Featured Faustina Friday – Juno Lucina and the Birth of Fadilla

Discussion in 'Ancient Coins' started by Roman Collector, Apr 2, 2021.

  1. Roman Collector

    Roman Collector Supporter! Supporter

    Gold and bronze coins bearing the reverse inscription IVNONI LVCINAE and depicting a female figure standing, holding an infant in her arm, with two older children at her feet were issued during the final years of the reign of Antoninus Pius, AD 158-161.[1] During this period, the empress' obverse titulature read FAVSTINA AVGVSTA, her reverses no longer bore the filiation AVGVSTI PII FIL, and she wore an unassuming hairstyle described by Fittschen as "Main hair combed back in waves, strand of hair twisted into a bun relatively high at the nape of the neck."[2] She typically does not wear strands of pearls or the stephane in her hair on coins of this period.

    Faustina Jr IVNONI LVCINAE aureus BMC.jpg
    Aureus (RIC 692, BMCRE 116), British Museum collection.

    Two bronze specimens from my collection:

    Faustina Jr IVNONI LVCINAE S C sestertius.jpg
    Faustina II, AD 147-175.
    Roman orichalcum sestertius, 26.31 g, 29 mm, 12 h.
    Rome, AD 159.
    Obv: FAVSTINA AVGVSTA, bare-headed and draped bust, right.
    Rev: IVNONI LVCINAE, Juno standing left between two children, holding a third child on left arm.
    Refs: RIC 1649; BMCRE 918; Cohen 136; RCV 5277; MIR 18.

    Faustina Jr IVNONI LVCINAE S C dupondius.jpg
    Faustina II, AD 147-175.
    Roman orichalcum dupondius, 13.23 g, 25.1 mm, 6 h.
    Rome, AD 159.
    Obv: FAVSTINA AVGVSTA, bare-headed and draped bust, right.
    Rev: IVNONI LVCINAE, Juno standing left between two children, holding a third child on left arm.
    Refs: RIC 1650; BMCRE p. 541, *; Cohen 137; RCV 5298; MIR 18.

    But we can further narrow down the date of issue to AD 159. The Juno Lucina reverse type clearly refers to childbirth. Lucina was the aspect of Juno associated with light and childbirth, during which she eased the pain and made sure all went well. Coins portraying Juno Lucina typically commemorate a birth in the Imperial family or that the help of the goddess had been invoked.[3]

    The identity of the children on the reverse of this are not known with absolute certainty -- and it's possible they are simply the attributes of the personification of Juno Lucina and not intended to represent actual members of the imperial family -- but they are thought by some numismatists to represent (from oldest to youngest) Lucilla, Faustina III, and newborn Fadilla.[4]

    How do we know this? First, we have to know when the coin was issued. In the absence of titulature beyond AVGVSTA, we must turn to the parallel issues of her father, who also issued coins with this motif on the reverse.

    Antoninus Pius PIETATI AVG COS IIII Fecunditas Sestertius.jpg
    Antoninus Pius, AD 138-161.
    Roman orichalcum sestertius, 23.46 g, 32.3 mm, 12 h.
    Rome, AD 159 - 160.
    Obv: ANTONINVS AVG PIVS P P TR P XXIII, laureate head, right.
    Rev: PIETATI AVG COS IIII, Pietas, standing facing, head left, holding globe in extended right hand and child on left arm; on either side of her, small girl standing, raising one hand.
    Refs: RIC 1031; BMCRE 2088-90; Cohen 621; Strack 1192; RCV 4205.

    Given the similarity in reverse motif of Antoninus Pius' PIETATI AVG COS IIII type and Faustina's IVNONI LVCINAE type, Szaivert dates Faustina's IVNONI LVCINAE coins to AD 159.[5] I concur it is highly likely that these coins were issued simultaneously and to commemorate an actual event, the birth of Princess Fadilla,[6] for she was the only child born to Faustina in that year.[7] At the time of the coin's issue, the following of Faustina's children had already died: Domitia Faustina, Antoninus, Aelius, Titus Aelius Antoninus, and a son, the identity of which is unclear. This left only the three daughters, Lucilla, Faustina III, and Fadilla. Lucilla and Faustina were of middle-school age. The coin depicts three children, two old enough to stand and a baby held in an arm. Although the children at the reverse figure's feet are preschooler size, not tween size, I consider this an artistic convention, similar to the way barbarian captives are rendered tiny compared to Roman soldiers on many issues. This is not inconsistent with the conventional wisdom that the coin was issued to commemorate the birth of Fadilla in 159.

