Victory inscribing a Shield

 

The personification of Victory (Nike, Victoria) is an exceptionally common motif in the Roman Empire.  I appears on large imperial monuments (Trajan’s column, Marcus Aurelius’ column), on small domestic items such as lamps, and all over imperial and provincial coinage.

I’m hard pressed to think of a Hellenistic precedent; perhaps there is one lurking out there… Thus, I was surprised to find a very early example of the type amongst the quinarii of the mid 90s BC (97 BC according to Crawford, 94 BC according to Mattingly).