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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ Themes & Provenance ▸ Gods, Non-Olympian ▸ GeniusView Options:  |  |  |   

Genius - The Guardian Spirt

In Roman religion, every man has a genius, a presiding spirit. In De Die Natali, Censorinus says, from the moment we are born, we live under the guard and tutelage of Genius. Cities, organizations, and peoples also had a genius. On coins, we find inscriptions to the Genius of the Army, of the Senate, of the Emperor, etc. The legend GENIO POPVLI ROMANI, for example, dedicates the coin to the Genius of the Roman People. Genius' image is of a man with a cloak half covering the shoulders leaving the rest of his body naked, holding a cornucopia in one hand, and a simpulum or a patera in the other. In Roman Bronze Coins From Paganism to Christianity 294-364 A.D., Victor Failmezger writes, "This reverse is modeled after the famous statue of the Spirit of the Roman People in the Roman Forum. It is unclear when this statue was last seen as it is now lost. Although the coins celebrate a wide range of spirits (e.g., Rome, Augustus, the Army, etc.), the basic design comes from the same statue...The act of pouring the libation to the emperor illustrates what the Christians were required to do in order not to be persecuted."


Maximinus II Daia, Late 309 - 30 April 313 A.D.

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In Roman religion, every man has a genius, a presiding spirit. In De Die Natali, Censorinus says, from the moment we are born, we live under the guard and tutelage of Genius. Cities, organizations, and peoples also had a genius. On coins, we find inscriptions to the Genius of the Army, of the Senate, of the Roman People, etc. The legend GENIO AVGVSTI dedicates this coin to the Genius of the Augusti, the Emperors. The figure depicted is the statue of the Spirit of the Roman People which was then in the Roman Forum (it is now lost). The act of pouring the libation to the emperor illustrates what the Christians were required to do in order not to be persecuted.
RT85731. Billon follis, RIC VI Nicomedia 74b, SRCV IV 14830, Cohen VII 29, Hunter V -, Choice EF, much silvering remaining, areas of porosity, weight 4.837 g, maximum diameter 21.7 mm, die axis 180o, 5th officina, Nicomedia (Izmit, Turkey) mint, 312 A.D.; obverse IMP C GAL VAL MAXIMINVS P F AVG, laureate head right; reverse GENIO AVGVSTI (to the guardian spirit of the Emperor), Genius standing slightly left, nude but for kalathos on head and chlamys over shoulders and left arm, pouring libations from patera in right hand over flaming altar at feet on left, cornucopia in left hand, * over E right, SMN in exergue; $180.00 (153.00)


Roman Republic, Q. Cassius Longinus, 55 B.C.

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The obverse portrait has been variously interpreted as Bonus Eventus (the God of good Success) or Genius Populi Romani (the guardian spirit of the Roman people). Quintus Cassius Longinus was a governor in Hispania for Caesar. Cassius was one of the tresviri monetales of the Roman mint in 55 B.C. He served as a quaestor for Pompey in Hispania Ulterior in 54 B.C.
RR87659. Silver denarius, SRCV I 391, Sydenham 916, Crawford 428/3, BMCRR 3868, RSC I Cassia 7, aVF, light toning, highest points flatly struck, banker's marks, bumps and scratches, scrape on reverse, closed edge crack, weight 3.651 g, maximum diameter 18.9 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, c. 55 B.C.; obverse young male head (Genius Populi Romani or Bonus Eventus) right, scepter behind; reverse eagle standing right on thunderbolt, head right, wings open, lituus (augur's staff) on left, jug on right, QCASSIVS below; $160.00 (136.00)


Maximinus II Daia, Late 309 - 30 April 313 A.D.

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The meaning of the CMH ligature, used at Nicomedia and Cyzicus, is uncertain but it may be a mark of value indicating 48 coins per pound of bronze.
RT85607. Billon follis, Hunter V 32 (also 1st officina), RIC VI Nicomedia 66c, SRCV IV 14827, Cohen VII 34, Choice EF, well centered and struck, sharp detail, traces of silvering, some pin prick pitting, weight 5.651 g, maximum diameter 22.3 mm, die axis 180o, 1st officina, Nicomedia (Izmit, Turkey) mint, 310 - 311 A.D.; obverse IMP C GAL VAL MAXIMINVS P F AVG, laureate head right; reverse GENIO AVGVSTI CMH (CMH ligate), Genius standing slightly left, head left, nude but for chlamys over shoulders and left arm, kalathos on head, pouring libations from patera in right hand, cornucopia in left hand, SMNA in exergue; $155.00 (131.75)


Maximinus II Daia, Late 309 - 30 April 313 A.D.

