Rare ancient Roman silver coin denarius Caracalla Felicitas Caduceus, cornucopia
One original ancient Roman coin of. (Good VF) Genuine and original tone. / IMP CAES MAVR ANTON AVG, draped and cuirassed bust of emperor as youth right. / FELICITAS PVBLICA, Felicitas standing left, holding caduceus and cornucopiae. Very nice and rare inclusion to the finest ancient coin collection. In ancient Roman culture , felicitas (from the Latin adjective felix , “fruitful, blessed, happy, lucky”) is a condition of divinely inspired productivity, blessedness, or happiness. Felicitas could encompass both a woman’s fertility, and a general’s luck or good fortune. The divine personification of Felicitas was cultivated as a goddess. Although felicitas may be translated as “good luck, ” and the goddess Felicitas shares some characteristics and attributes with Fortuna , the two were distinguished in Roman religion. Fortuna was unpredictable and her effects could be negative, as the existence of an altar to Mala Fortuna (“Bad Luck”) acknowledges. Felicitas, however, always had a positive significance. She appears with several epithets that focus on aspects of her divine power. Felicitas had a temple in Rome as early as the mid-2nd century BC, and during the Republican era was honored at two official festivals of Roman state religion , on July 1 in conjunction with Juno and October 9 as Fausta Felicitas. Felicitas continued to play an important role in Imperial cult , and was frequently portrayed on coins as a symbol of the wealth and prosperity of the Roman Empire. Her primary attributes are the caduceus and cornucopia. The English word “felicity” derives from felicitas. As virtue or quality. In its religious sense, felix means blessed, under the protection or favour of the gods; happy. That which is felix has achieved the pax divom , a state of harmony or peace with the divine world. The word derives from Indo-European dhe(i)l, meaning happy, fruitful, productive, full of nourishment. ” Related Latin words include femina , “woman” (a person who provides nourishment or suckles); felo , “to suckle” in regard to an infant; filius , “son” (a person suckled); and probably fello, fellare , “to perform fellatio “, with an originally non-sexual meaning of “to suck. The continued magical association of sexual potency, increase, and general good fortune in productivity is indicated by the inscription Hic habitat Felicitas (“Felicitas dwells here”) on an apotropaic relief of a phallus at a bakery in Pompeii. In archaic Roman culture, felicitas was a quality expressing the close bonds between religion and agriculture. Felicitas was at issue when the suovetaurilia sacrifice conducted by Cato the Elder as censor in 184 BC was challenged as having been unproductive, perhaps for vitium , ritual error. In the following three years Rome had been plagued by a number of ill omens and prodigies (prodigia) , such as severe storms, pestilence, and “showers of blood, ” which had required a series of expiations (supplicationes). The speech Cato gave to justify himself is known as the Oratio de lustri sui felicitate , “Speech on the Felicitas of his Lustrum “, and survives only as a possible quotation by a later source. Cato says that a lustrum should be found to have produced felicitas “if the crops had filled up the storehouses, if the vintage had been abundant, if the olive oil had flowed deliberately from the groves”, regardless of whatever else might have occurred. The efficacy of a ritual might be thus expressed as its felicitas. The ability to promote felicitas became proof of one’s excellence and divine favor. Felicitas was simultaneously a divine gift, a quality that resided within an individual, and a contagious capacity for generating productive conditions outside oneself: it was a form of ” charismatic authority”. Cicero lists felicitas as one of the four virtues of the exemplary general, along with knowledge of military science (scientia rei militaris) , virtus (both “valor” and “virtue”), and auctoritas , authority. Virtus was a regular complement to felicitas , which was not thought to attach to those who were unworthy. Cicero attributed felicitas particularly to Pompeius Magnus (“Pompey the Great”) , and distinguished this felicitas even from the divine good luck enjoyed by successful generals such as Fabius Maximus , Marcellus , Scipio the Younger and Marius. The sayings (sententiae) of Publilius Syrus are often attached to divine qualities, including Felicitas: “The people’s Felicitas is powerful when she is merciful” (potens misericors publica est Felicitas). Epithets of Felicitas include. Augusta , the goddess in her association with the emperor and Imperial cult. Fausta (“Favored, Fortunate”), a state divinity cultivated on October 9 in conjunction with Venus Victrix