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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ |Themes & Provenance| ▸ |Types| ▸ |Family & Children||View Options:  |  |  |   

Family and Children on Ancient Coins

Greco-Roman Anatatolia (Smyrna, Ionia?), Terracotta Woman Holding Infant, 2nd century B.C. - 1st century A.D.

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Kourotrophos (Greek: "child nurturer") was an Athenian deity, the protector of children and young people, with a cult and sanctuary, the so-called Kourotropheion. Gods and goddesses, including Athena, Apollo, Hermes, Hecate, Aphrodite, and Artemis, are given the epithet Kourotrophos when depicted holding an infant. Figurines of females holding infants are also called Kourotrophos. The purpose of kourotrophic figurines is debated. Perhaps they are representations of the Athenian goddess. Perhaps they were fertility or childbirth charms. They are found in graves, so perhaps they were companions for the dead.

We were unable to find another example of this type. Attribution to Smyrna, Ionia is based on the color and texture of the clay, and on the style and workmanship.
AH21487. Terracotta kourotrophos statuette of a woman holding a swaddled infant, 25cm (9 7/8") tall, mold-made, hollow and without back, Choice, complete and intact, old dealer labels on the reverse, stands on its own base, Late Hellenistic to Roman Era; $600.00 (528.00)


Julia Domna, Augusta, 194 - 8 April 217 A.D.

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Although many coin references classify Fecunditas as a personification of fertility rather than as an actual deity, Fecunditas was recognized as a Roman divinity by Nero, who erected a statue to her. Tacitus notes that upon the birth of Claudia Neronis, the senate decreed the construction of a temple of Fertility to be built at Antium. Fecunditas is always portrayed as a female figure holding a child, or children and often a scepter, cornucopia, palm branch or caduceus. Sometimes the children are depicted standing at her feet. Coins portraying her usually advertise the fertility of the imperial family.
RS89455. Silver denarius, RIC IV S534 (S); RSC III 42; BMCRE V p. 27, W46; SRCV II 6580; Hunter III -, VF/F, excellent portrait, toned, flaw on reverse, small edge cracks, weight 2.934 g, maximum diameter 17.6 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, c. 195 - 196 A.D.; obverse IVLIA DOMNA AVG, draped bust right, hair in horizontal ridges, large chignon at back of head; reverse FECVNDITAS (fertility), Fecunditas seated right on throne, holding child in her arms, another child at her feet on right, standing left; very rare; $270.00 (237.60)


Julia Domna, Augusta, 194 - 8 April 217 A.D.

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Julia Domna and her children as Terra and the Four Seasons! "The flatterers of Julia Domna pretended that all things were owing to her. The star-besprinkled globe represents the Roman world, which with her husband Septimius Severus she governed; and to the empire of which she destines her two sons, Caracalla and Geta, who, together with as many daughters, are the proof of her fecundity." -- Rasche, T. ii pl l p 932.
RS85789. Silver denarius, RIC IV S549 (R), RSC III 35, BMCRE V S21, Hunter III S22, SRCV II 6579, F, well centered, slightly rough with light even corrosion, edge cracks, weight 2.369 g, maximum diameter 20.0 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 207 A.D.; obverse IVLIA AVGVSTA, draped bust right, hair in horizontal ridges, bun at back of head; reverse FECVNDITAS (fertility), Terra reclining left under a vine, nude to the waist, right hand set on globe spangled with stars, leaning on left arm on basket of fruits, in background four children representing the four seasons; rare; $180.00 (158.40)


Fausta, Augusta, 8 November 324 - Autumn 326 A.D., Second Wife of Constantine the Great

