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    Pleasing Faustina Senior Aureus

    Diva Faustina Senior, wife of Antoninus Pius (died AD 140/1). AV aureus (20mm, 7.13 gm, 6h). Rome, under Antoninus Pius, ca. AD 146-161. DIVA FAVSTINA, draped bust of Faustina right / AETERNITAS, Fortuna standing left, holding patera in right hand and rudder in left. RIC 349a (Pius). Calic├│ 1743. Well-centered on a large flan. NGC Choice AU? 5/5 - 5/5, Fine Style.

    Ex Triton XIII (5 January 2010), lot 322; New York Sale XIV (10 January 2007), lot 306.

    Annia Galeria Faustina was born into an aristocratic Roman senatorial family of Spanish descent; her maternal uncle was the Emperor Hadrian. In about AD 115, she married Titus Fulvius Antoninus, a respected Senator, and through her connections he became a close advisor to Hadrian, leading to his selection as Hadrian's heir in AD 138. Antoninus succeeded to the throne later that year and Faustina was acclaimed as Augusta, or Empress. Antoninus honored her extensively on the coinage and her vivacity, fashion sense and compassion for the poor made her very popular. Her distinctive hairstyle, with a tight coil adopt her head, became popular among women throughout the Empire. The couple had four children, two sons and two daughters; both male children died in infancy, but the daughters lived to adulthood and one, Faustina the Younger, married Marcus Aurelius and became Augusta herself. Only two years into Antoninus' reign, Faustina died of an unknown illness. The grief-stricken Antoninus secured her deification and issued an immense coinage in her name, the largest for any Roman woman to that point. This attractive aureus falls into the posthumous series.



    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    August, 2014
    8th Friday
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