When you marry your cousin, who happens to be your step-sister ...

Discussion in 'Ancient Coins' started by Roman Collector, Oct 19, 2019.

  1. Roman Collector

    Roman Collector Supporter! Supporter

    An incestuous tale, told in denarii:

    Post YOUR favorite Antonines!

    Here's the Antonine family tree. This particular image is taken from a larger one that highlights the Augusti in pink.


    At the center of all of this is Marcus Aurelius.

    Marcus Aurelius LIBERAL AVG V COS III denarius.jpg
    Marcus Aurelius, AR denarius, Rome, AD 169. BMCRE 492.

    His biological father, M. Annius Verus, had a sister, Faustina I.

    Faustina I, AR denarius, Rome, AD 141. BMCRE 311-314 var. (veiled bust).

    Therefore, Faustina I was Marcus Aurelius's biological AUNT.

    Faustina I was married to Antoninus Pius.

    Antoninus Pius, AR denarius, Rome, AD 152-153. BMCRE 786-88.

    This made Antoninus Pius Marcus Aurelius's UNCLE by marriage.

    Faustina I and Antoninus Pius had two children, only one of which survived to adulthood, their daughter, Faustina II.

    Faustina II, AR Denarius, Rome, AD 150-152, under Antoninus Pius. BMCRE 1078 note (Pius).

    This made Faustina II Marcus Aurelius's biological COUSIN.

    But when Hadrian's chosen successor, Aelius, died in AD 138, Hadrian chose Antoninus Pius to be his successor, on the condition that he adopt his wife Sabina's cousin twice-removed, Marcus Aurelius, along with Aelius's son, Lucius Verus, who was to marry Antoninus's daughter, Faustina II. Antoninius agreed and adopted Marcus Aurelius and Lucius Verus, to whom was betrothed Faustina II. upload_2019-10-19_6-26-18.png
    Lucius Verus, AR Denarius, Rome, AD 168. BMCRE 477.

    This made Antoninus Pius Marcus Aurelius's STEP-FATHER, Faustina I his STEP-MOTHER, and Faustina II his STEP-SISTER, and Lucius Verus his STEP-BROTHER and future step-brother-in-law.

    But when Hadrian died some six or seven months later, Antoninus Pius decided that Lucius Verus was too young to marry his daughter (he was seven years old at the time), Faustina II, and married her to Marcus Aurelius instead.

    This made Antoninus Pius Marcus Aurelius's FATHER-IN-LAW, Faustina I his MOTHER-IN-LAW, and Faustina II his WIFE.

    Now, Marcus Aurelius and Faustina II had many children, the oldest of which to survive to adulthood was Lucilla.

    Lucilla, AR denarius, Rome, AD 164-166. BMCRE 325-326.

    This made Marcus Aurelius Lucilla's FATHER and FIRST COUSIN ONCE-REMOVED.

    To compensate for the loss of Faustina II as a wife some twenty years previously, Marcus Aurelius betrothed his daughter to Lucius Verus.

    This made Marcus Aurelius Lucius Verus's FATHER-IN-LAW.

    Got it? No? Let us recapitulate:

    - Faustina I was Marcus Aurelius's biological aunt, step-mother, and mother-in-law.

    - Antoninus Pius was Marcus Aurelius's uncle by marriage, step-father, and father-in-law.

    - Faustina II was Marcus Aurelius's biological cousin, step-sister, and wife.

    - Lucius Verus was Marcus Aurelius's step-brother and son-in-law.

    - Lucilla was Marcus Aurelius's daughter and biological first cousin once-removed.

    That's what you call KEEPING IT IN THE FAMILY.
    Last edited: Oct 19, 2019
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  3. zumbly

    zumbly Ha'ina 'ia mai ana ka puana Supporter

    Family portrait on the reverse of this sestertius... A-Pi and F Sr standing over the smaller figures of MA and F Jr, both couples holding hands.

    Antoninus PIus - Sestertius Family 2692.jpg
    AE Sestertius. 24.02g, 33.7mm. Rome mint, circa AD 140. RIC 601 (scarce). O: ANTONINVS AVG PIVS P P TR P COS III, laureate head right. R: CONCORDIAE, Antoninus Pius standing, right holding Victory in left hand, clasping right hands with Faustina I, standing, left, holding vertical sceptre; between them, two small figures of Marcus Aurelius and Faustina the Younger, standing, right and left clasping hands over altar, right; S C in exergue.
    ominus1, Paul M., Aestimare and 14 others like this.
  4. Deacon Ray

    Deacon Ray Biblical Kingdoms Supporter

    Superb coins and fascinating presentation, @Roman Collector !
    bcuda and Roman Collector like this.
  5. Cucumbor

    Cucumbor Dombes collector Supporter

    Now, that explains why Commodus, well......

