Roman Empire

Faustina II, Empress AD 147-175

RIC 515a; BMC 1064-5; Calicó 2094, Superb Mint State

Rome, under Antoninus Pius, ca. AD 147-150. FAVSTINAE AVG P II AVG FIL, draped bust of Faustina II right, single band of pearls around head. Reverse: VE-NVS, Venus standing facing, head left, holding apple and rudder set on dove.

As the beloved daughter of Antoninus Pius and Faustina the Elder, Faustina the Younger began to play a role in the politics of the imperial house at an early age. At the age of eight the reigning emperor Hadrian arranged for her betrothal to Lucius Verus, but after the death of Hadrian, Antoninus ignored his wishes and instead married her to Marcus Aurelius, who was destined to succeed him in AD 161. She bore Aurelius at least 12 children—including the infamous Commodus—and was much loved by her husband, who consistently ignored rumors of her infidelity and potential involvement in sparking the revolt of C. Avidius. When she died in AD 175, Aurelius immediately ordered her deification.