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Fausta is depicted as Spes, the Roman personification of hope. She holds her infant children, Constantine II and Constantius II, her hopeful promise for the future of the "Republic."
RL89946. Billon centenionalis, RIC VII Thessalonica p. 519, 161 (R3); LRBC I 827; SRCV IV 16571; Cohen VII 17, aEF, slightly rough green patina, small encrustations, weight 2.687 g, maximum diameter 18.9 mm, die axis 0o, 1st officina, Thessalonica (Salonika, Greece) mint, 326 - 328 A.D.; obverse FLAV MAX FAVSTA AVG, draped bust right, no diadem or stephane, hair waved, bun at back, wearing pearl necklace; reverse SPES REIPVBLICAE, Fausta standing facing, looking left, veiled and draped, holding infants Constantine II and Constantius II, SMTSA in exergue; scarce; $150.00 (132.00)


Salonina, Augusta 254 - c. September 268 A.D.

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Although many coin references classify Fecunditas as a personification of fertility rather than as an actual deity, Fecunditas was recognized as a Roman divinity by Nero, who erected a statue to her. Tacitus notes that upon the birth of Claudia Neronis, the senate decreed the construction of a temple of Fertility to be built at Antium. Fecunditas is always portrayed as a female figure holding a child, or children and often a scepter, cornucopia, palm branch or caduceus. Sometimes the children are depicted standing at her feet. Coins portraying her usually advertise the fertility of the imperial family.
RS91844. Billon antoninianus, Gbl MIR 935t, RIC V-1 J57, RSC IV 44, Hunter IV J8, SRCV III -, EF, very unusual portrait, nice white metal, flow lines, uneven toning, weak centers at temple and Fecunditas' head, slightly off center, closed edge crack, weight 3.379 g, maximum diameter 22.6 mm, die axis 0o, Mediolanum (Milan) mint, c. 258 - 260 A.D.; obverse SALONINA AVG, draped bust right, wearing stephane, hair in ridges and in plait looped below ear up the back of head, crescent behind shoulders; reverse FECVNDITAS AVG, Fecunditas standing facing, head right, reaching down with right hand to child at her feet, infant in left hand; $150.00 (132.00)


Salonina, Augusta 254 - c. September 268 A.D.

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Pietas in traditional Latin usage expressed a complex, highly valued Roman virtue; a man or woman with pietas respected his or her responsibilities to the gods, family, other people and entities (such as the state), and understood his or her place in society with respect to others.
RB88150. Orichalcum sestertius, Gbl MIR 230d(2), RIC V 47 (S), Cohen V 86, Hunter IV J17, Banti 16, SRCV III 10680, F, squared flan, legend mostly unstruck or off flan, weight 18.499 g, maximum diameter 28.2 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 2nd - 4th emission of Gallienus, 255 - 257 A.D.; obverse CORNELIA SALONINA AVG, draped bust right, wearing stephane, hair in ridges and in plait looped below ear up the back of head; reverse PIETAS AVGG, Pietas seated left, holding scepter; two children (Valerian II and Saloninus?) at her feet left, third child (Egnatius?) below throne, S C (senatus consulto) in exergue; ex Moneta Numismatic Services; $125.00 (110.00)


Nero, 13 October 54 - 9 June 68 A.D., Cyzicus, Mysia, Poppaea or Statilia Messalina Reverse

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RPC I notes, "although certainty is not at the moment possible (because of the small size and relatively poor preservation of the coins), the portrait of Nero seems to be the "steps" portrait, introduced in 63. If so, the bust should be that of Poppaea (or possibly Statilia Messalina)." In 62 A.D., Nero divorced Octavia and married Poppaea. In the summer of 65, Nero and Poppaea quarreled. She was pregnant. In a fit of rage, Nero kicked her in the abdomen, killing her. Statilia Messalina was already Nero's mistress. After Poppaea's death, Nero forced Statilia's husband to commit suicide, so he could marry her. Statilia kept a low profile in public and survived the fall of his reign. After Nero's death, Otho promised to marry her, before his suicide in 69.
RP85905. Bronze AE 16, RPC I 2249 (3 spec.), BMC Mysia -, SNG BnF -, SNG Cop -, SNGvA -, SNG Hunterian -, SNG Tbingen -, Lindgren -, aF, green patina, weight 3.390 g, maximum diameter 15.8 mm, die axis 0o, Cyzicus (Kapu Dagh, Turkey) mint, 63 - 65 A.D.; obverse NEPΩN (counterclockwise on right), bare head of Nero right, ΦY monogram behind; reverse K-Y-Z (K over Z in left field, Z appearing as I, Y in right field), draped bust of empress right; only one specimen on Coin Archives; extremely rare; $110.00 (96.80)