    ~~~

    Notes:

    1. Strack, Paul L. Untersuchungen Zur Römischen Reichsprägung Des Zweiten Jahrhunderts. Kohlhammer, 1937, pp. 17 f.

    2. Fittschen, Klaus, "Die Bildnistypen der Faustina Minor und die Fecunditas Augustae," Abhandlungen der Akademie der Wissenschaften in Göttingen, Philologisch-historische Klasse, 3rd Series, no.126, Göttingen, 1982, p. 5.

    3. Jones, J.M. A Dictionary of Ancient Roman Coins. London: Seaby, 1990, p. 153.

    4. Strack, op. cit., pp. 113-18. So too Mattingly, Harold, Coins of the Roman Empire in the British Museum, vol. IV: Antoninus Pius to Commodus. Introduction, indexes and plates. London, BMP, 1968, p. lxxiv.

    5. Szaivert, Wolfgang, Die Münzprägung der Kaiser Marcus Aurelius, Lucius Verus und Commodus (161/192), Moneta Imperii Romani 18. Vienna, 1989, p. 230.

    6. Mattingly, op. cit., p. lxxiv.

    7. Levick, Barbara. Faustina I and II: Imperial Women of the Golden Age. Oxford University Press, 2014, pp. 115-18. I here summarize her chronology of births to the imperial family:
    • Faustina’s first child was a daughter, Domitia Faustina, born November 30, 147 AD. She is thought to have died in AD 150 or 151
    • Titus Aurelius Antoninus ("Antoninus" #2) and his twin brother Titus Aelius Aurelius ("Aelius" #3) were POSSIBLY her second and third children; the historical record is inconsistent and the dates these children were born is not known with certainty or whether they were twins. The birth of the two boys in AD 149 is suggested by coins with the legend temporum felicitas ("happiness of these times"), because their birth meant that dynastic continuity was guaranteed. In ancient Rome, that was another way of saying that a civil war was averted. If these two were twins, Antoninus must have been the elder of the two, because Marcus Aurelius gave this name to the son who he believed would be his successor. However, Aelius died within a year, and Antoninus appears to have died soon after. The evidence is limited to coinage: there is a coin that shows Faustina III and Antoninus; the next coin shows Faustina III alone. There is nothing exceptional to this: infant mortality was high in pre-industrial societies. Aelius and Antoninus were buried in the Mausoleum of Hadrian.
    • Annia Galeria Aurelia Lucilla (#4 or #2), better known as simply Lucilla, was born in AD 149 or 150.
    • Annia Galeria Aurelia Faustina (#5 or #3), better known as Faustina III, was born in AD 150/151.
    • T. Aelius Antoninus (#6 or #4) was born in AD 152 if not in AD 149, as discussed above. Some identify this male child with T. Aurelius Antoninus or perhaps with Hadrianus. He died in infancy.
    • Son (#7 or #5) dead in infancy, late AD 157 or early 158, known from a letter of Marcus Aurelius acknowledging congratulations on his birth. Some identify him with the T. Aelius Aurelius if not born in AD 149, as discussed above.
    • Annia Aurelia Fadilla, most commonly known as Fadilla (#8 or #6), was born in AD 159.
    • Annia Cornificia Faustina Minor (#9 or #7), was born in August, 160.
    • Of the twins born 31 August 161, the elder (#10 or #8) was called Titus Aurelius Fulvius Antoninus and the younger (#11 or #9) Lucius Aurelius Commodus. Titus died in AD 165.
    • Marcus Annius Verus (#12 or #10) was born in late AD 162.
    • Hadrianus, the youngest son (#13 or #11), was born about AD 165 or 166.
    • Vibia Aurelia Sabina was the youngest child (#14 or #12), a daughter, born in AD 170.
     
