Roman Empire, Faustina Senior - Deified by Antoninus

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her maternal aunts. Sometime between AD 110 and 115 she married Titus Aurelius Fulvius Boionius Arrius Antoninus (who would later gain favour with Hadrian, be adopted and succeed to the throne, and be known to history as Antoninus Pius). Her marriage to Antoninus was a happy one and she bore him two sons and two daughters; her namesake, the only one to survive to adulthood, would marry the future emperor Marcus Aurelius.

Faustina was by all accounts a beautiful woman noted for her wisdom, though the Historia Augusta criticized her as having ‘excessive frankness’ and ‘levity’. Throughout her life, as a private citizen and as empress, Faustina was involved in assisting charities for the poor and sponsoring the education of Roman children, particularly girls. When she died in AD 140 shortly after her fortieth birthday her husband Antoninus was devastated. To honour her memory he had her deified, built a temple for her in the Forum and issued a prodigious coinage in her name as Diva Faustina. The most fitting and touching act of this grieving husband and emperor was to ensure her legacy of charitable work would be continued: he established an institution called Puellae Faustinianae (‘The Girls of Faustina’) to assist orphaned Roman girls, and he created a new alimenta or grain dole to feed the poor.

Diva Faustina Senior AV Aureus. Rome, after AD 141. DIVA FAVSTINA, diademed, veiled and draped bust of the deified Faustina to left / AVGVSTA, Ceres standing to left, veiled, holding torch in each hand. C. 76; BMC A. Pius 407; RIC A. Pius 357b; Calicó 1759 (this obverse die). 6.88g, 19mm, 11h.

Fleur De Coin. A coin of great beauty and style.