Faustina Junior, Augusta 146 - Winter 175/176 A.D., Wife of Marcus Aurelius

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Although many coin references classify Fecunditas as a personification of fertility rather than as an actual deity, Fecunditas was recognized as a Roman divinity by Nero, who erected a statue to her. Tacitus notes that upon the birth of Claudia Neronis, the senate decreed the construction of a temple of Fertility to be built at Antium. Fecunditas is always portrayed as a female figure holding a child, or children and often a scepter, cornucopia, palm branch or caduceus. Sometimes the children are depicted standing at her feet. Coins portraying her usually advertise the fertility of the imperial family.
RS91448. Silver denarius, RIC III MA676, RSC II 95, BMCRE IV MA89, Szaivert MIR 18 10, SRCV II 5251, Choice F, excellent centering, good portrait, old collection toning, light marks, tiny edge cracks, weight 3.219 g, maximum diameter 17.9 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, struck under Marcus Aurelius, 161 - 175 A.D.; obverse FAVSTINA AVGVSTA, draped bust right; reverse FECVND AVGVSTAE, Fecunditas standing facing, head left, cradling an infant in each arm, flanked by two children standing at feet; from the Maxwell Hunt Collection; $110.00 (96.80)


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

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In 209, Severus began to subdue the land in the north of Scotland, ravaging it severely. Road-building and forest-clearing, the Roman army reached Aber. Scottish tribes used guerrilla warfare tactics against the Romans.
RS91580. Silver denarius, RIC IV 226; RSC III 525; BMCRE V p. 356, 1; Hunter III 67; SRCV III 6345, Choice gVF, excellent portrait, well centered on a nice round flan, flow lines, old collection toning, weight 3.214 g, maximum diameter 18.3 mm, die axis 0o, Rome mint, 209 A.D.; obverse SEVERVS PIVS AVG, laureate head right; reverse P M TR P XVII COS III P P, Jupiter standing slightly left between two small children (Caracalla and Geta), naked except for cloak on left shoulder, thunderbolt in right hand, scepter in left hand; from the Maxwell Hunt Collection; ex Numismatique Archeologie, M. Platt (Paris); $110.00 (96.80)


Salonina, Augusta 254 - c. September 268 A.D.

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Andreas Alfoldi in "The Numbering of The Victories of the Emperor Gallienus and of the Loyalty of His Legions," suggests this type was struck c. 265 - 266 A.D. to commemorate the birth of a third son to Salonina and Gallienus, named Marinianus after his grandmother. Alfoldi also writes that he is convinced that the third son of Gallienus was the Marinianus made consul ordinarius in 268 A.D.
RA89479. Billon antoninianus, Gbl MIR 579aa, RSC IV 39, Hunter IV 15, RIC V-1 S5, SRCV III 10633, Choice aVF, well centered, dark patina with earthen highlighting, centers a little weakly struck, scratches, weight 2.824 g, maximum diameter 22.6 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, c. 264 - 265 A.D.; obverse SALONINA AVG, draped bust right, wearing stephane, hair in ridges and in plait looped below ear up the back of head, thin crescent behind shoulders; reverse FECVNDITAS AVG, Fecunditas (Fertility) standing left, reaching down to child at her feet with right, cornucopia in left hand; ex Numismatik Naumann auction 73, part of lot 970; $80.00 (70.40)




  



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Family & Children