and the Genius Populi Romani (” Genius ” of the Roman People, also known as the Genius Publicus). Publica , the “public” Felicitas; that is, the aspect of the divine force that was concerned with the res publica or commonwealth, or with the Roman People (Populus Romanus). Temporum , the Felicitas “of the times”, a title which emphasize the felicitas being experienced in current circumstances. The cornucopia (from Latin cornu copiae) or horn of plenty is a symbol of abundance and nourishment, commonly a large horn-shaped container overflowing with produce, flowers, nuts, other edibles, or wealth in some form. Originating in classical antiquity , it has continued as a symbol in Western art , and it is particularly associated with the Thanksgiving holiday in North America. Allegorical depiction of the Roman goddess Abundantia with a cornucopia, by Rubens ca. Mythology offers multiple explanations of the origin of the cornucopia. One of the best-known involves the birth and nurturance of the infant Zeus , who had to be hidden from his devouring father Cronus. In a cave on Mount Ida on the island of Crete , baby Zeus was cared for and protected by a number of divine attendants, including the goat Amalthea (“Nourishing Goddess”), who fed him with her milk. The suckling future king of the gods had unusual abilities and strength, and in playing with his nursemaid accidentally broke off one of her horns , which then had the divine power to provide unending nourishment, as the foster mother had to the god. In another myth, the cornucopia was created when Heracles (Roman Hercules) wrestled with the river god Achelous and wrenched off one of his horns; river gods were sometimes depicted as horned. This version is represented in the Achelous and Hercules mural painting by the American Regionalist artist Thomas Hart Benton. The cornucopia became the attribute of several Greek and Roman deities , particularly those associated with the harvest, prosperity, or spiritual abundance, such as personifications of Earth (Gaia or Terra); the child Plutus , god of riches and son of the grain goddess Demeter ; the nymph Maia ; and Fortuna , the goddess of luck, who had the power to grant prosperity. In Roman Imperial cult , abstract Roman deities who fostered peace (pax Romana) and prosperity were also depicted with a cornucopia, including Abundantia , “Abundance” personified, and Annona , goddess of the grain supply to the city of Rome. Pluto , the classical ruler of the underworld in the mystery religions , was a giver of agricultural, mineral and spiritual wealth, and in art often holds a cornucopia to distinguish him from the gloomier Hades , who holds a drinking horn instead. In modern depictions, the cornucopia is typically a hollow, horn-shaped wicker basket filled with various kinds of festive fruit and vegetables. In North America, the cornucopia has come to be associated with Thanksgiving and the harvest. Cornucopia is also the name of the annual November Wine and Food celebration in Whistler , British Columbia, Canada. Two cornucopias are seen in the flag and state seal of Idaho. The Great Seal of North Carolina depicts Liberty standing and Plenty holding a cornucopia. The coat of arms of Colombia , Panama , Peru and Venezuela , and the Coat of Arms of the State of Victoria, Australia , also feature the cornucopia, symbolising prosperity. The horn of plenty is used on body art and at Halloween, as it is a symbol of fertility, fortune and abundance. Base of a statue of Louis XV of France. The caduceus from Greek “herald’s staff” is the staff carried by Hermes in Greek mythology. The same staff was also borne by heralds in general, for example by Iris , the messenger of Hera. It is a short staff entwined by two serpents , sometimes surmounted by wings. In Roman iconography it was often depicted being carried in the left hand of Mercury , the messenger of the gods, guide of the dead and protector of merchants, shepherds, gamblers, liars, and thieves. As a symbolic object it represents Hermes (or the Roman Mercury), and by extension trades, occupations or undertakings associated with the god. In later Antiquity the caduceus provided the basis for the astrological symbol representing the planet Mercury. Thus, through its use in astrology and alchemy , it has come to denote the elemental metal of the same name. This association is ancient, and consistent from the Classical period to modern times. The caduceus is also used as a symbol representing printing, again by extension of the attributes of Mercury (in this case associated with writing and eloquence). The caduceus is sometimes mistakenly used as a symbol of medicine and/or medical practice , especially in North America , because of widespread confusion with the traditional medical symbol, the rod of Asclepius , which has only a single snake and no wings. The term kerukeion denoted any herald’s staff, not necessarily associated with Hermes in particular. Lewis Richard Farnell (1909) in his study of the cult of Hermes assumed that the two snakes had simply developed out of ornaments of the shepherd’s crook used by heralds as their staff. This view has been rejected by later authors pointing to parallel iconography in the Ancient Near East. It has been argued that the staff or wand entwined by two snakes was itself representing a god in the pre-anthropomorphic era. Like the herm or priapus , it would thus be a predecessor of the anthropomorphic Hermes of the classical era. William Hayes Ward (1910) discovered that symbols similar to the classical caduceus sometimes appeared on Mesopotamian cylinder seals. He suggested the symbol originated some time between 3000 and 4000 BCE, and that it might have been the source of the Greek caduceus. Ward’s research into his own work, published in 1916, in which he suggested that the prototype of Hermes was an “Oriental deity of Babylonian extraction” represented in his earliest form as a snake god. From this perspective, the caduceus was originally representative of Hermes himself, in his early form as the Underworld god Ningishzida , “messenger” of the “Earth Mother”. The caduceus is mentioned in passing by Walter Burkert. As “really the image of copulating snakes taken over from Ancient Near Eastern tradition”. In Egyptian iconography, the Djed pillar is depicted as containing a snake in a frieze of the Dendera Temple complex. The rod of Moses and the brazen serpent are frequently compared to the caduceus, especially as Moses is acting as a messenger of God to the Pharaoh at the point in the narrative where he changes his staff into a serpent. The Homeric hymn to Hermes relates how Hermes offered his lyre fashioned from a tortoise shell as compensation for the cattle he stole from his half brother Apollo. Apollo in return gave Hermes the caduceus as a gesture of friendship. The association with the serpent thus connects Hermes to Apollo , as later the serpent was associated with Asclepius , the “son of Apollo”. The association of Apollo with the serpent is a continuation of the older Indo-European dragon -slayer motif. Wilhelm Heinrich Roscher (1913) pointed out that the serpent as an attribute of both Hermes and Asclepius is a variant of the “pre-historic semi-chthonic serpent hero known at Delphi as Python “, who in classical mythology is slain by Apollo. One Greek myth of origin of the caduceus is part of the story of Tiresias , who found two snakes copulating and killed the female with his staff. Tiresias was immediately turned into a woman, and so remained until he was able to repeat the act with the male snake seven years later. This staff later came into the possession of the god Hermes, along with its transformative powers. Another myth suggests that Hermes (or Mercury) saw two serpents entwined in mortal combat. Separating them with his wand he brought about peace between them, and as a result the wand with two serpents came to be seen as a sign of peace. In Rome, Livy refers to the caduceator who negotiated peace arrangements under the diplomatic protection of the caduceus he carried. In some vase paintings ancient depictions of the Greek kerukeion are somewhat different from the commonly seen modern representation. These representations feature the two snakes atop the staff (or rod), crossed to create a circle with the heads of the snakes resembling horns. This old graphic form, with an additional crossbar to the staff, seems to have provided the basis for the graphical sign of Mercury used in Greek astrology from Late Antiquity. Use in alchemy and occultism. As the symbol of both the planet and the metal named for Mercury, the caduceus became an important symbol in alchemy. The crucified serpent was also revived as an alchemical symbol for fixatio , and John Donne (Sermons 10:190) uses “crucified Serpent” as a title of Jesus Christ. A simplified variant of the caduceus is to be found in dictionaries, indicating a commercial term entirely in keeping with the association of Hermes with commerce. In this form the staff is often depicted with two winglets attached and the snakes are omitted (or reduced to a small ring in the middle). Misuse as symbol of medicine. It is relatively common, especially in the United States, to find the caduceus, with its two snakes and wings, used as a symbol of medicine instead of the correct rod of Asclepius, with only a single snake. This usage is erroneous, popularised largely as a result of the adoption of the caduceus as its insignia by the US Army medical corps in 1902 at the insistence of a single officer though there are conflicting claims as to whether this was