In Roman mythology, the Palladium -- a small figure of Pallas Athena holding a spear and shield -- was brought to Rome from Troy. As the story goes, Troy was protected by Athena from foreign enemies as long as the Palladium remained within the city walls. But Odysseus and Diomedes stole the image and soon thereafter, the Greeks took the city. The Palladium was later taken by Aeneas to Rome, where for centuries it was kept in the temple of Vesta in the Forum. I have several coins depicting the Palladium -- not as a major design element, but as an attribute of Vesta, who holds the Palladium in her arms. Vesta was the Roman equivalent of the Greek goddess Hestia, and was the goddess of the hearth. As such, she epitomized feminine virtues and appears almost exclusively as a reverse design element on coins of Roman empresses. Interestingly, on one of my coins, the Palladium appears as an attribute of Juno, not Vesta. The Palladium is depicted in a variety of ways. Often, but certainly not always, the Palladium appears to have a long, spiked base. It has been suggested that this base was driven into the floor of the temple of Vesta, thus holding the Palladium upright and securely in place: Faustina I, AD 138-141. Roman AR denarius, 3.50 g, 17.5 mm, 5 h. Rome, AD 141-161. Obv: DIVA FAVSTINA, draped bust right. Rev: AVGVSTA, Vesta standing left, holding simpulum and palladium. Refs: RIC 368; BMC 435-8; Cohen 108; RCV 4587; CRE 153. Notes: ex-Stoecklin collection. Lucilla, AD 164-169. Roman Æ As, 11.24 g, 25.2 mm, 6 h. Rome, AD 164-166. Obv: LVCILLAE AVG ANTONINI AVG F, bare-headed and draped bust, right. Rev: VESTA S C, Vesta standing left, holding simpulum and Palladium; altar at feet, left. Refs: RIC 1780; BMCRE 1192; Cohen 95; RCV 5528. On other issues, the Palladium is depicted without the spiked base: Faustina Senior, AD 138-141. Roman orichalcum sestertius, 24.70 g, 31.6 mm, 5 h. Rome, AD 147-161. Obv: DIVA FAVSTINA, bare-headed and draped bust, right. Rev: AVGVSTA S C, Vesta veiled, standing left, holding palladium and scepter Refs: RIC 1124; BMCRE 1519; RCV 4617. Julia Mamaea, AD 222-235. Roman AR denarius, 2.95 g, 20.0 mm, 6 h. Rome mint, 6th emission, AD 226. Obv: IVLIA MAMAEA AVG, diademed and draped bust right. Rev: VESTA, Vesta standing left, holding Palladium and scepter. Refs: RIC 360; BMCRE 381; Cohen 81; RCV 8217; CRE 512. Interestingly, the Palladium appears (lacking the spiked base) as an attribute of Juno, not Vesta, on this denarius: Julia Soaemias, AD 218-222. Roman AR Denarius, 2.65 g, 18.6 mm, 5 h. Rome, AD 218. Obv: IVLIA SOAEMIAS AVGVSTA, bare-headed and draped bust right. Rev: IVNO REGINA, Juno, veiled, standing right, holding scepter and Palladium. Refs: RIC 237; BMCRE 41-43; Cohen 3; RCV 7718; CRE 464. Post your coins depicting the Palladium!