Aeternitas

The personification of Eternity, worshiped by the Romans as a goddess. It seems that neither altars nor temples were dedicated to her worship, although a coin of Emperor Augustus shows an image of the temple of Aeternitatis Augustae at Tarraco.

Iconography

Aeternitas is depicted on various coins as a goddess, sometimes seated and sometimes standing, holding in her right hand a globe with a phoenix on it or without, and in her left hand a lance. On coins of Titus she has one foot on the globe and holds a cornucopia. Coins of Vespasian, Domitian, Trajan, and others depict her holding the radiant sun and the moon in her hands. On a coin of Hadrian she is enclosed in a circle on which an eagle perches, and on a coin of Faustina she is veiled. Aeternitas is also depicted holding a snake that bites its own tail, sitting on a globe covered with stars, holding a phoenix, etc., all symbols of long or eternal time.

References

Sources

  • Boccaccio. Genealogia Deorum Gentilium i, 2.
  • Gyraldus. Syntagma i, p. 59.
  • Hederich, Benjamin. (1770). GrĂ¼ndliches mythologisches Lexikon. Leipzig, pp. 124-125.
  • Struvius. Syntagma, p. 143.
  • Tacitus. Annales i, 78.