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Faustina Friday – The CONSECRATIO Ceres-Pietas Reverse Type


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Friday felicitations, fellow Faustina Fanatics! I hope you have a wonderful weekend!

Today we’re going to talk about a reverse type that was only used on the sestertius and middle bronze denominations. The type features the reverse legend CONSECRATIO and depicts a female figure sacrificing from a patera with her right hand over an altar and holding a long torch in her left hand. Here are the specimens in my numophylacium to illustrate the type.


570392022_FaustinaSrCONSECRATIOSCVestasestertius.thumb.jpg.9eff7ac69a480f0c86eccfeb164782a0.jpg
Faustina I, AD 138-140.
Roman orichalcum sestertius, 26.32 g, 33.1 mm, 5 h.
Rome, AD 150.
Obv: DIVA FAVSTINA, bare-headed and draped bust, right.
Rev: CONSECRATIO S C, Ceres-Pietas, veiled, draped, standing left, sacrificing out of patera in right hand over altar left and holding long lighted torch, vertical, in left.
Refs: RIC 1130; BMCRE 1529-1530; Cohen 162; RCV 4622; Strack 1274; Hill 786.


1740165096_FaustinaSrCONSECRATIOSCVestadupondius.thumb.jpg.03bfc9ed49034b10e8f0d05582eb73f4.jpg
Faustina I, AD 138-140.
Roman orichalcum as or dupondius, 10.27 g, 26.3 mm, 5 h.
Rome, AD 150.
Obv: DIVA FAV-STINA, bare-headed and draped bust, right.
Rev: CONSECRATIO S C, Ceres-Pietas, veiled, draped, standing left, sacrificing out of patera in right hand over altar left and holding long lighted torch, vertical, in left.
Refs: RIC 1187(a); BMCRE 1590-92; Cohen 163; RCV 4652; Strack 1274.


741693391_FaustinaSrCONSECRATIOSCVestadupondiusveiledbust.thumb.jpg.58fcc306f194fa878aab9e3c6c918a72.jpg
Faustina I, AD 138-140.
Roman orichalcum dupondius, 11.73 g, 25 mm, 6 h.
Rome, AD 150.
Obv: DIVA FAV-STINA, veiled and draped bust, right.
Rev: CONSECRATIO S C, Ceres-Pietas, veiled, draped, standing left, sacrificing out of patera in right hand over altar left and holding long lighted torch, vertical, in left.
Refs: RIC 1187(b); BMCRE 1593-95; Cohen 164; RCV 4652 var.; Strack 1274.


The Figure on the Reverse

There is disagreement among numismatists as to the identification of the figure on the reverse. Cohen,[1] Mattingly and Sydenham (RIC),[2] Mattingly (BMCRE),[3] and Sear[4] each identify the figure as Vesta. Strack, on the other hand, identifies the figure as Aeternitas-Pietas.[5] However, there is very little basis on which to base an identification of Vesta. Paul Dinsdale has performed a study of the attributes of the various named deities on the coinage of Faustina and has been able to identify which attributes are primary and which are secondary to the various deities. This has allowed him to identify deities depicted on the non-descriptive reverse types which bear the legends AVGVSTA, CONSECRATIO, and AETERNITAS, and those with anepigraphic reverses. This systemic and scholarly approach has called into question the opinions of previous numismatists as to the identity of the figure on these coins.

Dinsdale identifies the deity on the reverse as Ceres-Pietas, for the depiction of sacrificing over an altar is characteristic of Pietas, and the torch is characteristic of Ceres (
Ceres taedifera). Dinsdale acknowledges that “the torch is also borne by other personifications, such as Vesta and Diana, but unless other attributes indicate a different interpretation it may accepted that the torch is also determinative of Ceres.”[6] I find Dinsdale’s argument convincing and have identified the reverse figure as Ceres-Pietas as well.

Dating the Type


Thanks to the work of Martin Beckmann,[7] we have been able to arrange the undated coinage of Faustina I in chronological order and, in many cases, assign a rough date of issue. Beckmann accomplished this by constructing a nearly complete sequence of die-linkages for the aurei, supported by additional shorter, but corroborative, die-linkages amongst the aurei and the sestertii. Moreover, by studying hybrids of dated coins of Antoninus Pius or Aurelius Caesar which bear Faustina's reverse types, and by studying the connections of issues to other dated events, he has been able to assign actual – not just relative – dates to certain issues.

