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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ |Themes & Provenance| ▸ |Personifications| ▸ |Good Luck||View Options:  |  |  |   

Luck (Forutuna)

The Romans believed that Fortuna after deserting the Persians and Assyrians took flight over Macedonia and saw Alexander perish as she passed into Egypt and into Syria. At last arriving on Mount Palatine she threw aside her wings and casting away her wheel, entered Rome where she took up her abode forever. Fortuna distributed good and evil among mankind according to her caprice and without any regard to merit. Fortuna Redux, one of the many aspects of Fortuna, was in charge of bringing people home safely, primarily from wars - redux means "coming back" or "returning."


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

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Because of his fame and because he was proclaimed Emperor while he was in Roman Britain, later Britons regarded Constantine as a king of their own people. In the 12th century, Henry of Huntingdon included a passage in his Historia Anglorum that Constantine's mother Helena was a Briton, the daughter of King Cole of Colchester. Geoffrey of Monmouth expanded this story in his highly fictionalized Historia Regum Britanniae, an account of the supposed Kings of Britain from their Trojan origins to the Anglo-Saxon invasion. According to Geoffrey, Cole was King of the Britons when Constantius, here a senator, came to Britain. Afraid of the Romans, Cole submitted to Roman law so long as he retained his kingship. However, he died only a month later, and Constantius took the throne himself, marrying Cole's daughter Helena. They had their son Constantine, who succeeded his father as King of Britain before becoming Roman Emperor. Historically, this series of events is extremely improbable. Constantius had already left Helena by the time he left for Britain. Additionally, no earlier source mentions that Helena was born in Britain, let alone that she was a princess.
RL91202. Billon follis, RIC VI Londinium 246 (R), SRCV IV 15889, Cohen 144, Hunter V -, VF, well centered with full legends on a broad slightly oval flan, some scratches,, weight 3.651 g, maximum diameter 23.8 mm, die axis 180o, 1st officina, Londinium (London, England) mint, 312 - 313 A.D.; obverse CONSTANTINVS P F AVG, laureate and cuirassed bust right; reverse FELICITAS AVGG NN (the good fortune of our two emperors), Roma seated left, helmeted and draped, branch in raised right hand, globe in left hand, star in left field, PLN in exergue; very rare reverse type; $200.00 SALE |PRICE| $180.00


Julia Maesa, Augusta 8 June 218 - 224 or 225 A.D.

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Felicitas was the goddess or personification of happiness, good fortune, and success. She played an important role in Rome's state religion during the empire and was frequently portrayed on coins. She became a prominent symbol of the wealth and prosperity of the Roman Empire.
RS91463. Silver denarius, Hunter III p. 130, 11; BMCRE V p. 541, 82; RIC IV 272, RSC III 45b, SRCV II 7757, Choice EF, toning on mint luster, well centered, some encrustations, tiny edge cracks, weight 3.001 g, maximum diameter 19.0 mm, die axis 0o, Rome mint, struck under Elagabalus, 220 - 222 A.D.; obverse IVLIA MAESA AVG, draped bust right, hair in vertical waves, and bun in the back; reverse SAECVLI FELICITAS (era of good fortune), Felicitas standing half-left, sacrificing out of patera over lit altar, holding caduceus, star upper left; from the Maxwell Hunt Collection; $150.00 SALE |PRICE| $135.00


Roman Republic, Quintus 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, Crawford 428/3, Sydenham 916, RSC I Cassia 7, BMCRR I Rome 3868, RBW Collection 1535, SRCV I 391, 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, 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, QēCASSIVS below; $140.00 SALE |PRICE| $126.00