    Last edited: Apr 2, 2021
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  3. Parthicus Maximus

    Parthicus Maximus Well-Known Member

  4. Andres2

    Andres2 Well-Known Member

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  5. Marsyas Mike

    Marsyas Mike Well-Known Member

    Interesting and informative as always, RC. Whenever a Faustina Friday gets posted I look through my collection looking for a match. Surely there was a Juno Lucina in there somewhere.

    Nope. I have three IVNO LVCINA's, all Antonine ladies, but not Faustina II. Here is a Lucilla sestertius:

    Lucilla Sest. IVNO Apr 2019 (0).jpg
    Lucilla Æ Sestertius
    (wife of Lucius Verus)
    (164-167 A.D.)
    Rome Mint

    [LVCILLA] AVG ANTONINI AVG F, draped bust right / IVN[ONI LVCINAE] S-C, Juno seated left, holding flower & infant.
    RIC 1747; BMC 1154.
    (27.53 grams / 29 mm)

    Here is Crispina in both as and dupondius versions (denominational guesstimate based on weight, size). No children on these - hoping for an imperial pregnancy, I'd guess:

    Crispina - Dup and As IVNO LVCINDA Mar 2020 (0).jpg
    Crispina Æ Dupondius
    (wife of Commodus)
    (c. 178-180 A.D.)
    Rome Mint

    CRISPINA AVGVSTA, draped bust right / IVNO LVCINA, S-C across field, Juno standing left, holding patera and scepter.
    RIC 680; Cohen 24; BMC 433
    (13.66 grams / 25 mm)

    Crispina Æ As
    (wife of Commodus)
    (c. 178-180 A.D.)
    Rome Mint

    CRISPINA AVGV[STA], draped bust right / [IV]NO L[V]CIN[A], S-C across field, Juno standing left, holding patera and scepter.
    RIC 680; Cohen 24; BMC 433
    (8.68 grams / 23 x 21 mm)

    Here's the Antoninus Pius version of Faustina's issue:
    Antoninus Pius - Sest. PIETATI kids Feb 2020 (0a).jpg
    Antoninus Pius Æ Sestertius
    (Dec. 159-Dec. 160 A.D.)
    Rome Mint

    ANTONINVS AVG [PIVS PP T]R P XXIII, laureate head right / [PI]ETATI AVG COS IIII S-C, Pietas draped standing left holding globe and child, to left and right two small girls standing.
    RIC 1031; BMCRE 2088-90.
    (17.34 grams / 34 mm)
    Notes: "Likely commemorates the birth of Fadilla to Faustina II; the children...are thought to represent Faustina III and Lucilla. RIC 1002 and BMCRE 2062 are misdescribed by Mattingly in both RIC3 and BMCRE4. It is extremely doubtful that any specimens read TR P XXII on obv., but actually read TR P XXIII with the final "I" being merged with the neck"
    Roman Collector - Coin Talk Nov 2020
     
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  6. happy_collector

    happy_collector Well-Known Member

    Great information as always, RC.

    My Faustina II coins only have Fecunditas on the reverse. Interesting to see three children reverse design. I was thinking the various family reverse designs only have 1, 4 and 8 children. :)
     
  7. gogili1977

    gogili1977 Well-Known Member

    Interesting post.
    I have this Hadrian dupondius, I think Hilaritas with children on reverse.
    image.jpg
     
  8. Spaniard

    Spaniard Well-Known Member

    ANTONINUS PIUS. 138-161 AD. Æ Sestertius (33mm, 26.75 g.)
    Struck 159/160 AD.
    Obverse..ANTONINVS AVG PIVS P P TR P XXIII, laureate head right
    Rev. PIETATI AVG COS IIII SC, Pietas standing left holding globe, Faustina Junior as Pietas standing left, between Faustina Minima, Lucilla & holding baby Fadilla.
    RIC III 1031
    AP SESTERTIUS BLACK.jpg
     
  9. akeady

    akeady Well-Known Member

    I picked up a Faustina in the last Naville auction.

