Featured Vesta and Her Temple

Discussion in 'Ancient Coins' started by Roman Collector, Jan 14, 2020.

  1. Roman Collector

    Roman Collector Supporter! Supporter

    Vesta is the Roman version of the Greek goddess Hestia, the goddess of family values and domestic life (i.e. the hearth). Vesta was considered by the Romans to be a role-model for women and as such, she appears frequently on coins of the Roman empresses. As a model for the Roman matron, she is always depicted wearing the stola and palla and holding some combination of a patera, simpulum, scepter (hasta pura), torch, or Palladium. The Palladium was a statue of Athena (Roman Minerva) believed to have been brought by Æneas from Troy.

    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.

    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.

    Faustina I, AD 138-141.
    Roman Æ as or dupondius, 12.70 g, 27.1 mm, 6 h.
    Rome, AD 147-161.
    Obv: DIVA FAVSTINA, bare-headed and draped bust, right.
    Rev: S C, Vesta standing left, holding torch and Palladium.
    Refs: RIC 1196; BMCRE 1599-1602; Cohen 269; RCV 4656; ERIC II

    The maintenance of her cult was carried out by six priestesses known as Vestales Virgines or Virgines Vestæ, who sometimes are depicted on coins sacrificing before her circular temple in the Forum Romanum. Instead of a cult statue in the cella, there was a hearth in the temple which held a sacred flame. The vestals' chief duty was to keep the eternal fire burning, each taking her turn in watching. In addition to the sacred flame, the temple was the storehouse for the legal wills and documents of Roman Senators and of the Palladium.

    Julia Domna, AD 193-217.
    Roman Æ as, 9.85 g, 25 mm.
    Rome, AD 214.
    Obv: IVLIA PIA FELIX AVG, diademed and draped bust, right.
    Rev: VESTA SC, Temple of Vesta with four Vestals in scene of sacrifice; lighted altar in center.
    Refs: RIC 607; BMCRE 232-33; Cohen 234; RCV 7137.

    The Temple of Vesta remained largely intact until AD 1549, when the building was completely demolished and its marble reused in churches and papal palaces. The section standing today was reconstructed by Mussolini in the 1930s.


    Post your coins of Vesta, the Temple of Vesta, or anything you feel is relevant!
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  3. Ryro

    Ryro You'll never be lovelier than you are now... Supporter

    Wonderful write up and excellent coins (LOVE the Julia Domna!!!)
    Here's a lovely cup cake sized ex @Bing of Vesta:
    LUCILLA Sestertius, RIC 1779, Vesta
    REVERSE: VESTA, S-C, Vesta standing left, holding palladium and sacrificing with simpulum over lighted altar to left
    Struck at Rome, 161-161 AD
    30.4 mm, 21.89g AD ex Bing CT
  4. Ed Snible

    Ed Snible Well-Known Member

    Here is one with simpulum and palladium. I notice you capitalize "palladium". The Wikipedia page capitalizes some uses, not others, I am not sure how to we are to know what is correct. It is especially confusing because there is a metal, palladium, which is never capitalized and also used for commemorative coins.

    Here is a Vesta reverse I acquired exactly two years ago at the New York International.
    Antoninus Pius (AD 138-161), denarius, 17.5mm, 3.26g, Rome mint. Struck AD 145-147
    Obv: ANTONINVS AVG PIVS P P TR P XV; Laureate head right
    Rev: COS IIII; Vesta standing left, holding simpulum and palladium.
    Ref: RIC II 203; RSC 196

    This reverse image seems to have some kind of polka-dot apron that I don't recognize. I know Vesta wears "stolla" and "palla" but I am not sure exactly what is going on with mine. What is the stolla and what is the palla here?
  5. Bing

    Bing Illegitimi non carborundum Supporter

    Julia Mamaea 3.jpg
    AR Denarius
    OBVERSE: IVLIA MAMAEA AVG, diademed and draped bust right
    REVERSE: VESTA, Vesta standing half-left, holding palladium & scepter
    Struck at Rome, 225-8 AD
    2.5g, 20mm
    RIC 360, RSC 81, BMC 381
  6. Roman Collector

