Discussion in 'Ancient Coins' started by Ocatarinetabellatchitchix, Apr 27, 2019.

  1. Ocatarinetabellatchitchix

    Ocatarinetabellatchitchix Supporter! Supporter

    Every collectors of Roman coins have at least few examples of characters holding the famous patera.For those you doesn’t know what it is exactly, it was a round shallow dish or vase used at religious ceremonies. Patera is from latin, but it derives from the greek word ‘patane’, which also mean a flattened dish. It seems that the Etruscans were using it at first. It was employ to make libations of wine to the gods or for receiving the blood of sacrificial victims. On coinage, a figure is often depicted beside an altar, where he is pouring the contents of the patera. In ancient period, these ustensils were made of baked earth ; later of brass, silver or even gold.

    In a frieze detail of the ‘Ara Pacis Augustae’, Rome’s altar of Augustan peace, notice the procession of sacrificial animals along with an attendant carrying a patera aloft.


    Many museums have in their collections very nice examples of ancient patera. Let’s examine some of the nicest specimen I found. We will begin with the British Museum : this silver one is decorated with gods and legendary figures linked with the foundation and growth of Rome.


    It has a diameter of 13.7 cm and was excavated in Syria , dated 2nd Century AD.
    On the top of the handle is a bust of Juno or Diana. Below is a scene depicting Mars and Rhea Silvia, the parents of Romulus and Remus, with two cupids.


    A second specimen from the same museum : a romano-british one from the 1st century , 24 cm of diameter, discovered in Kent England. It’s made in a copper alloy, but originally inlaid in silver, copper and niello. The central roundel depict the head of Medusa surrounded by a wreath of leave and birds. The handle terminates in a mask of Pan.


    Now let’s travel to the Metropolitan Museum of Arts in New- York. We have a very nice example made in bronze. Early 1st century, 37.5. cm of diameter. Such high-quality bronze patera often have a wolf or ram’s finial to the handle.


    Now we have to go in Paris, at the ‘Cabinet des médailles de la bibliothèque nationale de France’ to find an extraordinary sample of a gold patera. It has been elaborated by Roman artists in the 3rd century AD. 16 aurei, all very rare, have been used for his design. The sixteen coins set around were carefully selected, alternately an emperor and a personality of the imperial household. The emperors of the Severe Dynasty are related to the theme of the emblem showing Bachus and Hercules, tutelary gods of Lepcis Magna, birthplace of Septimius Severus. In order of their circular display, they are :
    Marcus Aurelius
    Faustina the young (wife of Marcus Aurelius)
    Antoninus Pius
    Faustina the older (wife of Antoninus Pius)
    Septimius Severus
    Antoninus Pius
    Faustina the older
    Antoninus Pius
    Septimius Severus
    Julia Domna (wife of Septimius Severus)
    I now present you the Rennes Patera, 25 cm and 1.32 kg of pure gold...


    If we go back to coins now, almost all deities are shown holding a patera. The next picture demonstrate some examples. Could you recognized them ?


    The title of this thread is “The Roman patera challenge”. I will need hour help to achieve it. I am wondering how many different god/goddess or emperor holding or showing a patera we can find. Twenty? Thirty? Or maybe more ? Please show us your coins !
    eparch, Pellinore, Nyatii and 23 others like this.
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  3. Alegandron

    Alegandron "ΤΩΙ ΚΡΑΤΙΣΤΩΙ..." ΜΕΓΑΣ ΑΛΕΞΑΝΔΡΟΣ, June 323 BCE Supporter


    Pupienus CE 238
    AR Denarius 3g
    OBV: IMP CM CLOD PVPIENVS AVG, dr. laur. bust r.,
    REV: CONCORDIA AVGG, Concordia seated l. on the throne holding patera and double cornucopiae
    Seaby 6
    Ex CJ Martin
  4. John Anthony

    John Anthony Ultracrepidarian Supporter

    I like threads that explore one specific type of iconography. Here is a provincial bronze of Severus Alexander, struck in Marcianopolis, with Concordia holding patera...

    s alex marc 600.jpg
  5. Mat

    Mat Ancient Coincoholic

    I got many that feature one, here is one.