    Faustina senior, wife of Antoninus Pius Denarius After 141, AR 19mm., 3.03g. DIVA FAVSTINA Draped r. Rev. AVGVSTA Ceres, veiled, standing facing, head right, holding torch and grain ears. RIC 358. C 93.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    ATB,
    Aidan.
     
  10. Bing

    Bing Illegitimi non carborundum Supporter

    Faustina 1.jpg
    FAUSTINA Sr
    AE As
    OBVERSE: DIVA FAVSTINA, draped bust right
    REVERSE: AVGVSTA S-C, Ceres standing left holding torch & corn-ears
    Struck at Rome, 148-161AD
    13.5g, 27mm
    RIC 1171
    Faustina 5.jpg
    FAUSTINA Sr
    AR Denarius
    OBVERSE: DIVA FAVSTINA, draped bust right
    REVERSE: AVGVSTA, Ceres, veiled, standing left, holding torch & raising robe
    Struck at Rome, 141-161 AD
    2.5g, 18mm
    RIC 362
     
  11. DonnaML

    DonnaML Supporter! Supporter

    @Roman Collector, assuming that you're right that this coin celebrates the birth of Fadilla, what do you think the reason is that coins were issued celebrating the births of Fadilla in 159, Cornificia in 160, and the twin boys in 161, but not for the births of any of Faustina's and Marcus Aurelius's many children born either before or after that brief period?
     
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  12. Roman Collector

    Roman Collector Supporter! Supporter

    That is a great question and it's one I have been working on answering. The brief answer is that there most certainly were other coins honoring the births of children before Fadilla and after Commodus and his twin brother.

    Identifying the other children honored on Antonine coinage is a little more challenging. The most famous and most readily dated of these coins is the TEMPORVM FELICITAS, COS IIII issue of AD 149 for Antoninus Pius with the crossed cornuacopiae. Here's the humble specimen in my collection.

    Antoninus Pius TEMPORVM FELICITAS Sestertius.jpg

    Antoninus Pius, AD 138-161.
    Roman orichalcum sestertius; 22.64 gm, 31.5 mm, 12 h.
    Rome, AD 149.
    Obv: ANTONINVS AVG PIVS P P TR P XII, laureate bust right, slight drapery on left shoulder.
    Rev: TEMPORVM FELICITAS, COS IIII in exergue, S C across field, crossed cornucopiae from which a grape bunch flanked by two grain ears hang, surmounted by confronted busts of two children.
    Refs: RIC 857; BMCRE 1827-29; Cohen 813; RCV 4236; Strack 1026; Banti 411.

    This sestertius of Antoninus Pius can be dated to his 12th tribunician year, which lasted from Feb 25, AD 149 to Feb 24, AD 150. The type is widely accepted to commemorate the birth of a male heir to Marcus Aurelius and Faustina II. It bears the inscription TEMPORVM FELICITAS ("happiness of these times"), because this birth meant that dynastic continuity was guaranteed. One of the two children depicted on the coin is widely believed to have been this male heir. HOWEVER, I want to caution the reader that we don't know the identities of these children with certainty, that plenty of coins (i.e. Faustina's IVNONI LVCINAE coins (above) and the FECVND AVGVSTI coins (discussed elsewhere) depict three and four girls, respectively, without a single male heir featured. The assumption that it must be a "male heir" needs to be evaluated critically.

    The child(ren) depicted on this sestertius were/was not the couple's first; it is generally agreed that Faustina II bore a girl, Domitia Faustina, in AD 147, the occasion on which Faustina received the title of Augusta. This girl died at the age of two or three, but after this sestertius was issued.

    So who are these kids? There is disagreement between authors as to who they might be.

    Mattingly and Sydenham write in RIC III, "The bust of twins in cornuacopiae, with the legend 'Temporum Felicitas,' appears to record the birth of twin children to Marcus Aurelius and Faustina II."[1] They identify these children as "two little boys" in the catalog listing of the coin.[2] The authors do not speculate as to the names of the children.

