimer -; SRCV IV -, F, uneven strike, broad flan, porosity, some light cleaning scratches, tiny edge chips, weight 2.884 g, maximum diameter 23.5 mm, die axis 180o, unmarked mint, c. 291 - mid 292; obverse IMP C CARAVSIVS P F AVG, radiate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, middle reign portrait type; reverse LAETITI AVG, Laetitia standing left, wreath in right hand, grounded anchor in left hand, S - C flanking high across field; from the Charles Peters Carausius Collection, ex Nilus Coins; $80.00 (70.40)


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

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Laetitia is the Roman goddess of gaiety and joy, her name deriving from the root word laeta, meaning happy. She is typically depicted on coinage with a wreath in her right hand, and a scepter, a rudder, or an anchor in her left hand.
RA73238. Billon antoninianus, RIC V-2 456, Webb Carausius 510, Hunter IV 118 var. (P AVG), Burton Latimer -, SRCV IV -, F, nice green patina, weak centers, scratches, small spots of corrosion, weight 3.185 g, maximum diameter 23.3 mm, die axis 180o, unmarked mint, c. 290/291 - mid 292; obverse IMP C CARAVSIVS P F AVG, radiate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, middle reign portrait type; reverse LAETITIA AVG (the joy of the Emperor), Laetitia standing facing, head left, wreath in right hand, anchor in right hand, S - C flanking high across field; from the Charles Peters Carausius Collection; $80.00 (70.40)


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

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Laetitia is the Roman goddess of gaiety and joy, her name deriving from the root word laeta, meaning happy. She is typically depicted on coinage with a wreath in her right hand, and a scepter, a rudder, or an anchor in her left hand.
RA73275. Billon antoninianus, RIC V-2 456; Webb Carausius 510; Hunter IV 118 var. (P AVG); SRCV IV 13605 var. (same); Linchmere -, Burton Latimer -, Carausian Hoard, Bicester -, F, well centered, green patina, bumps, scratches, light corrosion, weight 3.454 g, maximum diameter 23.4 mm, die axis 180o, unmarked mint, c. 291 - mid 292; obverse IMP C CARAVSIVS P F AVG, radiate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, middle reign portrait type; reverse LAETITI AVG, Laetitia standing left, wreath in right hand, grounded anchor in left hand, S - C flanking high across field; from the Charles Peters Carausius Collection; $70.00 (61.60)


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

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Laetitia is the Roman goddess of gaiety and joy, her name deriving from the root word laeta, meaning happy. She is typically depicted on coinage with a wreath in her right hand, and a scepter, a rudder, or an anchor in her left hand. On the coins of empresses, Laetitia may signal a birth in the Imperial family.
RA73282. Billon antoninianus, RIC V-2 250 (C); cf. Linchmere Hoard 299 (also has reversed C in ex.), Webb Carausius 299 (...P AVG, C in ex. only), Hunter IV -, F, green patina with red earthen highlighting, corrosion, weight 3.458 g, maximum diameter 24.5 mm, die axis 225o, Camulodunum (Colchester, England) mint, c. 288 - 291; obverse IMP CARAVSIVS P F AVG, radiate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, middle reign portrait type; reverse LAETIT AVG, Laetitia standing half left, wreath in right hand, anchor in left hand, C low in left field, nothing in exergue; very rare with the C left, from the Charles Peters Carausius Collection; $60.00 (52.80)


Gordian III, 29 July 238 - 25 February 244 A.D.

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Laetitia is the Roman goddess of gaiety and joy, her name deriving from the root word laeta, meaning happy. She is typically depicted on coinage with a wreath in her right hand, and a scepter, a rudder, or an anchor in her left hand.
RB91601. Orichalcum sestertius, RIC IV 300a, Cohen V 122, Banti 38, Hunter III 140, SRCV III 8712, F, nice youthful portrait, well centered, tight squared flan (typical of the period), light earthen deposits, weight 22.416 g, maximum diameter 29.5 mm, die axis 0o, Rome mint, late 240 - early 243 A.D.; obverse IMP GORDIANVS PIVS FEL AVG, laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, from behind; reverse LAETITIA AVG N (the joy of our Emperor), Laetitia standing facing, head left, wreath in right hand, anchor in left, S - C (senatus consulto) flanking low in field; from the Maxwell Hunt Collection; $60.00 (52.80)







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Catalog current as of Friday, September 20, 2019.
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Gaiety