    Orbiana (225 - 227 A.D.)
    AR Denarius
    O: SALL BARBIA ORBIANA AVG, draped bust right.
    R: CONCORDIA AVGG,Concordia seated left holding double cornucopia and patera.
    RIC IV 319, RSC III 1, BMCRE VI 287, SRCV II 8191
  6. TIF

    TIF Always learning. Supporter

    Fun thread!

    That Rennes Patera... :wideyed:!

    Here's Priapus with a patera:

    MOESIA INFERIOR, Nikopolis ad Istrum. Elagabalus
    AE 18 mm, 2.8 gm
    Obv: AVT K M AVP ANTΩNINOC, laureate, draped, cuirassed bust right
    Rev: NIKOΠOΛITΩ NΠPOCICTPO N, Priapus standing left, drawing back his cloak to expose his phallus, bowl of fruit balanced on phallus, right hand extended pouring from patera
    Ref: Varbanov 3811, AMNG 2022 (I own neither of those references and cannot verify the numbers)
  7. TIF

    TIF Always learning. Supporter

    Felicitas with patera:

    AR denarius, 2.4g, 19mm, 6h; Antioch mint.
    Obv.: ANTONINVS PIVS FEL AVG; Laureate, draped and cuirassed bust right.
    Rev.: TEMPORVM FEL; Felicitas standing left, holding caduceus and patera.
    Reference: RIC IVb 201, p. 44.
    ex Doug Smith Collection #527

    Elagabalus with patera:


    AR denarius, Rome mint. Struck CE 221-222. 3.55 gm
    Obv: IMP ANTONINVS PIVS AVG; laureate and draped bust right, with “horn” on forehead
    Rev: SACERD DEI SOLIS ELAGAB; Elagabalus standing right, holding club and sacrificing from patera over lighted altar; star to right; faint star in left field (likely engraved and then mostly removed by grinding the field).
    Ref: RIC IV 131; Thirion 302; RSC 246

    Homonoia with patera:

    EGYPT, Alexandria. Aelius
    137 CE
    Billon tetradrachm; 23 mm, 13.16 gm
    Obv: ΛAIΛIOCKAICAP; bare head right
    Rev: ΔHM EΞOVC VΠAT B; Homonoia standing left, holding cornucopiae and patera over garlanded altar
    Ref: Köln 1271; Milne 1539; Emmett 1350.2
    Ex John A. Seeger Collection
    Gift from my CoinTalk Secret Saturn, 2018
  8. Roman Collector

    Roman Collector Supporter! Supporter

    Sometimes Hilaritas holds a patera:

    Julia Domna, AD 193-217.
    Roman AR denarius, 3.53 g, 20.0 mm, 12 h.
    Rome, AD 202-203.
    Obv: IVLIA AVGVSTA, bare-headed and draped bust, right.
    Rev: HILARITAS, Hilaritas standing left, holding patera and palm branch.
    Refs: RIC 558; BMCRE p. 161, *; Cohen/RSC 78; RCV --; CRE 351; Hill 554; ERIC II 97.
    Notes: Ex-CNG; Ex-AK collection; Wildwinds "plate" coin.
  9. TIF

    TIF Always learning. Supporter

    How about an top view of a patera, without a god/emperor/empress holding it?