    Strack[3] appears to be the source of the common belief in the numismatic community[4] that the infants represent T. Aelius Antoninus and T. Aurelius Antoninus, twin sons of Marcus Aurelius and Faustina Junior born in that year. The historian Birley would seem to agree; he states that the infants were buried in the Mausoleum of Hadrian, where their epitaphs survive, and notes they were called Titus Aurelius Antoninus and Tiberius Aelius Aurelius.[5]

    However, Mattingly, writing in BMCRE without Sydenham, states of the two children on the coin, "it seems certain Lucilla was one of the two."[6, 7] David Vagi[8] identifies the male child -- and thus the heir -- as Aurelius Antoninus and being the twin, not of Aelius Aurelius, but of Lucilla. Sear concurs, stating, "Twins were born to the Caesar Marcus Aurelius and Faustina Junior in AD 149, one of them the future empress Lucilla, and this type may commemorate the event."[9]

    Indeed, the child on the right appears to be depicted as a girl, for on some issues of this reverse type, she wears a diadem. See, for example, these specimens in the collection of the British Museum:

    [​IMG]
    BMCRE 4, p. 97, 679[10]

    [​IMG]
    BMCRE 4, p.298, 1828[11]

    And the coin sold in the aforementioned CNG Triton VIII sale[4]:

    [​IMG]

    Not only does the child above the cornucopiae on the right wear a diadem, but the child also looks to be about two years old, whereas the child on the left appears to be a newborn.

    One would think there would be widespread consensus on which children were born to Marcus Aurelius and Faustina in AD 149, but answering this question turns out to be surprisingly difficult because no ancient author tells us how many children Marcus and Faustina had, when they were born, what their names were, and how long they lived. There are a few names and dates in these written sources, and some more in surviving inscriptions such as the Ostian Fasti and epitaphs of deceased children from Hadrian's Tomb. Pace Birley, but the epitaphs in Hadrian's tomb do not list birth years for the children buried therein.

    Our very own @curtislclay, offered a different interpretation of the crossed cornucopias type. He believes it "commemorated the birth of a second child to Marcus and Faustina, a boy, during Antoninus' 12th tribunician year" (Feb. 25, AD 149 to Feb. 24, AD 150. He rightly notes "there is no need to assume that the crossed cornucopias type must refer to the birth of twins," and postulates "the child on the right is instead the first child of Marcus and Faustina, the girl born on 30 Nov. 147, who is accordingly sometimes shown with longer hair in the coin type; the baby on the left is the second child, a boy, born according to the coin type in 149-50. Because this baby was a boy and potential successor, his birth was commemorated on Antoninus' coinage, which had in contrast taken no notice of the birth of his older sister two years earlier."[12]

    Clay then provides numismatic evidence, based upon the dates of Marcus Aurelius' tribunician authority, that Lucilla was born in Antoninus' 14th tribunician year, which began on Feb 25, AD 151. Because we know from ancient sources that Lucilla was born on March 7 (but not which year), Clay deduces she would have been born on March 7, AD 151, and hence cannot be depicted on the coins under discussion.[13]

    I think the most thorough and objective study of the ancient sources is that of Levick, cited in the OP.[14] She -- pace Curtis Clay -- concludes Annia Galeria Aurelia Lucilla, better known as simply Lucilla, was born in AD 149 or 150. If we accept Levick's chronology of the various births to Faustina and look at the notions of "it must be a male heir" and of twins born in AD 149 with extreme skepticism (Birley accepts the twins theory[15] whereas Ameling rejects it[16]), we may conclude that the crossed cornuacopiae type of AD 149/50 depicts Domitia Faustina and Lucilla.

    ~~~

    Notes:

    1. Mattingly, Harold and Edward A. Sydenham. The Roman Imperial Coinage. III, Spink, 1930, p. 10.

    2. Ibid., p. 133.

    3. Strack, Paul L. Untersuchungen Zur Romischen Reichspragung Des Zweiten Jahrhunderts. Kohlhammer, 1937, pp. 113-18.

    4. See, for example, the notes in the listings for this coin in Numismatik Naumann's Auction 53, May 7, 2017 or CNG Triton VIII, Jan. 11, 2005.