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The meaning of the CMH ligature, used at Nicomedia and Cyzicus, is uncertain but it may be a mark of value indicating 48 coins per pound of bronze.
RT85730. Billon follis, Hunter V 36 (also 5th officina), RIC VI Nicomedia 66c, SRCV IV 14827, Cohen VII 34, Choice EF, well centered and struck, some silvering remaining, porosity, weight 7.064 g, maximum diameter 22.9 mm, die axis 0o, 5th officina, Nicomedia (Izmit, Turkey) mint, 310 - 311 A.D.; obverse IMP C GAL VAL MAXIMINVS P F AVG, laureate head right; reverse GENIO AVGVSTI CMH (CMH ligate), Genius standing slightly left, head left, nude but for chlamys over shoulders and left arm, kalathos on head, pouring libations from patera in right hand, cornucopia in left hand, SMNE in exergue; $150.00 (127.50)


Maximian, 286 - 305, 306 - 308, and 310 A.D.

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In Roman religion, every man has a genius, a presiding spirit. In De Die Natali, Censorinus says, from the moment we are born, we live under the guard and tutelage of Genius. Cities, organizations, and peoples also had a genius. On coins, we find inscriptions to the Genius of the Army, of the Senate, of the Emperor, etc. The legend GENIO POPVLI ROMANI dedicates this coin to the Genius of the Roman People. Genius' image is of a man with a cloak half covering the shoulders leaving the rest of his body naked, holding a cornucopia in one hand, and a simpulum or a patera in the other.
RT85635. Billon follis, RIC VI Lugdunum 85 (S), Bastien XI 148, Hunter V 17 var. (1st officina), SRCV IV -, VF, well centered, spots of corrosion, porous, tiny edge cracks, weight 8.364 g, maximum diameter 27.4 mm, die axis 180o, 1st officina, Lugdunum (Lyon, France) mint, c. 300 - 302 A.D.; obverse IMP C MAXIMIANVS AVG, laureate bust left, lion skin over shoulders, club in right hand over right shoulder; reverse GENIO POPVLI ROMANI (to the guardian spirit of the Roman People), Genius of the Roman people standing half left, nude but for chlamys over shoulders, kalathos on head, pouring libations from patera in right hand on to flaming altar before him, cornucopia in left hand, A right, PLG in exergue; rare; $135.00 (114.75)


Licinius I, 11 November 308 - 18 September 324 A.D.

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In Roman religion, every man has a genius, a presiding spirit. In De Die Natali, Censorinus says, from the moment we are born, we live under the guard and tutelage of Genius. Cities, organizations, and peoples also had a genius. On coins, we find inscriptions to the Genius of the Army, of the Senate, of the Roman People, etc. The legend GENIO AVGVSTI dedicates this coin to the Genius of the emperors, the Augusti. Genius' image is of a man with a cloak half covering the shoulders leaving the rest of his body naked, holding a cornucopia in one hand, and a simpulum or a patera in the other.
RT86820. Billon follis (large), RIC VI Siscia 207b, SRCV IV 15149, Cohen VII 26, Hunter V 59 var. (1st officina), choice gVF, well centered, dark green patina, small encrustations, die break near crescent, weight 7.103 g, maximum diameter 24.6 mm, die axis 180o, 6th officina, Siscia (Sisak, Croatia) mint, 310 - 311 A.D.; obverse IMP LIC LICINIVS P F AVG, laureate head right; reverse GENIO AVGVSTI (to the guardian spirit of the Emperor), Genius standing left, kalathos on head, nude but for cloak over shoulder, patera in right hand, cornucopia in left hand, crescent with horns up lower left, ς (sigma) right, SIS in exergue; ex Beast Coins; $135.00 (114.75)


Severus Alexander, 13 March 222 - March 235 A.D., Raphanea, Seleukis Pieria, Syria

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Josephus mentions Raphanea in connection with a stream that flowed only every seventh day (probably an intermittent spring now called Fuwar ed-Deir) and that was viewed by Titus on his way north from Berytus after the destruction of Jerusalem in 70. Near Emesa, Raphanea was the fortified headquarters of the Legio III Gallica from which in 218 A.D. 14-year-old Elagabalus launched his successful bid of to become Roman Emperor. The crusaders passed through it at the end of 1099; it was taken by Baldwin I and was given to the Count of Tripoli. It was then known as Rafania.
RY86732. Bronze AE 23, BMC Galatia p. 267, 4; Lindgren I 1210 var. (star in ex.); SNG Cop -; SNG Mnchen -, F, dark patina with red earthen highlighting, centered on a tight flan, corrosion, porosity, legend not fully struck, weight 9.155 g, maximum diameter 22.9 mm, die axis 0o, Raphanea (Rafniye, Syria) mint, as caesar, c. Summer 221 - 13 Mar 222 A.D.; obverse M AYP AΛEΞAN∆POC, bare headed, draped and cuirassed bust right; reverse PEΦ-A-NE-ΩN, turreted Genius standing half left, chest bare, himation around hips and legs and over left shoulder, patera in right hand, cornucopia in left hand, humped bull standing left at feet on left, eagles flanking left and right; ex Classical Numismatic Group, ex J.S. Wagner Collection; very rare; $115.00 (97.75)


