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Bonus Eventus or Genius?

Roman Collector

Bonus Eventus or Genius?  

12 members have voted

  1. 1. Some references identify the reverse figure on this Trajan denarius as Bonus Eventus; others say it's Genius. Who do YOU think it is? Explain why in your comments! Thanks!

    • Bonus Eventus
    • Genius

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Trajan, 98-117 CE.
Roman AR denarius, 3.45 g, 17.5 mm, 7 h.
Rome, 114-116 CE.
Obv: IMP CAES NER TRAIANO OPTIMO AVG GER DAC, bust of Trajan, laureate, draped, right.
P M TR P COS VI P P S P Q R, Bonus Eventus (or Genius) standing left, holding patera in right hand and corn-ears in left hand.
Refs: RIC II 347; BMCRE 549-554; Cohen/RSC 276; RCV 3149: Hill UCR 711; Woytek 518v.

Edited by Roman Collector
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Given the traditional association of Bonus Eventus with agriculture, and the fact that the reverse figure on your coin holds two coin ears, I voted for him. See the discussions of Bonus Eventus at https://www.forumancientcoins.com/moonmoth/reverse_bonus_eventus.html and in this post by Jochen1 at https://www.cointalk.com/threads/bonus-eventus-god-of-success.394610/ . 

Plus, identifying an ambiguous male figure or head as a Genius (whether the Genius of the Roman People, or an Infant Genius), particularly before the era when depictions of the genius Populi Romani became common, seems almost like a confession that the writer has no real idea who the figure is.

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The compilers of RIC seem to have been inconsistent in their use of the deities. If the legend didn't reflect the deity explicitly then they seem to have sometimes made an arbitrary decision or hedged their bets. In other cases where the legend and type don't seem to match convention, the example here is the BONI EVENTVS from the eastern mints of Septimius Severus, which show Fides, then they have incorrectly gone with the legend as being definitive. 

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