Jump to content

Faustina Friday – An In-Depth Look at the S C Diana Standing Left Holding Arrow and Resting on Bow Issue


Recommended Posts

trending fridays days of the week friday, weekend, tgif, rabbids, lapinscretins ,friyay GIF

Friday felicitations, fellow Faustina fanatics! I hope you have a wonderful day. Today we're going to examine a long-running bronze issue, the anepigraphic (except for the obligatory S C) Diana standing left with arrow and bow reverse type. This type was issued by Antoninus Pius for his daughter, Faustina the Younger, on coins bearing two different obverse inscriptions: FAVSTINA AVG PII AVG FIL[1] and FAVSTINA AVGVSTA AVG PII F.[2] Cohen erroneously transcribed the obverse inscription on the later issue as "... PII FIL," which was uncritically accepted by the authors of RIC, leading to much confusion.[3]

In this installment, I discuss and illustrate all known types with this reverse type, including variations in the bust type of the empress. Unless noted otherwise, all coins are illustrated with examples in my own collection.

The FAVSTINA AVG PII AVG FIL Obverse Inscription

Mattingly and Strack have dated the bronze issues bearing the FAVSTINA AVG PII AVG FIL inscription to c. AD 152-153 and AD 152-156, respectively.[4]
However, subsequent work by our own @curtislclay and by Martin Beckmann have demonstrated that the traditional chronological arrangement of Faustina's obverse legends as reported by Mattingly and by Strack needs to be modified. In the late 1980s, Curtis Clay compared the denarii of Pius, Marcus Aurelius and Faustina and their representation in the Reka Devnia hoard and elucidated an absolute chronology for the silver issues of Faustina II.


Although neither Beckmann nor Clay studied the bronze issues of the empress, I have extrapolated their work in conjunction with my own examination of the various reverse types for the bronze issues which transition from the earlier FAVSTINA AVG ANTONINI AVG PII FIL legend to the FAVSTINA AVG PII AVG FIL legend. I date the FAVSTINA AVG PII AVG FIL obverse inscription to about June 152 through December 155.[5]

There are three varieties of the sestertius with this obverse inscription: a right-facing bust featuring the empress wearing the Beckmann Type 2b hairstyle, and right- and left-facing busts featuring the empress wearing the Beckmann Type 5 hairstyle. There are two varieties of middle bronze with this obverse inscription: right-facing busts[6] with the Beckmann Type 2b and Type 5 hairstyles.

The Beckmann Type 2b Hairstyle

Beckmann dates the appearance of Faustina's second hairstyle to March AD 149, commensurate with the birth of Lucilla.[7] The earliest form of the bust type was superseded over time by two subvariants, which Beckmann calls Variant 2a and Variant 2b. Variant 2b is characterized by a single brow wave and a low, loose chignon. This variant appeared after Type 2 and Variant 2a, and is thus late in the series of coins with the empress's second coiffure.[8] Because this variant is the last to appear among the coinage featuring the empress's second hairstyle, and because the anepigraphic Diana standing, holding arrow and resting on bow reverse type continues through the introduction of a new hairstyle in autumn AD 154[9] and unto the adoption of the subsequent FAVSTINA AVGVSTA AVG PII F[IL] legend, I date these coins to AD 153 at the earliest.


2058174818_FaustinaJrSCDianaSestertiusearlierissue.jpg.4d0c4fc70f8e365967c3b60259d74fca.jpg

Faustina II, AD 147-175.
Roman orichalcum sestertius, 24.17 g, 31.0 mm, 5 h.
Rome, c. AD 153-154.
Obv: FAVSTINA AVG PII AVG FIL, bare-headed and draped bust, right, with Beckmann Type 2b coiffure.
Rev: S C, Diana, draped, standing front, head left, holding out arrow in right hand and resting left on bow, set on ground.
Refs: RIC 1383(3); BMCRE 2180-81; Cohen 206; Strack 1325; RCV 4717.


