Concordia (mythology)

In ancient Roman religion, Concordia (means "concord" or "harmony" in Latin) is the goddess who embodies agreement in marriage and society. Her Greek equivalent is usually regarded as Harmonia, with musical harmony a metaphor for an ideal of social concord or entente in the political discourse of the Republican era. She was thus often associated with Pax ("Peace") in representing a stable society.[1] As such, she is more closely related to the Greek concept of homonoia (likemindedness), which was also represented by a goddess.[2]

Concordia, standing with a patera and two cornucopiae, on the reverse of this coin of Aquilia Severa.

Concordia Augusta was cultivated in the context of Imperial cult. Dedicatory inscriptions to her, on behalf of emperors and members of the imperial family, were common.[3]

In art and numismaticsEdit

In art, Concordia was depicted sitting, wearing a long cloak and holding onto a patera (sacrificial bowl), a cornucopia (symbol of prosperity), or a caduceus (symbol of peace). She was often shown in between two other figures, such as standing between two members of the Imperial family shaking hands. She was associated with a pair of female deities, such as Pax and Salus, or Securitas and Fortuna. She was also paired with Hercules and Mercury, representing "Security and Luck" respectively.[4] Worth of note was the production of coins depicting the Goddess Concordia in imperial Rome, such as between Marcus Aurelius and Lucius Verus, or among armies.


The representation of Goddess Concordia on a Roman coin of Gens Aemilia (denarius of Lucius Aemilius Lepidus Paullus) inspired Laura Cretara for the obverse of Italy's commemorative 1000 lire of 1970, "Roma Capitale".

Italy, 1000 lire "Roma capitale", 1970. Obverse (Laura Cretara): image of the Goddess Concordia inside a beaded circle, which was taken from a Roman denar of the Gens Aemilia. Reverse (Guerrino Mattia Monassi): reproduction of the pavement of Piazza del Campidoglio, by Michelangelo at the top and the value with mintmark at right below. Composition: silver (.835). Weight: 14.6 g. Diameter:31.4 mm. Thickness: 2.4 mm.


The oldest Temple of Concord, built in 367 BC by Marcus Furius Camillus,[5] stood on the Roman Forum. Other temples and shrines in Rome dedicated to Concordia were largely geographically related to the main temple, and included (in date order):

  • a bronze shrine (aedicula) of Concord erected by the aedile Gnaeus Flavius in 304 BC "in Graecostasis" and "in area Volcani" (placing it on the Graecostasis, close to the main temple of Concord). He vowed it in the hope of reconciling the nobility who had been outraged by his publication of the calendar, but the senate would vote no money for its construction and this thus had to be financed out of the fines of condemned usurers.[6] It must have been destroyed when the main temple was enlarged by Opimius in 121 BC.
  • one built on the arx (probably on the east side, overlooked the main temple of Concord below). It was probably vowed by the praetor Lucius Manlius in 218 BC after quelling a mutiny among his troops in Cisalpine Gaul,[7] with building work commencing in 217 and dedication occurring on 5 February 216.[8]
  • a temple to Concordia Nova, marking the end Julius Caesar had brought to civil war. It was voted by the senate in 44 BC.[9] but was possibly never built.
  • a shrine or temple dedicated by Livia according to Ovid's Fasti VI.637‑638 ("te quoque magnifica, Concordia, dedicat aede Livia quam caro praestitit ipsa viro" - the only literary reference to this temple). Ovid's description of the Porticus Liviae in the same poem suggests that the shrine was close to or within the porticus. It is possibly to be identified with the small rectangular structure marked on the Marble Plan (frg. 10), but scholarly opinion has been divided on this.[10]

In Pompeii, the high priestess Eumachia dedicated a building to Concordia Augusta.[11]

Modern religionEdit

Harmonians and some Discordians equate Concordia with Aneris.[12] Her opposite is thus Discordia, or the Greek Eris.


The asteroid 58 Concordia is named after her.


  1. ^ Carlos F. Noreña, Imperial Ideals in the Roman West: Representation, Circulation, Power (Cambridge University Press, 2011), p. 132.
  2. ^ Anna Clark, Divine Qualities: Cult and Community in Republican Rome (Oxford University Press, 2007), p. 31.
  3. ^ H.L. Wilson (1912). "A New Collegium at Rome". American Journal of Archaeology. Archaeological Institute of America. 16 (1): 94–96. doi:10.2307/497104. JSTOR 497104. S2CID 191390675.
  4. ^ Claridge, Amanda. Rome: An Oxford Archaeological Guide. New York: Oxford University Press, 1998. (The section about the Temple of Concordia Augusta)
  5. ^ Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Concordia (goddess)" . Encyclopædia Britannica. Vol. 6 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. p. 834.
  6. ^ Liv. IX.46; Plin. NH XXXIII.19; Jord. I.2.339.
  7. ^ Liv. XXII.33.7; cf. XXVI.23.4.
  8. ^ Liv. XXIII.21.7; Hemerol. Praen. ad Non. Feb., Concordiae in Arce;1 CIL I2 p233, 309; p138Fast. Ant. ap. NS 1921, 86, Concordiae in Capitolio; Hermes 1875, 288; Jord. I.2.112.
  9. ^ Cass. Dio XLIV.4.
  10. ^ Flory, Marleen Boudreau (1984). "Sic Exempla Parantur: Livia's Shrine to Concordia and the Porticus Liviae". Historia: Zeitschrift für Alte Geschichte. 33 (3): 310. JSTOR 4435892.
  11. ^ Dunn,Jackie and Bob Dunn. Pompeii In Pictures. Inscription from the Eumachia Building
  12. ^ "Mythics of Harmonia". Retrieved 2007-12-20.

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