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Bust of Faustina or Lucilla

Bust of Faustina or Lucilla

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Faustina the Younger

Annia Galeria Faustina Minor (Minor Latin for the Younger), Faustina Minor or Faustina the Younger (16 February between 125 and 130 – 175) was a daughter of Roman Emperor Antoninus Pius and Roman Empress Faustina the Elder. She was a Roman Empress and wife to her maternal cousin Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius. Though Roman sources give a generally negative view of her character, she was held in high esteem by soldiers and her own husband and was given divine honours after her death.

Bust of Empress Faustina the Elder

A marble bust of Faustina the Elder (Faustina Major) – the wife of Emperor Antoninus Pius (138-161 CE). The bust is in the Capitoline Museums in Rome. The Empress died in the early period of her husband’s rule – 140 CE.

The death of Faustina was a shock to Antoninus. The emperor decided to honor her: the senate recognized her as a deity, and on the Roman Forum the Temple of Faustina was erected. A lot of statues of gold and silver were created and coins with her image and words DIVA FAVSTINA were minted.

Also in her honor, the ruler has created a new charity organization Puellae Faustinianae (“Girls of Faustina”), whose main task was to support orphans and poor children throughout Italy. Support was mainly based on giving away food or education. In Rome, this type of activity was referred to as alimenta. Its origins should be seen under rule of Nerva, and the improvements and organization under Trajan.

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Portrait bust of Lucilla, wife of the Roman Emperor Lucius Verus, c160-c170.

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Augustan History. Life of Antoninus Pius 10. 3.

Augustan History. Life of Avidius Cassius 9. 5–11.

Augustan History. Life of Commodus Antoninus 8. 1.

Augustan History. Life of Lucius Verus 2. 3 10. 1–5.

Augustan History. Life of Marcus Antoninus 19. 2–4 26. 5.

Cassius Dio, Roman History 71. 22. 3–23. 1.

Marcus Aurelius, Meditations 1. 17. 18.

Marcus Cornelius Fronto. Correspondence with Marcus Aurelius Caesar 5. 26, 60.

Marcus Cornelius Fronto. Correspondence with Marcus Aurelius Imperator 2. 1.

Bust of Faustina or Lucilla - History

(105) Marcus Aurelius - AV aureus, A.D. 159, 7.19 g. (inv. 91.181).
Obverse: Draped bust of Faustina the Younger r. FAVSTINA AVGVSTA: Faustina Augusta.
Reverse: Faustina standing r., with infant in l. a small girl standing on either side reaches toward her FECVNDITATI AVGVSTAE: for the fruitfulness of the Augusta.
Provenance: Coin Galleries, 1959.
Bibliography: H. Mattingly and E.A. Sydenham, The Roman Imperial Coinage III: Antoninus Pius to Commodus (London 1930) 679.

Faustina the Younger (see nos. 100, 101), daughter of Antoninus Pius and Faustina the Elder, married her cousin, Marcus Aurelius, in A.D. 145 at the age of fifteen. She had thirteen children. After the birth of her first child in A.D. 146 she received the title Augusta and began to appear on coins. She travelled with Aurelius on his military campaigns, which earned her the title Mater Castrorum, Mother of the Camps, and it was on one of these trips to the East that she died in A.D. 176. Aurelius deified her, erected an altar to her, gave her the title Pia or Pius, and at his request the village in Cappadocia where she died was renamed Faustinopolis.

This coin celebrates Faustina as the mother of the imperial family, depicting her with three of her children, Faustina, Lucilla, and Fadilla in A.D. 159. Only four of her children survived to adulthood, three girls and the future emperor Commodus (see no. 107).

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Faustina, named after her mother, was her parents’ fourth and youngest child and their second daughter she was also their only child to survive to adulthood. She was born and raised in Rome.

Her great uncle, the Emperor Hadrian, had arranged with her father for Faustina to marry Lucius Verus. On February 25, 138, she and Verus were betrothed. Verus’ father was Hadrian’s first adopted son and his intended heir however, when Verus’ father died, Hadrian chose Faustina’s father to be his second adopted son, and eventually, he became Hadrian’s successor. Faustina’s father ended the engagement between his daughter and Verus and arranged for Faustina’s betrothal to her maternal cousin, Marcus Aurelius Aurelius was also adopted by her father. On 13 May 13 145, Faustina and Marcus Aurelius were married. When her father died on 7 March 161, her husband and Lucius Verus succeeded to her father’s throne and became co-rulers. Faustina was given the title of Augusta and became Empress.