Diadumenian, Mid May - 8 June 218 A.D., Nikopolis ad Istrum, Moesia Inferior

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Ploutos was the god of wealth, born to the goddess Demeter after she lay with the hero Iasion. The young god was blinded by Zeus so he would distribute wealth indiscriminately and not favor the good. Ploutos was usually depicted as a boy holding a cornucopia full of grain. In sculpture he was portrayed as an infant in the arms of Eirene, goddess of peace, or Tyche, goddess of good fortune. The reverse legend tells us this coin was struck under the Consular Legate (Governor) Statius Longinus. On all other dies from this issue Tyche looks left and Ploutos is not present.
RP91930. Bronze AE 25, H-H-J Nikopolis 8.25.38.10, AMNG I/I 1868, Varbanov -; Moushmov -, F, tight flan, light corrosion, central depressions, weight 8.971 g, maximum diameter 24.6 mm, die axis 0o, Nicopolis ad Istrum (Nikyup, Bulgaria) mint, as caesar, 11 Apr 217 - mid May 218 A.D.; obverse M OΠEΛΛI ∆IA∆OVMENIANOC KAI, bare headed, draped and cuirassed bust right, from behind; reverse VΠ CTA ΛONΓINOV NIKOΠOΛITΩN ΠPOC IC, Tyche Euposia standing facing, head right, kalathos on head, holding rudder by tiller in right hand, cornucopia in left hand, the infant Ploutos seated left on her left arm; extremely rare; $140.00 SALE |PRICE| $126.00


Caracalla, 28 January 198 - 8 April 217 A.D.

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Fortuna Redux, one of the many aspects of Fortuna, was in charge of bringing people home safely, primarily from wars - redux means "coming back" or "returning." She may be one of the later aspects of Fortuna, as the earliest mention of her is on an altar dedicated by the Senate in 19 B.C. for the safe return of Emperor Augustus.
RS87269. Silver denarius, RIC IV 189; RSC III 84; BMCRE V 1 p. 419, G1; SRCV II 6802; Hunter III -, Choice VF, superb portrait, well centered and struck, toned, slightly frosty, tiny edge cracks, weight 2.698 g, maximum diameter 18.8 mm, Rome mint, 211 A.D.; obverse ANTONINVS PIVS AVG BRIT, laureate head right; reverse FORT RED P M TR P XIIII COS III P P, Fortuna Redux standing facing, head left, cornucopia in right hand tip outward and top inward, drapery over left arm which is resting on a grounded rudder, wheel at feet on left; $135.00 SALE |PRICE| $122.00


Trajan, 25 January 98 - 8 or 9 August 117 A.D.

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Bonus Eventus, the god of good outcomes, was originally worshiped by the Romans as a deity especially presiding over agriculture and successful harvests. During the Imperial era, he was associated with other types of success. The epithet Bonus, "the Good," is used with other abstract deities such as Bona Fortuna ("Good Fortune"), Bona Mens ("Good Thinking" or "Sound Mind"), and Bona Spes ("Good Hope," perhaps to be translated as "optimism"), as well as with the mysterious and multivalent Bona Dea, a goddess whose rites were celebrated by women.
RS88847. Silver denarius, Woytek 421v, BMCRE III 429, BnF IV 739, RSC II 398, RIC II 275, Strack I 184, Hunter II -, aVF, nice portrait, well centered, toned, tight flan, weight 3.269 g, maximum diameter 19.8 mm, die axis 195o, Rome mint, end 113 - 114 A.D.; obverse IMP TRAIANO AVG GERM DAC P M TR P COS VI P P, laureate draped bust right; reverse S P Q R OPTIMO PRINCIPI, Bonus Eventus standing slightly left, head left, nude, patera extended in right hand, heads of grain pointed down in left hand at side; ex Numismatik Naumann auction 72, part of lot 1047; $130.00 SALE |PRICE| $117.00


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

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The Romans believed that Fortuna, after deserting the Persians and Assyrians, took flight over Macedonia and saw Alexander perish as she passed into Egypt and into Syria. At last arriving on Mount Palatine, she threw aside her wings and casting away her wheel, entered Rome where she took up her abode forever.
RB88866. Orichalcum sestertius, RIC II 759(d), BMCRE III 1507, Hunter II 533, Cohen II 763, SRCV II 3599, aF, toned brass surfaces, some porosity, edge bump, weight 24.815 g, maximum diameter 30.5 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 134 - 138 A.D.; obverse HADRIANVS AVG COS III P P, laureate head right; reverse FORTVNA AVG (good fortune of the Emperor), Fortuna standing slightly left, head left, holding rudder by tiller in right hand, cornucopia in left hand, S - C (senatus consulto) across field; $120.00 SALE |PRICE| $108.00


Trajan, 25 January 98 - 8 or 9 August 117 A.D.

