Liberalitas was the personification of the Roman virtue of generosity. Liberalitas was employed as a propaganda vehicle by Roman leaders. From time to time, a political leader of the Roman Republic or an emperor of the imperial era would display his largess by issuing a congiarium or liberality. The leader would distribute money to the people for various reasons -- to ease economic hardship among the people, to increase the leader's "approval rating," etc. Tiberius gave a congiarium of 75 denarii (300 sesterces) to each citizen. Caligula gave the same amount of three hundred sesterces on two occasions. Nero, whose congiaria were the earliest known examples represented numismatically, gave four hundred. A civil servant charged with the task would use a tessera, or counting board, to quickly count out a share of money to distribute to the people attending the congiarium (donative event). The tessera was a square tablet furnished with a handle, on which was arrayed a certain number of holes or compartments. These boards were used to quickly count the proper number of coins for distribution to each person. The tessera would be dipped into a container, covered with coins and the excess swept away back into the container. The proper number of coins would fill the holes and then would be dumped out to the recipient. Liberalitas is depicted on coins as a female figure holding a tessera in one hand and a cornucopiae in the other. These coins may have been struck specifically for such congiaria so as to remind the populace of the emperor's liberalitas. Let’s see your coins depicting Liberalitas! Marcus Aurelius, AD 161-180. Roman AR denarius, 3.53 g, 17.4 mm, 1 h. Rome, AD 169. Obv: M ANTONINVS AVG TR P XXIII, laureate head right. Rev: LIBERAL AVG V COS III, Liberalitas standing left, holding tessera and cornucopiae. Refs: RIC 206; BMCRE 492; Cohen 412; RCV 4914; MIR 181. Commodus, AD 177-192. Roman AR denarius, 3.42 g, 18 mm, 12 h. Rome, AD 180. Obv: M COMMODVS ANTONINVS AVG, laureate, draped and cuirassed bust right. Rev: LIB AVG TR P V IMP IIII COS II P P, Liberalitas standing left, holding tessera and cornucopiae. Refs: RIC 10; RSC 302; BMC 3; Szaivert 496/4.