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  6. Alegandron

    Alegandron "ΤΩΙ ΚΡΑΤΙΣΤΩΙ..." ΜΕΓΑΣ ΑΛΕΞΑΝΔΡΟΣ, June 323 BCE Supporter

    Nice write-up, @Roman Collector . I have always enjoyed trying to make sense of lineages, but get frustrated. That is because I naively approach reading them as normal human lineages. However, it is clear that they are quite INhuman. It is funny how folks will make fun of "hillbillites", back-woods people, uneducated, etc. However, those highest status families, including the Ptolemy families, etc. were beyond bizarre.


    RI Antoninus Pius 138-161 BCE AR Denarius.jpg
    RI Antoninus Pius 138-161 BCE AR Denarius

    RI Faustina Sr 138-140 CE after 146 CE DIVA AR Denarius m Antoninus Pius
    17.4mm 3.2g Ceres torch fold RIC 362 RSC 104

    RI MARCUS AURELIUS AR Den as Caesar TR POT VI COS II - Genius stg at altar hldg standard.jpg
    RI MARCUS AURELIUS AR Den as Caesar TR POT VI COS II - Genius stg at altar hldg standard

    RI Aelius Caesar 138 CE AE As 26mm Rome mint Fortuna-Spes cornucopia and rudder.jpg
    RI Aelius Caesar 138 CE AE As 26mm Rome mint Fortuna-Spes cornucopia and rudder

    RI LUCIUS VERUS 161-169 AE24 As Rome L VERVS AVG ARMENIACVS Bare head r Mars trophy TR P IIII IMP II COS II S-C RIC 1377

    RI Faustina Jr 161-175 CE Ar Denarius m Marcus Aurelius 17.1mm 3g.jpg
    RI Faustina Jr 161-175 CE Ar Denarius m Marcus Aurelius 17.1mm 3g

    RI Lucilla 164-182 CE AR Denarius 18mm 2.8g Rome mint 166-169 CE Pudicitia RIC III 780.JPG
    RI Lucilla 164-182 CE AR Denarius 18mm 2.8g Rome mint 166-169 CE Pudicitia RIC III 780

    RI Commodus 177-192 CE AR Denarius 17.7mm 2.42g Apollo Plectrum Lyre RIC 218 RSC 25 BMCRE 292 Rare Type
    Last edited: Oct 19, 2019
  7. -jeffB

    -jeffB Greshams LEO Supporter

    Meh, could be worse:

  8. Ryro

    Ryro They call me the 13th Caesar Supporter

    Hilarious write up and great coins! Man, both your Faustinas are beauties:kiss:
    From your write up I suppose the family must've originated in southern Rome;)
    Here's my ladies of the Antonine dynasty (and these ladies DID put THE NASTY in dynasty)
    733F0F30-E435-461B-AA26-AB6525329212.png 3EE8C7D4-BF60-486A-88E7-DA8FFA9194F2.png 2312AF10-8F21-4D9D-8404-9669DDC81BB1.png F7D0DA06-89B6-4032-9666-5F4A1EB4825F.png
  9. Shea19

    Shea19 Supporter! Supporter

    Great post RC! Despite the family tree, Marcus still managed to pass down a great line of beards to the family.

    Divus Marcus Aurelius, AE sestertius. Struck by Commodus, 180 AD. (30mm, 19.5g.) Bare head of M. Aurelius right/Reverse - CONSECRATIO, garlanded funeral pyre of four tiers surmounted by statue of Aurelius in facing quadriga.

    Lucius Verus, AR Denarius (17 mm, 3.08 g), Rome, 161-162. Bare bust of Lucius Verus to right./Rev. Providentia standing front, holding globe in her right hand and cornucopia with her left. RIC 482 (Marcus Aurelius).

