Roman Empire, Faustina I, +141, AR Denar
Obv.: Drap. bust r.
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Historical / Faustina the Elder
Annia Galeria Faustina (* 105; † 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 the year 126, Marcus Annius Verus. Her mother Rupilia Faustina was the daughter of Emperor Trajan's niece Matidia and half-sister of Hadrian's wife Vibia Sabina. As Rome's richest heiress, Faustina brought a large fortune to Antoninus at the time of her marriage around the year 110, but Antoninus hardly touched it.
With her husband she had four children, two sons Marcus Galerius Aurelius Antoninus and Marcus Aurelius Fulvius Antoninus as well as the two daughters Aurelia Fadilla and Faustina the only child to survive her parents.
Faustina died before 24 October 140.
She was consecrated on this day and honoured with a funus censorium (a state funeral) before 13 November. She was buried in Hadrian's Mausoleum.
After her death, the Senate allowed the minting of numerous coins with her image and also endowed her with divine attributes. Antoninus had a Faustina temple built above the Forum Romanum, which was also dedicated to him after his death. In her memory, Antoninus also established a foundation for the alimentation of young girls, the puellae Faustinianae.
After Antoninus' death, Marcus Aurelius erected a triumphal column in his and Faustina's honour, of which only the base has survived.
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