Faustina Junior has twins

Discussion in 'Ancient Coins' started by Parthicus, Dec 3, 2016.

  1. Parthicus

    Parthicus Well-Known Member

    This coin arrived in the mail yesterday, just wanted to share it after I did my research.
    Faustina Junior babies.jpg
    Roman Empire. AR denarius. Faustina Junior, wife of Marcus Aurelius (161- d.175 AD). Obverse: her bust in diadem facing right, FAVSTINA AVGVSTA. Reverse, two babies (Commodus and Antoninus) seated on throne, SAECVLI FELICIT. RIC (M. Aurelius) 712.

    Faustina Junior (130- 175) was the daughter of the emperor Antoninus Pius and his wife Faustina Senior. She was married to Marcus Aurelius in 145; since her father Antoninus Pius had already formally adopted Marcus Aurelius as his son (and successor), presumably he formally gave up his paternal rights to Faustina so that the marriage was not legally considered incestuous. The marriage proved quite fruitful, producing 13 children, though the majority did not survive childhood. This coin marks the birth in 161 AD of twin boys, Commodus and Antoninus, with the legend "Saeculi Felicitas" (the happiness of the age). The throne they are sitting on is a pulvinar, a special ceremonial throne that is normally kept symbolically empty. Some sources state that this is intended to dedicate the twins to the Dioscuri (Castor and Pollux), twin sons of Jupiter. Antoninus died in childhood, but Commodus survived to succeed his father in 180. As for Commodus' reign... well, there's a good reason the "Five Good Emperors" period ends with Marcus Aurelius. As Seth Stevenson wryly observes about the reverse inscription in his "Dictionary of Roman Coins": "It is certain that the subsequent era utterly failed to prove the reality of the anticipated blessing."

    I won this coin in Frank Robinson's latest auction for $61. One interesting feature of the coin that I didn't notice until I looked at the enlarged photo is that is appears to be overstruck on a coin of either Marcus Aurelius or Lucius Verus. Look at the area above her head; you can see the outline of a curly-haired head similar to Aurelius or Verus. Regardless of the overstrike, I like the reverse type, both for its Imperial propaganda value (showing the continuity of the Imperial bloodline) and adding a human dimension to the Imperial family (they had babies who presumably ran around the palace and bounced on the cushions of the thrones.)
     
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  3. randygeki

    randygeki Coin Collector

    Very nice.
     
    Publius likes this.
  4. Bing

    Bing Illegitimi non carborundum Supporter

    Nice coin and information.
    Faustina II 3.jpg
     
  5. rrdenarius

    rrdenarius non omnibus dormio Supporter

    Great catch on the over strike! Nice coin.
     
    Mikey Zee likes this.
  6. stevex6

    stevex6 Random Mayhem

    Parthicus => congrats on scoring that great OP-denarius (oh, and being over-struck on another ancient example is always cool in my books)

    I also have an example of the cute lil' high-fivin' brothers ...

    Faustina Jr II.jpg

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2016
  7. Mikey Zee

    Mikey Zee Delenda Est Carthago

    Love those reverses guys!!! And cool portraits too!!
     
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2016
  8. chrsmat71

    chrsmat71 I LIKE TURTLES! Supporter

    nice parthicus...those tiwns are cool. i didn't know commodus had a twin, how interesting! how would things have turned out if the brother survived to adulthood as well?
     
  9. Roman Collector

    Roman Collector Supporter! Supporter

    Faustina Jr. had a lot of kids, indeed. She had two sets of twins, making the total 13 kids in 11 pregnancies.

    Many of her coins--especially the bronze issues that had enough room to depict them--announce her many pregnancies.

    The bronze version of the OP's coin, portraying the baby Commodus and his twin brother Antoninus on a throne:

    Faustina Jr SECVLI  FELICIT As.jpg
    AE As
    Rome mint, AD 161
    9.78 gm; 26.1 mm
    Obv: FAVSTINA AVGVSTA, bare-headed and draped bust, r.
    Rev: SAECVLI FELICIT SC, two infants, Commodus and Antoninus, seated on throne.
    Refs: RIC 1666; Sear 5302; BMCRE 991
    Ex Henry Clay Lindgren

    These two issues portray Faustina Jr. holding two infants, with four more kids at her feet.

    Faustina Jr TEMPOR FELIC Sestertius.jpg
    Orichalcum Sestertius
    Rome mint, AD 161-175
    23.99 gm; 32.0 mm
    Obv: FAVSTINA AVGVSTA, bare-headed and draped bust, r.
    Rev: TEMPOR FELIC SC, Faustina standing l., holding two infants, four more children at her feet.
    Refs: RIC 1673; Sear 5284 (var); Cohen 222

    Faustina Jr TEMPOR FELIC Dupondius.jpg
    Orichalcum Dupondius
    Rome mint, AD 161-175
    11.55 gm; 28.2 mm
    Obv: FAVSTINA AVGVSTA, bare-headed and draped bust, r.
    Rev: TEMPOR FELIC SC, Faustina standing l., holding two infants, four more children at her feet.
    Refs: RIC 1675; Sear 5304 (var); BMCRE 996

    And on this issue, Faustina Jr. is represented as Fecunditas holding two babies and standing between two more children, thought to be Faustina III and Lucilla.

    Faustina Jr FECVND AVGVSTAE Sestertius.jpg
    Orichalcum Sestertius
    Rome mint, AD 161-175
    21.2 gm; 33.0 mm
    Obv: FAVSTINA AVGVSTA, bare-headed and draped bust, r.
    Rev: FECVND AVGVSTAE SC, Faustina as Fecunditas standing l., holding two children, two more at feet.
    Refs: RIC 1635; Sear 5273; BMCRE 902

    Faustina Jr FECVND AVGVSTAE Dupondius.jpg
    Orichalcum Dupondius
    Rome mint, AD 161-175
    12.45 gm; 26.9 mm
    Obv: FAVSTINA AVGVSTA, bare-headed and draped bust, r.
    Rev: FECVND AVGVSTAE SC, Faustina as Fecunditas standing l., holding two children, two more at feet.
    Refs: RIC 1636; Sear 5294; BMCRE 977

    Faustina Jr FECVND AVGVSTAE denarius.jpg
    AR Denarius
    Rome mint, AD 161-175
    3.38 gm; 17.8 mm
    Obv: FAVSTINA AVGVSTA, bare-headed and draped bust, r.
    Rev: FECVND AVGVSTAE, Faustina as Fecunditas standing, holding two children, another two children at her feet.
    Refs: RIC 676; Sear 5251; BMCRE 89
     
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2016
  10. Marsyas Mike

    Marsyas Mike Well-Known Member

     
  11. Roman Collector

    Roman Collector Supporter! Supporter

    @Marsyas Mike -- The difference between RIC 1673 and 1674 is the presence of a diadem on the bust:

    Capture.JPG
     
    Marsyas Mike likes this.
  12. MontCollector

    MontCollector Well-Known Member

    Must be a popular coin. I am waiting for the same type of coin (RIC 712) to come in. Bought it off a friend on the east coast.
     
    Marsyas Mike and Roman Collector like this.
  13. Marsyas Mike

    Marsyas Mike Well-Known Member

    Thank you, Roman Collector. That clears up a lot of "Google search confusion" I was experiencing. I appreciate it.
     
    Roman Collector likes this.
  14. Marsyas Mike

    Marsyas Mike Well-Known Member

    This is my first one of the type - I was really happy with it once I got it in hand. Lots of kids on these - Faustina really has her hands full (although I bet she had a lot of servants to change diapers, etc.).
     
    Roman Collector likes this.
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