1845770976_FaustinaJrSCDianaMBearlierissueTyllKroha.jpg.b36f17754a93813404f82e8e699ab9e9.jpg

Middle bronze with Beckmann Type 2b coiffure, AD 153-154. Kölner Münzkabinett Tyll Kroha Nachfolger UG, Auction 111, lot 232, 4 May 2019.


The Beckmann Type 5 Hairstyle

It is during the production of this anepigraphic Diana standing issue that the transition to a new hairstyle first occurs.[10] Beckmann notes an interesting bust type, known to him from a single coin in the British Museum, which shows Faustina's chignon with "a bold woven pattern rather than the coiled bun normally seen in type 5 portraits."[11] This is illustrated below.


2038366479_FaustinaJrSCDianaSestertiusearlierissueBMCtransitionalcoiffure.png.e93e959bb5dc9e3adabaea9d7798f234.png

Sestertius featuring a transitional hairstyle, British Museum collection, BMCRE Pius 2184.


Beckmann further notes[12] the portrait ...


... reflects exactly the appearance of the bun we see on sculpted portraits of Faustina. The detail of the braiding and the proportions of the bun to the head indicate that the die engraver had access to a sculpted Type 5 portrait as a model. It is difficult to say why this manner of engraving Faustina's bun was not carried out on other obverse dies with Type 5 portraits. Possibly the cutting of the braiding of the bun, with its rectilinear shapes intersecting at right (or near-right) angles, was too difficult and time-consuming, or too prone to error (such as through slippage of the engraving tool), to employ in normal die engraving for this portrait type.


There then appears the usual Type 5 portrait seen on the following coins. Note the relatively small size of the Type 5 portrait relative to the flan compared to the portrait with the type 2b bust, which anticipates the style of those with the FAVSTINA AVGVSTA AVG PII F obverse inscription which soon follow. These coins were introduced in autumn AD 154[13] and continue until the adoption of the FAVSTINA AVGVSTA AVG PII F legend in January 156.[14] I thus date these coins to autumn AD 154 - December AD 155. The middle bronze denominations of this issue appear to have been part of an issue specifically for use in Britain.[15]

465596384_FaustinaJrSCDianaSestertiusearlierissuelatercoiffure.jpg.78d38a06be5813a68cbaf202f0f96a1a.jpg

Faustina II, AD 147-175.
Roman orichalcum sestertius, 19.49 g, 32.1 mm, 7 h.
Rome, autumn AD 154-December AD 155.
Obv: FAVSTINA AVG PII AVG FIL, bare-headed and draped bust, right, with Beckmann Type 5 coiffure.
Rev: S C, Diana, draped, standing front, head left, holding out arrow in right hand and resting left on bow, set on ground.
Refs: RIC 1383; BMCRE 2183; Cohen 206; Strack 1325; RCV 4717; Hunter II 46.


675658626_FaustinaJrSCDianaSestertiusleft-facingbust.jpg.08a3a277b037016aee78f879008fbb78.jpg

Faustina II, AD 147-175.
Roman orichalcum sestertius, 25.21 g, 31.2 mm, 12 h.
Rome, autumn AD 154-December AD 155.
Obv: FAVSTINA AVG PII AVG FIL, bare-headed and draped bust, left, with Beckmann Type 5 coiffure.
Rev: S C, Diana, draped, standing front, head left, holding out arrow in right hand and resting left on bow, set on ground.
Refs: RIC ; BMCRE –; Cohen 208; Strack 1325 (Paris); RCV –; Banti (Paris) 114.

Note: Also known from a specimen in Nomos Obelos Web Auction 7, lot 347, 7 September 2019, and from a specimen in the collection of @curtislclay. This coin is an obverse die-match to the Nomos example, but a die break has developed above the empress's chignon. Curtis Clay's specimen was struck with a different obverse die.


1112484199_FaustinaJrSCDianaMBlaterissueMM.jpg.bfa05567be412dd405be46d9653e0f5c.jpg

Middle bronze featuring the Beckman Type 5 hairstyle, Münzen & Medaillen GmbH (DE), Auction 49, lot 354, 20 November 2020.