Capt. The rod of Asclepius is the dominant symbol for professional healthcare associations in the United States. One survey found that 62% of professional healthcare associations used the rod of Asclepius as their symbol. The same survey found that 76% of commercial healthcare organizations used the Caduceus symbol. The initial errors leading to its adoption and the continuing confusion it generates are well known to medical historians. The long-standing and abundantly attested historical associations of the caduceus with commerce, theft, deception, and death are considered by many to be inappropriate in a symbol used by those engaged in the healing arts. This has occasioned significant criticism of the use of the caduceus in a medical context. Phallic relief with the inscription “Felicitas dwells here”. The continued magical association of sexual potency, increase, and general good fortune in productivity is indicated by the inscription Hic habitat Felicitas (“Felicitas dwells here”). On an apotropaic relief of a phallus at a bakery in Pompeii. The cult of Felicitas is first recorded in the mid-2nd century BC, when a temple was dedicated to her by Lucius Licinius Lucullus , grandfather of the famous Lucullus , using booty from his military campaigns in Spain in 151150 BC. Predecessor to a noted connoisseur of art, Lucullus obtained and dedicated several statues looted by Mummius from Greece , including works by Praxiteles : the Thespiades, a statue group of the Muses brought from Thespiae , and a Venus. This Temple of Felicitas was among several that had a secondary function as art museums, and was recommended by Cicero along with the Fortuna Huiusce Diei Temple of for those who enjoyed viewing art but lacked the means to amass private collections. The temple was located in the Velabrum in the Vicus Tuscus of the Campus Martius , along a route associated with triumphs : the axle of Julius Caesar’s triumphal chariot in 46 BC is supposed to have broken in front of it. The temple was destroyed by a fire during the reign of Claudius , though the Muses were rescued. It was not rebuilt at this site. Sulla identified himself so closely with the quality of felicitcas that he adopted the agnomen (nickname) Felix. His domination as dictator resulted from civil war and unprecedented military violence within the city of Rome itself, but he legitimated his authority by claiming that the mere fact of his victory was proof he was felix and enjoyed the divine favor of the gods. Republican precedent was to regard a victory as belonging to the Roman people as a whole, as represented by the triumphal procession at which the honored general submitted public offerings at the Temple of Jupiter Optimus Maximus at the Capitol , and Sulla thus established an important theological element for the later authority of the emperor. Although he established no new temple for Felicitas, he celebrated games (ludi circenses) in her honor. On July 1 and October 9, Felicitas received a sacrifice in Capitolio, on the Capitoline Hill , on the latter date as Fausta Felicitas in conjunction with the Genius Publicus (“Public Genius “) and Venus Victrix. These observances probably took place at an altar or small shrine (aedicula) , not a separate temple precinct. The Acts of the Arval Brothers (1st century AD) prescribe a cow as the sacrifice for Felicitas. Pompey established a shrine for Felicitas at his new theater and temple complex , which used the steps to the Temple of Venus Victrix as seating. Felicitas was cultivated with Honor and Virtue, and she may have shared her shrine there with Victory , as she did in the Imperial era as Felicitas Caesaris (Caesar’s Felicitas) at Ameria. Pompey’s collocation of deities may have been intended to parallel the Capitoline grouping. A fourth cult site for Felicitas in Rome had been planned by Caesar, and possibly begun before his death. Work on the temple was finished by Lepidus on the site of the Curia Hostilia , which had been restored by Sulla, destroyed by fire in 52 BC, and demolished by Caesar in 44 BC. This temple seems not to have existed by the time of Hadrian. Its site probably lies under the church of Santi Luca e Martina. V It has been suggested that an Ionic capital and a tufa wall uncovered at the site are the only known remains of the temple. Felicitas was a watchword used by Julius Caesar’s troops at the Battle of Thapsus , the names of deities and divine personifications being often recorded for this purpose in the late Republic. Felicitas Iulia (“Julian Felicitas”) was the name of a colony in Roman Spain that was refounded under Caesar and known also as Olisipo , present-day Lisbon , Portugal. During the Republic, only divine personifications known to have had a temple or public altar were featured on coins, among them Felicitas. On