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Object Description
Title/Object Name
Ob: FAVSTINA AVG(usta) PII AVG(usti) FIL(ia) [Faustina Augusta, daughter of (Antoninus) Pius Augustus] | Re: CONCORDIA
c. 175 CE
2nd century
Portfolio / Series Title
Women of the Roman Empire in Gold
Diameter, 0.7480 In, 1.9 Cm
Weight, 0.0149 Pounds, 6.743 Grams
Faustina Jr. Wife of Marcus Aurelius Ob: Faustina II bust draped, hair waved and coiled on back of head, left. Re: Dove advancing right.
Credit Line
Gift of Wilton Jaffee to the University of Colorado Classics Department (2003), Transfer, CU Art Museum, University of Colorado Boulder
This aureus features Faustina the Younger, who, as the obverse legend celebrates, was the daughter of Antoninus Pius. She seems to have been his only child to survive to adulthood, with all three siblings dying before 138. She was betrothed to her cousin, Marcus Aurelius, whom Antoninus Pius adopted, and they were wed in 145. Faustina gave birth to her first child within the year, and received the title Augusta. Upon the death of her father, power passed smoothly to Marcus Aurelius and Lucius Verus as planned. Note the peaceful dove, serene and dignified portrait of Faustina, and message of harmony on the coin – all are reflective of the rather successful era of Marcus Aurelius’ rule. Little was written about the empress (and what was comes from unreliable sources), though the marriage seems to have been happy, and we know she bore at least thirteen children (and perhaps as many as fifteen). Unfortunately, only four of Marcus Aurelius and Faustina’s children lived to adulthood. This is illustrative of the times: childhood mortality rates were extremely high, with over a third of infants dying within a year of birth, and over half before they reached their fifth birthday. Two of Faustina’s surviving children were the future emperor Commodus, and Lucilla, who would be married to her father’s co-ruler Lucius Verus when she became a teenager. The surprisingly harmonious Antonine dynasty would begin to unravel later, however, for Commodus would execute his sister during his reign when he suspected her of plotting against him. Faustina the Younger would be deified upon her death in 176. KHK.
Object ID
RIC III, 94, no. 503b(3)



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