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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ Themes & Provenance ▸ Personifications ▸ Forgiveness & MercyView Options:  |  |  | 

Forgiveness and Mercy (Clementia)

In Roman mythology, Clementia was the goddess of forgiveness and mercy. She was deified as a celebrated virtue of Julius Caesar, who was famed for his forbearance, especially following Caesar's civil war with Pompey from 49 B.C. In 44 B.C., a temple was consecrated to her by the Roman Senate, possibly at Caesar's instigation as Caesar was keen to demonstrate that he had this virtue. In a letter to his friend Atticus, Cicero is discussing Caesar's clementia: "You will say they are frightened. I dare say they are, but I'll be bound they're more frightened of Pompey than of Caesar. They are delighted with his artful clemency and fear the other's wrath." Again in Pro rege Deiotaro (For King Deiotarus) Cicero discusses Caesar's virtue of clementia. There is not much information surrounding Clementia's cult; it would seem that she was merely an abstraction of a particular virtue, one that was revered in conjunction with revering Caesar and the Roman state. Clementia was seen as a good trait within a leader, it also the Latin word for "humanity" or "forbearance". This is opposed to Saevitia which was savagery and bloodshed. Yet, she was the Roman counterpart of Eleos the Greek goddess of mercy and forgiveness who had a shrine in Athens. In traditional imagery, she is depicted holding a branch and a scepter, and may be leaning on a column.


Antoninus Pius, August 138 - 7 March 161 A.D.

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Indulgentia personifies clemency, lenity, grace, or favor. Indulgentia on Roman coins advertises either some permission given, some privilege bestowed, or some tribute remitted.
RB84936. Orichalcum sestertius, RIC III 914, Cohen II 454, Strack III 1091, BMCRE IV 1939, SRCV II 4183 var. (date), Nice VF, attractive coin, some tiny pitting, weight 23.315 g, maximum diameter 32.3 mm, die axis 0o, Rome mint, 153 - 154 A.D.; obverse ANTONINVS AVG PIVS P P TR P XVII (Antoninus Pius, emperor, father of the country, tribune of the people 17 years), laureate head right; reverse INDVLGENTIA AVG COS IIII (clemency of the emperor, consul 4 times), Indulgentia seated left, extending right hand, scepter in left, S C (senatus consulto) in exergue; $360.00 (Ä306.00)


Tacitus, 25 September 275 - June 276 A.D.

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Clementia was the goddess of forgiveness and mercy, which the Romans considered good traits for a caesar or emperor. In 44 B.C., a temple was consecrated to her by the Roman Senate, possibly at Julius Caesar's instigation. She was deified as a celebrated virtue of Julius Caesar, who was famed for his forbearance, especially following his civil war with Pompey from 49 B.C.
SH14028. Silvered antoninianus, MER-RIC 3578, RIC V 84, VenŤra 1080 - 1110, BnF XII 1644, Hunter IV -,, Choice VF, full circle centering, attractive bust type, weight 4.210 g, maximum diameter 23.1 mm, die axis 0o, 7th officina, Rome mint, issue 3, early - Jun 276 A.D.; obverse IMP C M CL TACITVS AVG, radiate bust right with bare chest, drapery on far shoulder; reverse CLEMENTIA TEMP (time of peace and calm), Clementia standing left, scepter in right hand, leaning with left forearm on column, XXIZ in exergue; scarce; SOLD


Marcus Aurelius, 7 March 161 - 17 March 180 A.D.

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Clementia was the goddess of forgiveness and mercy, which the Romans considered good traits for a caesar or emperor. In 44 B.C., a temple was consecrated to her by the Roman Senate, possibly at Julius Caesar's instigation. She was deified as a celebrated virtue of Julius Caesar, who was famed for his forbearance, especially following his civil war with Pompey from 49 B.C.
RB21664. Orichalcum sestertius, RIC III 1158, F, nice portrait and patina, weight 23.1 g, maximum diameter 32.1 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, Dec 175 - Dec 176 A.D.; obverse M ANTONINVS AVG GERM SARMATICVS, laureate head right; reverse CLEMENTIA AVG TR P XXX IMP VIII COS III S C, Clementia standing left, holding patera in right and scepter in left; SOLD







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Catalog current as of Tuesday, November 21, 2017.
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Forgiveness/Mercy