The FAVSTINA AVGVSTA AVG PII F Obverse Inscription

In January AD 156, the FAVSTINA AVGVSTA AVG PII F legend was introduced and the anepigraphic Diana standing issue continued in both the sestertius and middle bronze denominations. The filiation AVGVSTI PII FIL, which means "daughter of Pius Augustus," was moved to the reverse of her coins about August 156, two-thirds of the way through Antoninus' TR P XIX,[16] with the result that her obverse legend was shortened to FAVSTINA AVGVSTA, the legend in use for the rest of her life. Several mules are known which pair the obverses of coins with the FAVSTINA AVGVSTA inscription of August AD 156 with reverses of the anepigraphic Diana standing type, indicating that the type was issued as late as August of that year.[17] I therefore date these coins to January-August AD 156.

All these coins depict the empress in her Type 5 hairstyle as discussed above. Examples of each denomination, as well as of the mule type, are illustrated below.


816474506_FaustinaJrSCDianaSestertius.jpg.7472029f12926b6f6f6902bd4f6ce778.jpg

Faustina II, AD 147-175.
Roman orichalcum sestertius, 25.20 g, 31.1 mm, 6 h.
Rome, January-August AD 156.
Obv: FAVSTINA AVGVSTA AVG PII F, bare-headed and draped bust, right, with Beckmann Type 5 coiffure.
Rev: S C, Diana, draped, standing front, head left, holding out arrow in right hand and resting left on bow, set on ground.
Refs: RIC 1383(2); BMCRE 2194; Cohen 210 (erroneous obverse inscription); Strack 1326.
Notes: Obverse die match to the British Museum specimen.


1188486046_FaustinaJrSCDianaas.jpg.bf8135a41aeb46462bfb938b06ddef90.jpg

Faustina II, AD 147-175.
Roman copper alloy as or dupondius, 9.80 g, 24.1 mm, 6 h.
Rome, January-August AD 156.
Obv: FAVSTINA AVGVSTA AVG PII F, bare-headed and draped bust, right, with Beckmann Type 5 coiffure.
Rev: S C, Diana, draped, standing front, head left, holding out arrow in right hand and resting left on bow, set on ground.
Refs: RIC 1405c (erroneous obverse inscription); BMCRE p.382 note after no. 2194; Cohen 211 (erroneous obverse inscription); Strack 1326.


1596981014_FaustinaJrSCDianaasmulewithFAVSTINAAVGVSTAobv.jpg.e600841998a7c2e47fef946a996004e5.jpg

Faustina Jr, AD 147-175.
Roman Æ as, 10.30 g, 24.1 mm, 5 h.
Rome, c. August AD 156.
Obv: FAVSTINA AVGVSTA, bare-headed and draped bust, right.
Rev: S C, Diana, standing facing, head left, holding arrow in right hand and bow set on ground with left hand.
Refs: Unlisted; mule of obverse of RIC 1389-91 and reverse of RIC 1405c.


Because coins bearing this obverse legend were produced for only a matter of months, they are relatively scarce and examples with legible obverse inscriptions are hard to find, even in museum collections. Unfortunately, this has led to the inaccurate transcription of the obverse legend by Cohen and others. BMCRE notes this obverse inscription is a rare type and notes the British Museum had obtained an example of a sestertius of this reverse type only since the publication of RIC.[18]

