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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ |Themes & Provenance| ▸ |Personifications| ▸ |Courage||View Options:  |  |  |   

Courage (Virtus)

'Courage' is depicted as a helmeted soldier, often a female, in armor holding a spear, parazonium, victory or a shield. Virtus and Mars can be distinguished since Mars is usually shown nude and Virtus is always shown clothed.


Galerius, 1 March 305 - 5 May 311 A.D.

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Galerius was Caesar and tetrarch under Maximianus. Although a talented general and administrator, Galerius is better known for his key role in the "Great Persecution" of Christians. He stopped the persecution under the condition the Christians pray for his return to health from a serious illness. Galerius died horribly shortly after.
SH91317. Silver argenteus, RIC VI Rome 29b (R2), RSC V 219a, Hunter V 14, SRCV IV 14264, Choice VF, well centered, flow lines, nearly as struck but with die wear, weight 3.286 g, maximum diameter 19.5 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 294 A.D.; obverse MAXIMIANVS CAES, laureate head right; reverse VIRTVS MILITVM (courage of the soldiers), the four tetrarchs sacrificing over tripod in front of gated enclosure with six turrets; rare; $540.00 (475.20)


Severus Alexander, 13 March 222 - March 235 A.D.

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Virtus to the ancient Romans included valor, manliness, excellence, courage, character, and worth, perceived as masculine strengths (from Latin vir, "man"). Curiously, despite the masculine characteristics of virtus, the personification or deity Virtus was usually depicted as a female warrior, in armor holding a spear, parazonium, victory or a shield. Virtus and Mars can usually be distinguished since Mars is usually shown nude and Virtus is always shown clothed.
RS89495. Silver denarius, RIC IV 221, RSC III 580, BMCRE VI 653, SRCV II 7937, Hunter III -, Choice VF, excellent portrait, well centered, flow lines, small edge splits/cracks, weight 2.587 g, maximum diameter 19.9 mm, die axis 210o, Rome mint, c. 230 A.D.; obverse IMP SEV ALEXAND AVG, laureate head right; reverse VIRTVS AVG (the valor of the Emperor), Virtus seated left on cuirass and shield, in military garb with helmet and parazonium, branch in right hand, spear vertical behind in left; ex Numismatik Naumann auction 73, part of lot 970; $160.00 (140.80)


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

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Virtus to the ancient Romans included valor, manliness, excellence, courage, character, and worth, perceived as masculine strengths (from Latin vir, "man"). Curiously, despite the masculine characteristics of virtus, the personification or deity Virtus was usually depicted as a female warrior, in armor holding a spear, parazonium, victory or a shield. Virtus and Mars can usually be distinguished since Mars is usually shown nude and Virtus is always shown clothed.
RS88850. Silver denarius, Woytek 197a, RSC II 402, BnF IV 204, Hunter II 70, BMCRE III 230, RIC II 202, Strack I 113, Choice gF, excellent portrait, well centered, light toning, flow lines, light marks, small edge cracks, weight 3.363 g, maximum diameter 19.2 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, c. 104 A.D.; obverse IMP TRAIANO AVG GER DAC PM TR P COS V P P, laureate head right; reverse S P Q R OPTIMO PRINCIPI, Virtus standing right, inverted spear in right hand, parazonium in left hand, left foot on helmet; ex Numismatik Naumann auction 72, part of lot 1047; $115.00 (101.20)


Romano-British Empire, Carausius, Mid 286 - Spring or Early Summer 293 A.D.

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Apparently unpublished and the only example known to FORVM. In the references and websites examined, we did not find match to this type with this obverse legend and S-P across the reverse field, even considering all the possible exergue marks.
RA73494. Billon antoninianus, apparently unpublished, cf. RIC V-2 436 (S) (...P F AVG, C in ex., Mars), Webb Carausius 489 var. (same), aVF/aF, tight flan, rough, corrosion, half of reverse legend unstruck or obliterated, earthen deposits, weight 3.725 g, maximum diameter 23.9 mm, die axis 180o, Camulodunum(?) mint, c. 291 - early 293 A.D.; obverse IMP C CARAVSIVS P AVG, radiate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, middle reign portrait type; reverse VIRTVS AVG (the valor of the Emperor), Virtvs standing right, spear vertical behind in right hand, left hand resting on grounded shield, S - C (senatus consulto) flanking across fields, exergue off flan; from the Charles Peters Carausius Collection; unique(?); $110.00 (96.80)


Probus, Summer 276 - September 282 A.D.

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In 278, Probus defeated the Alamanni, expelled the Franks from Gaul, reorganized the Roman defenses on the Rhine and resettled the Germanic tribes in the devastated provinces. He adopted the titles Gothicus Maximus and Germanicus Maximus.
RA85002. Billon antoninianus, RIC V-2 435 corr. (also cuirassed), Hunter IV 112 corr. (same), Cohen VI 819, Pink VI-1 p. 61, Choice VF, nice portrait, much silvering on reverse, some light corrosion, weight 3.724 g, maximum diameter 22.5 mm, die axis 180o, 4th officina, Ticinum (Pavia, Italy) mint, 278 A.D.; obverse IMP C M AVR PROBVS AVG, radiate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, from behind; reverse VIRTVS AVG (the valor of the Emperor), Virtus standing facing, helmeted head left, Victory in right hand, resting left hand on grounded spear and shield, QXXT in exergue; $95.00 (83.60)


Romano-British Empire, Carausius, Mid 286 - Spring or Early Summer 293 A.D.

