Roman Imperial coin, silver, AR denarius. Struck during the reign of Marcus Aurelius Severus Alexander Augustus in honor of his mother Julia Mamaea (180-235 C.E.) during her lifetime, 231 C.E. The draped bust of Julia Mamaea wear a diadem and faces right in profile, on obverse with the inscriptions "IVLIA MAMAEA AVG" on left and right of image. On reverse, the standing figure of Venus, the goddess of love, beauty, sex, fertility, prosperity, and desire, faces left and holds a helmet in her right hand and a scepter in her left with a shield at her feet with the inscriptions "VENVS VICTRIX" on left and right of image.
Date: 231 C.E.
Remarks: Venus' many functions in Roman cult and myth can be identified by numerous epithets she was given that refer to different aspects or roles of the goddess. Venus Victrix, or Venus the Victorious, was a Romanised aspect of the armed Aphrodite that Greeks had inherited from the East, where the goddess Ishtar "remained a goddess of war, and Venus could bring victory to a Sulla or a Caesar" (Burkert, 1972).
Reference: David Sear, "Roman Coins and Their Values" , London 2002 (Vol II), #8216, pg 679; Walter Burkert, in Homo Necans (1972) 1983:80, noting C. Koch on "Venus Victrix" in Realencyclopädie der klassischen Altertumswissenschaft, 8 A860-64.
|Credit line||Gift of Arthur G. and Roswitha Haas|