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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."


Severus II, 25 July 306 - Summer 307 A.D.

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"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." -- Roman Bronze Coins From Paganism to Christianity 294-364 A.D. by Victor Failmezger
RT91569. Billon follis, RIC VI Lugdunum 199a, Bastien XI 377, SRCV IV 14632, Cohen VII 43, Choice gVF, well centered, sharp portrait, reverse center weak, light deposits, weight 10.028 g, maximum diameter 28.8 mm, die axis 180o, 1st officina, Lugdunum (Lyon, France) mint, as caesar, 1 May 305 - 25 Jul 306 A.D.; obverse SEVERVS NOB C, laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right; reverse GENIO POPVLI ROMANI (to the guardian spirit of the Roman People), Genius standing left, kalathos on head, naked but for chlamys over shoulders and left arm, pouring libations from patera in right hand over altar at feet on left, cornucopia in left hand, star right, PLC in exergue; from the Maxwell Hunt Collection; scarce; $450.00 (396.00)


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.
RT91230. Silvered follis, RIC VI Heraclea 20a, SRCV IV 14061, Cohen VII 89, Hunter V -, Choice EF, full border centering, much silvering, excellent portrait, attractive reverse, round flan, weight 10.614 g, maximum diameter 27.3 mm, die axis 180o, Heraclea (Marmara Ereglisi, Turkey) mint, 297 - 283 A.D.; obverse FL VAL CONSTANTIVS NOB CAES, laureate head right; 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, HTΓ in exergue; ex Numismatik Naumann auction 76 (7 Apr 2019), part of lot 942; $200.00 (176.00)


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

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"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." -- Roman Bronze Coins From Paganism to Christianity 294-364 A.D. by Victor Failmezger
RT92316. Billon follis, RIC IV Alexandria 144b, cf. Cohen VII 3 (IMP C GAL VALER...), Hunter V 122 (K-P vice K-X), SRCV IV -, Choice EF, perfect full-border centering, bold strike with sharp dies, some silvering, flow lines, minor flan flaw obv. right side, weight 7.910 g, maximum diameter 25.1 mm, die axis 180o, 3rd officina, Alexandria mint, c. 311 - 312 A.D.; obverse IMP C GALER VAL MAXIMINVS P F AVG, laureate head right; reverse BONO GENIO PII IMPERATORIS (to the good guardian spirit of the pious Emperor), Genius standing slightly left, head left, kalathos on head, nude but for chlamys over shoulders and left arm, patera in right hand, cornucopia in left, crescent horns up upper left, K lower left, Γ over X right, ALE in exergue; $180.00 (158.40)


Galerius, 1 March 305 - 5 May 311 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. This coin is dedicated "to the Genius (guardian spirits) of our emperors and caesars."
RB91231. Billon follis, RIC VI Cyzicus 11b, SRCV IV 14342, Cohen VII 39, Hunter V 52 var. (smaller head on obverse), Choice EF, full borders, near full silvering, attractive style, small cut on obverse, weight 12.008 g, maximum diameter 27.8 mm, die axis 0o, 1st officina, Cyzicus (Kapu Dagh, Turkey) mint, 295 - 296 A.D.; obverse GAL VAL MAXIMIANVS NOB CAES, laureate head right; reverse GENIO AVGG ET CAESARVM NN (to the guardian spirits of our emperors and caesars), 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, KA in exergue; ex Numismatik Naumann auction 76 (7 Apr 2019), part of lot 942; $160.00 (140.80)


Carinus, First Half 283 - Spring 285 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. The legend GENIVS EXERCITI dedicates this coin to the Genius of the army.
RA91628. Billon antoninianus, RIC V-2 255; Cohen VI 38; SRCV III 12346; Pink VI/2, p. 34; Hunter IV - (p. clxii), Choice gVF, excellent centering, small edge crack, light encrustations, weight 4.120 g, maximum diameter 21.6 mm, die axis 180o, 1st Officina, Rome mint, 3rd emission, Aug 283 A.D.; obverse IMP C M AVR CARINVS AVG, radiate, draped, and cuirassed bust right; reverse GENIVS EXERCITI, Genius standing left, kalathos on head, nude but for cloak over shoulders, patera in extended right hand, cornucopia in left hand, KAA in exergue; from the Maxwell Hunt Collection; $160.00 (140.80)


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

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"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." -- Roman Bronze Coins From Paganism to Christianity 294-364 A.D. by Victor Failmezger
RT92315. Billon follis, Hunter V 65 (also parallel ties and 2nd officina) RIC VI Alexandria 100a, SRCV IV 14730, Cohen VII 40, Choice EF, golden toned silvering, bold centered strike, flow lines, weight 6.426 g, maximum diameter 23.7 mm, die axis 180o, 2nd officina, Alexandria mint, as caesar, late 308 - 310 A.D.; obverse GAL VAL MAXIMINVS NOB CAES, laureate head right, with parallel ties; reverse GENIO CA-ESARIS (to the guardian spirit of the prince), Genius standing slightly left, head left, kalathos on head, pouring liquor from patera in right hand, cornucopia in left hand, K lower left, B over P right, ALE in exergue; $160.00 (140.80)


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; $140.00 (123.20)


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, QCASSIVS below; $140.00 (123.20)


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.
RT91629. Billon follis, Hunter V 16 (also 1st officina), RIC VI Lugdunum 167a, Bastien XI 311, Cohen VII 122, SRCV IV -, Choice VF, centered on a broad flan, brown tone with scattered small green encrustations, flow lines, light marks, parts of legends weak, weight 8.225 g, maximum diameter 29.2 mm, die axis 0o, 1st 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, flaming altar at feet left, A right, PLC in exergue; from the Maxwell Hunt Collection; $130.00 (114.40)


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.
RT92327. Billon follis, RIC VI Alexandria 34b, SRCV IV 13283, Cohen VI 184, Hunter V -, gVF, some silvering, centered on a tight flan, weight 9.374 g, maximum diameter 24.5 mm, die axis 0o, 5th officina, Alexandria mint, 302 - 303 A.D.; obverse IMP C M A MAXIMIANVS P F AVG, laureate head right; reverse GENIO POPVLI ROMANI (to the guardian spirit of the Roman People), Genius of the Roman people standing slightly, head left, nude but for kalathos on head and chlamys on shoulders and left arm, pouring libations from patera in right hand, cornucopia in left hand, E upper right, S - P across field, ALE in exergue; $130.00 (114.40)




  



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Genius