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

Courage (Virtus)

'Courage' is depicted as a helmeted soldier, often a female, in armor holding a spear, parazonium, victory or a shield. Virtus and Mars can be distinguished since Mars is usually shown nude and Virtus is always shown clothed.


Probus, Summer 276 - September 282 A.D.

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Virtus was a specific virtue in ancient Rome. It carried connotations of valor, manliness, excellence, courage, character, and worth, perceived as masculine strengths (from Latin vir, "man"). Virtus applied exclusively to a man's behavior in the public sphere, that is to the application of duty to the res publica in the cursus honorum. Private business was no place to earn virtus, even when it involved courage or feats of arms or other good qualities. There could be no virtue in exploiting one's manliness in the pursuit of personal wealth, for example. It was thus a frequently stated virtue of Roman emperors and was personified as the deity Virtus.
RA92326. Billon antoninianus, RIC V-2 234, Cohen VI 857, SRCV III 12063, Hunter IV 14 var. (R*E), Choice EF, well centered on a broad flan, much silvering, excellent portrait, weight 4.185 g, maximum diameter 23.4 mm, die axis 180o, 5th officina, Rome mint, emission 2, 277 A.D.; obverse IMP C M AVR PROBVS P F AVG, radiate bust left in imperial mantle, scepter surmounted by eagle in right hand; reverse VIRTVS AVGVSTI (to the valor of the Emperor), Virtus standing half left, helmeted head left, resting right hand on grounded shield, spear vertical in left hand, RE in exergue; $130.00 (114.40)


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

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Apparently unpublished and the only example known to FORVM. In the references and websites examined, we did not find match to this type with this obverse legend and S-P across the reverse field, even considering all the possible exergue marks.
RA73494. Billon antoninianus, apparently unpublished, cf. RIC V-2 436 (S) (...P F AVG, C in ex., Mars), Webb Carausius 489 var. (same), aVF/aF, tight flan, rough, corrosion, half of reverse legend unstruck or obliterated, earthen deposits, weight 3.725 g, maximum diameter 23.9 mm, die axis 180o, Camulodunum(?) mint, c. 291 - early 293 A.D.; obverse IMP C CARAVSIVS P AVG, radiate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, middle reign portrait type; reverse VIRTVS AVG (the valor of the Emperor), Virtvs standing right, spear vertical behind in right hand, left hand resting on grounded shield, S - C (senatus consulto) flanking across fields, exergue off flan; from the Charles Peters Carausius Collection; unique(?); $110.00 (96.80)


Gallienus, August 253 - September 268 A.D.

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Virtus is the personification of valor and courage. Valor was, of course, essential for the success of a Roman emperor and Virtus was one of the embodiments of virtues that were part of the Imperial cult. During his joint reign with his father, Gallienus proved his courage in battle; but his failure to liberate his father from Persian captivity was perceived as cowardice and a disgrace to the Emperor and Empire. It was not, however, actually fear that prevented a rescue. While others mourned Valerian's fate, Gallienus rejoiced in his new sovereignty.
RB91611. Orichalcum sestertius, Gbl MIR 38cc, RIC V-1 J248, Cohen V 1295, Hunter IV J33, SRCV III 10495, F/aF, well centered, tight squared flan (typical for the period), scratches and scrapes, weight 19.394 g, maximum diameter 28.0 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 253 - 255 A.D.; obverse IMP C P LIC GALLIENVS AVG, laureate and cuirassed bust right; reverse VIRTVS AVGG (valor of the two emperors), Virtus standing left, wearing crested helmet and military garb, right resting hand on grounded shield, spear vertical behind in left, S - C (senatus consulto) flanking across field; from the Maxwell Hunt Collection; $100.00 (88.00)


Galerius, 1 March 305 - 5 May 311 A.D.

