Faustina Friday -- Don't Worry, Be Happy Edition

Discussion in 'Ancient Coins' started by Roman Collector, Jan 22, 2021.

  1. Roman Collector

    Roman Collector Supporter! Supporter

    The Latin language has several words for what in English might be rendered by happiness. Three of these appear regularly on Roman coins: Hilaritas, Laetitia, and Felicitas. Hilaritas connotes a feeling of cheerfulness, gayety, joyousness, merriment, or hilarity ...
    [​IMG]

    On Roman coinage, Hilaritas typically holds a cornucopiae and palm branch or scepter and may be accompanied by children. Coins depicting this personification were issued for Faustina by her father in large and middle bronze and by her husband, with slightly different reverse designs, in the aureus, denarius, sestertius and middle bronze denominations.

    [​IMG]
    Faustina II, AD 147-175.
    Roman Æ as, 9.72 g, 25.7 mm, 5 h.
    Rome, AD 147-150.
    Obv: FAVSTINAE AVG PII AVG FIL, draped bust wearing band of pearls around the head, right.
    Rev: HILARITAS S C, Hilaritas standing right, adjusting veil and holding long palm.
    Refs: RIC 1396b; BMCRE 2151-52; Cohen 115; RCV 4725.

    [​IMG]
    Faustina II, AD 147-175.
    Roman AR denarius, 3.40 g, 17.4 mm, 5 h.
    Rome, AD 161-165.
    Obv: FAVSTINA AVGVSTA, 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.
    Notes: Also known with a bust wearing a circlet of pearls in the hair (RSC 111a, BMCRE 101-102) and with a left-facing bust (RSC 111b, BMCRE 103).

    Laetitia connotes a feeling of joy, exultation, rejoicing, gladness, pleasure, or delight.
    [​IMG]

    On Roman coinage, Laetitia typically holds some combination of a scepter, wreath, ears of grain, or an anchor or rudder. As was the case with coins depicting Hilaritas, coins depicting this personification were issued in all metals for Faustina by her father and by her husband with different reverse legends but similar iconography. I have recently written about these issues in more depth.

    [​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.

    [​IMG]
    Faustina II, AD 147-175.
    Roman orichalcum sestertius, 24.87 g, 32.5 mm, 11 h.
    Rome, AD 161-165.
    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
    .​

    Felicitas connotes contentment, with overtones of good fortune or luckiness.

    Capture.JPG

    On Roman coins, Felicitas is depicted as a Roman matron, dressed in a stola and palla, either standing or seated, holding a caduceus and cornucopia or scepter. Sometimes she leans on a column. This personification appears on only one coin of Faustina, a middle bronze issued by her Father exclusively for use in Roman Britain.

    [​IMG]
    Faustina Jr, Augusta AD 147-175.
    Roman Æ as or dupondius, 11.41 g, 23.8 mm.
    Rome, AD 152-156.
    Obv: FAVSTINA AVG PII AVG FIL, bare-headed and draped bust, right.
    Rev: FELICITAS SC, Felicitas standing left, holding caduceus, left hand on hip.
    Refs: RIC (Pius) 1395; BMCRE 2187; Cohen 108; RCV --.

    Let's see your happy coins or anything you feel is relevant!
     
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  3. Ryro

    Ryro They call me the 13th Caesar Supporter

    Lovely Hilaritasious coins! And all have busts to kill for:jimlad:
    Here's my most recent Faustina II. That I understand to be recently unearthed:wideyed:
    Their pics:
    Screenshot_20210109-114440_PicCollage-removebg-preview.png and mine:
    Screenshot_20210120-103600_PicCollage-removebg-preview.png
    Diva Faustina Junior. Died AD 175/6. Æ Sestertius (29,4mm, 18.28 g, 12h). Consecration issue. Rome mint. Struck under Marcus Aurelius, circa AD 175-176. Draped bust right / Altar with closed doors. RIC III 1706 (Aurelius); Unearthed Marne district 2020

    Corrections on my identification are always appreciated:shame:
     
  4. Roman Collector

    Roman Collector Supporter! Supporter

    How fun! A recent find! No corrections needed on your ID.
     
    Ryro likes this.
  5. Marsyas Mike

    Marsyas Mike Well-Known Member

    Nice Faustina Friday as always, RC.

    Here's a Faustina II Hilaritas dupondius you helped me with back in 2019.

