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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.


Roman Republic, M. Marcius Mn. F., 134 B.C.

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M. Marcius Mn. F.was a moneyer in 134 B.C., a magistrate, responsible for the production of the Roman coinage. In 134 B.C., Scipio Aemilianus took command in Hispania to finish what lesser generals had failed to do. He recruited 20,000 soldiers and 40,000 allies, including Numidian cavalry under Jugurtha. He constructed a circumvallation around Numantia with seven towers from which his archers could shoot into the city and put chains across a river where it entered and exited. The city refused to surrender and starvation set in. Cannibalism and suicides of whole families ensued. The remnant population finally surrendered only after setting their city on fire. Late in the summer of 133 Scipio leveled the ruins.
RR89774. Silver denarius, Crawford 245/1, Sydenham 500, RSC I Marcia 8, BMCRR I Rome 1008, Russo RBW 1009, SRCV I 122, EF, much mint luster, reverse slightly off center, tiny edge cracks, weight 3.947 g, maximum diameter 18.8 mm, die axis 15o, Rome mint, 134 B.C.; obverse head of Roma right in winged helmet, modius behind, X (XVI ligature, mark of value=16 asses) below chin; reverse Victory in a biga right, whip in right, reins in left, M - MAR-C (MAR ligate) over RO-MA below, both divided by two heads of grain; $400.00 (352.00)


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 (176.00)


Roman Republic, L. Caecilius Metellus Diadematus, 128 B.C.

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In 128 B.C., the Greco-Bactrian kingdom was overrun by the Tocharians and renamed Tocharistan.
RR89756. Silver denarius, RSC I Caecilia 38, Crawford 262/1, Sydenham 496, BMCRR I Rome 1044, Russo RBW 1060, SRCV I 138, VF, broad flan, light toning, flow lines, some die wear, weight 3.926 g, maximum diameter 194 mm, die axis 270o, Rome mint, 128 B.C.; obverse head of Roma right in winged helmet, X (XVI ligature = 16 asses) behind, wearing single drop earring and pearl necklace; reverse Pax driving a galloping biga right, olive branch in right hand, reins and scepter in left hand, elephant head with bell at neck below, ROMA in exergue; $200.00 (176.00)


Hadrian, 11 August 117 - 10 July 138 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.
RS88839. Silver denarius, RIC II 160, RSC II 353, BMCRE III 356, Hunter II 139, Strack II 183, SRCV II -, Choice VF, superb portrait, light toning, edge splits, weight 3.206 g, maximum diameter 18.9 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 125 - 128 A.D.; obverse HADRIANVS AVGVSTVS, laureate bust right, slight drapery on left shoulder; reverse COS III, Roma standing right, left foot on helmet, inverted spear in right hand, parazonium at side in left hand; ex Numismatik Naumann auction 72, part of lot 1045; $150.00 (132.00)


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; $125.00 (110.00)


Roman Republic, Marcus Vargunteius, c. 130 B.C.

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The Romans regarded Jupiter as the equivalent of Greek Zeus, and in Latin literature and Roman art, the myths and iconography of Zeus are adapted under the name Iuppiter. In the Greek-influenced tradition, Jupiter was the brother of Neptune and Pluto. Each presided over one of the three realms of the universe: sky, the waters, and the underworld.
RR88365. Silver denarius, Crawford 257/1, Sydenham 507, RSC I Vargunteius 1, BMCRR I Rome 1068, RBW Collection 1048, SRCV I 133, aVF, light tone, light and scratches marks, minor flan wave, slightest porosity, weight 3.700 g, maximum diameter 19.5 mm, die axis 15o, Rome mint, c. 130 B.C.; obverse head of Roma left in winged helmet, crest with griffin head, peaked visor in three pieces, wearing single drop earring and necklace, hair in three locks, M VARG (VAR ligate) behind, X (XVI ligature, mark of value=16 asses) below chin; reverse Jupiter in a slow quadriga right, nude to the waist, upright branch in right hand, thunderbolt and reins in left hand, ROMA in exergue; $125.00 (110.00)