Do you have examples of this reverse type? I'd love to see them! As always, feel free to post comments or anything you feel is relevant!

~~~

Notes


1. Sestertius: RIC 1383(3), BMCRE 2180, Cohen 206, Strack 1325 [Type 2 hairstyle], BMCRE 2183-84 [Type 5 hairstyle]; left-facing bust in the BnF, Cohen 208 and verified by Strack [later hairstyle]. Middle bronze: RIC 1405a, BMCRE 2191, Cohen 207, Strack1325.

2. Sestertius: RIC 1383(2), BMCRE 2194, Cohen 210 (erroneous obv insc.), Strack 1326. Middle bronze: RIC 1405c (erroneous obv insc.), BMCRE p.382n, Cohen 211 (erroneous obv insc.), Strack 1326.

3. I have previously discussed Cohen's error elsewhere. "Faustina Friday – a Couple of Anepigraphic Bronzes." Coin Talk, https://www.cointalk.com/threads/faustina-friday-a-couple-of-anepigraphic-bronzes.369904/.

4. Mattingly, Harold, Coins of the Roman Empire in the British Museum, vol. 4, Antoninus Pius to Commodus. London, 1940, reprinted with alterations 1968, pp. xciii-xciv; 371-382. Strack, Paul L., Untersuchungen zur Römischen Reichsprägung des Zweiten Jahrhunderts, vol. 3, Die Reichsprägung zur Zeit des Antoninus Pius. Stuttgart 1937.

5. I have previously discussed the dating of all of Faustina's inscriptions under Antoninus Pius elsewhere. "Faustina Friday – Dating the Empress's Obverse Titulature Using a Limited Reverse Type." Coin Talk, https://www.cointalk.com/threads/faustina-friday-%E2%80%93-dating-the-empresss-obverse-titulature-using-a-limited-reverse-type.395705/.

6. The existence of the middle bronze with a left-facing bust, RIC 1405b, BMCRE 2191n, Cohen 209, is doubtful. Cohen cites the de Moustier sale in error; the coin listed in the sale catalogue, H Hoffmann, Paris (de Moustier), 17.6.1872, lot 1766, has a right-facing bust and FAVSTINA AVGVSTA AVG PII F and is (incorrectly) cited by Cohen two entries later (211). Strack lists no examples and I have been unable to confirm the existence of this type after an extensive search of online databases.

7. Beckmann, Martin, Faustina the Younger: Coinage, Portraits, and Public Image, A.N.S. Numismatic Studies 43, American Numismatic Society, New York, 2021, pp. 35-40.

8. Beckmann, op. cit., pp. 45, 89.

9. Curtis L. Clay, personal communication, 13 September 2021. This is based upon British hoard data. See Clay, Curtis L. "
The Supply of Bronze Coins to Britain in the Second Century." Numismatic Chronicle, vol. 149, 1989, p. 216.

10. Beckmann, op. cit., p. 57.

11. Beckmann, op. cit., p. 57.

12. Beckmann, op. cit., p. 84.

13.
Curtis L. Clay, personal communication, 13 September 2021.

14. Clay, Curtis L., post #9, "Faustina Friday -- a Couple of Anepigraphic Bronzes." Coin Talk, https://www.cointalk.com/threads/faustina-friday-a-couple-of-anepigraphic-bronzes.369904/#post-7605355.

15.
Clay, Curtis L. "The Supply of Bronze Coins to Britain in the Second Century." Numismatic Chronicle, vol. 149, 1989, p. 216.

16. Clay, Curtis L., post #5, "Faustina Friday -- a Pondersome Dupondius." Coin Talk, https://www.cointalk.com/threads/faustina-friday-a-pondersome-dupondius.372253/#post-5311634.

17. I have previously discussed this mule elsewhere. "Faustina Friday – an Interesting Mule." Coin Talk, https://www.cointalk.com/threads/faustina-friday-%E2%80%93-an-interesting-mule.386814/.

18. Mattingly, Harold, op. cit., pp. 381-82.

  • Like 11
  • Cookie 1
  • Heart Eyes 4
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Nice overview:

One of my middle bronzes might be a die match with your green 2b example, ot at least very close.

normal_R670_Faustina_II.jpg.76356bf243f5aa4b10597f6e9614dc9c.jpg

Faustina II
Dupondius or As, AD 145-161
Obv.: FAVSTINA AVG PII AVG FIL, draped bust right
Rev.: S - C, Diana standing left with bow and arrow.
AE, 12.4g, 26mm
Ref.: RIC 1405 (a) [C]
This coin was found in 2006 close to the Fleischstraße in Trier, Germany. The find was presented to the Landesmuseum (State Museum).

  • Like 10
  • Heart Eyes 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Terrific presentation as always, @Roman Collector.  Someday I hope to scrounge a Diana type for Faustina II, but for now all I have are the Lucifera types.  

