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511201
511201. SOLD $125

Salonina. Augusta, AD 254-268. AR Antoninianus (21mm, 2.95 g, 12h). Colonia Agrippinensis (Cologne) mint. 2nd emission, AD 258-259. Draped bust right, wearing stephane, set on crescent / DEAE SE-GE-TIAE, Segetia, orans, standing facing within tetrastyle temple. RIC V 5; MIR 36, 902c; RSC 36. Old cabinet toning over subdued luster. EF.


The reverse of this type evidently refers to a temple Salonina had erected in honor of the little-known goddess Segetia, a deity presiding over harvests when sprung from the soil. The appearance of the goddess, nimbate with arms held open (orans), is echoed on scenes painted in the catacombs depicting early Christians in prayer. It is thus not too presumptuous to suppose this widely-issued coin type may have given rise to the later tradition that Salonina favored the Christians, or was a secret Christian herself.