the only extant Republican coin type, Felicitas appears as a bust and wearing a diadem. Felicitas Temporum represented by a pair of cornucopiae on a denarius (193-194 AD) issued under Pescennius Niger. A calendar from Cumae records that a supplicatio was celebrated on April 16 for the Felicitas of the Empire, in honor of the day Augustus was first acclaimed imperator. In extant Roman coinage, Felicitas appears with a caduceus only during the Imperial period. The earliest known example is Felicitas Publica on a dupondius issued under Galba. Felicitas Temporum (“Prosperity of the Times”), reflecting a Golden Age ideology, was among the innovative virtues that began to appear during the reigns of Trajan and Antoninus Pius. Septimius Severus , whose reign followed the exceedingly brief tenure of Pertinax and unsatisfactory conditions under Commodus , used coinage to express his efforts toward restoring the Pax Romana , with themes such as Felicitas Temporum and Felicitas Saeculi, “Prosperity of the Age” (saeculum) , prevalent in the years 200 to 202. Some Imperial coins use these phrases with images of women and children in the emperor’s family. When the Empire came under Christian rule, the personified virtues that had been cultivated as deities could be treated as abstract concepts. Felicitas Perpetua Saeculi (“Perpetual Blessedness of the Age”) appears on a coin issued under Constantine , the first emperor to convert to Christianity. Antoninus (Called’Caracalla’) Caesar: 195-198 A. With Septimius Severus 209-211 A. With Septimius Severus and Geta 211-217 A. Caracallus , born Lucius Septimius Bassianus and later called Marcus Aurelius Antoninus and Marcus Aurelius Severus Antoninus , was the eldest son of Septimius Severus and Roman Emperor from 211 to 217. He was one of the most nefarious of Roman emperors. Caracalla’s reign was notable for. The Constitutio Antoniniana , granting Roman citizenship to freemen throughout the Roman Empire , according to Cassius Dio in order to increase taxation. Debasing the silver content in Roman coinage by 25 percent in order to pay the legions; and. The construction of a large thermae outside Rome, the remains of which, known as the Baths of Caracalla , can still be seen today. “Caracalla was the common enemy of all mankind, ” wrote Edward Gibbon. He spent his reign traveling from province to province so that each could experience his rapine and cruelty. Caracalla’s real name was Marcus Aurelius Antoninus. He got the nickname from his habit of wearing a cloak by the same name. Caracalla was the elder son of Septimius Severus and brother of Geta whom he positively hated. Hated so much, in fact, that he had him murdered a few years later. In the mayhem that followed, Caracalla’s men went on a killing spree of anyone suspected of being a Geta sympathizer. In the massacre, it’s estimated up to 20,000 people lost their lives. Caracalla would go on to rule for another five years but his bad karma caught up with him and he was assassinated in a plot perpetrated by Macrinus. As an emperor Caracalla possessed few redeeming qualities and among the worst of them would be his ruinous drain on the treasury. Because he knew everyone hated him he sought the protection of the army. He raised the pay of the solider to about four denarii per day, nearly quadrupling the salary of just a few years prior. And on top of their regular salary he heaped endless bonuses and other concessions meant to endear them. This not only intensified the hatred against him but also had the effect of corrupting the military who had become accustomed to this life of luxury and throwing the economy into lasting disarray. Caracalla, of mixed Punic / Berber and Syrian Arab descent, was born Lucius Septimius Bassianus in Lugdunum , Gaul (now Lyon , France), the son of the later Emperor Septimius Severus and Julia Domna. At the age of seven, his name was changed to Marcus Aurelius Septimius Bassianus Antoninus to solidify connection to the family of Marcus Aurelius. He was later given the Caracalla nickname , which referred to the Gallic hooded tunic he habitually wore and which he made fashionable. His father, who had taken the imperial throne in 193, died in 211 while touring the northern marches at Eboracum (York), and Caracalla was proclaimed co-emperor with his brother Publius Septimius Antoninius Geta. However since both of them wanted to be the sole ruler, tensions between the brothers were evident in the few months they ruled the empire together (they even considered dividing the empire in two, but were persuaded not to do so by their mother). In December 211, Caracalla had Geta, the family of his former father-in-law Gaius Fulvius Plautianus , his wife Fulvia Plautilla (also his paternal second cousin), and her brother assassinated. He