A silver denarius of Faustina Junior, 161-175 A.D.

A silver denarius of Faustina Junior, 161-175 A.D.

Code: 2814


Description: Roman Imperial coinage: The Antonines A.D. 138-193 – A silver denarius of Faustina Junior, struck under Marcus Aurelius, bust of Faustina facing right with the legend FAVSTINA AVGVSTA, the reverse showing two infant boys seated on throne, with the legend SAECULI FELICIT, some wear and minor corrosion, Sear 5260.

Size: 18 x 18 mm/0.7 x 0.7 in., weight 3.1 g

Culture: Roman Empire

Provenance: Ex Gloucestershire private collection.

Notes: Faustina Junior also known as Faustina the younger (born c. 130 A.D. died 175 A.D.) was the wife of Marcus Aurelius and was empress from 161 to her death around 175 A.D. Not much is known of Faustina’s life, although there are reports of involvement in poisonings and executions as well as adultery with sailors, gladiators and men of rank. In 175 A.D., Aurelius’s general Avidius Cassius was proclained emperor, reportedly at the instigation of Faustina who was concerned about her husbands failing health; however Marcus Aurelius recovered and continued as emperor after the murder of Avidius Cassius by a centurion. Faustina died at a military camp at Halala in Cappadocia, Turkey, in the winter of 175 A.D., the cause of death unknown. After death, she was deified and buried in the Mausoleum of Hadrian in Rome.

This coin celebrates the birth of Faustina’s twin sons Commodus and Antoninus.

Reference: Sear, D.R. 2002, Roman Coins and their Values, Spink, London, Volume 2, p.344.