(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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