However, I do have a single example of the FAVSTINA AVGVSTA AVG PII F obverse inscription (but Pudicitia, not Diana).  You note the date of issue as Jan-Aug. 156 AD:

3 hours ago, Roman Collector said:

The FAVSTINA AVGVSTA AVG PII F Obverse Inscription

In January AD 156, the FAVSTINA AVGVSTA AVG PII F legend was introduced and the anepigraphic Diana standing issue continued in both the sestertius and middle bronze denominations. The filiation AVGVSTI PII FIL, which means "daughter of Pius Augustus," was moved to the reverse of her coins about August 156, two-thirds of the way through Antoninus' TR P XIX,[16] with the result that her obverse legend was shortened to FAVSTINA AVGVSTA, the legend in use for the rest of her life. Several mules are known which pair the obverses of coins with the FAVSTINA AVGVSTA inscription of August AD 156 with reverses of the anepigraphic Diana standing type, indicating that the type was issued as late as August of that year.[17] I therefore date these coins to January-August AD 156.

The single example in my collection of this obverse inscription came my way earlier this year, and I used a post of yours on CT by you to attribute it.  Since 2018, I think you have narrowed down the date range - IF I'm interpreting these things correctly.   Here's that post:  https://www.cointalk.com/threads/everything-you-never-wanted-to-know-about-a-common-denarius-of-faustina-ii.308398/#post-2951693

Anyway, I thought I'd tighten up the attribution on this one (the issue date in particular).  My current attribution is below (based on the '18 post):

1170800926_FaustinaII-Den.PudicitiastandingApr2022(0aaa2).jpg.db6d1b7d56bfaccfac10e9260cc58369.jpg

Faustina II Denarius (148-152 A.D.) Rome Mint FAVSTINA AVGVSTA AV[G P]II F, bare-headed and draped bust right / PVDICITIA, Pudicitia standing left, sacrificing over lit altar to left. RIC III Antoninus Pius 508a; BMCRE 1092; Cohen 184.  (3.20 grams / 18 x 16 mm) eBay Apr. 2022

Assistance greatly appreciated, as always!

  • Like 11
Link to comment
Share on other sites

12 hours ago, Marsyas Mike said:

Terrific presentation as always, @Roman Collector.  Someday I hope to scrounge a Diana type for Faustina II, but for now all I have are the Lucifera types.  

However, I do have a single example of the FAVSTINA AVGVSTA AVG PII F obverse inscription (but Pudicitia, not Diana).  You note the date of issue as Jan-Aug. 156 AD:

The single example in my collection of this obverse inscription came my way earlier this year, and I used a post of yours on CT by you to attribute it.  Since 2018, I think you have narrowed down the date range - IF I'm interpreting these things correctly.   Here's that post:  https://www.cointalk.com/threads/everything-you-never-wanted-to-know-about-a-common-denarius-of-faustina-ii.308398/#post-2951693

Anyway, I thought I'd tighten up the attribution on this one (the issue date in particular).  My current attribution is below (based on the '18 post):

1170800926_FaustinaII-Den.PudicitiastandingApr2022(0aaa2).jpg.db6d1b7d56bfaccfac10e9260cc58369.jpg

Faustina II Denarius (148-152 A.D.) Rome Mint FAVSTINA AVGVSTA AV[G P]II F, bare-headed and draped bust right / PVDICITIA, Pudicitia standing left, sacrificing over lit altar to left. RIC III Antoninus Pius 508a; BMCRE 1092; Cohen 184.  (3.20 grams / 18 x 16 mm) eBay Apr. 2022

Assistance greatly appreciated, as always!

Since then, I have learned of the scholarship of Martin Beckmann and Curtis Clay and the FAVSTINA AVGVSTA AVG PII F legend is dated to January-August AD 156.

  • Like 1
  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

4 hours ago, Roman Collector said:

Since then, I have learned of the scholarship of Martin Beckmann and Curtis Clay and the FAVSTINA AVGVSTA AVG PII F legend is dated to January-August AD 156.

Thank you RC!  I'll update my attribution, once again piggy-backing off your research...😇

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...