Jump to content

Faustina Friday – An Early PVDICITIA Standing Issue

Roman Collector

Recommended Posts

Happy Friday GIFs - 70 Moving Pictures With Captions


Friday felicitations, fellow Faustina Fanatics! Today I’m going to discuss an early issue that is difficult to date precisely because it was only issued in silver and bronze and thus falls outside of Martin Beckmann’s die-linkage study of Faustina II’s aurei. This is the PVDICITIA reverse type depicting Pudicitia veiled, standing left, arranging the drapery on her right shoulder, and holding up the hem of her stola. Here are the varieties of this reverse type. A closely related and very rare type depicting a female figure facing right, holding up the hem of her stola and holding a cornucopiae, is not discussed in today’s installment. Unless otherwise noted, the coins illustrated are from my own collection.

The denarius comes in three varieties. The first two of these feature Faustina’s first obverse inscription, the dative case FAVSTINAE AVG PII AVG FIL. They differ in hairstyle, depicting the empress in the Beckmann Types 1 and 2 hairstyles, respectively.


Faustina II, AD 147-175.
Roman AR denarius, 3.45 g, 18.8 mm, 7 h.
Rome, AD 148-149.
Obv: FAVSTINAE AVG PII AVG FIL, draped bust, right, wearing strand of pearls (Beckmann Type 1 hairstyle).
Pudicitia veiled, standing left, arranging drapery on right shoulder, and holding up hem of skirt.
Refs: RIC 507a; BMCRE 1054-56; Cohen 176 corr.; RSC 176b; Sear 4706; Strack 493; CRE –.
Note: Cohen 176 (cited by RIC as 507b) refers to a diademed bust type. Cohen
cites an example in Paris, but Strack – who was familiar with the holdings of the BnF in Paris – lists no examples. I have not been able to confirm the existence of a diademed bust type used with this issue and I suspect Cohen misdescribed the strand of pearls on this coin as a diadem.


Faustina II, AD 147-175.
Roman AR denarius, 3.86 g, 19.2 mm, 7 h.
Rome, AD 149-151.
Obv: FAVSTINAE AVG PII AVG FIL, bare-headed and draped bust, right (Beckmann type 2 hairstyle).
Pudicitia veiled, standing left, arranging drapery on right shoulder, and holding up hem of skirt.
Refs: RIC 507a; BMCRE 1051-53; Cohen 185 corr.; RSC 176a; Sear 4706; Strack 493; CRE 206.

Note: Cohen 176 refers to a diademed bust type (likely misdescribed); Cohen 185 with obverse right-facing bust “avec les chevaux ondés” (with wavy hair) and reverse “La Pudeur debout à gauche, se couvrent la tête de son voile, main droite baissée” (Pudicitia stg. l., covering her head with veil, r. hand lowered at side) is probably this coin.

The coin is also known with Faustina’s second obverse inscription, the nominative case FAVSTINA AVG PII AVG FIL. Unsurprisingly, it depicts the empress in her second (Beckmann Type 2) hairstyle. It is extremely rare, with known examples limited to a specimen in Gotha (Herzogliches Münzkabinett), one from Feuardent (cited by Strack), and two in the Nationalmuseum in Sofia from the Reka Devnia hoard. Cohen 177 (cited by RIC as 507c) cites an example in Paris, but Strack – who was familiar with the holdings of the BnF in Paris – notes no such specimen there.


Strack pl. 7, 508 = Feuardent. It is unclear whether Strack indicates one of the sale catalogues of Rollin & Feuardent, later Feuardent Frères, a stock item from the company, or an image from their photo records. This coin dates to mid- AD 151.