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Virtus was a specific virtue in ancient Rome. It carried connotations of valor, manliness, excellence, courage, character, and worth, perceived as masculine strengths (from Latin vir, "man"). Virtus applied exclusively to a man's behavior in the public sphere, that is to the application of duty to the res publica in the cursus honorum. Private business was no place to earn virtus, even when it involved courage or feats of arms or other good qualities. There could be no virtue in exploiting one's manliness in the pursuit of personal wealth, for example. It was thus a frequently stated virtue of Roman emperors and was personified as the deity Virtus.
RA73256. Billon antoninianus, Webb Carausius 1172, RIC V-2 1040 (R), Hunter IV -, SRCV IV -, Burton Latimer -, Bicester -, F, green patina, obverse slightly off center, earthen deposits, scratches, weight 2.586 g, maximum diameter 20.8 mm, die axis 225o, unmarked mint, c. mid 286 - 287; obverse IMP CARAVSIVS P AVG, radiate, draped, and cuirassed bust right; reverse VIRTVS AVG (courage of the Emperor), Virtus (or Mars) standing right, helmeted and draped, spear vertical in left hand, right hand resting on large grounded shield, no mint marks; from the Charles Peters Carausius Collection; rare; $90.00 (79.20)


Probus, Summer 276 - September 282 A.D.

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Virtus was a specific virtue in ancient Rome. It carried connotations of valor, manliness, excellence, courage, character, and worth, perceived as masculine strengths (from Latin vir, "man"). Virtus applied exclusively to a man's behavior in the public sphere, that is to the application of duty to the res publica in the cursus honorum. Private business was no place to earn virtus, even when it involved courage or feats of arms or other good qualities. There could be no virtue in exploiting one's manliness in the pursuit of personal wealth, for example. It was thus a frequently stated virtue of Roman emperors and was personified as the deity Virtus.
RA84026. Silvered antoninianus, RIC V-2 816; SRCV III 12071 var. (...P F AVG); Cohen VI 894; Hunter IV -, Choice EF, full silvering, full circles centering, some flatly struck areas, weight 3.888 g, maximum diameter 22.4 mm, die axis 180o, 5th officina, Siscia (Sisak, Croatia) mint, emission 5, 278 A.D.; obverse IMP C M AVR PROBVS P AVG, radiate bust left in consular robe, eagle-tipped scepter in right hand; reverse VIRTVS PROBI AVG (the valor of Emperor Probus), Mars walking right, helmeted, nude but for cloak tied in belt at waist and flying behind, transverse spear upward right in right hand, trophy of captured arms over left shoulder in left hand, XXIV in exergue; $90.00 (79.20)


Romano-British Empire, Carausius, Mid 286 - Spring or Early Summer 293 A.D.

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Mars, the god of war, and Virtus, the personification of courage and valor, are sometimes confused in coin descriptions. Mars is male and usually nude. Virtus is female and is never nude.
RA73247. Billon antoninianus, apparently unpublished; RIC V-2 1034 var. (legends), Webb Carausius 1180 var. (obv. legend), Burton Latimer -, Carausian Hoard -, Bicester -, F, nice green patina, slight bend in coin, corrosion, weight 4.222 g, maximum diameter 24.3 mm, die axis 0o, uncertain British mint, c. 290 - summer 293 A.D.; obverse IMP CARAVSIVS P F AVG, radiate, draped, and cuirassed bust right; reverse VIRTVS AVG (the valor of the Emperor), Mars walking right, helmeted, nude but for cloak on his shoulders and flying behind, transverse spear in right hand, trophy across shoulder in left hand; from the Charles Peters Carausius Collection; extremely rare; $80.00 (70.40)


Probus, Summer 276 - September 282 A.D.

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The officina number V was carelessly engraved and appears as II. We know the numeral does not indicate the second officina because the second officina was indicated with an S (for secunda), not the Roman numeral II.
RA87901. Billon antoninianus, RIC V-2 810; SRCV III 12071; Cohen VI 900; Hunter IV 236 var. (6th officina); Pink p. 51, series 5, Choice VF, golden toned traces of silvering, excellent centering, weight 3.886 g, maximum diameter 22.3 mm, die axis 0o, 5th officina, Siscia (Sisak, Croatia) mint, emission 5, 278 A.D.; obverse IMP C M AVR PROBVS P F AVG, radiate bust left in consular robe, eagle-tipped scepter in right hand; reverse VIRTVS PROBI AVG (the valor of Emperor Probus), Mars walking right, helmeted, nude but for cloak tied in belt at waist and flying behind, transverse spear upward right in right hand, trophy of captured arms over left shoulder in left hand, XXIV in exergue; ex Beast Coins; $75.00 (66.00)


Philip I the Arab, February 244 - End of September 249 A.D.

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After murdering young Gordian III, Philip needed a quick return to Rome to secure his rule, so he made peace with Shapur and ended the campaign. The "P M" on the obverse below the bust likely means "Persicus Maximus" boasting total victory, rather than the traditional "Pontifex Maximus."
RS87527. Silver antoninianus, RSC IV 243, RIC IV 71, Hunter III 122, SRCV III 8977, F, toned, porous, bumps and scratches, small edge chip/crack, weight 3.134 g, maximum diameter 22.2 mm, die axis 0o, Antioch (Antakya, Turkey) mint, 244 - 245 A.D.; obverse IMP C M IVL PHILIPPVS P F AVG P M, radiate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, from behind; reverse VIRTVS EXERCITVS (courage of the army), Virtus standing right, spear in right hand, left resting on shield, left foot on helmet; scarce; $50.00 (44.00)




  



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Catalog current as of Saturday, August 17, 2019.
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Courage