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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ |Roman Coins| ▸ |The Adoptive Emperors| ▸ |Faustina Jr.||View Options:  |  |  | 

Faustina Junior, Augusta 146 - Winter 175/176 A.D., Wife of Marcus Aurelius

The daughter, wife, and mother of emperors and empresses, Faustina II was born around 130 A.D. to Antoninus Pius and Faustina I. She was married to her cousin Marcus Aurelius in 145 A.D. In 146 A.D., she gave birth to the first of 14 children. To celebrate this occasion she was given the title of Augusta, which technically made her superior in rank to her husband. Faustina II was a devoted wife and mother and accompanied her husband on all his military campaigns. Her son Commodus went on to become emperor after his fathers' death, and her daughter Lucilla became Augusta when she married Lucius Verus. She died in the city of Halala in Anatolia in 175 A.D., plagued by baseless rumors about her infidelity. She was deified soon after and a grand temple was erected to her in the city where she died.


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Laetitia is the Roman goddess of gaiety and joy, her name deriving from the root word laeta, meaning happy. She is typically depicted on coinage with a wreath in her right hand, and a scepter, a rudder, or an anchor in her left hand. On the coins of empresses, Laetitia may signal a birth in the Imperial family.
SH93043. Gold aureus, Calicó 2066 (same rev. die); RIC III MA699; BMCRE IV MA129 note; Cohen III 146; SRCV II 5242; Hunter II -, gVF, light marks on edge, weight 6.763 g, maximum diameter 17.7 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 161 - 175 A.D.; obverse FAVSTINA AVGVSTA, diademed and draped bust right, hair in bun at the back; reverse LAETITIA, Laetitia standing facing, wreath in right hand, long scepter in left; ex Numismatik Naumann auction 80 (04 Aug 2019), lot 563; ex Roma Numismatics 14 (27 Jan 2019), lot 761; Numismatica Ars Classica auction 106 (09 May 2018), lot 973; ex Roma Numismatics sale XIV (21 Sep 2017), 761 (realized £4,600 plus fees); extremely rare; $5200.00 (€4576.00)
 


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Hilaritas, the personification of rejoicing, is usually depicted as a matron, standing with a cornucopia in her left hand and a long palm frond on the ground in her right. Green branches were a sign of gladness and for special occasions, both public and private, it was the custom in ancient times to ornament streets, temples, gates, houses, and even entire cities, with branches and leaves of trees. This tradition carries on today in the form of wreaths and Christmas trees.
RS89844. Silver denarius, RIC III MA686, RSC II 111, BMCRE IV MA100, Hunter II 6, SRCV II 5254, Choice EF, well centered, nice portrait, flow lines, struck with a worn reverse die, small edge cracks, weight 3.138 g, maximum diameter 18.4 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, struck under Marcus Aurelius, 161 - 175 A.D.; obverse FAVSTINA AVGVSTA, draped bust right, hair waived and drawn back into a coil a the back of neck; reverse HILARITAS, Hilaritas standing slightly left, head left, long grounded palm frond in right hand, cornucopia in left hand; $250.00 (€220.00)
 


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Faustina II was the daughter, wife, and mother of emperors and empresses. When she gave birth to the first of many children she was given the title of Augusta, which for a time made her superior in rank to her husband. She was a devoted wife and mother and accompanied her husband on all his military campaigns.
RB93046. Orichalcum sestertius, RIC III MA1703, BMCRE IV MA1573, Cohen III 72, SRCV II 5228, VF, well centered, red-brown patina, porosity, light corrosion, weight 14.832 g, maximum diameter 29.6 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, struck under Marcus Aurelius, 176 - 177 A.D.; obverse DIVA FAVSTINA PIA, draped bust of Faustina the Younger right, hair elaborately waved in nearly vertical lines and fastened in a low chignon at back of head, down cheek, curls; reverse CONSECRATIO, peacock standing slightly, head left, tail spread in splendor, S - C flanking low across field; from the Errett Bishop Collection; scarce; $180.00 (€158.40)
 


Faustina Junior, Augusta 146 - Winter 175/176 A.D., Wife of Marcus Aurelius, Roman Provincial Egypt

