Pietas or Securitas?

Discussion in 'Ancient Coins' started by Clavdivs, Nov 17, 2019.

  1. Clavdivs

    Clavdivs Supporter! Supporter

    I picked up this rough denarius of Commodus for $12... missing legends, well worn, etc. but I have had an enjoyable time this evening attempting to verify the attribution.


    Sellers info:
    Commodus AR Denarius.Commodus AR Denarius. Laureate head right / Pietas seated left, extending right hand to child and holding transverse sceptre - WEIGHT 2.39 gr -DIAM. 17 mm

    Looking through ACsearch there is a fuller attribution of the same coin (my previous post asking for help on magnifiers was prompted by this coin - I really had a hard time with it).

    Commodus. A.D. 177-192. AR denarius. Rome mint, struck A.D. 192. L AEL AVREL COMM AVG P FEL, laureate head right / P M TR P XVII IMP VIII COS VII P P, Pietas seated left, holding scepter, before child standing right. RIC 236; BMCRE 325; RSC 574 (I do not own these books)

    Through my ACsearch results I found this sestertius with a similar reverse that added some very interesting information:

    Not my coin - photo ACseach.info, Harlan J. Berk, Ltd...sold in 2018:


    Securitas seated l. holding scepter and extending r. hand towards child before her representing the Human Race; star in r. field. The deity on reverse is traditionally described as Pietas but a recently discovered aureus which adds the descriptive legend SEC GEN HVM to the same type (Spink 65, 1988, 246, now coll. Ben Damsky) proves that she is actually Securitas and the child before her presumably the Human Race.
    The Ben Damsky collection (mentioned above) now resides at Yale University:

    So this inexpensive pickup is a very interesting little coin struck in the last year of the reign of Commodus.

    Fun investigation and worth the $12 entrance fee.

    Is Securitas the agreed attribution? Any thoughts?
    Last edited: Nov 17, 2019
  2. Avatar

    Guest User Guest

    to hide this ad.
  3. Marsyas Mike

    Marsyas Mike Well-Known Member

    Very nice coin and interesting and informative write up. I searched OCRE for Commodus denarii with a child and came up with two - both described as Pietas but in an OCRE blunder, both described as "standing". The other one is RIC 244 (TRP XVIII) - if you want to see this one and 40 examples of yours (RIC 236 (TRP XVII)):


    I really like the coins of Commodus, and snap them up whenever I find a cheap one. There are so many different, sometimes unusual reverse types.

    Thanks to this post, I have an excuse to post this new cheapie:

    Commodus - Den. Hilaritas Nov 2019 (0).jpg

    Commodus Denarius
    (186-187 A.D.)
    Rome Mint

    M COMM ANT P FEL AVG BRIT, laureate head right / HILAR AVG PM TR P XII IMP
    VIII COS V P P, Hilaritas standing left holding long palm and olive branch.
    RIC 150a; BMC 210.
    (2.28 grams / 17 mm)
    Johndakerftw, Clavdivs and Bing like this.
  4. Clavdivs

    Clavdivs Supporter! Supporter

    Nice coin! and thanks for the info.. for all of the denari I have seen the attribution is given as Pietas.
    Last edited: Nov 17, 2019
    Marsyas Mike likes this.
  5. dougsmit

    dougsmit Member Supporter

    I call mine Pietas but am old and don't accept proposed changes without more details. SAL GEN HVM depicts the human race as a larger child. The aureus needs to be studied. Photo?
    Johndakerftw and Bing like this.
Draft saved Draft deleted

Share This Page