Faustina II, Wife of Marcus Aurelius, 147-176 AD

Faustina II, Wife of Marcus Aurelius, 147-176 AD


AR Denarius, 3.41g (18mm, 6h). FAVSTINA AVGVSTA Diademed bust right of Empress / IVNONI REGINAE Juno veiled, standing l., holding long palm and cornucopiae.

References: RIC 698; Cohen 145; BM 121, pl. 55, 13

Grade:  Wonderful detail; pretty toning. Slightly off-center. EF  (re1036)

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According to Gibbon’s, in his monumental anthology of the Roman Empire, Faustina II, was a rare beauty. Her husband, Marcus Aurelius, doted on her, to the point that he neglected to see her rampant unfaithfulness. Aurelius was a learned man and favored philosophy most out of anything. While he is considered one of the “good” rulers of the mid-Roman empire, he was also believed to be blind to the bad actions within his family, vis a vie Faustina’s infidelity or the deficiencies of character in his son Commodus. As Gibbon’s states “the grave simplicity of the philosopher was ill calculated to engage her [Faustina II] wanton levity, or to fix that unbounded passion for variety, which often discovered personal merit in the meanest of mankind”.

Despite her husband’s poor health, Faustina actually predeceased him. She was killed in an unknown accident in the city of Halala, which is located in modern-day Turkey. Marcus Aurelius deified her and continued to support his wife even after her death.