    ROMAN REPUBLIC, M. Piso M.f. Frugi
    58 BCE (redated from Crawford's 61 BCE by Hersh and Walker, 1984)
    AR denarius, 20 mm, 3.94 gm
    Obv: terminal bust of Mercury right, wearing winged diadem; calix below chin; to left, star above wreath; dotted border
    Rev: M·PISO·M·F / FRVGI above secespita (sacrificial knife) and patera; all within laurel wreath
    Ref: Crawford 418/2b; Sydenham 825; Calpurnia 23
    formerly slabbed, NGC XF, 4/5 strike, 4/5 surface
  10. Roman Collector

    Roman Collector Supporter! Supporter

    Juno with a patera:

    Faustina Jr, AD 161-175.
    Roman orichalcum dupondius, 12.76 g, 24.7 mm, 6 h.
    Rome, AD 161-175.
    Obv: FAVSTINA AVGVSTA, bare-headed and draped bust, right.
    Rev: IVNO S C, Juno standing left, holding patera and scepter.
    Refs: RIC 1647; BMCRE 983; Cohen 123; RCV 5297; MIR 17.
  11. TIF

    TIF Always learning. Supporter

    Vesta with patera:

    Caligula (Gaius), CE 37-41
    CE 37-38, Rome mint
    AE As, 30 mm, 10.6 gm
    Obv: C CAESAR AVG GERMANICVS PON M TR POT, bare head left
    Rev: VESTA above, S C across field, Vesta seated left, holding patera and sceptre
    Ref: RIC 38, Sear5 1803, Cohen 27
  12. Sallent

    Sallent Live long and prosper


    My secret Santa gift from December which I just opened the other day....:facepalm:
  13. Roman Collector

    Roman Collector Supporter! Supporter

    Vesta with a patera:

    Julia Mamaea, AD 222-235.
    Roman AR denarius, 3.15 g, 18.3 mm, 5 h.
    Rome mint, 7th emission, AD 227.
    Obv: IVLIA MAMAEA AVG, diademed and draped bust right.
    Rev: VESTA, Vesta standing left, holding patera and transverse scepter.
    Refs: RIC 362; BMCRE 440; Cohen 85; RCV 8218.

    I love the empress's Mona-Lisa-style smile on this denarius.
  14. Ancient Aussie

    Ancient Aussie Supporter! Supporter

    Apollo holding PATERA and Lyre. AA_Ant_Pius.jpg
    Antoninus Pius
    Antoninus Pius AE Sestertius 22.5gm, RIC 598, Sear 4199. Rome 142 AD.
  15. Bing

    Bing Illegitimi non carborundum Supporter

    Hadrian 3.jpg
    AR Denarius
    OBVERSE: HADRIANVS AVGVSTVS, laureate head right, slight drapery on far shoulder
    REVERSE: COS III, Concordia seated left on throne, holding patera & resting left arm on statuette of Spes on column at side of throne
    Struck at Rome, 125-8 AD
    2.3g, 18mm
    RIC 172
    Hadrian 2.jpg
    AR Denarius
    OBVERSE: IMP CAESAR TRAIAN HADRIANVS AVG, laureate head right, draped far shoulder
    REVERSE: P M TR P COS III, Clemency standing left, holding patera over altar and staff, CLEM in ex.
    Struck at Rome, 124 AD
    2.9g, 18mm
    RIC 117c, S 3463
    Septimius Severus 13b.jpg
    AR Denarius
    OBVERSE: SEVERVS PIVS AVG, laureate head right
    REVERSE: P M TR P XVI COS III P P, Concordia seated left on throne, holding patera and sceptre
    Struck at Rome, 208 AD
    3.42g, 20mm
    RIC 218
    Julia Mamaea 1.jpg
    AR Denarius
    OBVERSE: IVLIA MAMAEA AVG, draped bust right
    REVERSE: IVNO CONSERVATRIX, Juno standing left, holding patera & scepter, peacock at feet left
    Struck at Rome, 222 AD
    3.3g, 20mm
    RIC 343
  16. Alegandron

    Alegandron "ΤΩΙ ΚΡΑΤΙΣΤΩΙ..." ΜΕΓΑΣ ΑΛΕΞΑΝΔΡΟΣ, June 323 BCE Supporter

    Bummer is... NONE of my Etrurians feature a patera!

