Featured Venus and Doves

Discussion in 'Ancient Coins' started by Roman Collector, Jun 4, 2020.

  1. Roman Collector

    Roman Collector Supporter! Supporter

    In ancient Mesopotamia, doves were a prominent symbol of Inanna-Ishtar, the goddess of love, sexuality, and war. In classical antiquity, many of the attributes of Inanna-Ishtar were incorporated into the goddess Aphrodite, including her association with love, sex, and doves. Quite naturally, Aphrodite's association with doves influenced the Roman goddess Venus, and she become associated with doves as well.

    Aphrodite statue from Cypress.jpg
    Early fifth-century BC statue of Aphrodite from Cyprus, showing her wearing a cylinder crown and holding a dove. Neues Museum, Berlin.

    Aphrodite appears here with a dove on this volute krater of The Iliupersis Painter, ca. 365-355 BC, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston:


    In Roman numismatics, Venus and her dove appear on an anonymous quadrans from the time of Domitian to Antoninus Pius.

    Anonymous Quadrans Venus and Dove.jpg
    Anonymous--Domitian to Antoninus Pius.
    Roman Æ quadrans, 12.9 mm, 2.37 g, 4 h
    Rome, A.D. 81-161.
    Obv: Bust of Venus, diademed, draped, right.
    Rev: S-C, dove standing right.
    Ref: RIC II, p. 218, 24; BMCRE --; Cohen VIII, p. 268, 10.

    She also appears holding a dove on this denarius of Faustina II:

    Faustina Jr VENVS dove and scepter denarius.jpg Faustina II, AD 147-175.
    Roman AR denarius, 3.30 g, 17 mm, 12 h.
    Rome, AD 158-161.
    Obv: FAVSTINA AVGVSTA, bare-headed and draped bust, right.
    Rev: Venus standing facing, head left, holding dove and scepter.
    Refs: RIC 730; BMCRE 167-68; RSC 255; Strack 520i; RCV 5266; CRE 236.

    Venus continued to be portrayed with doves well into the modern period, such as on this painting of Ballerina Carlotta Chabert as Venus by Francesco Hayez in the Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art of Trento and Rovereto (MART), Rovereto, Italy:


    Post your coins of Aphrodite/Venus with doves, coins with doves, comments, or anything you feel is relevant!
    Last edited: Jun 4, 2020
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  3. ominus1

    ominus1 Supporter! Supporter

    ..kool RC...i have doves nesting in one of my trees in the yard and i feed them along with the other birds ( when the cats are in or i'm outside:nailbiting:)..i have become quite the bird watcher..i'll take of pics of them tomorrow :)
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  4. Ryro

    Ryro They call me the 13th Caesar Supporter

    Wonderful coins and write up, per Always!
    Love the juxtaposition of the stiff archaic, albeit perky, statue and the provocative 4th century classical vase:artist:
    It meshes really well with the coin-cept of the goddess of seduction and sexuality carrying a white dove, which we now a days consider a symbol of virtue and chastity.
    Circa 81-161 AD. Æ Rome Quadrans (14 mm, 1.34 gm). Diademed and draped bust of Venus right / Dove standing right. RIC II 24; Cohen 10. Near VF
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  5. zumbly

    zumbly Ha'ina 'ia mai ana ka puana Supporter

    Cool quadrans. I like the denarius too.

    I don't have a Roman to share, but here's a double dove drachm from Sikyon below. The dove was used by the city as a badge, possibly in connection with the worship of Aphrodite in the city. Her sanctuary in Sikyon contained the Aphrodite of Sikyon, sculpted by Kanachos, who had also made the famous Apollo of Didyma.

    Sikyon - Drachm New 210.jpg SIKYONIA, Sikyon
    AR Drachm. 5.03g, 18mm. SIKYONIA, Sikyon, circa 431-400 BC. BCD Peloponnesos 180-4; HGC 5, 206. O: Dove alighting left; Σ - E flanking. R: Dove flying left within wreath.
    Ex BCD Collection
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  6. Bing

    Bing Illegitimi non carborundum Supporter

    AR Hemidrachm
    OBVERSE: Chimaera standing left, with heads of snake, lion & goat, raising forepaw, ΣΙ below
    REVERSE: Dove flying left
    Struck at Skyon, Fourth Century BC
    2.6g, 17mm
    SNGCop 57, BMC 111
    Ex Doug Smith
    C Norbanus 2.jpg
    AR Denarius
    OBVERSE: C• NORBANVS, head of Venus right, wearing stephane, earring, and necklace; XVIIII behind
    REVERSE: Prow-stem, fasces, caduceus and grain ear.
    Rome 83 BC
    3.9g, 18mm
    Crawford 357/1a. Sydenham 740. Norbana 1
    Julius Caesar 2.jpg
    AR Denarius
    OBVERSE: Diademed head of Venus right.
    REVERSE: CAESAR - Aeneas advancing left, carrying Anchises and palladium
    Carthage or military mint with Caesar in North Africa, 47 to 46 BC
    4.0g, 17mm
    CRI 55, Sydenham 1013, RRC 458/1, S 1402
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  7. ominus1

    ominus1 Supporter! Supporter

    ..my apologies RC, for i tried to take pics with my antique Canon, but they didn't turn out....i have to get another camera:pics:
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  8. Marsyas Mike

    Marsyas Mike Well-Known Member

    Great write-up RC. I did not know that about Venus and doves.

    I do have a coin - the reverse is a bit clogged up with patina, but I'm fond of the obverse - sort of a bored-looking Venus.

    Trajan - Quadrans Venus & Dove Aug 2018 (0).jpg

    Anonymous Æ Quadrans
    Issued in period of Domitian to Antoninus Pius
    (c. 81-161 A.D.)
    Rome Mint

    Diademed and draped bust of Venus right / Dove standing
    right, SC in exergue.
    RIC 24; Cohen 10.
    (2.43 grams / 13 mm)
    TIF, Bing, Johndakerftw and 1 other person like this.
  9. Roman Collector

    Roman Collector Supporter! Supporter

    Interesting print by Bernieri depicting Venus in a chariot drawn by doves:

    Capture 3.JPG
    From Girolamo Pozzoli, Dizionario d'ogni mitologia e antichita, Volume V. Batelli e Fanfani, 1825, p. 766.
    Last edited: Jun 6, 2020
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