The changes in hairstyle and obverse inscription are helpful in dating the coins. In the late 1980s, @curtislclay 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 the younger. In the course of this work, he concluded that the FAVSTINA AVG PII AVG FIL legend was in use for about four or five months beginning about May AD 151, followed by the FAVSTINA AVG ANTONINI AVG PII FIL legend, which was in use for about seven or eight months, from the end of summer AD 151 to about June AD 152, after which it reverted to the FAVSTINA AVG PII AVG FIL legend, which was in use through the end of AD 155.[1]

Similarly, Beckmann, in his die-linkage study of the aurei of Faustina the Younger, noted a shift from the first dative case legend to a new obverse legend in the nominative case, FAVSTINA AVG PII AVG FIL. This change was not sudden or clear cut but, rather, transpired over a period of extended coin production marked by what Beckmann describes as a "confusing array of different obverse legends, portraits, and reverse types." He further notes that this legend appeared briefly before a new obverse legend was introduced, FAVSTINA AVG ANTONINI AVG PII FIL, which was used for a somewhat longer time before it was switched back to FAVSTINA AVG PII AVG FIL.[2] In contrast to Curtis Clay, Beckmann was not able to establish an absolute chronology for the sequence of obverse inscriptions because his was a die-linkage study and not a hoard analysis.

In contrast to the denarii of this reverse type, the bronze issues feature only the empress’s first hairstyle[3] and first obverse inscription. They were issued in the sestertius and middle bronze denominations. The sestertii are extremely rare. Known examples are limited to specimens in the ANS collection, the John Bargrave Collection at the University of Saskatchewan (CANCA-B163-2-7-152-RE), and specimens in the Cabinet des Medailles in Paris, the Staatliches Münzkabinett in Munich, the Vatican, and the Hermitage in St. Petersburg as cited by Strack.[4]


Sestertius (RIC 1380), ANS 1944.100.49251.


Faustina II, AD 147-175.
Roman Æ as or dupondius, 9.50 g, 27.1 mm, 12 h.
Rome, AD 148-149.
Obv: FAVSTINAE AVG PII AVG FIL, draped bust, right, wearing strand of pearls (Beckmann type 1 hairstyle).
Rev: PVDICITIA S C, Pudicitia standing facing, head left, lifting veil from shoulders with both hands.
Refs: RIC 1403(b), BMCRE 2157-58; Cohen 179 var. (no stephane); Strack 1301; RCV 4731.


Middle bronze (Cohen 179) featuring the empress with the Beckmann Type 1 coiffure and wearing a stephane. Holding History, online 25.10.2014, lot 381014253649, www.ebay.ca.

Dating the issue

The issues with the Beckmann Type 1 hairstyle likely came into use in AD 148, sometime after a brief issue[5] of three reverse types to commemorate the birth of Faustina's first child, Domitia Faustina in December, AD 147.[6] I have discussed these three reverse types previously. In the aureus series, these three types were immediately followed by a VENVS holding apple and rudder type, which was used continuously until coming to an end shortly after the birth of Lucilla in March, AD 149, when the Beckmann Type 2 bust was introduced. The VENVS type continues paired with four obverse dies featuring this second bust type, which were also used to strike the IVNO and CONCORDIA reverse types commemorating the birth of Lucilla.[7]

The silver and bronze issues fall outside of the purview of Beckmann’s die-linkage study of the aurei, but its clear that the denarii of this PVDICITIA type began concurrently with the VENVS holding apple and rudder type, with the Type 1 hairstyle in use from AD 148 until March or April, AD 149, but continuing even longer. Although the denarii of the VENVS type disappear with the introduction of the Type 2 hairstyle, the PVDICITIA reverse remains in use even after May, AD 151, when the nominative case obverse inscription came into use, but was out of production by Autumn, AD 151, when the obverse inscription changed to FAVSTINA AVG ANTONINI AVG PII FIL.

In contrast, the bronze issues feature only the dative case obverse inscription and the empress’s first hairstyle, and were likely only in production from AD 148 through perhaps April, AD 149, when the Type 2 hairstyle became predominant.

Let’s see your Pudicitia coins! As always, feel free to post comments or anything you feel is relevant!



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

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.

Mattingly, Harold, Coins of the Roman Empire in the British Museum, vol. 4, Antoninus Pius to Commodus (BMCRE). London, 1940, reprinted with alterations 1968.

Mattingly, Harold and Edward A. Sydenham, The Roman Imperial Coinage. III (RIC). London, Spink, 1930.

Seaby, H. A. Roman Silver Coins, vol II: Tiberius – Commodus (RSC). London, B. A. Seaby, LTD, 1968.

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 (RCV). London, 2002.