    Roman Collector Supporter! Supporter

    The stola is here sleeved. It may be decorated with a design on the front (crescent and dots?). Alternatively, this decorated part may represent a second tunic called an indusium worn over the stola. The palla is draped over the goddess's left shoulder, up over her head like a veil, down her back, under the right arm, and then across her upper thighs and over the left elbow.
    Gary R. Wilson, tibor and Justin Lee like this.
  7. Justin Lee

    Justin Lee I learn by doing Supporter

    I really like the reverse type on your Domna, RC!

    While this isn't a superb example, it's an example nonetheless...
    Julia Mamaea, Augusta
    Mother of Severus Alexander (222-235 AD)
    AE Sestertius, Struck 226 AD (6th em), Rome
    Obverse: IVLIA MAMAEA AVGVSTA, draped bust right, wearing stephane.
    Reverse: VESTA, Vesta standing slightly left, holding palladium and scepter, S-C across fields.
    References: RIC IV 708

    About a year ago, I picked up this print, Vestal Virgin by Sir Frederick Leighton (ca. 1890).

    "In Rome the Vestal Virgins were chosen only from patrician families, and vowed to perpetual chastity, any transgression of their vow being visited with the most terrible punishment. The worship of Vesta continued among the Romans till :about the fourth century of the Christian era, when it was superseded by the Christian religion." - Worthpoint description

    "There were six Vestal virgins. The high priest (Pontifex Maximus) chose by lot from a group of young girl candidates between their sixth and tenth year. They were required to have impeccable bodies and two living parents to serve in the order. This high priest pointed to his choice with the words, “I seize you, beloved.” They left the house of their father, were inducted by the Pontifex Maximus, and their hair was shorn. Now they were under the protection of the Goddess. Later, as it became more difficult to recruit Vestals, plebeian girls were admitted, then daughters of freedmen (Young, Worsfold, 21-3.)." - Retrieved from World Historia

    I found more interesting info on the role and life of the Vestal Virgins at the bottom of this page here.
  8. thejewk

    thejewk Well-Known Member

    No Vesta's here, but just wanted to note my appreciation.
  9. Andres2

    Andres2 Well-Known Member

  10. ancient coin hunter

    ancient coin hunter I dig ancient coins...

    Nice coins all. Surprisingly I have no coins of Vesta yet.
    Roman Collector likes this.
  11. Marsyas Mike

    Marsyas Mike Well-Known Member

    Nice write-up and coins. Here is a sestertius of Julia Mamaea that suffered a huge crack - only Vesta holds it together. For utterly indefensible reasons, it is one of my favorites:

    Julia Mamaea - sest Vesta from Lot May 2018.jpg
    Julia Mamaea Æ Sestertius
    (Mother of Severus Alex.)
    (222-235 A.D.)
    Rome Mint

    IVLIA MAMAEA AVGVSTA diademed & draped bust right / VESTA S-C, Vesta standing left, holding Palladium and scepter.
    RIC 708; Cohen 83; BMC 389
    (21.04 grams / 31 mm)

    Here's a Julia Domna denarius with a somewhat unusual VESTAE SANCTAE reverse inscription:

    Julia Domna den VESTA SANCTAE Jul 2018 (0).jpg

    Julia Domna Denarius
    (197 A.D.)
    Rome Mint

    IVLIA AVGVSTA draped bust right / VESTAE SANCTAE Vesta standing left holding
    patera and scepter
    RIC 587; Cohen 246.
    (3.56 grams / 16 mm)

    For what it's worth, I'd vote to capitalize Palladium in this context, since it is a unique thing. The metal can be in lower case because it is a general thing. Just an opinion, and not an authoritative one!
  12. Ancient Aussie

    Ancient Aussie Supporter! Supporter

    Great coins RC, that Julia Domna type especially also on my want list. 4krW6Qp56adAw7MyxBf83cJjwb2GY9.jpg
    Denarius 55 BC Bust of Vesta right, temple of Vesta, 19mm, 3.14gm. Crawford 428/1.
    5nARdWa2y6MgJSk4L86s9HgQm3PLNE (550x275).jpg
    Nero, AR Denarius Temple of Vesta, 65-66 AD, RIC 62, 3.17gm.
    Banker's mark on reverse.
  13. Limes

    Limes Supporter! Supporter

    Great write up Roman Collector, and nice coins.

