Faustina Friday – The Peacock of Juno

Discussion in 'Ancient Coins' started by Roman Collector, Jun 11, 2021.

  1. Roman Collector

    Roman Collector Supporter! Supporter

    One important aspect of Roman religion, particularly for the imperial family, was the concept of consecration, the process by which a deceased person became a divine being and was transported to the divine realm to join the pantheon of gods. The eagle of Zeus or the peacock of Juno carried the departed to the heavens. The coins of this issue were the first to depict the peacock of Juno in the context of the consecration of a Roman empress. This association was only natural; as Juno was the heavenly queen, Faustina I was the earthly queen.

    This week's installment concerns the aurei and denarii bearing the reverse inscription CONSECRATIO and a peacock walking right or left along a scepter – the hasta pura designating Juno’s authority – as well as a quinarius aureus depicting the sacred bird facing with its tail in splendor. These coins were part of a series of issues that commenced in AD 150 to commemorate the tenth anniversary of Faustina's death and deification.[1] On the aurei, the peacock may walk either right or left, and on the denarii, the bust type may be bare-headed or veiled. Slight stylistic variations may occur in the empress's hairstyle. On some specimens, she is depicted with a band or ribbon encircling the head. I will illustrate these variants with museum specimens (gold) and specimens from my own collection (silver and AE).

    Faustina Sr CONSECRATIO Peacock left aureus BMC.png
    Aureus, peacock walking l., head r., on scepter (RIC 385; BMCRE 478; Cohen 177; Strack 454). British Museum specimen.

    Faustina Sr CONSECRATIO Peacock right aureus Berlin.jpg
    Aureus, peacock walking r., head l., on scepter (RIC 384; BMCRE 471; Cohen 174; Strack 453). Münzkabinett der Staatlichen Museen zu Berlin specimen.

    Faustina Sr CONSECRATIO Peacock right aureus BMC.jpg
    As above, but hairstyle variant bearing a band or ribbon around the head. British Museum specimen.

    Faustina Sr CONSECRATIO Peacock Quinarius Aureus BMC.jpg
    Quinarius aureus, peacock standing front, head l., with tail spread (RIC 386; BMCRE 470; Cohen 179; Strack 455) British Museum specimen.

    Faustina Sr CONSECRATIO Peacock Denarius.jpg
    Faustina I, AD 138-140.
    Roman AR Denarius, 3.10 g, 17.6 mm, 6 h.
    Rome, AD 150 and later.
    Obv: DIVA FAVSTINA, bare-headed and draped bust, right.
    Rev: CONSECRATIO, peacock walking right, head left, on scepter (?).
    Refs: RIC 384(a); BMCRE 473-75; Cohen 175; Strack 453; RCV 4594; CRE 106.
    Notes: 112 examples in the Reka Devnia hoard.

    Faustina Sr CONSECRATIO Peacock Denarius veiled.jpg
    Faustina I, AD 138-140.
    Roman AR Denarius, 2.99 g, 17.1 mm, 5 h.
    Rome, AD 150 and later.
    Obv: DIVA FAVSTINA, veiled and draped bust, right.
    Rev: CONSECRATIO, peacock walking right, head left, on scepter (?).
    Refs: RIC 384(b); BMCRE 476-77; Cohen 176; Strack 453; RCV –; CRE 107.
    Notes: 15 examples in the Reka Devnia hoard.

    After the death of Faustina I’s daughter in AD 175, coins were issued for Faustina II with similar reverse types. On examples of these issues, the peacock stands, right with its head facing either right or left, or the peacock may stand facing, head either left or right, with its tail in splendor. Although a single specimen depicting the peacock standing left was described in the Reka Devnia hoard (RIC –; BMCRE 714n; RSC 71b; MIR –), no other examples are known, and confirmation is required.

    Faustina Jr CONSECRATIO Peacock denarius.jpg
    Faustina Jr, AD 161-175.
    Roman AR denarius, 3.60 g, 17.4 mm, 5 h.
    Rome, AD 175 or later.
    Obv: DIVA FAVSTINA PIA, bare-headed and draped bust right.
    Rev: CONSECRATIO, Peacock standing right, head left.
    Refs: RIC 744; BMCRE 716-17; RSC 71a; RCV 5215; MIR 58-4/10; CRE 202.

    [​IMG] Diva Faustina II, AD 147-175.
    Roman AR denarius, 2.73 g, 17.1 mm, 12 h.
    Rome, AD 176-180.
    Obv: DIVA FAVSTINA PIA, bust of Faustina II, draped, right.
    Rev: CONSECRATIO, peacock standing facing with tail spread, head right.
    Refs: RIC 743; BMCRE 712-13; Cohen/RSC 70; RCV --; CRE 200.

    [​IMG]
    Faustina II, AD 147-175.
    Roman orichalcum sestertius, 19.27 g, 28.7 mm, 6 h.
    Rome, AD 176-180.
    Obv: DIVA FAVSTINA PIA, bust of Faustina II, draped, right.
    Rev: CONSECRATIO, peacock walking left with tail spread.
    Refs: RIC 1703; BMCRE 1573-76; Cohen 72; RCV 5228; MIR 60.

    Please post comments or any coins you feel are relevant!

    ~~~

    Notes

    1. Beckmann, Martin. Diva Faustina: Coinage and Cult in Rome and the Provinces. American Numismatic Society, 2012, p. 69 ff.
     
  2. Avatar

    Guest User Guest



    to hide this ad.
  3. Bing

    Bing Illegitimi non carborundum Supporter

    Faustina 7.jpg
    FAUSTINA Sr
    AR Denarius
    OBVERSE: FAVSTINA AVGVSTA, draped bust right
    REVERSE: IVNONI REGINAE, throne, draped, sceptre rests against it; in front and below, a peacock left, with tail spread
    Struck at Rome, 140 AD
    2.8g, 17mm
    RIC 339a (Antoninus Pius), C 214
     
  4. Ryro

    Ryro They call me the 13th Caesar Supporter

    Those British Museum AV are breathtaking!
    Sorry Fausty, my peacock isn't so foxy nor Fausty:
    share1978337253314651921.png

    Julia Mamaea,
    Augusta, 222-235, Denarius (18mm, 2.76 g), Mamaea was the younger daughter of Julia Maesa, Rome, 222. IVLIA MAMAEA AVG Draped bust of Julia Mamaea to right, wearing stephane. Rev. IVNO CONSERVATRIX Juno standing left, holding patera in her right hand and long scepter in her left; at her feet to left, peacock with folded wings standing left, head turned back to look at Juno. Cohen 35. RIC 343
     
  5. Marsyas Mike

    Marsyas Mike Well-Known Member

    Nice peacocks, RC. Here's my only peacock walking on a sceptre -

    Faustina I den Peacock May 2019 (0a).jpg
    Faustina I Denarius
    (c. 150 A.D.)
    Rome Mint

    DIVA FAVSTINA, draped bust right / CONSECRATIO, peacock walking right (on sceptre, per Strack?), head left.
    RIC 384a; Cohen 176.
    (2.71 grams / 18 mm)
     
  6. happy_collector

    happy_collector Well-Known Member

    Here is my Faustina I with a small peacock on reverse.
    R17.jpg
     
  7. DonnaML

    DonnaML Supporter! Supporter

    I have two "Diva" coins with peacocks:

    Diva Faustina II (the same type as @Roman Collector's, I believe):

    Detail Diva Faustina II denarius, purchased 01.04.2018 (2).jpg

    And Diva Mariniana:

    COMBINED Diva Mariniana.jpg
     
Draft saved Draft deleted

Share This Page