The Empresses of the Roman Empire - Unique Set of 4.
This set contains four historical silver coins of prominent empresses of the Roman Empire - including box & certificate!
The offer consists of:
1. AR Denarius, Julia Domna (160-217), ca. 20mm, ca. 3.20g, ss
2. AR Denarius, Faustina Maior - the Elder (105-140), ca. 20mm, ca. 3.20g, ss
3. AR Denarius, Faustina Minor - the Younger (130-175), ca.18mm, ca. 3.20g, ss
4. Antoninian, Herennia Cupressenia Etruscilla (†251), ca. 22mm, ca. 5.00g, ss
For each coin:
Obv.: Laurel bust right
Rev.: Various reverse
Julia Domna (*160 - †217) / Husband Emperor Septimus Severus
We very seldom encounter portraits of women on Roman coins, for usually only the emperor himself is depicted. Julia Domna, born in Syria as the daughter of a sun priest, was probably not only beautiful, she must also have been a resolute woman. Together with her husband, the emperor Septimius Severus, she had two sons: Caracalla and Geta. Both were destined for the imperial throne together. After the death of their father, irreconcilable rivalries broke out between the brothers, culminating in mutual hatred. All attempts by the empress to reconcile or mediate between the hostile brothers failed. In 211 Caracalla lured his brother Geta into a trap and had him murdered in front of his mother.
In 217 Caracalla was also the victim of an assassination attempt. Julia Domna then chose the hundredfold death and died in the spring of 217 out of grief for her two sons.
Anecdote: As empress, Julia Domna, together with her two sons, regularly accompanied her husband on military campaigns, so that she was given the honorary title of "mother of the camp" by the soldiers.
Faustina Maior (*105 - †140) / Husband Emperor Antonius Pius
Annia Galeria Faustina (* 105; † before 24 October 140), called Faustina the Elder to distinguish her daughter of the same name, was the wife of the Roman emperor Antoninus Pius. Faustina was the daughter of the consul of 126, Marcus Annius Verus, and Rupilia Faustina. As the richest heiress in Rome, she brought a large fortune to Antoninus at the time of her marriage around the year 110, but he hardly touched it. With her husband she had four children, of whom only Faustina the Younger survived her parents. When Antoninus Pius ascended the throne in 138, she received the title Augusta.
Faustina died on 24 October 140, on which day she was consecrated (henceforth called Diva Faustina) and honoured with a funus censorium (a state funeral) before 13 November. She was buried in the famous Mausoleum of Hadrian.
After her death, the Senate allowed the minting of numerous coins with her portrait and also provided them with divine attributes.
Her husband Antoninus Pius not only had the Faustina Temple built above the Roman Forum in her memory, but also set up a foundation in his wife's name for the alimentation of young girls, the so-called puellae Faustinianae.
Faustina Minor - the Younger (*130 - †175) / Husband Emperor Marcus Aurelius
Annia Galeria Faustina (* 16 February c. 130; † 176 in Halala, Cappadocia), called Faustina the Younger to distinguish her mother of the same name, was the wife of the Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius.
Faustina was born to the later Emperor Antoninus Pius and the elder Faustina probably around the year 130. On the instructions of the Emperor Hadrian, she was betrothed to Lucius Verus on 25 February 138. After Hadrian's death, this union was dissolved and Faustina was betrothed to Marcus Aurelius.
The marriage followed in April 145 at the latest. Coins with double portraits of the couple were minted for the occasion. The couple had at least 14 children together in the following years (the last daughter was born in 170). Coins praised the fertility of the empress. After the birth of her first daughter (Domitia Faustina, * 30 November 147) she was raised to the rank of Augusta.
The daily life of the family was repeatedly the subject of correspondence between Marcus Aurelius and Fronto, so that many details about it are known to this day. Their daughter Lucilla was betrothed to her former fiancé Lucius Verus, co-regent of Marcus Aurelius, in 161, and their marriage finally took place in 164. The most famous child of Marcus Aurelius and Faustina was the future Emperor Commodus.
Herennia Cupressenia Etruscilla († 251) / Husband Emperor Decius
Herennia Etruscilla was the wife of the Roman Emperor Decius and came from an ancient Etruscan senatorial family. Little is known about her youth, except that she married Decius, an aristocrat from Illyria, before 230. Her eldest son Herennius Etruscus was born around 227, her second son Hostilian after 230.
In 248, the Emperor Philippus Arabs gave Decius the supreme command of the troops that were to suppress the revolt of Pacatianus on the Danube border. Decius, however, was proclaimed emperor by his troops after his arrival in Pannonia; he moved to Italy, defeated Philippus near Verona and was able to assert himself as the new ruler.
Probably in autumn 249, at the latest in summer 250, Etruscilla received the title Augusta.
Note archive image
Please note: As each coin is unique and was struck by hand, please order the respective coin type in comparable condition. Upon request, we will send you current photos of the coins to be purchased. Please do not hesitate to contact us.