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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ |Themes & Provenance| ▸ |Gods, Non-Olympian| ▸ |Genius||View 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."


Hadrian, 11 August 117 - 10 July 138 A.D.

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SH51590. Gold aureus, RIC II 91, Cohen II 1092, Choice VF, weight 7.161 g, maximum diameter 19.7 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 119 - 122 A.D.; obverse IMP CAESAR TRAIAN HADRIANVS AVG, laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right; reverse P M TR P COS III, Genius standing half-left, patera in right, ears of grain in left; attractive bust, ex Edgar L. Owen; SOLD


Pupienus, 22 April - 29 July 238 A.D.

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A.D. 238 was the year of six emperors. Maximinus Thrax was killed (along with his son Maximus Caesar) when his soldiers mutinied. Gordian II was killed in battle. Gordian I hanged himself. Pupienus was lynched by his bodyguard. Balbinus was beaten and dragged naked through the streets of Rome before being killed by the Praetorians. Gordian III lived to become sole emperor.
RS87641. Silver denarius, RIC IV-1 5 (S), RSC III 29, BMCRE VI 50*, SRCV III 8528, Hunter III -, Choice EF, superb portrait, bold strike with excellent centering, sharp reverse, weight 2.105 g, maximum diameter 20.2 mm, die axis 0o, Rome mint, 22 Apr - 29 Jul 238 A.D.; obverse IMP C M CLOD PVPIENVS AVG, laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right; reverse P M TR P COS II P P, Pupienus (or Genius of the Senate?) standing slightly left, head left, togate, raising branch in right hand, short scepter downward at side in left hand; very scarce; SOLD


Constantine the Great, Early 307 - 22 May 337 A.D.

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Upon Constantius' death, Severus II was elevated to the rank of Augustus, while the young Constantine was appointed Caesar. RIC VI notes the ANT: issue was probably continued after 25 July 306 into the spring 307, but no coins of Severus as Augustus were known to the authors. Constantine Caesar is not mentioned at all in conjunction with this last full size follis issue. He is noted for the first time in 308 A.D. for the lighter reformed GENIO CAESARIS* folles.
SH28162. Billon follis, RIC VI Antiochia -, VF, weight 8.872 g, maximum diameter 26.7 mm, die axis 180o, 9th officina, Antioch (Antakya, Turkey) mint, as caesar, autumn 306 - spring 307 A.D.; obverse FL VAL CONSTANTINVS NOB CAES, laureate head right; reverse GENIO POPVLI ROMANI (to the guardian spirit of the Roman People), Genius standing left, modius on head, holding patera from which liquid flows and cornucopia, ∆-E at sides (officina 9), ANT: in exergue; extremely rare; SOLD


Clodius Albinus, Late 195 or Early 196 - 19 February 197 A.D.

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According to the Historia Augusta, Commodus sent a letter to Clodius Albinus offering him the title caesar but Albinus refused:
"The Emperor Commodus to Clodius Albinus greeting. I wrote you once officially about the succession to the throne and your own elevation to honour, but I am now sending you this private and confidential message, all written with my own hand, as you will see, in which I empower you, should emergency arise, to present yourself to the soldiers and assume the name of Caesar. For I hear that both Septimius Severus and Nonius Murcus are speaking ill of me to their troops, hoping thereby to get the appointment to the post of Augustus. You shall have full power besides, when you thus present yourself, to give the soldiers a largess of three aurei apiece. You will get a letter which I am sending to my procurators to this effect, sealed with my signet of an Amazon, which you will deliver to my stewards when the need arises, that they may not refuse your demands on the treasury. And that you may received some definite symbol of an emperor's majesty, I authorize you to wear both at the present time and at my court the scarlet cloak. Later, when you are with me, you shall have the imperial purple, though without the embroidery in gold. For my great-grandfather Verus, who died in boyhood, received this from Hadrian, who adopted him." Albinus received this letter, but he utterly refused to do what the Emperor bade. For he saw that Commodus was hated because of his evil ways, which were bringing destruction upon the state and dishonor upon himself, and that he would sometime or other be slain, and he feared that he might perish with him.
SH32695. Silver denarius, RIC IV 23d, RSC III 40c, BMCRE V 285, Hunter III 28, SRCV II 6169, VF, light toning, nice style, reverse a bit flat, weight 2.919 g, maximum diameter 17.8 mm, die axis 180o, Lugdunum (Lyon, France) mint, issued as Augustus; obverse IMP CAE D CLO SEP ALB AVG, laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right; reverse GEN LVG COS II, Genius of Lugdunum, standing slightly left, wearing turreted crown, long scepter vertical in right hand, scepter in left hand, on left eagle at feet; rare (R2); SOLD


Constantine the Great, Early 307 - 22 May 337 A.D.

