The front (obverse) of this coin portrays the bust of Julia Mamaea, the mother of Roman Emperor Alexander Severus, facing to the right, draped, and diademed. On the back (reverse), the goddess Venus stands front, head left, helmet in right hand, spear in left, shield resting against her leg.
Coins recorded the ever-changing hairdos of the royal ladies in Rome and carried the new fashions to the far corners of the empire.
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Karen B. Alexander and Mary Greuel. Private Taste in Ancient Rome: Selections from Chicago Collections. Exh. cat. (Chicago: Art Institute of Chicago, 1990), cat. 57.
Karen B. Alexander, “From Plaster to Stone: Ancient Art at the Art Institute of Chicago,” in Karen Manchester, Recasting the Past: Collecting and Presenting Antiquities at the Art Institute of Chicago (Chicago: Art Institute of Chicago; New Haven: Yale University Press, 2012), p. 29.
Theresa Gross-Diaz, “Cat. 63 Denarius Portraying Julia Mamaea: Curatorial Entry,” in Roman Art at the Art Institute of Chicago (Art Institute of Chicago, 2016).
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