    Faurstina II - Dupond Hilaritas Nov 2019 (0).jpg

    Faustina II Æ Dupondius
    (161-176 A.D.)
    Rome Mint

    FAVST[INA AVGVSTA], pearl-diademed, draped bust right / H[ILAR]ITAS, Hilaritas
    standing left, holding palm and cornucopiae, S-C across fields.
    RIC 1643; Cohen 113;BMCRE 982; Sear 5296.
    (12.37 grams / 22 mm)
    eBay Nov. 2019 Lot @ $4.00

    Attribution Note:
    "Your Faustina II coin is a dupondius -- on the basis of the brassy color and the > 12 g weight. It just has a dumpy flan. Moreover, the British Museum specimen is
    probably a dupondius. Read the footnote to BMCRE 982 ("Dupondius?"). It weighs 12.26 g..." Coin Talk post Nov. 16, 2019, "Roman Collector"
     
  6. svessien

    svessien Senior Member Supporter

    A1B25C92-0498-4414-8773-FF0B456FB8FF.jpeg

    Literally fun coins! I’m in the process of cleaning the as above.

    Faustina II Junior AE As. Rome Mint 161-176 AD.

    Obverse: FAVSTINA AVGVSTA Draped bust right in elaborate hair style.

    Reverse: HILARITAS S C Hilaritas, draped, standing left, holding long palm, nearly vertical, in right hand and cornucopiae in left hand.

    References: RIC 1643.

    Size: 25 mm., 11,31 g.

    Is this also a duponius, perhaps?
     
  7. Roman Collector

    Roman Collector Supporter! Supporter

    It could be. The only way to tell is by looking at the color of the metal. An as would be coppery red, while a dupondius would be brassy yellow. When coins are covered by patina, it could be either, particularly in the weight range of about 11-12 g. The British Museum states "as or dupondius" if it isn't clear. I do the same.

    I still do not have an example of a middle bronze of this type in my collection. I do have the sestertius, though:

    Faustina Jr HILARITAS S C Sestertius.jpg
     
  8. Mr.Q

    Mr.Q Well-Known Member

    Thanks to Brainiac's like you people like me are learning, slowly but surely. In my case, very slowly... Thank you
     
    Roman Collector likes this.
  9. Roman Collector

    Roman Collector Supporter! Supporter

    Update! I do now -- I was the successful bidder in yesterday's Artemide Aste auction. Mine differs slightly from @svessien's and @Marsyas Mike's examples in that the empress on my coin does not have any strands of pearls in her hair.

    I think mine is an as by weight; it's less than 9 grams.

    Szaivert (p. 230) dates the coin to AD 161-164 (phase 2) and postulates the HILARITAS reverse types may have been issued in AD 162 to celebrate the birth of M. Annius Verus.

    Faustina Jr Hilaritas S C As under Aurelius Artemide.jpg
    Faustina II, AD 147-175.
    Roman Æ As, 8.35 g, 25.0 mm, 6 h.
    Rome, AD 161-164.
    Obv: FAVSTINA AVGVSTA, bare-headed and draped bust, right.
    Rev: HILARITAS S C, Hilaritas standing left, holding long palm-branch in right hand and cornucopia in left hand.
    Refs: RIC 1643 var.; BMCRE 982 var.; Cohen 113 var.; RCV 5296; MIR 15-7/10b.
    Notes: This coin is a variety of the RIC, BMCRE and Cohen specimens in that Faustina wears no strands of pearls in the hair.

    Szaivert, Wolfgang, Die Münzprägung der Kaiser Marcus Aurelius, Lucius Verus und Commodus (161/192), Moneta Imperii Romani 18. Vienna, 1989.
     
  10. ambr0zie

    ambr0zie Dacian Taraboste

    Finally added my first Faustina II denarius.
    upload_2021-3-1_0-26-18.png
    Rugged surface but the details are satisfactory

    RIC III Marcus Aurelius 696 ; RSC 139a
    Date Range: AD 161 - AD 176
    Obverse Legend: FAVSTINA AVGVSTA
    Type: Bust of Faustina II, wearing circlet of pearls, hair waved and fastened in a bun on back of head, draped, right
    Reverse Legend: IVNONI REGINAE
    Type: Juno, veiled, draped, standing left, holding patera in extended right hand and sceptre in left hand; at left, peacock
     
  11. happy_collector

    happy_collector Well-Known Member

    Nice article, RC. I just noticed one of my Faustina bronzes has a Hilartitas reverse. It is an AE As. Probably the standard version, with a strand of pearls in the hair.
    Faustina AE.jpg Faustina Junior. AD 161-164
    Rome Mint. AE As. 25mm, 11.75g, 12h
    Obv: Draped bust right
    Rev: Hilaritas standing right, holding palm frond and cornucopia.
    RIC III 1643 (Aurelius), MIR 18, 15-6b.
     
    ambr0zie, Bing and Roman Collector like this.
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