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Ancient Nomos Art is a museum of galleries exhibiting ancient coins and ancient mint maps. The coin gallery displays the diverse art and history of hand-crafted ancient Greek, Roman, Byzantine, Persian and Medieval coinage. The ancient mints mapping gallery features Greek, Roman, Byzantine, Asia Minor and Medieval mint city regions and territories. Visitor's are welcome to explore, study and enjoy Ancient Nomos Art.

 

Imperial, Rome – 141 AD

Faustina

From Ancient Galleries

Obverse: Draped bust of Empress Faustina facing right with Diva legend around.
Reverse: Goddess Pietas standing left while right hand drops incense onto altar.

LEGEND
Obv. DIVA FAVSTINA, Draped bust of memorialized Faustina (wife of Antoninus Pius) facing right. Rev. PIETAS AVG, Goddess Pietas standing left, dropping incense onto altar; garment over left arm.

The Empress Faustina, named Anna Galeria Verus, was born in Rome during the reign of Emperor Trajan in 105 AD. She was the daughter of Consular Perfect, Marcus Annuis Verus, who was the paternal grandfather of Marcus Aurelius. After the Emperor Hadrian adopted Aurelius as his son, Faustina earned a noble rank by virtue of being the aunt to Aurelius and in-law to the Emperor. Her intelligence, light-hearted manner and noble rank attracted the attention of Boinius Arrius Antoninus (see Antoninus), the second and elder adopted son of Hadrian. Faustina married the 20 years elder Antoninus and received the title of Augusta from the Roman Senate after the death of Hadrian in 138 AD. Unfortunately, she died at the young age 36 in 141 AD. Upon her death, the historian Capitolinus recorded on a marble tablet the status of Faustina as becoming “Diva” during the fourth tribunate of Antoninus’ reign. She was subsequently memorialized and honored by Antoninus in a vast circulation of coinage dedicated to preserving her memory, image and association with the gods. The obverse coin above depicts the deceased Empress of Rome as Goddess “Diva Augusta” Faustina. She is facing right with long hair lifted upward into a neat bun. Three braided bands of hair wrap horizontally to give support and artful rhythm to the weighty ensemble. She is finally crowned by a long circular strand of pearls at the top. The coin reverse depicts Pietas, the virtuous goddess of civic duty, loyalty and religious devotion. Pietas is seen standing forward with her head turned left and is fully dress with a veil over her hair. She is holding a patera in her right hand to offer a ceremonial libation, perhaps incense, water or wine, over a sacred Roman altar in a synbolic gesture of religious honor and mournful memory to Faustina. The Faustina legacy lived on with her daughter Annia Galeria Faustina Junior (see Faustina Jr.), the only child of four to live into adulthood.

DOCUMENTATION
Value: Denarius. Metal: AR Silver. Weight: 3.37 grams. Mint: Rome. Date: 141 AD.
Attribution: Roman Imperial Coinage III 394a (Pius); BMCRE 311 (Pius); RSC 234.

Legend, Documentation and Attribution

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