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

Roma on Ancient Coins

Roma was a female deity who personified the city of Rome and more broadly, the Roman state. The earliest certain cult to dea Roma was established at Smyrna in 195 B.C., probably to mark the successful alliance against Antiochus III. In 30/29 B.C., the Koinon of Asia and Bithynia requested permission to honor Augustus as a living god. "Republican" Rome despised the worship of a living man, but an outright refusal might offend their loyal allies. A cautious formula was drawn up, non-Romans could only establish a cult for divus Augustus jointly with dea Roma. In the city of Rome itself, the earliest known state cult to dea Roma was combined with Venus at the Hadrianic Temple of Venus and Roma. This was the largest temple in the city, probably dedicated to inaugurate the reformed festival of Parilia, which was known thereafter as the Romaea after the Eastern festival in Roma's honor. The temple contained the seated, Hellenised image of dea Roma with a Palladium in her right hand to symbolize Rome's eternity.


Nero, 13 October 54 - 9 June 68 A.D.

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Roma was a female deity who personified the city of Rome and more broadly, the Roman state. The earliest certain cult to dea Roma was established at Smyrna in 195 B.C., probably to mark the successful alliance against Antiochus III. In 30/29 B.C., the Koinon of Asia and Bithynia requested permission to honor Augustus as a living god. "Republican" Rome despised the worship of a living man, but an outright refusal might offend their loyal allies. A cautious formula was drawn up, non-Romans could only establish a cult for divus Augustus jointly with dea Roma. In the city of Rome itself, the earliest known state cult to dea Roma was combined with Venus at the Hadrianic Temple of Venus and Roma. This was the largest temple in the city, probably dedicated to inaugurate the reformed festival of Parilia, which was known thereafter as the Romaea after the Eastern festival in Roma's honor. The temple contained the seated, Hellenised image of dea Roma with a Palladium in her right hand to symbolize Rome's eternity.
SH82657. Orichalcum sestertius, RIC I 330, Cohen I 271, BnF I 417, Mac Dowall WCN 163, Hunter I 100, SRCV I -, BMCRE I -, gVF, excellent portrait, fine style, dark green and brown patina, some corrosion, gently smoothed, weight 24.425 g, maximum diameter 34.3 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, c. 66 A.D.; obverse IMP NERO CLAVD CAESAR AVG GER P M TR P P P, laureate head left with light beard; reverse Roma seated left on cuirass, one round and one oblong shield behind, wearing crested helmet, right foot drawn back and resting on helmet, Victory offering wreath in Roma's extended right hand, her left hand rests on parazonium, ROMA in exergue, S - C (senatus consulto) at sides; Numismatica Ars Classica, auction 94 (6 Oct 2016), lot 127; ex Classical Numismatic Group 783132 ($1750); $1100.00 (935.00)


Roman Republic, Libral Cast Series, 225 - 217 B.C.

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The prow right aes grave are common in the as to sextans denominations, but scarce for uncia. This issue was followed by the prow left series, which has no uncia.
RR88347. Aes grave (cast) uncia, Crawford 35/6; Sydenham 77; Haeberlin pl. 18, 22 ff.; Thurlow-Vecchi 56; Vecchi ICC 83; HN Italy 342; RBW Collection 90, SRCV I 589, VF, sculptural high relief, very nice for the type, bumps and marks, edge split (apparently where a casting sprue was snapped off), weight 19.201 g, maximum diameter 27.0 mm, die axis 0o, Rome mint, 225 - 217 B.C.; obverse head of Roma left, wearing a crested Attic helmet, (mark of value) behind; reverse prow of galley right; (mark of value) below; $550.00 (467.50)


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

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This is an extremely rare coin, missing from most references and collections. RSC II and BMCRE IV both reference only the one single specimen in the Reka-Devnia Hoard. There are no sales of the type in the last two decades recorded on Coin Archives, but we do know of several additional examples.
RS85053. Silver denarius, Reka-Devnia p. 91, pl. III, 40 (1 spec.!); RSC II 854b; Szaivert MIR 559-4/30; BMCRE IV p. 705, †; RIC III -; Cohen III -; Hunter -; SRCV II -, F, nice portrait, well centered obverse, reverse a little off center, light bumps and marks, edge cracks, weight 2.525 g, maximum diameter 17.8 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, early 183 A.D.; obverse M COMMODVS ANTONINVS AVG, laureate head right; reverse TR P VIII IMP V COS IIII P P, Roma seated left, helmeted and draped, Victory in right hand, spear vertical behind in left hand, shield on near side of seat; extremely rare; $200.00 (170.00)


Ostrogothic Kingdom, City of Rome, Municipal Coinage, 493 - 518 A.D.