    5. Birley, Anthony R. Marcus Aurelius: A Biography. New York: Routledge, 1966, rev. 1987, pp. 206–07.

    6. Mattingly, Harold. Coins of the Roman Empire in the British Museum: Antoninus Pius to Commodus. Vol. 4, British Museum, 1940, p. lxvii, n.4.

    7. Note, however, that the BMC listing of this coin online states each of the infants is a "little boy."

    8. Vagi, David L. Coinage and History of the Roman Empire. Vol. 1, Coinworld, 1999, p. 246.

    9. Sear, David R. Roman Coins and Their Values. II, Spink, 2002, p. 229.

    10. Which may be viewed at the British Museum's online collection here.

    11. Which may be viewed at the British Museum's online collection here.

    12. Clay, Curtis L. Reply #1 to “Twins of Marcus Aurelius.” Forum Ancient Coins, 17 Aug. 2014, 04:25:05 pm, www.forumancientcoins.com/board/index.php?topic=97313.0.

    13. Ibid, replies #4, 5 and 8.

    14. Levick, Barbara. Faustina I and II: Imperial Women of the Golden Age. Oxford University Press, 2014, pp. 115-18.

    15. Birley, Anthony R. Marcus Aurelius: a Biography. Routledge, 1993, p. 247.

    16. Ameling, Walter. Die Kinder des Marc Aurel und die Bildnistypen der Faustina Minor. Zeitschrift für Papyrologie und Epigraphik 90 (1992):147-166, specifically, p. 161. Available online at https://www.jstor.org/stable/20187629?read-now=1&seq=1#page_scan_tab_contents
     
  13. Roman Collector

    Roman Collector Supporter! Supporter

    Two early issues of Faustina depict babies, but they are depicted as attributes of Venus and Juno, and do not unequivocally commemorate births to the imperial couple. Both of these issues bear Faustina's earliest obverse inscription, FAVSTINAE AVG PII AVG FIL, dated by Mattingly to AD 147-150 and by Strack to AD 147-149. They bear portraits depicting Faustina in her first and second hairstyles as listed in Fittschen.

    This issue depicts Faustina in her earliest hairstyle. It features Venus Genetrix, ("Venus the Mother"), in her aspect as goddess of motherhood and domesticity. Gold and bronze coins depict Venus standing, holding an apple and a swaddled infant. Here are the two bronze denominations in my collection.

    [​IMG]
    Faustina Jr., Augusta AD 147-175.
    Roman orichalcum sestertius, 22.96 gm, 30.4 mm.
    Rome, AD 147-149.
    Obv: FAVSTINA AVG PII AVG FIL, bust of Faustina II, draped and wearing stephane, right.
    Rev: VENERI GENETRICI SC, Venus Genetrix standing left, holding apple and child in swaddling clothes.
    Refs: RIC 1386b; BMCRE 2145; Cohen 237; Strack 1306; RCV 4718.

    [​IMG]
    Faustina II, AD 147-175.
    Roman Æ as, 6.93 g, 26.1 mm, 11 h.
    Rome, AD 147-149.
    Obv: FAVSTINAE AVG PII AVG FIL, bust of Faustina II, draped and wearing band of pearls, right.
    Rev: VENERI GENETRICI S C, Venus standing facing, head left, holding up apple in right hand and holding child on left arm.
    Refs: RIC 1407; BMCRE p. 375 *; Cohen 238; Strack 1306; RCV 4734.
    Notes: Die-match to specimens sold by CNG Jan. 7, 2014 and Künker Oct. 18, 2016.

    Note the similarity in the hairstyle to that on this statue of Faustina in the Capitoline Museum in Rome, depicting Faustina shortly after she was married to Marcus Aurelius.

    Faustina Jr statue Musei Capitolini di Roma.jpg
    This same early hairstyle and obverse inscription is to be found on coins featuring Juno Lucina (the aspect of Juno as goddess of childbirth) and LAETITIAE PVBLICAE ("public rejoicing"), celebrating cause for celebration. Here are my less-than-museum-quality examples.

