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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


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

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Although many coin references classify Fecunditas as a personification of fertility rather than as an actual deity, Fecunditas was recognized as a Roman divinity by Nero, who erected a statue to her. Tacitus notes that upon the birth of Claudia Neronis, the senate decreed the construction of a temple of Fertility to be built at Antium. Fecunditas is always portrayed as a female figure holding a child, or children and often a scepter, cornucopia, palm branch or caduceus. Sometimes the children are depicted standing at her feet. Coins portraying her usually advertise the fertility of the imperial family.
RS89455. Silver denarius, RIC IV S534 (S); RSC III 42; BMCRE V p. 27, W46; SRCV II 6580; Hunter III -, VF/F, excellent portrait, toned, flaw on reverse, small edge cracks, weight 2.934 g, maximum diameter 17.6 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, c. 195 - 196 A.D.; obverse IVLIA DOMNA AVG, draped bust right, hair in horizontal ridges, large chignon at back of head; reverse FECVNDITAS (fertility), Fecunditas seated right on throne, holding child in her arms, another child at her feet on right, standing left; very rare; $300.00 (264.00)


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; $180.00 (158.40)


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

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Although many coin references classify Fecunditas as a personification of fertility rather than as an actual deity, Fecunditas was recognized as a Roman divinity by Nero, who erected a statue to her. Tacitus notes that upon the birth of Claudia Neronis, the senate decreed the construction of a temple of Fertility to be built at Antium. Fecunditas is always portrayed as a female figure holding a child, or children and often a scepter, cornucopia, palm branch or caduceus. Sometimes the children are depicted standing at her feet. Coins portraying her usually advertise the fertility of the imperial family.
RS89458. Silver denarius, RIC III MA677; RSC II 99; BMCRE IV MA91; Hunter II, p. 351, 4; SRCV II 5252, Choice gVF, well centered and struck, light tone, flow lines, reverse die wear, tiny edge cracks, weight 3.109 g, maximum diameter 18.2 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, struck under Marcus Aurelius, 161 - 175 A.D.; obverse FAVSTINA AVGVSTA, draped bust right; reverse FECVNDITAS, Fecunditas (fertility) standing right, long scepter vertical in right hand, infant in extended left hand; $130.00 (114.40)


Salonina, Augusta 254 - c. September 268 A.D.

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Andreas Alfoldi in "The Numbering of The Victories of the Emperor Gallienus and of the Loyalty of His Legions," suggests this type was struck c. 265 - 266 A.D. to commemorate the birth of a third son to Salonina and Gallienus, named Marinianus after his grandmother. Alfoldi also writes that he is convinced that the third son of Gallienus was the Marinianus made consul ordinarius in 268 A.D.
RB89479. Billon antoninianus, Gbl MIR 579aa, RSC IV 39, Hunter IV 15, RIC V-1 S5, SRCV III 10633, Choice aVF, well centered, dark patina with earthen highlighting, centers a little weakly struck, scratches, weight 2.824 g, maximum diameter 22.6 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, c. 264 - 265 A.D.; obverse SALONINA AVG, draped bust right, wearing stephane, hair in ridges and in plait looped below ear up the back of head, thin crescent behind shoulders; reverse FECVNDITAS AVG, Fecunditas (Fertility) standing left, reaching down to child at her feet with right, cornucopia in left hand; ex Numismatik Naumann auction 73, part of lot 970; $80.00 (70.40)







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Catalog current as of Monday, June 17, 2019.
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Fertility