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This City of Rome municipal coinage 40 nummi was struck during the reign of Theoderic the Great, king of the Ostrogoths (475 - 526). Theoderic controlled an empire stretching from the Atlantic Ocean to the Adriatic Sea. He kept good relations between Ostrogoths and Romans, maintained a Roman legal administration and oversaw a flourishing scholarly culture and the largest building program in Italy in 100 years. The Palace of Domitian on the Palatine Hill was reconstructed, the city walls were rebuilt, and the Senate's Curia, the Theater of Pompey, the city aqueducts, sewers and a granary were refurbished and repaired.
ME89614. Bronze 40 nummi, MEC I 109, cf. Metlich COI 76a (AE30), Hahn MIB I Ostgoten 74a (same); BMC Vandals p. 102, 6 (same), VF, dark patina with highlighting red earthen deposits, struck on tight flan, weight 4.047 g, maximum diameter 17.9 mm, die axis 0o, Rome mint, 493 - 518 A.D.; obverse INVICTA ROMA (invincible Rome), helmeted and draped bust of Roma right; reverse eagle standing left, head turned back looking right, XL (mark of value, upward L reverse) lower left field, uncertain Greek letter (officina number) between pellets in exergue; ex Roman Numismatics e-sale 53, lot 990; ex North American private collection; very rare; $200.00 (170.00)


Septimius Severus, 9 April 193 - 4 February 211 A.D.

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To the ancient Romans, Rome was "Roma Aeterna" (The Eternal City) and "Caput Mundi" (Capital of the World). The empire is history but Rome is still today, the eternal city. Rome's influence on Western Civilization can hardly be overestimated; perhaps a greater influence than any other city on earth, making important contributions to politics, literature, culture, the arts, architecture, music, religion, education, fashion, cinema and cuisine.
RS87248. Silver denarius, RIC IV 350G (R); RSC III 615; BMCRE V p. 84, W323; Hunter III -; SRCV II 6358x, F, well centered, toned, exotic Alexandria style portrait, reverse legend weak, mild porosity, tiny coppery spots, small edge cracks, weight 3.079 g, maximum diameter 17.1 mm, die axis 0o, Alexandria mint, 194 A.D.; obverse IMP CAE L SEP - SEV PERT AVG, laureate head right; reverse ROMAE AE-TERNAE, Roma seated left, helmeted and draped, shield in front of seat, Victory offering wreath in extended right hand, spear vertical behind in left hand; rare; $150.00 (127.50)


Roman Republic, Lucius Flaminius Chilo, c. 109 - 108 B.C.

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Spartacus, the Roman slave and rebel leader was born in 109 B.C. He died in 71 B.C.
RR88370. Silver denarius, Crawford 302/1, Sydenham 540, BMCRR Rome 537, RSC I Flaminia 1, RBW Collection 1144, SRCV I 179, VF, attractive toning, light bumps and marks, tight flan cutting off exergue, weight 4.020 g, maximum diameter 18.9 mm, die axis 195o, Rome mint, c. 109 - 108 B.C.; obverse head of Roma left in winged helmet, ornamented with griffin head, peaked visor in three pieces, wearing single drop earring and necklace, ROMA downward behind, X (mark of value) below chin; reverse Victory in biga right, raising wreath in extended right hand, reins in left hand, L FLAMINI below, CILO in exergue; $150.00 (127.50)


Probus, Summer 276 - September 282 A.D.