    Faustina Jr IVNONI LVCINAE S C (Pius) as.jpg

    Faustina II, AD 147-175.
    Roman Æ as, 8.68 g, 25.9 mm.
    Rome, AD 147-149.
    Obv: FAVSTINAE AVG PII AVG FIL, bust of Faustina II, draped and wearing band of pearls, right.
    Rev: IVNONI LVCINAE S C, Juno, veiled, standing left, holding patera and scepter.
    Refs: RIC 1400A; BMCRE 2153-54; Cohen --; Strack 1299; RCV 4728.

    [​IMG]
    Faustina II, AD 147-175.
    Roman AR denarius, 3.03 g, 17.4 mm, 5 h.
    Rome, AD 147-149.
    Obv: FAVSTINAE AVG PII AVG FIL, bare-headed and draped bust, right.
    Rev: LAETITIAE PVBLICAE, Laetitia standing left, holding wreath in in right hand and vertical scepter in left hand.
    Refs: RIC 506a; BMCRE 1048; Cohen/RSC 155; Strack 491; RCV 4705; CRE 195.

    I postulate that these coins representing the earliest issues for the young empress, depicting Venus and Juno in their roles as goddesses of motherhood and childbirth, respectively, and to announce cause for "public rejoicing," were issued in late AD 147 or early AD 150 to commemorate the birth on November 30, 147 of Domitia Faustina, the first child born to Faustina and Marcus.

    An intriguing aureus, again bearing the early obverse inscription FAVSTINAE AVG PII AVG FIL of AD 147- 149 or 150, bears Faustina's second hairstyle as well as Juno with two children.

    canvas.png
    RIC 504, BMCRE 1043. British Museum specimen.

    This coin depicts Juno, a child old enough to stand before her, and a fully-clothed baby on her lap. Both children have feminine hairstyles. This strongly suggests the two infants depicted are girls, for baby boys are often depicted nude on Roman coins. Juno is likely intended here to represent Juno Lucina, her role as goddess of childbirth.

    Following Ameling (see above) in rejecting the notion of twins born in AD 149, I believe this aureus was likely struck late in AD 149 or early- to mid-150 to commemorate the birth of Lucilla and that the coin depicts Domitia Faustina, the older girl, and Lucilla as a baby.

    Birley notes the existence of other coins of Marcus Aurelius and Antoninus Pius suggesting subsequent births, and I'm in the process of researching these. Perhaps Faustina III, born AD 150/151, T. Aelius Antoninus, born in AD 152 and who died in infancy, and another son who died in infancy, late AD 157 or early 158. More to follow in the months ahead.

    In the meantime, these two coins, RIC 679 and RIC 682, each in the ANS collection clearly refer to Faustina's fecundity and depict a naked child, which quite likely indicates a baby boy, along with two older children. Although they are undated, I propose that they date to AD 158, the first year Faustina used the FAVSTINA AVGVSTA legend without filiation (such as PII AVG FIL) and depict the male child born either in 157 or 158 but who died in infancy.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Apr 3, 2021
  14. Roman Collector

    Roman Collector Supporter! Supporter

    As for coins issued after the birth of Commodus and his twin brother, Titus Aurelius Fulvius Antoninus 31 August 161, this coin type (so Szaivert, p. 230) was issued in AD 162 to commemorate the birth of M. Annius Verus in the late part of that year.

    Note the empress wears her hair in a later style (Szaivert's hairstyle 'b', p. 40) from that on the IVNONI LVCINAE issues of the OP. Note the hair is wavier and the chignon is placed lower on the back of the head, near the nape of the neck. With this coiffure, the empress usually wears one or two strands of pearls or the stephane in her hair, though bare-headed variants exist.

    Faustina Jr FECVNDITAS denarius.jpg
    Faustina II, AD 147-175.
    Roman AR denarius, 3.20 g, 17.4 mm, 11 h.
    Rome, AD 162.
    Obv: FAVSTINA AVGVSTA, draped bust of Faustina, right, wearing double strand of pearls.
    Rev: FECVNDITAS SC, (Faustina as) Fecunditas standing right, holding scepter and infant.
    Refs: RIC 677; BMCRE 91-95; Cohen 99; RCV 5252; CRE 176.

