Faustina Friday -- Like Mother Like Daughter Edition

Discussion in 'Ancient Coins' started by Roman Collector, Jan 15, 2021.

  1. Roman Collector

    Roman Collector Supporter! Supporter

    After the death and deification of Faustina I in November, AD 140, there followed a massive series of consecration issues issued by the Rome mint in her honor. When her daughter Faustina II died 35 years later, she received similar numismatic honors.

    Although the obverse legends differ between the two Faustinae, and there were reverse types issued that were unique for each empress, there was considerable overlap in the reverse designs issue for the two deified imperial women. In this thread, I demonstrate the similarity of these designs illustrated by coins from my own collection. This is not a complete list (for my collection is incomplete), but I think it's enough to provide an overview of the consecration coinage of each empress. I have written this to complement an earlier thread about the consecration of Faustina II.

    The most overtly funereal designs are the bronze issues depicting the funeral pyres of the empresses.

    Mother:

    [​IMG]

    Faustina Senior, AD 138-140.
    Roman orichalcum dupondius, 16.19 g, 26.1 mm, 10 h.
    Rome, AD 140-141.
    Obv: DIVA AVGVSTA FAVSTINA, bare-headed and draped bust, right.
    Rev: CONSECRATIO, Funeral pyre in three stories, set on base, ornamented and garlanded, surmounted by Faustina in biga right; S C in exergue.
    Refs: RIC 1189; BMCRE p. 236 *; Cohen 187; RCV --; Strack 1238.

    Daughter:

    [​IMG]
    Diva Faustina II, AD 147-175.
    Roman orichalcum sestertius, 27.34 g, 31.3mm, 11 h.
    Rome, AD 176 or later.
    Obv: DIVAE FAVSTIN•AVG•MATR•CASTROR, veiled and draped bust, right.
    Rev: CONSECRATIO S C, Pyramidal crematorium of four stories with garlanded base, door on second level and surmounted by Faustina in biga.
    Refs: RIC 1709; BMCRE 1552-53; Cohen 76; Sear 5231; MIR 46.

    The accompanying funeral rites are symbolized on an issue featuring a female figure sacrificing and holding a long torch. Despite the completely identical reverse designs, Mattingly (in both RIC and BMCRE) identifies the goddess as Vesta on the issue for Faustina I and Pietas on the issue for Faustina II.

    Mother (issued for the 10th anniversary of her death):

    [​IMG]
    Faustina I, AD 138--140.
    Roman orichalcum dupondius, 11.73 g, 25 mm, 6 h.
    Rome, AD 150 or later.
    Obv: DIVA FAV-STINA, veiled and draped bust, right.
    Rev: CONSECRATIO S C, female figure (Vesta? Pietas?), veiled, draped, standing left, sacrificing out of patera in right hand over altar left and holding long lighted torch, vertical, in left.
    Refs: RIC 1187 B; BMCRE 1594; Cohen 164; RCV 4652 var.

    Daughter:

    Faustina Jr CONSECRATIO Pietas denarius.jpg
    Faustina Junior, AD 161-175.
    Roman AR denarius, 2.75 gm 19.1 mm, 11 h.
    Rome, AD 175 or later.
    Obv: DIVA FAVSTINA PIA, bare-headed and draped bust, right.
    Rev: CONSECRATIO, female figure (Vesta? Pietas?), veiled, draped, standing left, sacrificing out of patera in right hand over altar left and holding long lighted torch, vertical, in left.
    Refs: RIC 741; BMCRE 711; RSC 66c; RCV 5214; CRE 204.

    The soul of the deified empress in the celestial realm is exemplified by a moon and stars issue.

    Mother:

    [​IMG]
    Faustina I, AD 138-140.
    Roman Æ as, 12.20 g.
    Rome, AD 140.
    Obv: DIVA AVGVSTA FAVSTINA •, bare-headed and draped bust, right.
    Rev: S C beneath crescent and seven stars.
    Refs: RIC 1199a; BMCRE 1476-77; Cohen 275; Strack 1249; RCV 4658.

    Daughter:

    [​IMG]
    Faustina Jr, AD 161-175.
    Roman AR denarius, 3.14 g, 17 mm, 11 h.
    Rome, AD 175 or later.
    Obv: DIVA FAVSTINA PIA, bare-headed and draped bust right.
    Rev: CONSECRATIO, crescent moon around large star, surrounded by six stars.
    Refs: RIC 750; BMCRE 718; Cohen 83; RCV 5219; MIR 63; CRE 172.

    As a symbol of immortality, the peacock typically appears on consecration issues for Roman empresses, which I have discussed in an earlier thread. Here are a few issued for the Faustinae:

    Mother (issued for the 10th anniversary of her death):

    [​IMG]
    Faustina I, AD 138-141.
    Roman AR Denarius, 3.10 g, 17.6 mm, 6 h.
    Rome, AD 150 or later.
    Obv: DIVA FAVSTINA, bare-headed and draped bust, right.
    Rev: CONSECRATIO, peacock walking right, head left.
    Refs: RIC 384; BMCRE 473; Cohen 175; RCV 4594.

    Daughter:

    [​IMG]
    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; CRE 202.
     
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2021
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  3. shanxi

    shanxi Well-Known Member

    Nice compilation. For the first type you can add: Like Father

    Antoninus_Pius_5.jpg
    Antoninus Pius (Reg. 138-161 AD)
    Posthumous Denarius,161 AD
    Obv.: Divus Antoninus Pius / Laureate bust r., drapery on l. shoulder.
    Rv: CONSECRATIO, Funeral pyre
    Ag, 3.30g, 16.6x17.5mm
    Ref.: RIC 438 (Aurelius), RSC 164a
     
  4. happy_collector

    happy_collector Well-Known Member

    Nice writeup, @Roman Collector
    I was always wondering the significance of the peacock and crescent moon/stars.
     
    Roman Collector likes this.
  5. thejewk

    thejewk Well-Known Member

    The funeral pyre on your Faustina I is unlike the ones I've seen before, less like a wedding cake, more elaborate and interesting.
     
    Roman Collector likes this.
  6. Marsyas Mike

    Marsyas Mike Well-Known Member

    Interesting post - I need to do more work on this one, however. All I can find at the moment are a couple of the peacocks:

    Faustina I:

    Faustina I den Peacock May 2019 (0).jpg

    Faustina II:

    Faustina II - Denarius peacock Oct 2019 (0).jpg
     
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