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Missing from all the references examined, except Emmett, where the type is listed only for year three and is identified as very rare (R5). We did not find another example online.
RX89193. Bronze diobol, Emmett 2324 (R5), Dattari -, Geissen -, BMC Alexandria -, SNG Milan -, Kampmann -, SRCV II -, VF/F, light marks, edge cracks, beveled obverse edge, weight 8.146 g, maximum diameter 24.3 mm, die axis 0o, Alexandria mint, 29 Aug 162 - 28 Aug 163 A.D.; obverse ΦAVCTINA CEBACTH, draped bust right; reverse Tyche standing facing, holding rudder by tiller in right hand, cornucopia in left hand, L - Γ (year 3) divided across fields; extremely rare; $140.00 (€123.20)
 


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Although many coin references classify Fecunditas as a personification of fertility rather than as an actual deity, Fecunditas was recognized as a Roman divinity by Nero, who erected a statue to her. Tacitus notes that upon the birth of Claudia Neronis, the senate decreed the construction of a temple of Fertility to be built at Antium. Fecunditas is always portrayed as a female figure holding a child, or children and often a scepter, cornucopia, palm branch or caduceus. Sometimes the children are depicted standing at her feet. Coins portraying her usually advertise the fertility of the imperial family.
RS89458. Silver denarius, RIC III MA677; RSC II 99; BMCRE IV MA91; Hunter II, p. 351, 4; SRCV II 5252, Choice gVF, well centered and struck, light tone, flow lines, reverse die wear, tiny edge cracks, weight 3.109 g, maximum diameter 18.2 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, struck under Marcus Aurelius, 161 - 175 A.D.; obverse FAVSTINA AVGVSTA, draped bust right; reverse FECVNDITAS, Fecunditas (fertility) standing right, long scepter vertical in right hand, infant in extended left hand; $115.00 (€101.20)
 


Faustina Junior, Augusta 146 - Winter 175/176 A.D., Wife of Marcus Aurelius

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Although many coin references classify Fecunditas as a personification of fertility rather than as an actual deity, Fecunditas was recognized as a Roman divinity by Nero, who erected a statue to her. Tacitus notes that upon the birth of Claudia Neronis, the senate decreed the construction of a temple of Fertility to be built at Antium. Fecunditas is always portrayed as a female figure holding a child, or children and often a scepter, cornucopia, palm branch or caduceus. Sometimes the children are depicted standing at her feet. Coins portraying her usually advertise the fertility of the imperial family.
RS91448. Silver denarius, RIC III MA676, RSC II 95, BMCRE IV MA89, Szaivert MIR 18 10, SRCV II 5251, Choice F, excellent centering, good portrait, old collection toning, light marks, tiny edge cracks, weight 3.219 g, maximum diameter 17.9 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, struck under Marcus Aurelius, 161 - 175 A.D.; obverse FAVSTINA AVGVSTA, draped bust right; reverse FECVND AVGVSTAE, Fecunditas standing facing, head left, cradling an infant in each arm, flanked by two children standing at feet; from the Maxwell Hunt Collection; $110.00 (€96.80)
 


Faustina Junior, Augusta 146 - Winter 175/176 A.D., Abila in Decapolis, Palaestina Secunda

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Abila was founded under the Seleucids, and was known for a time as Seleucia. It was later ruled by the Kingdom of Judaea. Under Rome it was included in the province Palaestina Secunda. The second-century geographer Ptolemy, in his Geography, lists 18 cities of the Decapolis and Coele-Syria. He adds Abila and eight others to Pliny's ten.
RP91006. Bronze AE 15, cf. RPC IV online T6509; Spijkerman 6; Rosenberger 5; Sofaer pl. 124, 8; SNG ANS -, F, scratches, corrosion, earthen deposits, weight 2.714 g, maximum diameter 14.4 mm, die axis 180o, Abila in Decapolis (Quwaylibah, Jordan) mint, c. 161 - 163 A.D.; obverse ΦAYCTEINA CEBACTH, draped bust of Faustina II right; reverse CEΛEYK ABILA EKC (year 226), bunch of grapes hanging from vine; rare; $60.00 (€52.80)
 


