Goddess Venus and Cupid on Roman coins

14 Feb 2018  Wed

After a long wait and after celebrating different days for a week, Valentine’s Day is finally here. The day of love and happiness is celebrated on 14th of February throughout the world by couples to express their affection for each other. This day can be celebrated by everyone to show their care towards their loved ones.

Love plays a significant role in an individual life. Its influence can be seen in human history since aeons. Like for Romans, Venus was the goddess of love, while for the Greeks it was Aphrodite. The God of affection and desire was Cupid in Roman mythology and Eros in Greek.

This significance of these gods was so supreme that, Venus the Goddess of Love, affection, victory and prosperity was seen as the mother of Romans and Cupid was her son. Venus was the major Goddess of Rome and an integral part of this religious life. Julius Caesar claimed to be connected to her direct lineage. One of his coins depicted Venus riding on the 'biga' of Cupids on the reverse of a silver denarius. It also had the legend ‘Caesar’ on it, to prove his connection to her. The same type of coin was also issued in 103 BC.

In 85 BC, the above-shown Silver denarius was issued illustrating initials of moneyers Mn.Fonteius and depicting Cupid seated on the goat. On the bronze quadrans of the City of Carteia Cupid is riding a dolphin.

Emperor Caracalla of Roman had issued a silver antoninianus depicting Goddess Venus with the legend ‘Venus the Victorious’ on its reverse side. On many silver and bronze denominations of Rome, Goddess Venus was depicted with the empresses.

E.g. Venus appeared on the coin with the Empress Galeria Valeria, wife of Emperor Galerius. Empress Julia Domna, wife of Emperor Septimius Severus was depicted with Venus on silver Denarius in 193-211 AD.

To know more about Roman coins click here. Interesting facts Similar to Cupid and Eros, Kamadev is popular in India for love and desire and his wife Rati is known as the Goddess of Love.

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