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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, L. Sulla and L. Manlius Torquatus, 82 B.C.

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L. Manlius Torquatus was proquaestor to Sulla during the Mithridatic war (he was later Consul - 65 B.C.); this issue was struck for the civil war in Italy 82 B.C.
RR89737. Silver denarius, Crawford 367/5; Sydenham 757; RSC I Manlia 4; BMCRR II p. 461, 5; Russo RBW 1386; SRCV I 286, Choice EF, well centered and struck with attractive dies, nice rose toning, light marks, tiny edge cracks, weight 4.063 g, maximum diameter 17.6 mm, die axis 0o, military mint, 82 B.C.; obverse head of Roma right, PRO Q (proquaestor) downward behind, L MANLI upward before; reverse Sulla walking in a quadriga right, holding reins in right hand and caduceus in left, crowned by Victory flying above, L SVLLA IM (imperator) in exergue; $600.00 (528.00)


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; $450.00 (396.00)


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)


Roman Republic, Anonymous, c. 211 B.C.

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The silver sestertius is a scarce type discontinued by 208 B.C.
RR91318. Silver sestertius, Crawford 44/7; Sydenham 142; RSC I anonymous 4; BMCRR I p. 16, 13; Russo RBW 176; SRCV I 46, VF, some porosity, small edge chips, weight 1.053 g, maximum diameter 13.3 mm, die axis 180o, Southern Italian mint, c. 211 B.C.; obverse helmeted head of Roma right, winged helmet with visor and griffin crest, IIS (= two asses and a semis) behind; reverse The Dioscuri galloping right, paludamentum flying behind, stars above, ROMA in linear frame below; scarce; $195.00 (171.60)


Roman Republic, Anonymous, c. 211 - 210 B.C.

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The quinarius is several times scarcer than the denarius.
RR89796. Silver quinarius, Crawford 44/6, RSC I Anonymous 3, Sydenham 141, BMCRR I Rome 195, SRCV I 42, VF, light toning, reverse off center, weight 1.936 g, maximum diameter 16.0 mm, die axis 90o, Rome mint, c. 211 - 210 B.C.; obverse head of Roma right wearing a winged helmet, V (5 asses) behind; reverse the Dioscuri galloping right, stars above, ROMA in a linear frame in exergue; ex Harlan J. Berk; $175.00 (154.00)


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)


Roman Republic, C. Poblicius Malleolus, A. Postumius Albinus & L. Caecilius Metellus, 96 B.C.

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C. Poblicius Malleolus, A. Postumius Albinus, and L. Caecilius Metellus, were moneyers during 96 B.C., magistrates 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]."
RR88383. Silver denarius, Crawford 335/1a, BMCRR II Italy 724, RSC I Caecilia 46a, RBW Collection 1200, Sydenham 611, SRCV 220 (refs. for no control symbol), VF, dark toning, banker's marks, scratches, crowded flan, weight 3.838 g, maximum diameter 18.9 mm, die axis 0o, Rome mint, c. 96 B.C.; obverse laureate head of Apollo right, hair in ringlets, AALBSF upward before, LMETEL downward behind, no control symbol; reverse Roma seated left on a pile of shields, spear vertical in right hand, crowned with wreath by Victory standing left behind her, CMALL (AL ligate) downward on left, ROMA in exergue; ex FORVM (2002); $110.00 (96.80)




  



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