Strack, Paul L., Untersuchungen zur Römischen Reichsprägung des Zweiten Jahrhunderts, vol. 3, Die Reichsprägung zur Zeit des Antoninus Pius. Stuttgart 1937.

Temeryazev, S. A., and T. P. Makarenko, The Coinage of Roman Empresses (CRE). San Bernardino, CreateSpace, 2017.


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

2. Beckmann, p. 42.

3. Cohen no. 180 omits the strand of pearls from his description, an error propagated by RIC but corrected by Strack and noted in BMCRE.

4. Erroneously, Cohen no. 180 cites the British Museum, but not the Cabinet des Medailles of the BnF. This error is noted and corrected in BMCRE 2142n., p 373.

5. The entire issue of the three reverse types used only four aureus obverse dies. See Beckmann, p. 31.

6. These three reverse types being: VENERI GENETRICI/Venus Genetrix standing left, holding apple and child in swaddling clothes, IVNONI LVCINAE/Juno standing left, holding patera and scepter, and LAETITIAE PVBLICAE/Laetitia standing left, holding wreath and vertical scepter. Beckmann, p. 24.

7. Beckmann, pp. 35-36. See die chain 2 in Faustina Friday, 3 September, 2021.

Edited by Roman Collector
Correction of grammatical case
  • Like 11
  • Heart Eyes 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Nice Coins !! 


I can add the Denarius with Pudicitia standing facing, head right and cornucopia



Faustina II
Obv.: FAVSTINAE AVG PII AVG FIL, Draped bust right.
Rev.: PVDICITIA, Pudicitia (Concordia) standing facing, head right, holding cornucopia and raising skirt.
Ag, 3.44g, 18mm
Ref.: RIC – (Cf. RIC 507a ), CRE 165 [R4]

Edited by shanxi
  • Like 9
  • Mind blown 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

My only Pudi-pie is on an Otacilia Severa, Philip I's wife, sitting on her duff. Maybe I'll have to start up a Severa Saturday😜


Otacilia Severa

AR antoninanus, 244-249 CE Mint: Rome, 244-245 CE, 22mm x 25mm, 4.12g Obv: MARCIA OTACIL SEVERA AVG
Diademed and draped bust right, with a crescent behind her shoulders.
Pudicitia seated left, right hand drawing veil from face and holding a transverse sceptre in her left arm.
RCV (2005) 9159; RIC IV ..


Edited by Ryro
Nefarious reasons for editing
  • Like 6
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Here's my Faustina II Pudicitia, with the quintessential Leu toning. I don't know how they manage to get so many of these wonderfully toned coins, but glad to have snagged this one. Makes photography quite fun, trying to get the best angle to really bring it out! 


Faustina Junior, Augusta, 147-175. Denarius (Silver, 19 mm, 3.10 g, 1 h), Rome, circa 147-150. FAVSTINAE AVG PII AVG FIL Draped bust of Faustina Junior to right. Rev. PVDICITIA Pudicitia standing front, head to left, raising veil with her right hand and skirt with her left. BMC 1051. Cohen 176. RIC 507a. 


  • Like 9
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Great write up as always @Roman Collector...Super looking coins too...


Julia Domna. Augusta, 193-217 AD. AR Denarius (3.23 gm, 19mm). Laodicea mint. Struck under Septimius Severus, 198-202 AD.
Obv.: IVLIA AVGVSTA... Draped bust right.
Rev.: PVDICITIA... Pudicitia seated left, hand raised to breast......RIC IV #644 (Severus); RSC 168a


  • Like 6
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Benefactor

Thanks for the interesting write-up & coins.

My only example is the standard Herennia Etruscilla showing Pudicitia with a pistol held to her head threatening to shoot herself.

Herennia Etruscilla (wife of Trajan Decius) AR Antoninianus, 249-251 AD, Rome Mint. Obv. HER ETRVSCILLA AVG, Draped bust right, wearing stephane, crescent behind / Rev. PVDICITIA AVG, Pudicitia standing left lifting her veil and holding scepter. RIC IV-3 58b, RSC IV 17.  21.77 mm., 3.82 g. 


  • Like 5
  • Laugh 2
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.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

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.

  • Create New...