    Here are my coins with Vesta. Note that they are both seated. I guess being a role model can get a bit tiresome. Also note that both emperors are emperors and therefore male. Did they strike these coins as a homage to an important woman in their lives? Or is there another meaning?


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  14. Gary R. Wilson


    Here's mine Roman Collector.

    imgonline-com-ua-twotoone-zg2aP0ewwCVrhb-Caligula damnatio.jpg

    Caligula (Augustus)
    Coin: Bronze AS
    Vesta SC - Vesta, veiled and draped, seated left, on throne with ornamented back and legs, holding patera in right hand and long transverse sceptre in left

    Mint: Rome (37-38 AD)
    Wt./Size/Axis: 10.40g / 28mm / 6h
    Rarity: Common
    RIC I 38
    BMCRE 46
    BN 54
    Cohen 27
    Acquisition/Sale: indalocolecciones eBay $0.00 01/19
    Notes: Aug 22, 19 - The Gary R. Wilson Collection

    This coin, the standard type from 37-39 AD is rated common.

    Julia Domna, wife of Septimius Severus As circa 211-217.jpg

    Julia Domna (Augusta)
    Coin: Bronze AS
    IVLIA PIA FELIX AVG - Diademed, draped bust right.
    VESTA, SC in ex. - Sacrificial scene before the temple of Vesta.
    Exergue: SC

    Mint: Rome (214 AD)
    Wt./Size/Axis: 10.66g / 26mm / 6h
    RIC Caracalla 607
    Cohen 234
    BMC 232
    Naville Numismatics
    Acquisition/Sale: Naville Numismatics Internet 51 #594 $0.00
    Notes: Jul 21, 19 - The Gary R. Wilson Collection
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  15. dougsmit

    dougsmit Member Supporter

    The second most common coin of Julia Domna from the early period when the name Domna was included in the legend is Vesta seated. They are more scarce but less popular than the Venus from the rear type.
    Ryro, nicholasz219, Bing and 6 others like this.
  16. Jay GT4

    Jay GT4 Well-Known Member

    I have several coins featuring Vesta but this is one of my favorites


    laureate head right

    Vesta standing left holding simpulum and sceptre

    Rome 72 AD

    Sear 2316, RIC 360 (C2), RSC 574

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  17. Orielensis

    Orielensis Well-Known Member

    Nice coins and write-up!

    Here are some of my Vesta coins:

    Rom – Caligula, As, Vesta (neues Foto).png
    Caligula, Roman Empire, As, 37–38 AD, Rome mint. Obv: C CAESAR GERMANICVS PON M TR POT, bare-headed head left. Rev: VESTA, Vesta seated left holding patera and sceptre. S–C. 28 mm, 10.18 g. Ref: RIC I, 38.

    Rom – Julia Domna, Denar, Vestae Sanctae.png
    Julia Domna, Roman Empire, AR denarius, 196–211 Ad, Rome mint. Obv: IVLIA AVGVSTA; bust of Julia Domna, draped, r. Rev: VESTAE SANCTAE; Vesta standing l., holding patera and sceptre. 17.5mm, 3.08g. Ref: RIC IV Septimius Severus 587.

    Rom – Julia Mamaea, Sesterz, Vesta (neues Foto).png
    Julia Mamaea, Roman Empire, AE sestertius, 222–235 AD, Rome mint. Obv: IVLIA MAM[AEA] AVGVSTA; bust of Julia Mamaea, diademed, draped, r. Rev: VES[T]A; Vesta, draped, standing l., holding palladium in r. hand and sceptre in l. hand. 30mm, 24.40g. Ref: RIC IV Severus Alexander 708.
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