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The reverse depicts the double temple of Venus and Roma, designed by Hadrian, the largest and most splendid temple in Rome, finished by Antoninus Pius. Damaged by fire in 307, the temple was restored "in magnificent manner" by Maxentius. When Constantius visited Rome fifty years later, the "Temple of the City" was one of the sights he most admired. In 625, Pope Honorius received a special dispensation from Heraclius to strip the gilded bronze roof tiles for the repair of St. Peter's. During a twelve-day visit to Rome in 663, Constans II stripped it of its remaining bronze ornaments. It was damaged by an earthquake in 847. Later a church was built in the ruins.
RA76944. Silvered antoninianus, Hunter IV 32 (also 3rd officina); RIC V-2 185; Cohen VI 530; Pink VI-1, p. 56-57/4; SRCV III -, Choice EF, near full silvering, superb portrait, light marks, weight 4.097 g, maximum diameter 24.1 mm, die axis 180o, 3rd officina, Rome mint, emission 4, 279 A.D.; obverse IMP PROBVS AVG, radiate and cuirassed bust right; reverse ROMAE AETER (eternal Rome), statue of Roma seated facing inside a hexastyle temple, head left, Victory in right, long scepter in left hand, R pellet in crescent with horns up Γ in exergue; $140.00 (119.00)


Roman Republic, Mn. Aemilius Lepidus, 114 - 113 B.C.

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The triple-arch probably represents the Aqua Marcia, an aqueduct begun by M. Aemilius Lepidus and M. Fulvius Nobilior as Censors in 179 B.C.

Mn. Aemilius M.f. Lepidus was a moneyer, a magistrate, responsible for the production of the Roman coinage. Magistrates were not simple mint workers, they were officials who controlled the process, including the design on the coins themselves. During the Roman Republic, moneyers were called tresviri aere argento auro flando feriundo, literally "three men for casting (and) striking bronze, silver (and) gold (coins)"
RR88374. Silver denarius, Crawford 291/1, Sydenham 554, RSC I Aemilia 7, BMCRR Italy 590, RBW Collection 1124, SRCV I 168, VF, rough areas, edge crack, scratch on neck, weight 3.912 g, maximum diameter 20.0 mm, die axis 315o, Rome mint, 114 - 113 B.C.; obverse laureate and draped bust of Roma right, ROMA (MA ligate) upward before, X (XVI ligature, mark of value=16 asses) behind; reverse MNAEMILIO (MN in monogram), horseman holding vertical spear (equestrian statue) right, on triple-arch containing L-E-P; ex Classical Numismatic Group; $140.00 (119.00)


Roman Republic, D. Junius L.f. Silanus, 91 B.C.

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In 91 B.C. tribune Marcus Livius Drusus proposed Roman citizenship to allied Italian cities, leading to his assassination and the Social War. D. Junius L.f. Silanus was a moneyer, a magistrate, responsible for the production of the Roman coinage. Magistrates were not simple mint workers (monetarii), they were officials who controlled the process, including the design on the coins themselves. During the Roman Republic, moneyers were called tresviri aere argento auro flando feriundo, literally "three men for casting (and) striking bronze, silver (and) gold (coins)"
RR88385. Silver denarius, Crawford 337/3, Sydenham 646, RSC I Junia 15, SRCV I 225, cf. BMCRR I Rome 1790 (G / VII), RBW Collection 1233 (C / VI), VF, some luster, light tone, light scratches, faint graffito (M) under horses, reverse a little off center, weight 3.882 g, maximum diameter 18.3 mm, die axis 30o, Rome mint, 91 B.C.; obverse head of Roma right in winged helmet, reversed G (control letter) behind; reverse Victory in a biga right holding reins in both hands, V[I?] (control numeral) above, DSILANVSLF / ROMA in exergue; $140.00 (119.00)


Septimius Severus, 9 April 193 - 4 February 211 A.D.

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193 A.D. was the Year of Five Emperors, with Pertinax, Didius Julianus, Septimius Severus and Clodius Albinus, and Pescennius Niger all claiming the throne.

This bust is a very rare early type with straight hair, struck before the mint had an accurate portrait of the new emperor.
RS87223. Silver denarius, RIC IV 22; RSC III 682; BMCRE V p. 24, 30; Hunter III 7; SRCV II 6369, VF, toned, tight flan, small edge cracks, weight 2.916 g, maximum diameter 17.8 mm, die axis 30o, Rome mint, c. Jun - Dec 193 A.D.; obverse IMP CAE L SEP SEV PERT AVG, laureate head right; reverse VICT AVG TR P COS, Victory walking left, wreath in right hand, palm frond in left hand; $125.00 (106.25)




  



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