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

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In 174, Faustina the Younger accompanied her husband, Marcus Aurelius, on various military campaigns. She was loved by the Roman soldiers and Aurelius gave her the title Mater Castrorum (Mother of the Camp).
RS91217. Silver denarius, RIC III 316, RSC II 341, Hunter II 66, BMCRE 613 var. (obv legend, noted), SRCV II -, Choice VF, well centered, attractive style, light toning, flow lines, die wear, small edge cracks, weight 3.412 g, maximum diameter 18.7 mm, die axis 0o, Rome mint, Dec 174 - Autumn 175 A.D.; obverse M ANTONINVS AVG TR P XXIX, laureate head right; reverse IMP VII COS III, Roma standing left, wearing helmet and military garb, Victory standing right offering wreath in Roma's extended right hand, inverted spear in left hand; ex Numismatik Naumann Auction 76, part of Lot 942 (2019); $120.00 (105.60)


Roman Republic, Q. Marcius, C. Fabius & L. Roscius, c. 118 - 117 B.C.

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In 118 B.C., the Second Dalmatian War ended with victory for Rome. Lucius Caecilius Metellus assumed the surname Delmaticus.
RR88373. Silver denarius, Crawford 283/1b, Sydenham 541a, RSC I Marcia 17, RSC I Fabia 13, BMCRR I Italy 479, RBW Collection 1112, SRCV 159 var. (noted), F, toned, a little rough, reverse slightly off center, weight 3.564 g, maximum diameter 19.4 mm, die axis 45o, Rome mint, c. 118 - 117 B.C.; obverse head of Roma left in winged helmet, crest with griffin head, peaked visor in three pieces, wearing single drop earring and necklace, hair in three locks, X (mark of value) behind; reverse Victory in quadriga right, raising wreath in extended right hand, reins in left hand, ROMA below, CFLRQM in exergue; $100.00 (88.00)


Valentinian II, 17 November 375 - 15 May 392 A.D.

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Valentinian II tried to restrain the despoiling of pagan temples in Rome. Buoyed by this instruction, pagan senators, led by Aurelius Symmachus, the Prefect of Rome, petitioned in 384 for the restoration of the Altar of Victory in the Senate House, which had been removed by Gratian in 382. Valentinian, at the insistence of Ambrose, refused the request and, in so doing, rejected the traditions and rituals of pagan Rome.
RL88046. Bronze centenionalis, RIC IX Antioch 51.1, LRBC II 2670 corr. (no star), SRCV V 20330, Cohen VIII 80, Choice VF, dark patina, earthen highlighting, slightest porosity, weight 2.351 g, maximum diameter 18.5 mm, die axis 180o, 2nd officina, Antioch (Antakya, Turkey) mint, 9 Aug 378 - 25 Aug 383 A.D.; obverse D N VALENTINIANVS IVN P F AVG, pearl-diademed, draped, and cuirassed bust right; reverse VRBS ROMA (City of Rome), Roma seated left on cuirass, Victory on globe offering wreath in right hand, spear vertical behind in left hand, star right, ANTB in exergue; $80.00 (70.40)


Probus, Summer 276 - September 282 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.
RA79930. Silvered antoninianus, Hunter IV 42 (also 2nd officina); Pink VI-1, p. 57/5; Cohen VI 531; RIC V-2 185; SRCV III -, Choice aEF, perfect centering, much silvering, some bumps and marks, weight 3.879 g, maximum diameter 22.2 mm, die axis 0o, 2nd officina, Rome mint, emission 5, 280 A.D.; obverse IMP PROBVS AVG, radiate bust left in consular robe, eagle-tipped scepter in right; reverse ROMAE AETER (eternal Rome), statue of Roma seated facing inside a hexastyle temple, Victory in right hand, long vertical scepter in left hand, R wreath B in exergue; $75.00 (66.00)




  



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