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In 294, Galerius, caesar in the Balkans, proved his worth campaigning on the Danube frontier, fighting the Goths, Marcomanni, Sarmatians, and Carpi. Galerius was assigned the job of land reclamation and repopulation, moving the entire tribe of the Carpi to settlements within the Roman Empire.
RA92335. Billon antoninianus, Bastien XI 657 (9 examples), RIC V-2 Lugdunum 692 (C), SRCV IV 14317, Cohen VI 211, Hunter IV -, VF, well centered, traces of silvering, flow lines, bumps and marks, scattered mild porosity, weight 4.222 g, maximum diameter 23.1 mm, die axis 0o, officina 2, Lugdunum (Lyon, France) mint, as caesar, 294 A.D.; obverse MAXIMIANVS NOB C, radiate, draped, and cuirassed bust right; reverse VIRTVS AVGG (valor of the two emperors), Mars standing slightly left, head left, wearing helmet and military garb, resting right hand on grounded shield, inverted spear in left hand, B in exergue; RIC V lists as common but market evidence indicates they type is at least scarce; $100.00 (88.00)


Claudius II Gothicus, September 268 - August or September 270 A.D.

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A. Markl, "Mints and Issues of Claudius Gothicus" in Num. Zeitschrift 16, 1884, notes (in German) that Antioch and Rome share the same officina marks and some of the same reverse types, but the coins are usually easily separated. Antioch always has obverse legend IMP C CLAVDIVS AVG and officina letter in the exergue, whereas Rome-mint coins with letters in exergue only began in issue 3 with shortened obverse legend IMP CLAVDIVS AVG. Rome, and only Rome, usually writes IIIIIP for IMP in obverse legend. IVI for the M is common for Antioch. Finally, Antioch coins are usually on nicely rounded flans and are struck in better billon than the antoniniani of other mints, and are also found more often with an intact silver coating.
RL89972. Billon antoninianus, MER-RIC T1027 (59 spec.), Huvelin 1990 11, Amasya 2348-2350, Komin 1281, RIC V-1 225, Cohen VI 316, SRCV III 11386, Hunter IV - (p. lxxxii), Choice VF, near full silvering, full borders centering, flow lines, light marks, weight 2.995 g, maximum diameter 20.5 mm, die axis 180o, 6th officina, Antioch (Antakya, Turkey) mint, issue 1, c. end 268 - end 269; obverse IMP C CLAVDIVS AVG, radiate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, from behind; reverse VIRTVS AVG (the valor of the Emperor), Minerva standing half right, head right, draped, wearing crested Corinthian helmet, spear vertical with point up in right hand, resting left hand on grounded oval shield, S in exergue; $95.00 (83.60)


Probus, Summer 276 - September 282 A.D.

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Virtus was a specific virtue in ancient Rome. It carried connotations of valor, manliness, excellence, courage, character, and worth, perceived as masculine strengths (from Latin vir, "man"). Virtus applied exclusively to a man's behavior in the public sphere, that is to the application of duty to the res publica in the cursus honorum. Private business was no place to earn virtus, even when it involved courage or feats of arms or other good qualities. There could be no virtue in exploiting one's manliness in the pursuit of personal wealth, for example. It was thus a frequently stated virtue of Roman emperors and was personified as the deity Virtus.
RA84026. Silvered antoninianus, RIC V-2 816; SRCV III 12071 var. (...P F AVG); Cohen VI 894; Hunter IV -, Choice EF, full silvering, full circles centering, some flatly struck areas, weight 3.888 g, maximum diameter 22.4 mm, die axis 180o, 5th officina, Siscia (Sisak, Croatia) mint, emission 5, 278 A.D.; obverse IMP C M AVR PROBVS P AVG, radiate bust left in consular robe, eagle-tipped scepter in right hand; reverse VIRTVS PROBI AVG (the valor of Emperor Probus), Mars walking right, helmeted, nude but for cloak tied in belt at waist and flying behind, transverse spear upward right in right hand, trophy of captured arms over left shoulder in left hand, XXIV in exergue; $90.00 (79.20)