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The Romans believed that Fortuna, after deserting the Persians and Assyrians, took flight over Macedonia and saw Alexander perish as she passed into Egypt and into Syria. At last arriving on Mount Palatine, she threw aside her wings and casting away her wheel, entered Rome where she took up her abode forever.
RS88846. Silver denarius, Woytek 271b, BMCRE III 306, RSC II 87, BnF IV 269, RIC II 122, Strack 149, SRCV II 3125, Choice gF, well centered, attractive style, light toning, small edge cracks, weight 3.170 g, maximum diameter 19.8 mm, die axis 210o, Rome mint, mid 107 - 108 A.D.; obverse IMP TRAIANO AVG GER DAC P M TR P, laureate head right, slight drapery on far shoulder; reverse COS V P P S P Q R OPTIMO PRINC, Fortuna standing slightly left, head left, holding tiller of grounded rudder in right hand, cornucopia in left hand; ex Numismatik Naumann auction 72, part of lot 1047; $115.00 SALE |PRICE| $104.00


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

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The Romans believed that Fortuna, after deserting the Persians and Assyrians, took flight over Macedonia and saw Alexander perish as she passed into Egypt and into Syria. At last arriving on Mount Palatine, she threw aside her wings and casting away her wheel, entered Rome where she took up her abode forever. It appears, however, she kept her wheel. She just hid it under her seat.
RS89488. Silver denarius, RIC IV 189b; RSC III 461; BMCRE V p. 240, 432; Hunter 49; SRCV II 6334, VF, nice portrait, well centered, light tone, edge cracks, weight 2.912 g, maximum diameter 18.2 mm, die axis 0o, Rome mint, 203 A.D.; obverse SEVERVS PIVS AVG, laureate head right; reverse P M TR P XI COS III P P, Fortuna seated left, feet on low stool, holding rudder by tiller in right hand, scepter in left hand, wheel under seat; ex Numismatik Naumann auction 73, part of lot 970; $110.00 SALE |PRICE| $99.00


Gallienus, August 253 - September 268 A.D.

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Fortuna (equivalent to the Greek goddess Tyche) goddess of fortune, was the personification of luck. Fortuna Redux brought one safely home, in this case the emperor. The Romans believed that Fortuna, after deserting the Persians and Assyrians, took flight over Macedonia and saw Alexander perish as she passed into Syria and Egypt. At last arriving on Mount Palatine, she threw aside her wings and casting away her wheel (the wheel of fortune), entered Rome where she took up her abode forever. It appears, however, she kept her wheel. She just hid it under her seat.
RA89644. Billon antoninianus, GŲbl MIR 546g, RSC IV 279 (Mediolanum), RIC V-1 S484 (Mediolanum), SRCV III -, Hunter IV - (p. lxi), Choice aVF, near full silvering, full legends, centers a little weak, flan shape slightly irregular, weight 2.792 g, maximum diameter 23.5 mm, die axis 180o, 2nd officina, Rome mint, c. 262 - 263 A.D.; obverse GALLIENVS AVG, radiate bust right, drapery on left shoulder; reverse FORTVNA REDVX, Fortuna seated left, holding rudder on globe by tiller in right hand, cornucopia in left hand, S in exergue; ex Beast Coins, ex Dan Hoffman Gallienus Collection; $60.00 SALE |PRICE| $54.00




  



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