Roman Collector Posted December 30, 2022 · Patron Share Posted December 30, 2022 (edited) Friday felicitations, fellow Faustina fanatics! I hope the new year treats you well. Today I'm going to talk about one of the early sestertii of Faustina the Elder, the PIETAS AVG type depicting Pietas standing left, sacrificing over a candelabrum-altar type. The following coin with a left-facing bust is a new addition to my numophylacium and I wanted to show it off. However, I will discuss the PIETAS AVG reverse type more broadly in the context of its production. Faustina I, 138-140 CE. Roman orichalcum sestertius, 25.57 g, 32.4 mm, 10 h. Rome, c. 143-145. Obv: DIVA AVGVSTA FAVSTINA, veiled and draped bust, left, wearing stephane. Rev: PIETAS AVG S C, Pietas standing left, dropping incense on candelabrum-altar and holding incense box. Refs: RIC 1146Ad; BMCRE 1451; Cohen –; RCV –; Strack 1241 (Va L); Hunter 70A. Notes: Double die match to Roma Numismatics, Auction 19, lot 846, 26 March 2020. The work of Martin Beckmann has clarified the dating and arrangement of the Diva Faustina coinage. Beckmann identified an almost complete sequence of die-linkages for the aurei, supported by additional shorter, but corroborative, die-linkages among the sestertii. In addition, Beckmann discovered several mules with reverse die-linkages to dated coins of Antoninus or Aurelius Caesar, which connected certain issues to other dated events. These studies enabled Beckman to produce a comprehensive and reliable sequence of relative dating of the aurei and, to a lesser degree, the sestertii. The coins with the PIETAS AVG reverse inscription and depicting Pietas sacrificing over a cylindrical altar or a candelabrum-style altar appear on both the aurei and sestertii as part of the first phase of issues for the newly deceased Faustina and deal with her funeral and deification in 140 CE. The cylindrical altar type and candelabrum type are in use simultaneously in both the aureus and sestertius die-linkage chains. It is thus perhaps best to consider these as varieties of the same reverse type, rather than as two separate issues. The cylindrical altar type is the more common of the two in the gold and silver denominations, while the candelabrum-altar is the more common of the two in the bronze. Two dies with this reverse of Pietas sacrificing over an altar appear muled with an aureus obverse die of Antoninus Pius bearing the inscription ANTONINVS AVG PIVS PP TR P COS III, establishing a date of 140-144 CE with certainty. Below are some denarii in my collection demonstrating the cylindrical altar type (top) and the candelabrum-type altar (bottom). Each type is known with both bare-headed and veiled bust types. I have illustrated all these varieties previously elsewhere. Faustina I, AD 138-141. Roman AR denarius, 2.29 g, 18.6 mm, 8 h. Rome, AD 140-145. Obv: DIVA AVG FAVSTINA, bare-headed and draped bust, right. Rev: Pietas, veiled and draped, standing left, dropping incense on lighted altar with right hand and holding box in left hand. Refs: RIC 394a; BMCRE 311-314; RSC/Cohen 234; Strack 428; RCV 4598; CRE 114. Faustina I, AD 138-145. Roman AR denarius, 3.19 g, 18.2 mm, 7 h. Rome, AD 140-44. Obv: DIVA AVG FAVSTINA, Bust of Faustina I, veiled and draped, right. Rev: PEITAS AVG, Pietas, veiled and draped, standing left, dropping incense on candelbrum with right hand and holding box in left hand. Refs: RIC 395c; BMC 318; Cohen/RSC 236; Strack 429; RCV --; CRE 118. This reverse type continued in use after the other consecratio-related types disappeared from the repertoire. While this is most clear in the aureus sequence, which is complete, more dies are known for the sestertii, implying a long period of production. Moreover, the die-sequence continues after the introduction of the temple edifice types issued in conjunction with the dedication of the Temple to Diva Faustina in 143 or 144 CE. Reverse dies of the temple and Pietas types share obverse dies in both the aureus and sestertius denominations, confirming contemporaneity of production. Production of the aurei of this reverse type ends with the introduction of the DIVA FAVSTINA obverse legend combined with the AVGVSTA reverse legend upon the marriage of Faustina the Younger to Marcus Aurelius in 145 CE. Therefore, 145 CE serves as a terminus ante quem for the issue.On the aurei and sestertii, the Pietas sacrificing over altar reverse type is known paired with three right-facing bust types – bare-headed, veiled, and veiled with a stephane – and one left-facing, with a veil and stephane. The stephane does not appear on coins of Faustina the Elder until shortly after the introduction of the temple types. This led Beckmann to suggest that the "temple's new cult statue served as a model for this new portrait." This stephaned bust type persists in Faustina's veiled portraits up to c. 150 CE, when it disappears. The bare-headed and veiled bust types are depicted on the denarii above; the coin below illustrates the right-facing counterpart of my new sestertius with the veiled and stephaned bust. Faustina I, AD 138-140. Roman orichalcum sestertius, 28.18 g, 33.1 mm, 6 h. Rome, AD 143-145. Obv: DIVA AVGVSTA FAVSTINA, bust of Faustina I, draped, veiled, right, with stephane. Rev: PIETAS AVG S C, Pietas, veiled and draped, standing left, dropping incense on candelbrum with right hand and holding box in left hand. Refs: RIC 1146Ac; BMCRE 1447-1450; Cohen --; Strack 1241; RCV --. Notes: Strack cites examples in Florence, Rome (Conservatorenpalast and also Nationalmuseum), and the British Museum. Do you have any of these PIETAS AVG issues? Let’s see them! As always, feel free to post comments or anything you feel is relevant!~~~ Notes 1. Beckmann, Martin. Diva Faustina: Coinage and Cult in Rome and the Provinces. American Numismatic Society, 2012, Die Charts 1, 11, and 12. 2. However, they are considered as separate designs by most older references, such as Cohen, RIC, BMCRE, and RSC. 3. Beckmann catalogs 15 aureus dies of the cylindrical altar type and 3 aureus dies of the candelabrum type (plates 8 and 9); he catalogs 3 sestertius dies of the cylindrical altar type and 48 sestertius dies of the candelabrum type (plates 20-23). 4. Ibid., pp. 7, 42. The two dies are PA8 (candelabrum-style altar) and PA 17 (cylindrical altar). 5. Ibid., p. 42. 6. Ibid., Die Charts 1 and 15. 7. Ibid., Die Chart 1 and pp. 55 ff. 8. Ibid., pp. 43, 50. Edited February 4 by Roman Collector 9 7 Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
Join the conversation
You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.