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Faustina Senior [or Faustina I] (Annia Galeria) designated by numismatists sometimes by the name of Faustina the mother, sometimes by that of Faustina the elder, was born in Rome AD 105 under the reign of Trajan. She was daughter of Marcus Annuis Verus, a man of consular rank, prefect of Rome, paternal grandfather of Marcus Aurelius. Having married Antoninus Pius whilst she was still a private citizen, she received from the senate the title of Augusta shortly after the death of Hadrian, as her husband did that of Pius. She did not. however, long enjoy her honours, dying in the third year of the reign of Antonine AD 141, according to Capitolinus; whose record is confirmed by a marble published by Muratori, which speaks of Faustina as already Diva in the fourth tribunate of Antonine. According to a marble of Gruter's, she was 36 years, three months, and eleven days old when she died. Capitolinus is severe upon the levity of her conduct; but he also states that Antonine did his utmost to conceal her irregularitties, though at the expense of great disquietude to himself.
This much is certain, as testified by the legends and types of her coins, Antonine lavished every honour upon her, both during life and after her death. Faustina gave her husband two sons; Marcus Galerius Antoninus, whose name is known to us only through the medium of a Greekimperial coin, engraved in the Inconographie Romaine, p 63; and Marcus Aurelius Fulvis Antoninus, known solely from the inscription published by Pagi (v Crit. Baron. ad AD 161); also two daughters, Aureli Fadilla, married to Lamia Syllanus, who was already dead when her father set out for his government of Asia, under Hadrian. The other daughter was Faustina Junior, who was married to Marcus Aurelius, her cousin-german.
The coins of this empress in gold and silver (with exceptions below) are common; brass medallions rare, first brass ans second brass, for the most part very common.On these she is styled FAVSTINA AVGVSTA, FAVSTINA AVG ANTONINI AVG (by implication, uxor), FAVSTINA AVG ANTONINI AVG PII P P, DIVA AVGVSTA FAVSTINA.
The greater part of these coins were struck after her death, with the usual legends and symbols of consecration, and especially with the various types of Eternity.
RAREST REVERSES of FAUSTINA SENIOR:
Gold:- CONSECRATIO, a fast quadriga left, in which a woman stands, veiled and in the stola, holding the hasta pura, whilst another female guides the horses. On the obverse of this beautiful coin is the bust of Faustina, not veiled, but with the headdress of a living Augusta.
- AETERNITAS, four-wheeled car drawn by two elephants, each mounted by a conductor, with canopy, in which is placed the image of Faustina seated. Obverse DIVA FAVSTINA (the devine Faustina), bust of the dead empress.
- AETERNITAS (aureus), six-columned temple, in the middle of which is placed the sedent statue of Faustina, as Juno, holding the sceptre. The fronton of the temple is adorned with a bas relief. On the summit is a quadriga; at the two extremities a Vitory facing, carrying a buckler on its head. The steps are fenced in by a railing.
- AETERNITAS, empress standing with rudder and patera.
- AVGVSTA, empress holding a lighted torch in each hand.
- CONCORDIA AVG, female seated
- EX SENATVS CONSVLTO, car driven by two elephants
- IVNONI REGINAE, throne, sceptre, peacock, and cista
- IVNONI REGINAE, throne, with a sceptre, bewteen a peacock and crow
- FORTUNA OBSEQVENS, the empress standing with the attributes of Fortune.
- PVELLAE FAVSTINIANAE (the young Faustinians), Faustina seated on a tribunal. Opposite to her the emperor stands holding out his hands and receiving an infant, which is presented to him by a woman. At the foot of the tribunal is a man also bringing an infant. Obv. DIVA FAVSTINA, bust of Faustina right.
- Without legend, a hexastyle temple, still extant at Rome.
Silver:- PVELLAE FAVSTINIANAE, same type asin gold. Obv. DIVA AVG FAVSTINA [See the following engraving. Capitolinus states that Antoninus Pius faounded a college of young girls, whowere maintained at his
own expense, whom he called Puellaa Faustinianae, in honour of Faustina. Eckhel (vii p 7), cites several inscriptions to the PVELLAE FAVSTINIANAE].
- PIETAS AVG, the empress sacrificing.
Brass Medallions:-MATRI DEVM SALVTARI, see suis locis
-TRI POT, combat of Romulus and Tatius
- Without legend, Cybele and Atys
- Without legend, Faustina, with attributes of Ceres, lighting an altar
- Without legend, Faustina seated on a globe; the emperor standing, presents her with a Victory
- Without legend, Diana Lucifera walking
- Without legend, Faustina as Vesta, holding the palladium, a Vestal standing before her.
- Without legend, the empress in a biga to left. Obv. DIVA AVGVSTA FAVSTINA, bust of Faustina
Large Brass:- AETERNITAS, a woman seated
- AETERNITAS, Cybele, in a chariot drawn by two lions
- CONCORDIA, the emperor and Faustina, and two smaller figures
- CONSECRATIO, Victory bearing away Faustina
MATRI DEVM SALVTARI, a draped female stands holding a phoenix