    Etruria Populonia AR 1 As 0.60g 10.0mm after 211 BCE Male Head L - Plain Rev Vecchi 3 68-70 HN Italy 181 RARE
    Last edited: Apr 28, 2019
    cmezner, TIF, Jay GT4 and 11 others like this.
  17. Sulla80

    Sulla80 one coin at a time Supporter

    I like the challenge and the writeup @Ocatarinetabellatchitchix! Here's Septimius holding a Patera and with vows taken (vota suscepta) for 20 (XX) years, this would be celebrated on his 10th anniversary with 10 years paid (soluta) and renewing for 20 years. This coin would commemorate or anticipate the event of 203.

    Septimius Vota Suscepta .jpg
    Septimius Severus, 193-211 AD
    AR Denarius circa 202-210
    Obv: SEVERVS PIVS AVG, Laureate head right
    Rev: VOTA SVSCEPTA XX, Septimius Severus standing left, sacrificing out of patera over lighted altar to left
    Size: 18mm, 3.71g
    Ref: C 791, RIC 308
    Last edited: Apr 27, 2019
  18. David@PCC


    Licinius I
    Mint: Trier
    AE 3
    316 AD
    Revs: GENIO POP ROM, Genius holding patera and cornucopia. T & F in fields.
    19mm, 3.3g
    Ref: RIC VII.173.121
  19. Orfew

    Orfew Draco dormiens nunquam titillandus Supporter

    Vitellius Denarius. 69 AD (19.61 mm, 3.09 g)
    Obv: A VITELLIVS GERM IMP AVG TR P, laureate head right
    Rev: PONT MAXIM, Vesta seated right, holding sceptre and patera.
    RIC 107 (S), RSC 72, BMC 34. SRCV I (2000) 2200
    Ex: Frank Robinson.
    Purchased from Frank Robinson Coins

    new vitellius combined.jpg

    Vespasian, 69-79. Denarius (Silver, 17 mm, 3.11 g, 1 h), Ephesus, 69-70. IMP CAESAR VESPAS AVG Laureate head of Vespasian to right. Rev. LIBERI IMP AVG VESPAS Titus and Domitian, veiled and togate, standing front, each with patera. BMC 430. Cohen 248. RIC 1395. RPC II 805. Rare. Minor marks and slightly rough, otherwise, about very fine.
    From the R. Marbacher Collection, Switzerland.
    Leu Numismatic December 09 2018 Lot 908

    vespasian ric 1395.png

    Titus AR Denarius.Under Vespasian 76 CE (first issue)
    3.14 g
    Obv:Leaureate head right, T CAESAR IMP VESPASIAN
    Rev:Jupiter standing facing with patera over altar, IOVIS CUSTOS
    RIC 863 [VESP] (R2)
    Purchased from ebay February 21, 2019

    Titus RC 863.png

    Domitian as Caesar Denarius 79 to 24 June
    18mm., 3,15g.
    Obv:Head laureate l; CAESAR AVG F DOMITIANVS COS VI
    Rev: Salus stg r resting on column feeding snake out of patera; PRINCEPS IVVENTUTIS
    RIC 1085 [Vespasian] BMC page 47 note. RSC 385.
    Ex: Savoca Blue 19thauction April 21, 2019 Lot 1138

    Domitian RIC 1085 [Vespasian].png

  20. Jochen1

    Jochen1 Well-Known Member

    The Roman patera resembles the Greek phiale. But this one had no handles, but in the middle a hump, the omphalos. This is why these vessels are called phiale omphalos, and these are usually seen on the Roman provincial coins.

  21. tenbobbit

    tenbobbit Supporter! Supporter

    Here's Apollo all butt naked getting the steam room ready.
    Not sure of his intentions with that fistful of olive branches :eek:
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