Faustina Junior, Augusta 146 - Winter 175/176 A.D., Amphipolis, Macedonia

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Tauropolos is an epithet for the goddess Artemis, variously interpreted to mean worshiped at Tauris (Crimea), or pulled by a yoke of bulls, or the hunting bull goddess. A statue of Artemis Tauropolos by Iphigenia in her temple at Brauron in Attica was said to have been from the Taurians. The festival of Artemis at Athens was called the Tauropolia.
RP84828. Bronze AE 17, Varbanov III 3225 (R4); AMNG III / 2 p. 42, 83; SNG Hunterian 775; SNG Cop 107; SNG ANS 191; BMC Macedonia p. 57, 112; SGICV 1720, VF, legends weak, encrustations, flan flaws obverse right, corrosion, weight 4.313 g, maximum diameter 16.7 mm, die axis 315o, Amphipolis mint, 146 - winter 175/176 A.D.; obverse ΦAVCTEINA CEBACTH, draped bust right, hair in a braided bun at the back; reverse AMΦI−ΠO−ΛE−ITΩN, Artemis Tauropolos riding aside facing on bull galloping right, bow in left hand extended before her, drawing arrow from quiver at shoulder with right hand; ex Alex G. Malloy; $50.00 (€44.00)
 


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In Roman religion, Concordia was the goddess of agreement, understanding, and marital harmony. The cult of Concordia Augusta ("Majestic Harmony") was of special importance to the imperial household. She is usually depicted wearing a long cloak and holding a patera (sacrificial bowl), a cornucopia (symbol of prosperity), or a caduceus (symbol of peace).
RB92455. Bronze as, RIC III MA1626, BMCRE IV MA971, Cohen III 59, SRCV II 5292, Hunter II -, F, tight flan, rough, weight 9.445 g, maximum diameter 24.14 mm, die axis 0o, Rome mint, struck under Marcus Aurelius, 161 - 164 A.D.; obverse FAVSTINA AVGVSTA, draped bust right, hair waved and fastened in a bun at the back; reverse CONCORDIA (harmony), Concordia seated left, patera in extended right, left elbow resting on small statuette of Spes (hope), S - C (senatus consulto) flanking across center; from the Errett Bishop Collection; $50.00 (€44.00)
 







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OBVERSE| LEGENDS|

DIVAAVGFAVSTINA
DIVAFAVSTINAPIA
DIVAEFAVSTINAVGMATRCASTROR
DIVAEFAVSTINAEPIAE
FAVSTINAAVGANTONINIAVG
FAVSTINAAVGANTONINIAVGPIIFIL
FAVSTINAAVGPIIAVGFIL
FAVSTINAAVGVSTA
FAVSTINAAVGVSTAAVGPIIF
FAVSTINAAVGVSTAAVGPIIFIL
FAVSTINAAVGVSTAPIIAVGFIL
FAVSTINAEAVGANTONINIAVGPIIFIL
FAVSTINAEAVGPIIAVGF
FAVSTINAEAVGPIIAVGFIL


REFERENCES|

Banti, A. & L. Simonetti. Corpus Nummorum Romanorum. (Florence, 1972-1979).
Calicó, E. The Roman Avrei, Vol. I: From the Republic to Pertinax, 196 BC - 193 AD. (Barcelona, 2003).
Cayón, J. Los Sestercios del Imperio Romano, Vol. III: De Marco Aurelio a Caracalla (Del 161 d.C. al 217 d.C.). (Madrid, 1984).
Cohen, H. Description historique des monnaies frappées sous l'Empire Romain, Vol. 3: Marcus Aurelius to Clodius Albinus. (Paris, 1883).
Mattingly, H. & E. Sydenham. The Roman Imperial Coinage, Vol. III: Antoninus Pius to Commodus. (London, 1930).
Mattingly, H. & R. Carson. Coins of the Roman Empire in the British Museum, Vol. 4: Antoninus Pius to Commodus. (London, 1940).
Robinson, A. Roman Imperial Coins in the Hunter Coin Cabinet. II. Trajan to Commodus (London, 1971).
Szaivert, W. Die Münzprägung der Kaiser Marcus Aurelius, Lucius Verus un Commodus (161-192). (Vienna, 1984).
Seaby, H. & R. Loosley. Roman Silver Coins, Vol. II: Tiberius to Commodus. (London, 1979).
Sear, D. Roman Coins and Their Values, Vol. II: The Accession of Nerva to the Overthrow of the Severan Dynasty AD 96 - AD 235. (London, 2002).
Strack, P. Untersuchungen zur römischen Reichsprägung des zweiten Jahrhunderts, Teil III: Die Reichsprägung zur Zeit Antoninus Pius. (Stuttgart, 1937).
Toynbee, J. Roman medallions. ANSNS 5. (New York, 1944).
Vagi, D. Coinage and History of the Roman Empire. (Sidney, 1999).

Catalog current as of Monday, October 21, 2019.
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Roman Coins of Faustina Jr.