Fausta, Augusta, 8 November 324 - Autumn 326 A.D.

Second Wife of Constantine the Great

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Flavia Maxima Fausta was the daughter of emperor Maximianus and sister to emperor Maxentius. She was married to their great rival Constantine I on 31 March 307, in order to secure peace for the empire by ensuring the cooperation of the Tetrarchs. She bore Constantine three sons, the future emperors Constantine II, Constans and Constantius II. In 326, Constantine ordered her steamed to death for a plot that resulted in the execution of Crispus, his son by a previous marriage.

Also see: ERIC - FAUSTA


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Obverse Legends



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Fausta (Flavia Maxima) was daughter of Maximianus and of Eutropia, sister of Maxentius, and second wife of Constantine the Great. She was married to that emperor in AD 307. She gave birth to Constantine II, to Constantius II, and to Constans. She died AD 326 from suffocation in a hot bath, by order of her husband, for having caused the death of Crispus, in falsely accusing him of incestuous designs upon her chastity, or of rebellious projects against her father's imperial authority.

The coins of this empress in gold, silver, and brass (with exception of the following very rare reverses) are common:

Gold Medallion: PIETAS AVGVSTA. The empress, seated between two women, carrying a child in her arms; the one on the right hand supports a long caduceus. Below are two genii, holding a garland. In the exergue PTR (Morellii Specimen, p 53). [This, if authentic, is unique]


SALVS REIPVBLICAE. A woman standing, robed and veiled, suckling two infants. On the exergue P T (Percussum Thessalonica, struck at Thessalonica): a crescent or some other |symbol|, between the two letters. Engraved in Lenormant, Iconographie des Empereurs.

SPES REIPVBLICAE. The same type. On the exergue P T. Obv. FLAV MAX FAVSTA AVG, head of the empress, young and handsome. See wood-cut below from a small brass specimen of the same legend and type.

Brass Medallion: PIETAS AVGVSTE (sic). Fausta standing, carrying an infant on the left arm, and extending the right hand to another child, who, standing at her feet, presents something to her. Obv. FLAV MAX FAVSTA AVG, diademed head of the empress. Engraved in Iconograhie Romaine, p 121.

For the purport of some observations made by M. Le Baron Marchant, in his xviith Lettre Numismatique (and to which M. Charles Lenormant yields his support) in a new attribution of coins to this Fausta, see NOBILISSIMA FAEMINA.

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