Severus Alexander, 13 March 222 - March 235 A.D., Raphanea, Seleukis Pieria, Syria

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Josephus mentions Raphanea in connection with a stream that flowed only every seventh day (probably an intermittent spring now called Fuwar ed-Deir) and that was viewed by Titus on his way north from Berytus after the destruction of Jerusalem in 70. Near Emesa, Raphanea was the fortified headquarters of the Legio III Gallica from which in 218 A.D. 14-year-old Elagabalus launched his successful bid of to become Roman Emperor. The crusaders passed through it at the end of 1099; it was taken by Baldwin I and was given to the Count of Tripoli. It was then known as Rafania.
RY86857. Bronze AE 22, BMC Galatia p. 267, 4; Lindgren I 1210 var. (star in ex.); SNG Cop -; SNG Mnchen -, F, tight flan cutting off legends, porous, scratches, weight 7.025 g, maximum diameter 22.4 mm, die axis 0o, Raphanea (Rafniye, Syria) mint, as caesar, c. Summer 221 - 13 Mar 222 A.D.; obverse M AYP AΛEΞAN∆POC, bare headed, draped and cuirassed bust right; reverse PEΦ-A-NE-ΩN, turreted Genius standing half left, chest bare, himation around hips and legs and over left shoulder, patera in right hand, cornucopia in left hand, humped bull standing left at feet on left, eagles flanking left and right; ex Classical Numismatic Group, ex J.S. Wagner Collection; very rare; $100.00 (85.00)


Licinius I, 11 November 308 - 18 September 324 A.D.

Click for a larger photo
In Roman religion, every man has a genius, a presiding spirit. In De Die Natali, Censorinus says, from the moment we are born, we live under the guard and tutelage of Genius. Cities, organizations, and peoples also had a genius. On coins, we find inscriptions to the Genius of the Army, of the Senate, of the Emperor, etc. The legend GENIO POP ROM dedicates this coin to the Genius of the Roman People. Genius' image is of a man with a cloak half covering the shoulders leaving the rest of his body naked, holding a cornucopia in one hand, and a simpulum or a patera in the other.
RT87235. Billon follis, RIC VI Treveri 845b, Hunter V 5, SRCV IV 15191, Cohen VII 53, Choice EF, well centered and struck, some silvering, tiny encrustations, edge a little ragged with small cracks, weight 4.234 g, maximum diameter 24.0 mm, die axis 180o, Treveri (Trier, Germany) mint, 310 - 313 A.D.; obverse IMP LICINIVS P F AVG, laureate and cuirassed bust right; reverse GENIO POP ROM (to the guardian spirit of the Roman people), Genius standing slightly left, head left, crown of city walls on head, chest bare, himation over left shoulder around waist and over and left arm, pouring libations from patera in right hand, cornucopia in left hand, T F at sides, PTR in exergue; $100.00 (85.00)


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

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In Roman religion, every man has a genius, a presiding spirit. In De Die Natali, Censorinus says, from the moment we are born, we live under the guard and tutelage of Genius. Cities, organizations, and peoples also had a genius. On coins, we find inscriptions to the Genius of the Roman people, of the Senate, of the Emperor, etc. Genius' image is of a man usually with a cloak half covering the shoulders leaving the rest of his body naked, holding a simpulum or patera in one hand, and most often a cornucopia in the other hand. Here Genius wears military garb and holds an aquila, a Roman legionary eagle, indicating he is Genius Exercitus, the genius of the army.
RB87540. Orichalcum sestertius, RIC III AP1302A (S), BMCRE VI A1911, Cohen III 648 (6f.), SRCV II 4813, Hunter II 62 var. (slight drapery), aF, dark patina, centered, scrape, scratches, weak legends, edge cracks, weight 26.393 g, maximum diameter 31.9 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 151 - 152 A.D.; obverse AVRELIVS CAESAR AVG PII FIL, bare-headed draped bust right, seen from behind; reverse TR POT VI COS II, Genius Exercitus (Spirit of the Army) standing slightly left, head left, sacrificing with patera in right hand over flaming and garlanded altar, aquila in left hand, S C (senatus consulto) flanking across field; scarce; $100.00 (85.00)




  



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Genius