Faustina's coinage is divided into five main phases commencing with the deification and funeral of Faustina. The issue I discuss today belongs to the fifth and final of these, commencing in AD 150, for the tenth anniversary of Faustina’s death and deification. Beckmann has noted a die-linkage between the sestertii with this reverse type and the elephant-drawn carpentum type.[8]


20220530_225311.thumb.jpg.f0b73a36a8b33cc45220fadf4a32ce33.jpg
Die-linkages between sestertii of the CONSECRATIO/Ceres-Pietas type and the elephant-drawn carpentum type. Note also a linkage with the AVGVSTA/Vesta with palladium and scepter type.

Beckmann securely dates the elephant-drawn carpentum type to the 10th anniversary celebrations in honor of the empress's death in AD 150.[9] Therefore, the CONSECRATIO/Ceres-Pietas issue also dates to AD 150, because of its die-linkage to the elephant drawn carpentum type.

Varieties

The sestertius is only known with a bare-headed bust, whereas the middle bronze was issued with bare-headed and veiled bust varieties. Beckmann’s die-linkage study of the aurei and sestertii of Faustina I indicated that for any given reverse type, the bare-headed and veiled bust types were in production simultaneously. I have no reason to think otherwise for the middle bronze version of this coin. The significance of the bust varieties is unclear and may simply have been done at the die-engraver’s discretion.

