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    Description

    Choice 'Star' Faustina Junior Aureus

    Faustina Junior (AD 147-175/6). AV aureus (20mm, 7.27 gm, 1h). NGC Choice AU★ 5/5 - 4/5. Rome, AD 161-176. FAVSTINA-AVGVSTA, draped bust of Faustina Junior right, seen from front, hair styled in waves and tucked in large braided bun at nape of neck / HIL-A-RITAS, Hilaritas standing facing, head left, long grounded palm in right hand, cornucopia in left. RIC III (Marcus Aurelius) 684. Calicó 2057. Wonderful portrait with lovely style.

    Ex V.D.T. Collection (Roma Numismatics, Auction XV, 5 April 2018), lot 568.

    Annia Galeria Faustina the Younger was born in about AD 129 to Antoninus Pius and his wife, Faustina the Elder. When Antoninus was adopted by Hadrian as his successor in AD 138, the emperor arranged for her betrothal to Lucius Verus, also about eight, the son of the "heir consumptive" Aelius Caesar, who had died the same year. When Antoninus inherited the throne, he broke the engagement and instead betrothed her to his nephew (and adoptive son) Marcus Aurelius. They were wed in AD 145 to great rejoicing and went on to produce at least 13 children, of which only three or four survived to adulthood, among them the future emperor Commodus. Faustina seems to have been a free, fun-loving spirit in the mold of her mother, which earned the disapproval of staid Roman historians. Marcus Aurelius, after he became emperor in AD 161, spent long years on campaign, which must have strained the relationship. Faustina accompanied him on some of these and was given the honorific title "Mater Castrorum," or "Mother of the Camp." Nevertheless, there were rumors of adulteries with soldiers, sailors and gladiators, which do not seem to have altered her husband's devotion to her. More serious are allegations that she had some part in the abortive rebellion of the eastern general Avidius Cassius in AD 175. Whatever the truth, she died soon thereafter, either of illness or as the result of an accident. Reputation or no, Marcus grieved greatly and ordered her deification. The lifetime coinage of Faustina started at the time of her marriage and continued over 30 years, showing her from a fresh-faced princess to a mature matron, and providing a pageant of Roman feminine hairstyles over that span.


    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    January, 2019
    6th-7th Sunday-Monday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 4
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