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

Women's Fertility (Hera, Fecunditas, and other Fertility Goddesses)

Many ancient gods and godesses were associated with women's fertility. For the Greeks, Hera was associated with women's fertility and childbirth, but Artemis was responsible for women's health and thus also fertility. The Egyptian frog-goddess Heget was a fertility goddess, but Isis and many others Egyptian gods and goddesses had fertility roles. Fecunditas, the Roman goddess of fertility, is often depicted on coins of the empresses. See Wikipedia for a list of fertility deities - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_fertility_deities


Pertinax, 31 December 192 - 28 March 193 A.D.

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Pertinax was the son of a humble charcoal-burner. After a successful career in the military, as a senator and then as praefect of the city of Rome, he reluctantly accepted the throne offered by the murderers of Commodus. After a reign of only 86 day he was murdered by mutinous guards.

Opis was the wife of Saturn, and also his sister and the daughter of Caelus. Her children were Jupiter, Neptune, Pluto, Juno, Ceres, and Vesta. When Saturn learned of a prophecy that his and Opis' children would overthrow him as leader, he ate his children one by one after they were born. Opis, being the loving mother that she was, could not just stand by and let the last of her children be eaten by her husband. So, she wrapped a rock in swaddling clothes, and fed that to Saturn instead of Jupiter. Opis then went on to raise Jupiter, and then helped him free his siblings from their father's stomach.
SH82706. Silver denarius, Bickford-Smith p. 54; cf. RSC III 33a; RIC IV 8a (R2); BMCRE V p. 4, 19 (Rome); Hunter III 6; SRCV II 6045 (all but Bickford-Smith, Rome mint), F, nice portrait, porous, legends weak, tight irregular flan, weight 2.508 g, maximum diameter 18.5 mm, die axis 180o, Alexandria mint, Jan - 28 Mar 193 A.D.; obverse IMP CAES P HELV PERTIN AVG, laureate head right; reverse OPI DIVIN TR P COS II, Ops (plenty) seated left on throne with ornamented back, two stalks of grain in right hand, leaning back on left hand resting on the edge of the seat behind; rare; $450.00 (382.50)


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

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Julia Domna and her children as Terra and the Four Seasons! "The flatterers of Julia Domna pretended that all things were owing to her. The star-besprinkled globe represents the Roman world, which with her husband Septimius Severus she governed; and to the empire of which she destines her two sons, Caracalla and Geta, who, together with as many daughters, are the proof of her fecundity." -- Rasche, T. ii pl l p 932.
RS85789. Silver denarius, RIC IV S549 (R), RSC III 35, BMCRE V S21, Hunter III S22, SRCV II 6579, F, well centered, slightly rough with light even corrosion, edge cracks, weight 2.369 g, maximum diameter 20.0 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 207 A.D.; obverse IVLIA AVGVSTA, draped bust right, hair in horizontal ridges, bun at back of head; reverse FECVNDITAS (fertility), Terra reclining left under a vine, nude to the waist, right hand set on globe spangled with stars, leaning on left arm on basket of fruits, in background four children representing the four seasons; rare; $225.00 (191.25)


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

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Coins portraying Fecunditas usually advertise a birth in the imperial family. A naked child means it was a boy, female babies are depicted clothed. In their thirty years of marriage, Faustina bore Marcus Aurelius thirteen children. This coin was struck to announce the birth of Cornificia in 160 and depicts Faustina's four living children at that time (five had died, four more would be born later). The two children her arms are Fadilla (159 - 192) and Cornificia (160 - 212), the children standing at her feet are Galeria (147 - 165) and Lucilla (150 - 182). This coin must have struck before the twins Commodus and Antoninus were born 31 August 161.
RB82799. Orichalcum sestertius, RIC III p. 345, MA1635; Cohen III 96; BMCRE IV p. 530, MA902; Hunter II p. 355, MA33; MIR 18 10-6a; SRCV II 5273, F, well centered, brown patina, porosity, light corrosion, edge crack, weight 20.537 g, maximum diameter 31.7 mm, die axis 0o, Rome mint, late 160 - 31 Aug 161 A.D.; obverse FAVSTINA AVGVSTA, draped bust right; reverse FECVND AVGVSTAE, Fecunditas standing left, cradling an infant in each arm (Fadilla and Cornificia), flanked by two girls (Galeria and Lucilla) standing at her feet; $150.00 (127.50)


Gallic Empire, Postumus, Summer 260 - Spring 269 A.D.

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Uberitas is the personification of fruitfulness, primarily agricultural fertility.
RS64676. Billon antoninianus, RSC IV 366a, RIC V-2 330, Mairat 136, Schulzki AGK 94, Hunter IV 93, SRCV III 10995, VF, well centered, toned, small edge cracks, weight 3.982 g, maximum diameter 21.0 mm, die axis 0o, Colonia Agrippinensis (Cologne, Germany) mint, c. 267 A.D.; obverse IMP C POSTVMVS P F AVG, radiate, draped, and cuirassed bust right; reverse VBERTAS AVG (to the abundance of the Emperor), Uberitas standing facing, head left, right leg forward, purse in right hand, cornucopia in left hand; $50.00 (42.50)


Gallic Empire, Postumus, Summer 260 - Spring 269 A.D.

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Uberitas is the personification of fruitfulness, primarily agricultural fertility.
RA84404. Billon antoninianus, RSC IV 366a, RIC V-2 330, Mairat 136, Schulzki AGK 94, Hunter IV 93, SRCV III 10995, VF, porous, edge crack, weight 3.432 g, maximum diameter 20.3 mm, die axis 0o, Colonia Agrippinensis (Cologne, Germany) mint, c. 267 A.D.; obverse IMP C POSTVMVS P F AVG, radiate, draped, and cuirassed bust right; reverse VBERTAS AVG (to the abundance of the emperor), Uberitas standing facing, head left, right leg forward, purse in right hand, cornucopia in left hand; $36.00 (30.60)







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Catalog current as of Wednesday, August 15, 2018.
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Fertility