As always, comments and questions are encouraged. Post anything you feel is relevant!


~~~

Notes


1.
Cohen, Henry. Description historique des monnaies frappées sous l'Empire Romain, Tome II: de Nerva à Antonin (96 à 161 après J.-C.). Paris, 1882.
2. Mattingly, Harold and Edward A. Sydenham. The Roman Imperial Coinage. III, Spink, 1930.
3. Mattingly, Harold, Coins of the Roman Empire in the British Museum, vol. IV: Antoninus Pius to Commodus. Introduction, indexes and plates. London, BMP, 1968.
4. Sear, David R., Roman Coins and their Values, vol. 2, The Accession of Nerva to the Overthrow of the Severan Dynasty, A.D. 96 -A.D. 235. London, 2002.
5. Strack, Paul L., Untersuchungen zur Römischen Reichsprägung des Zweiten Jahrhunderts, vol. 3, Die Reichsprägung zur Zeit des Antoninus Pius. Stuttgart 1937.
6. Dinsdale, Paul H. Antoninus Pius and Marcus Aurelius Caesar AD 138-161; Second Revised Edition. Leeds, Paul H Dinsdale, 2021, p. 235.
7. Beckmann, Martin. Diva Faustina: Coinage and Cult in Rome and the Provinces. American Numismatic Society, 2012.
8. Beckmann, op. cit., Sestertius Groups 10 and 11 in Die Chart 16.
9. Beckmann, op. cit., p. 64.

Edited by Roman Collector
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Another excellent and informative post @Roman Collector!!!

NaughtyWarlikeEland-size_restricted.gif.ea79e4e6df15e4be5cdc78899dac60f5.gif

Oh that's Vesta for sure😉 Just being a PITA. Not to be confused with Pietas!

One of my favorite portraits is a Faustina AETERNITAS... Denarius. Though, the description says Juno. I always get ripped up with all the Roman amalgamations of gods.

427984526_Screenshot_20210825-135611_PicCollage-removebg-preview2.png.483c17edf4aac84fc1de554d7ec27672.png

Diva Faustina I AR Denarius. Struck under Antoninus Pius, Rome, AD 141. DIVA FAVSTINA, draped bust left / AETERNITAS, Juno standing left, raising right hand and holding sceptre.
Reference:RIC 344
Very Fine, 2,8 gr, 17 mm

Here is a Lucilla Vesta for comparison. Who I must say looks remarkably similar. Or could this identification also be AETERNITAS?

share4067620256991314753.png.ea8c6d00d9d14e8841b877fc18842356.png

LUCILLA Sestertius, RIC 1779, Vesta

OBVERSE: LVCILLAE AVG ANTONINI AVG F, draped bust right
REVERSE: VESTA, S-C, Vesta standing left, holding palladium and sacrificing with simpulum over lighted altar to left 
Struck at Rome, 161-161 AD
30.4 mm, 21.89g AD ex @Bing CT

And I do not think there is a more popular Vesta then the one of her taking a load off, seated, on the Caligula reverse:

share1089808612310141532.png.3996e5545dc509bd58789b6849bb88da.png

Caligula,

37-41 AD., AS Rome mint.
Av.  bare head left

Rv. Vesta seated left, holding patera

quality is fine to very fine with a dark green patina,  weight is 9,96gr.   

 

Take a load off Vesta...

 

IMG_5557.jpg

Edited by Ryro
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That's a lovely Faustina I denarius, @Ryro, and that's indeed Juno on the reverse. That Lucilla's nice, too. That's definitely Vesta on that Lucilla -- as opposed to the figure on my coins -- because she holds a Palladium. Paul Dinsdale* writes, "Vesta is usually portrayed holding palladium, with either a simpulum, a sceptre, or a torch. The palladium is a primary attribute, and is not borne by other personifications; we may therefore state that any figure holding a palladium should be identified as Vesta. The sceptre and the torch are also borne by other personifications, and so are secondary and not determinative of type."

I STILL need to get one of those Caligula asses with the Vesta reverse, but you know how it is ...

5kcdie.jpg.c6f620fd15fee9dffa80b717af155b38.jpg

Thank you for the kind words and for the earworm!

 

*Dinsdale, op. cit.

Edited by Roman Collector
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30 minutes ago, Roman Collector said:

That's a lovely Faustina I denarius, @Ryro, and that's indeed Juno on the reverse. That Lucilla's nice, too. That's definitely Vesta on that Lucilla -- as opposed to the figure on my coins -- because she holds a Palladium. Paul Dinsdale* writes, "Vesta is usually portrayed holding palladium, with either a simpulum, a sceptre, or a torch. The palladium is a primary attribute, and is not borne by other personifications; we may therefore state that any figure😍 holding a palladium should be identified as Vesta. The sceptre and the torch are also borne by other personifications, and so are secondary and not determinative of type."

I STILL need to get one of those Caligula asses with the Vesta reverse, but you know how it is ...

5kcdie.jpg.c6f620fd15fee9dffa80b717af155b38.jpg

Thank you for the kind words and for the earworm!

I KNEW you'd set me straight on the difference. I must've missed that part in your SPECTACULAR write up while enjoying those coins😍

If you like that one check out this barbarous one:

share2698183790048390431.png.67c9f3447fb9c0d7adcb54ec1d410a58.png

Caligula (Gaius)

AE AS Rome Mint 37-38 CE 27mm, 8.30 gr Obverse: C CAESAR AVG GERMANICVS PON M TR POT, bare head left REVERSE: VESTA S C, Vesta enthroned left, long scepter transveres in left RIC: 38, Sear 1803, Cohen 27, BMC I 46

Note: Possible Barbarous

 

 

Do you, or anybody, have a barbarous Faustina?

Edited by Ryro
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21 minutes ago, Ryro said:

Do you, or anybody, have a barbarous Faustina?

I do have a barbarous Faustina I:

[IMG]
Faustina I, AD 138-140.
Unofficial imitative issue, 3.19 g, 17.6 mm, 6 h.
Ca. AD 145-160?
Obv: DIVA FAVSTINA, bare-headed and draped bust, right.
Rev: PIETATI AVG, Pietas, veiled and draped, standing left, dropping incense from right hand onto lighted altar and holding box in left hand.
Refs: Cf. BMC p. 67, † note, RSC 234b, CRE 113 and Strack 462 (Budapest), all of which read PIETAS AVG.

@dougsmithas one that is very barbarous in style, too.

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Great coins, fellas ... oh, and great ladies 

Ummm, here are a couple of my ex-Faustinas ... 

=> Senior and Junior

 

Faustina Senior. Augusta, AR Denarius

138-140/1 AD

Rome mint

Diameter: 17 mm

Weight: 3.07 grams

Obverse: Draped bust right

Reverse: Draped throne; transverse scepter resting against arm, peacock with spread tail standing to right below

Reference: RIC III 339a (Pius); RSC 219

Other: toned, a couple of light marks

Ex-stevex6 ... From the Demetrios Armounta Collection

 

Faustina Senior.jpg

 

 

 

Faustina Junior. Augusta, AR Denarius

Struck under Marcus Aurelius and Lucius Verus, AD 161-164

AD 147-175

Rome mint

Diameter: 18 mm

Weight: 3.35 grams

Obverse: Draped bust right, wearing stephane

Reverse: Draped and ornamented throne on which are two infant boys

Reference: RIC III 712 (Aurelius); MIR 18, 27-4b Diad.; RSC 191

Other: 12h … toned

Ex-stevex6 ... From the Dr. George Spradling Collection

Faustina Jr II.jpg

Edited by Steve
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