persecuted Geta’s supporters and ordered a damnatio memoriae by the Senate against his brother. In 213 Caracalla went north to the German frontier to deal with the Alamanni who were causing trouble in the Agri Decumates. The emperor managed to win the sympathy of the soldiers with generous pay rises and popular gestures, like marching on foot among the ordinary soldiers, eating the same food, and even grinding his own flour with them. Caracalla defeated the Alamanni in a battle near the river Main , but failed to win a decisive victory over them. After a peace agreement was brokered, the senate conferred upon him the title “Germanicus Maximus”. In the next year the emperor traveled to the East. When the inhabitants of Alexandria heard Caracalla’s claims that he had killed Geta in self-defense, they produced a satire mocking this claim, as well as Caracalla’s other pretensions. Caracalla responded to this insult savagely in 215 by slaughtering the deputation of leading citizens who had unsuspectingly assembled before the city to greet his arrival, and then unleashed his troops for several days of looting and plunder in Alexandria. According to historian Cassius Dio, over 20,000 people were killed. During his reign as emperor, Caracalla raised the annual pay of an average legionary to 675 denarii and lavished many benefits on the army which he both feared and admired, as instructed by his father Septimius Severus who had told him to always mind the soldiers and ignore everyone else. His official portraiture marked a break with the detached images of the philosopher-emperors who preceded him: his close-cropped haircut is that of a soldier, his pugnacious scowl a realistic and threatening presence. The rugged soldier-emperor iconic type was adopted by several of the following emperors who depended on the support of the legions, like Trebonianus Gallus. Seeking to secure his own legacy, Caracalla also commissioned one of Rome’s last major architectural achievements, the Baths of Caracalla , the largest public bath ever built in ancient Rome. The main room of the baths was larger than St. Peter’s Basilica , and could easily accommodate over 2,000 Roman citizens at one time. The bath house opened in 216, complete with private rooms and outdoor tracks. Internally it was decorated with golden trim and mosaics. The Roman Empire and its provinces in 210 AD. While travelling from Edessa to begin a war with Parthia , he was assassinated while urinating at a roadside near Harran on. By Julius Martialis, an officer in the imperial bodyguard. Herodian says that Martialis’ brother had been executed a few days earlier by Caracalla on an unproven charge; Cassius Dio, on the other hand, says that Martialis was resentful at not being promoted to the rank of centurion. The escort of the emperor gave him privacy to relieve himself, and Martialis ran forward and killed Caracalla with a single sword stroke. He immediately fled on horseback, but was killed by a bodyguard archer. Caracalla was succeeded by the Praetorian Prefect of the Guard, Macrinus , who almost certainly was part of the conspiracy against the emperor. According to Aurelius Victor in his Epitome de Caesaribus , the cognomen “Caracalla” refers to a Gallic cloak that Caracalla adopted as a personal fashion, which spread to his army and his court. Cassius Dio and the Historia Augusta. Agree that his nickname derived from his cloak, but do not mention its country of origin. Caracalla and Geta by Lawrence Alma-Tadema. Legendary king of Britain. Geoffrey of Monmouth’s legendary History of the Kings of Britain makes Caracalla a king of Britain, referring to him by his actual name “Bassianus”, rather than the nickname Caracalla. After Severus’s death, the Romans wanted to make Geta king of Britain, but the Britons preferred Bassianus because he had a British mother. The two brothers fought a battle in which Geta was killed, and Bassianus succeeded to the throne. He ruled until he was betrayed by his Pictish allies and overthrown by Carausius , who, according to Geoffrey, was a Briton, rather than the Menapian Gaul that he actually was. All items will be sent out in protected envelope and boxed if necessary. Every item offered by cameleoncoins is unconditionally guaranteed to be genuine & authentic. If in the unlikely event that an item is found to be reproduction, full return privileges are within 14 days of receiving the coins. The item “Rare ancient Roman silver coin denarius Caracalla Felicitas Caduceus, cornucopia” is in sale since Tuesday, July 16, 2019. This item is in the category “Coins & Paper Money\Coins\ Ancient\Roman\ Imperial (27 BC-476 AD)”. The seller is “cameleoncoins” and is located in Winnetka, California. This item can be shipped worldwide.
- Date: 205
- Ruler: Caracalla
- Denomination: Denarius