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Upon Constantius' death, Severus II was elevated to the rank of Augustus, while the young Constantine was appointed Caesar. RIC VI notes the ANT: issue was probably continued after 25 July 306 into the spring 307, but no coins of Severus as Augustus were known to the authors. Constantine Caesar is not mentioned at all in conjunction with this last full size follis issue. He is noted for the first time in 308 A.D. for the lighter reformed GENIO CAESARIS* folles.
RT37957. Billon follis, RIC VI Antiochia -; cf. FORVM 28162 (officina 9), gVF, flat strike reverse, weight 9.639 g, maximum diameter 28.7 mm, die axis 180o, 8th officina, Antioch (Antakya, Turkey) mint, as caesar, autumn 306 - spring 307 A.D.; obverse FL VAL CONSTANTINVS NOB CAES, laureate head right; reverse GENIO POPVLI ROMANI (to the guardian spirit of the Roman People), Genius standing left, nude but for chlamys on shoulders and modius on head, patera from which liquid flows in right hand, cornucopia in left hand, H right, ANT: in exergue; extremely rare; SOLD


Roman Republic, Cn. Cornelius Lentulus Marcellinus, 76 - 75 B.C.

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This coin expresses the belief of the Roman people in their destiny to dominate the land and sea as caput rerum, the head of the world. In his new book Roman Republican Moneyers and Their Coins 81 B.C. - 64 B.C., Michael Harlan writes, "It was a goal still to be achieved in 74, but expounded with the same degree of faith as was the believe that it was America's manifest destiny to spread from ocean to ocean."

The Q on the reverse stands for Quaestor, the function of this moneyer under the command of Proconsul Pompey. He was sent Spain to assist Metellus Pius in the war against Sertorius.
SH31412. Silver denarius, Sydenham 752, Crawford 393/1a, RSC I Cornelia 54, Russo RBW 1432, SRCV I 323, gVF, rainbow toning, weight 3.950 g, maximum diameter 18.1 mm, die axis 180o, Spanish mint, 76 - 75 B.C.; obverse bearded, diademed and draped bust of the Genius of the Roman People right, scepter over shoulder, GPR (Genius Populi Romani) above; reverse wreathed scepter on left, globe in center, rudder on right, EX - SC (ex senatus consulto) flanking in outer fields, CNLENQ below; SOLD


Geta, 209 - c. 26 December 211 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.
RS79615. Silver denarius, RIC IV 59(a); RSC III 114; BMCRE V p. 274, 579; Hunter III 24; SRCV II 7187, Choice EF, superb portrait, mint luster, near perfect centering, small edge cracks, weight 3.737 g, maximum diameter 19.5 mm, die axis 0o, Rome mint, 208 A.D.; obverse P SEPTIMIVS GETA CAES, bearded, draped bust right, from behind; reverse PONTIF COS II (priest, consul for the 2nd time), Genius standing left, sacrificing from patera in right hand over flaming altar, ears of grain downward in left hand; SOLD


Constantius I, May 305 - 25 July 306 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.
SH27729. Billon follis, RIC VI Lugdunum 167a, Bastien XI 311, Cohen VII 122, Hunter V 16 var. (1st officina), SRCV IV -, EF, centered on a tight flan, green patina, sharp portrait, weight 10.215 g, maximum diameter 25.5 mm, die axis 180o, 2nd officina, Lugdunum (Lyon, France) mint, as caesar, 301 - 303 A.D.; obverse CONSTANTIVS NOB CAES, laureate and cuirassed bust left, holding scepter in right hand over right shoulder; reverse GENIO POPVLI ROMANI (to the guardian spirit of the Roman People), 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 over altar, cornucopia in left hand, B right, PLC in exergue; SOLD


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

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Under Nero, the mint produced these brass asses on a weight standard of one half a dupondius. The letter I denotes one as, while II appears on dupondii equal to two asses and S appears on the semisses. This experiment with brass as was not continued by his successors, though some issued 3g brass semisses and Trajan and Hadrian produced brass 4g 1/3 dupondii and 8g 2/3 dupondii in the East.
SH19914. Orichalcum as, RIC I 214, BnF II 322, BMCRE I 252, Mac Dowall WCN 269, Cohen I 101, SRCV I 1977, VF, attractive green patina, nice style, high relief portrait, weight 7.819 g, maximum diameter 25.1 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, c. 64 A.D.; obverse NERO CLAVDIVS CAESAR AVG GER P M TR P IMP P P, laureate head right; reverse GENIO AVGVSTI (to the guardian spirit of the Emperor), Genius standing left, wearing himation, sacrificing from patera in right over flaming alter at feet on left, cornucopia in right, I (mark of value) in exergue, S C (senatus consulto) in exergue; scarce; SOLD


Constantine the Great, Early 307 - 22 May 337 A.D.

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"The letters C I H S in the reverse field probably relate to Constantine's weight reduction of the follis, thought their precise meaning remains unclear. The formula appears to contain as its elements the numeral 101 (CI) and the sign of the sestertius (HS)." -- Roman Coins and Their Values IV by David Sear.
RL46801. Billon follis, RIC VI Lugdunum 287, Bastien 509, EF, masterpiece dies, WOW!, weight 6.347 g, maximum diameter 25.4 mm, die axis 180o, 1st officina, Lugdunum (Lyon, France) mint, Autum 308 - early 309 A.D.; obverse IMP C CONSTANTINVS P F AVG, laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, from behind; reverse GENIO POP ROM (to the guardian spirit of the Roman people), Genius standing left, sacrificing from patera in right over flaming altar, cornucopia in left hand, CI-H/S across fields, PLG in exergue; SOLD




  




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Genius