    Commodus, AR denarius (18.9 mm, 3.70 g). Rome mint, struck A.D. 184-185. laureate head right / Roma seated on cuirass left, holding Victory and cornucopia. RIC 112. From the Porter Collection.
  10. Yorkshire

    Yorkshire Well-Known Member

    Haha was thinking the same, no wonder he was crazy
    bcuda and Cucumbor like this.
  11. Deacon Ray

    Deacon Ray Biblical Kingdoms Supporter

    Folks only have to read history to see that the stereotypical belief that inbreeding is unique to the country folk of Appalachia, need only look at the royalty of past civilizations. Instances of anomalies and congenital defects in the offspring of such unions are evident throughout history. When I was a teenager, I had a serious crush on my first cousin :wideyed: My parents laid down the law and straitened me out in no uncertain terms :stop:
    Last edited: Oct 19, 2019
  12. thejewk

    thejewk Well-Known Member

    Yes, that's quite the family affair...
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  13. Dushan Lipensky

    Dushan Lipensky New Member

    Curious in an interested way, what would be the cost of that set in a grade that is clear enough to be able to see the stamping?
    bcuda likes this.
  14. Spaniard

    Spaniard Well-Known Member

    A little family snapshot......
    Dad...Mum and the kids...
    family marcus aurelius.jpg
    Hookman, ominus1, Paul M. and 11 others like this.
  15. Curtisimo

    Curtisimo the Great(ish) Supporter

    Great thread @Roman Collector . That Faustina II is especially nice! I have been working on a collection of the Nerva-Antonine dynasty in imperial silver.

    Here are a few that are relevant to the thread.

    Trajan: the Best Emperor and the Mystery of the River God
    Roman Empire
    Trajan (AD 98-117)
    AR Denarius, Rome mint, struck ca. AD 107-108
    Dia.: 19.1 mm
    Wt.: 2.94 g
    Obv.: IMP TRAIANO AVG GER DAC PM TR P; Trajan laureate bust right, left shoulder draped
    Rev.: COS V PP SPQR OPTIMO PRINC; Danube, velificatio, reclining on rocks, right hand holding prow of a ship. Left arm resting on overflowing container of water. DANVVIVS in exergue.
    Ref.: RIC II 100, Scarce

    Hadrian: Benefactor of Africa
    Roman Empire
    Hadrian (AD 117 – 138)
    AR Denarius, Rome mint, struck ca. AD 134 – 138
    Dia.: 17 mm
    Wt.: 2.98 g
    Obv.: HADRIANVS AVG COS III PP; Laureate head right
    Rev.: AFRICA; Africa with elephant headdress reclining left, holding scorpion and cornucopia, basket of grain at feet
    Ex L. Rose Collection


    Roman Empire
    Antoninus Pius, AD 138-161
    AR Denarius, Rome mint, Struck ca. AD 140-143
    Wt.: 3.01 g
    Dia.: 17 mm, 6h
    Obv.: ANTONINVS AVG PIVS PP TR P COS III; Laureate head right
    Rev.: AEQVITAS AVG; Aequitas standing left, holding scales and sceptre
    Ref.: RIC III 61; RSC 14

    Roman Empire
    Diva Faustina I (Died ca. AD 141)
    AR Denarius, Rome mint, struck after AD 141
    Obv.: DIVA AVG FAVSTINA; bust right, hair elaborately styled.
    Rev.: DEDICATIO AEDIS; Hexa-style Temple of the Divine Faustina showing podium, statues etc.
    Ref.: RIC III 388, Rare

    Roman Empire
    Commodus (AD 177-192)
    AR Denarius, Rome mint, struck ca. AD 192
    Dia.: 17 mm
    Wt.: 2.66 g
    Obv.: L AEL AVREL COMMA VG P FEL; Commodus bust right wearing lion skin on head.
    Rev.: HER-CVL RO-MAN AV-GV; Club in wreath
    Ref.: RIC III 251, Scarce
    Ex W.F. Stoeckin Collection. Acquired in the 1960s from Prof. L. De Nicola in Rome
  16. Deacon Ray

    Deacon Ray Biblical Kingdoms Supporter

    Magnifique! :singing:
    Curtisimo likes this.
  17. ancient times

    ancient times Legatus Legionis

    Cool, Excellent write up!
    Roman Collector likes this.
  18. ominus1

    ominus1 Supporter! Supporter

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  19. Alegandron

    Alegandron "ΤΩΙ ΚΡΑΤΙΣΤΩΙ..." ΜΕΓΑΣ ΑΛΕΞΑΝΔΡΟΣ, June 323 BCE Supporter

    Now, I wonder where I got THAT from?
    ominus1 likes this.
  20. ominus1

    ominus1 Supporter! Supporter

    beverly hillbillies.jpg
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  21. Alegandron

    Alegandron "ΤΩΙ ΚΡΑΤΙΣΤΩΙ..." ΜΕΓΑΣ ΑΛΕΞΑΝΔΡΟΣ, June 323 BCE Supporter

    LOL, yeah, thought of that. Nice thing: they were not interbred.
    ominus1 likes this.
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