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

Nobility (Nobilitas)

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

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The palladium, a small figure of Minerva (Pallas Athena) holding a spear and shield, had a mythological origin from Troy. Troy was believed to be safe from foreign enemies as long as the Palladium remained within the city walls. But Odysseus and Diomedes stole the image and soon after the Greeks took the city. The Palladium was later taken by Aeneas to Rome where for centuries it was kept in the temple of Vesta in the Forum. In Late Antiquity, it was rumored that Constantine had taken the Palladium to Constantinople and buried it under the Column of Constantine.
RS85127. Silver denarius, RIC IV 13a; RSC III 90; BMCRE p. 197, 223; Hunter III 7; SRCV II 7184, VF/F, well centered, nice portrait, light toning, weight 2.174 g, maximum diameter 19.3 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, as caesar, 199 A.D.; obverse P SEPT GETA CAES PONT, boy's bare-headed and draped bust right, from behind; reverse NOBILITAS, Nobilitas standing facing, head right, long scepter in right hand, palladium in left; $125.00 (Ä106.25)

Commodus, March or April 177 - 31 Dec 192 A.D.

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Nobilitas, the personification of the idea of nobility, carries a spear and an image of Minerva to indicate that nobility is achieved through both glory in battle and wisdom. Nobilitas may have been selected as a reverse type for Commodus because he was the first emperor "born to the purple," his father was already emperor when Commodus was born in 161, and because he could trace his adoptive pedigree back to Nerva.
RB77895. Orichalcum sestertius, RIC III 501 (S), BMCRE IV 594, Hunter II 135, Cohen III 381, MIR 18 733, SRCV II 5772, aF, green patina, tight flan, corrosion, weight 21.120 g, maximum diameter 28.7 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 187 A.D.; obverse M COMMODVS ANT P FEL AVG BRIT, laureate head right; reverse NOBILITAS AVG P M TR P XII IMP VIII COS V P P, Nobilitas standing standing right, long scepter vertical behind in right hand, statuette of Minerva in left hand, statuette helmeted and draped and holding patera and scepter, S - C (senatus consulto) flanking across field below center; from the Butte College Foundation, ex Lindgren; scarce; $32.00 (Ä27.20)


Catalog current as of Saturday, November 18, 2017.
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