Unfortunately, not much has survived from the Roman sources regarding Faustina’s life, but what is available does not give a good report. Cassius Dio and the Augustan History accuse Faustina of ordering deaths by poison and execution she has also been accused of instigating the revolt of Avidius Cassius against her husband. The Augustan History mentions adultery with sailors, gladiators, and men of rank however, Faustina and Aurelius seem to have been very close and mutually devoted. Her husband trusted her and defended her vigorously against detractors.

Faustina accompanied her husband on various military campaigns and enjoyed the love and reverence of Roman soldiers. Aurelius gave her the title of Mater Castrorum or Mother of the Camp. She attempted to make her home out of an army camp. Between 170–174, she was in the north, and in 175, she accompanied Aurelius to the east however, these experiences took their toll on Faustina, who died in the winter of 175, after an accident, at the military camp in Halala (a city in the Taurus Mountains in Cappadocia).

Aurelius grieved much for his wife and buried her in the Mausoleum of Hadrian in Rome. She was deified: her statue was placed in the Temple of Venus in Rome and a temple was dedicated to her in her honor. Halala’s name was changed to Faustinopolis and Aurelius opened charity schools for orphan girls called Puellae Faustinianae or ‘Girls of Faustina’.Historia Augusta, Life of Marcus Aurelius . The Baths of Faustina in Miletus are named after her.

In their thirty years of marriage, Faustina bore Marcus Aurelius thirteen children:

  1. Annia Aurelia Galeria Faustina (147-after 165)
  2. Gemellus Lucillae (died around 150), twin brother of Lucilla
  3. Annia Aurelia Galeria Lucilla (148/50-182), twin sister of Gemellus, married her father’s co-ruler Lucius Verus
  4. Titus Aelius Antoninus (born after 150, died before 7 March 161)
  5. Titus Aelius Aurelius (born after 150, died before 7 March 161)
  6. Hadrianus (152–157)
  7. Domitia Faustina (born after 150, died before 7 March 161)
  8. Annia Aurelia Fadilla (159-after 211)
  9. Annia Cornificia Faustina Minor (160-after 211)
  10. Titus Aurelius Fulvus Antoninus (161–165), twin brother of Commodus
  11. Lucius Aurelius Commodus Antoninus (Commodus) (161–192), twin brother of Titus Aurelius Fulvus Antoninus, later emperor
  12. Marcus Annius Verus Caesar (162–169)
  13. Vibia Aurelia Sabina (170-died before 217)

Rupilia Faustina (fl. 90 ce)

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Sestertius of Faustina II (wife of Marcus Aurelius)

Unknown 0.029 kg (0.0639 lb.) 83.NH.425.11

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Object Details


Sestertius of Faustina II (wife of Marcus Aurelius)


Rome, Lazio, Italy (Place Created)

Object Number:
Credit Line:

Inscription: Obverse: DIVA FAUSTINA PIA Reverse: CONSECRATIO SC

Alternate Titles:

Sestertius (Alternate Title)

Bust of Faustina the Younger (Display Title)

Object Type:
Object Description

Obverse: Draped bust of Faustina on the right. Inscribed: DIVA FAUSTINA PIA. Reverse: an altar. Inscribed: CONSECRATIO SC.


Dr. James Worlton (Colorado Springs, Colorado), donated to the J. Paul Getty Museum, 1983.


Mattingly, Harold. The Roman Imperial Coinage. (London: Spink and Son, Ltd., 1968), Category: 1706.

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Empire romain. Faustina II (Augusta, AD 147-175). Æ Sestertius, Rome, AD 161. FECVND AVGVSTAE S C, Faustina as Fecunditas between child

Roman Empire - Marcus Aurelius (AD 161-180) for Faustina II. Bronze sestertius (21,80 g. 32 mm.). Minted in Rome, AD 160-161.

FAVSTINA AVGVSTA, Draped bust of Faustina to right.
FECVND AVGVSTAE S C, Faustina as Fecunditas standing left between two girls, and holding two infants in her arms. BMCRE 902. Cohen 96. RIC 1635.

The sestertius commemorates the birth of a fourth surviving child, a fourth daughter, to Faustina and Marcus Aurelius. The tallest girl, on ground at right, is Lucilla, later to marry Lucius Verus. The same childbirth is celebrated with a similar type on dated aurei and bronze coins of Antoninus Pius and Marcus Caesar.

Good very fine condition. Green original patina.

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