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

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Virtus was a specific virtue in ancient Rome. It carried connotations of valor, manliness, excellence, courage, character, and worth, perceived as masculine strengths (from Latin vir, "man"). Virtus applied exclusively to a man's behavior in the public sphere, that is to the application of duty to the res publica in the cursus honorum. Private business was no place to earn virtus, even when it involved courage or feats of arms or other good qualities. There could be no virtue in exploiting one's manliness in the pursuit of personal wealth, for example. It was thus a frequently stated virtue of Roman emperors and was personified as the deity Virtus.
RA73256. Billon antoninianus, Webb Carausius 1172, RIC V-2 1040 (R), Hunter IV -, SRCV IV -, Burton Latimer -, Bicester -, F, green patina, obverse slightly off center, earthen deposits, scratches, weight 2.586 g, maximum diameter 20.8 mm, die axis 225o, unmarked mint, c. mid 286 - 287; obverse IMP CARAVSIVS P AVG, radiate, draped, and cuirassed bust right; reverse VIRTVS AVG (courage of the Emperor), Virtus (or Mars) standing right, helmeted and draped, spear vertical in left hand, right hand resting on large grounded shield, no mint marks; from the Charles Peters Carausius Collection; rare; $80.00 (70.40)


Probus, Summer 276 - September 282 A.D.

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In 278, Probus defeated the Alamanni, expelled the Franks from Gaul, reorganized the Roman defenses on the Rhine and resettled the Germanic tribes in the devastated provinces. He adopted the titles Gothicus Maximus and Germanicus Maximus.
RA85002. Billon antoninianus, RIC V-2 435 corr. (also cuirassed), Hunter IV 112 corr. (same), Cohen VI 819, Pink VI-1 p. 61, Choice VF, nice portrait, much silvering on reverse, some light corrosion, weight 3.724 g, maximum diameter 22.5 mm, die axis 180o, 4th officina, Ticinum (Pavia, Italy) mint, 278 A.D.; obverse IMP C M AVR PROBVS AVG, radiate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, from behind; reverse VIRTVS AVG (the valor of the Emperor), Virtus standing facing, helmeted head left, Victory in right hand, resting left hand on grounded spear and shield, QXXT in exergue; $80.00 (70.40)


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

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Mars, the god of war, and Virtus, the personification of courage and valor, are sometimes confused in coin descriptions. Mars is male and usually nude. Virtus is female and is never nude.
RA73247. Billon antoninianus, apparently unpublished; RIC V-2 1034 var. (legends), Webb Carausius 1180 var. (obv. legend), Burton Latimer -, Carausian Hoard -, Bicester -, F, nice green patina, slight bend in coin, corrosion, weight 4.222 g, maximum diameter 24.3 mm, die axis 0o, uncertain British mint, c. 290 - summer 293 A.D.; obverse IMP CARAVSIVS P F AVG, radiate, draped, and cuirassed bust right; reverse VIRTVS AVG (the valor of the Emperor), Mars walking right, helmeted, nude but for cloak on his shoulders and flying behind, transverse spear in right hand, trophy across shoulder in left hand; from the Charles Peters Carausius Collection; extremely rare; $70.00 (61.60)


Valerian I, October 253 - c. June 260 A.D.

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In 256 A.D., the cities in the Roman Empire begin to build walls as the defense of the frontiers collapsed. The Goths invaded Asia Minor, Dacia was lost, and they appeared at the walls of Thessalonica. The Franks crossed the Rhine. The Alamanni penetrated to Milan. In Africa, the Berbers massacred Roman colonists. King Shapur I invaded Mesopotamia and Syria and plundered Antioch, Zeugma, and Dura-Europos.
RS90065. Billon antoninianus, Gbl MIR 1687e (Samosata), SRCV III 9995, RIC V 293 (Antioch), RSC IV 276 (Antioch), Hunter IV 76, Cunetio 851 (39 spec.), VF, well centered on a broad flan, porous surfaces, tiny edge cracks, tiny encrustations, weight 3.788 g, maximum diameter 21.2 mm, die axis 180o, uncertain Syria mint, 255 - 258 A.D.; obverse IMP C P LIC VALERIANVS P F AVG, radiate, draped, and cuirassed bust right; reverse VIRTVS AVGG (valor of the two emperors), Valerian and Gallienus standing confronted; Valerian on left, scepter in right hand, globe in left hand; Gallienus on right offering Victory to Valerian, transverse spear in left hand; $30.00 (26.40)







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Catalog current as of Tuesday, December 10, 2019.
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Courage