    [​IMG]
    Faustina Jr, Augusta 147-176
    Roman orichalcum sestertius, 21.28 g, 31.9 mm, 5 h.
    Rome, AD 162.
    Obv: FAVSTINA AVGVSTA, draped bust of Faustina, right, wearing strand of pearls.
    Rev: FECVNDITAS SC, (Faustina as) Fecunditas standing right, holding scepter and infant.
    Refs: RIC 1638; BMCRE 905; Cohen 101; RCV 5274.

    Moreover, the LAETITIA and HILARITAS types featuring this hairstyle may have been issued to honor the occasion as well (Szaivert, ibid).

    [​IMG]
    Faustina II, AD 147-175.
    Roman AR denarius, 2.60 g, 17 mm, 7 h.
    Rome, AD 161-164.
    Obv: FAVSTINA AVGVSTA, draped bust right, wearing a double strand of pearls.
    Rev: LAETITIA, Laetitia standing facing, head left, holding wreath and scepter.
    Refs: RIC 700; BMCRE --; Cohen 147; RCV 5258 var; CRE 197.

    [​IMG]
    Faustina II, AD 147-175.
    Roman orichalcum sestertius, 24.87 g, 32.5 mm, 11 h.
    Rome, AD 161-164.
    Obv: FAVSTINA AVGVSTA, draped bust of Faustina II, right, with a double strand of pearls in the hair.
    Rev: LAETITIA S C, Laetitia standing facing, head left, holding wreath in right hand and vertical scepter in left hand.
    Refs: RIC 1654; BMCRE 924-27; Cohen 149; RCV 5279; MIR 21-6/10b.

    [​IMG]
    Faustina II, AD 147-175.
    Roman AR denarius, 3.40 g, 17.4 mm, 5 h.
    Rome, AD 161-164.
    Obv: FAVSTINA AVGVSTA, bare-headed bust of Faustina II, draped, right.
    Rev: HILARITAS, Hilaritas standing left, holding long palm-branch in right hand and cornucopia in left hand.
    Refs: RIC 686; BMCRE 100; RSC 111; RCV 5254; CRE 182.

    She had only two children after this, Hadrianus, the youngest son, born about AD 165 or 166, and Vibia Aurelia Sabina, born AD 170. Szaivert (pp. 230-31) notes a possible break in the issuing of coins for Faustina after AD 164 until the early 170s, when coins with her final hairstyle reappear. If there were such a break in issuing of coins for the empress, these final two children would not have been so honored.
     
    Last edited: Apr 3, 2021
  15. Dafydd

    Dafydd Supporter! Supporter

    I'm a great believer in what I call Serendipitous Synchronicity and I was really pleased and amazed to read Roman Collectors post and other responses today. I had a day off work yesterday and spent a couple of hours trying to catch up on cataloguing and attributing coins. A few days ago I received a group lot (Lot 871) from Numismatik Naumann's March 7th Auction. To be truthful I was chasing the Marc Antony Legate Denarius in the lot as I have been on the road to emulating Bing for a couple of years now and this Legate IX in the lot was far better than my example. I managed to attribute my Faustina but have learnt more today from this thread about my new coin than I would ever thought likely. Thank you all.
    FaustinaA.JPG FaustinaB.JPG
    18.26 mm 3.16 gm.
     

    Attached Files:

  16. Roman Collector

    Roman Collector Supporter! Supporter

    Nice coin, @Dafydd! I'm so happy to hear you found the thread helpful. I hope you'll read this earlier post, which discusses your coin in particular. The baby honored on its reverse had a very interesting life and death, too!
     
  17. Dafydd

    Dafydd Supporter! Supporter

    Thank you @Romancollector, the day just gets better! Great article as always.
     
    Roman Collector likes this.
  18. Deacon Ray

    Deacon Ray Biblical Kingdoms Supporter

    Great post, @Roman Collector.
    DECAPOLIS.jpg
     
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