(99) Antoninus Pius - AR denarius, after A.D. 141, 3.58 g. (inv. 91.174).
Obverse: Draped and diademed bust of Faustina the Elder r.; DIVA AVG(VSTA) FAVSTINA: Divine Faustina Augusta.
Reverse: Antoninus seated l. on platform with woman beside him on his r.; both lean forward to receive girl held forward by man standing r.; in front of platform, a man rushes forward, extending another girl; PVELLAE FAVSTINIANAE: the girls of Faustina.
Provenance: Ex Morgan collection; Coin Galleries, 1959.
Bibliography: H. Mattingly and E.A. Sydenham, The Roman Imperial Coinage III: Antoninus Pius to Commodus (London 1930) 399a.

The most interesting feature of this coin is its reverse, which refers to the Puellae Faustinianae or the Girls of Faustina, the charity that Antoninus Pius established in memory of his wife, Faustina the Elder, after her death in A.D. 141. The charity was to provide for the poor girls of the city. The figures on the coin would be Antoninus and with him probably Faustina receiving the little girls who are to be the recipients of their charity.

The portrait on the obverse depicts Faustina with her hair braided and piled on top of her head, as in no. 98, but her face on this coin appears thinner and more youthful. Here she also wears a diadem.


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