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Faustina Friday – The Lifetime Issues of Faustina the Elder Depicting Concordia Standing


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Friday felicitations, fellow Faustina fanatics! I hope you have a wonderful weekend ahead. Remember several months ago when I said, "There are also several coins issued for Faustina during her lifetime with the CONCORDIA AVG reverse legend which depict Concordia standing. That's a subject for a later day"? Well, that later day has come! Today we're going to talk about the lifetime issues of Faustina the Elder depicting Concordia standing left.

Faustina the Elder's lifetime issues are divided into three periods, characterized by different obverse legends.

The first issue,
138-139 CE, appears limited to denarii, which bear the legend FAVSTINA AVG ANTONINI AVG, "Faustina, (wife) of Antoninus." These were issued sometime after Antoninus Pius' accession 11 July 138 but before he received the title of Pater Patriae on or before 1 March 139 CE.[1] The issue consists of three reverse types, Concordia standing, Concordia seated, and Vesta seated. I have discussed these scarce issues previously elsewhere.

Silver and gold coins of the second issue, AD 139-40, reflect Antoninus Pius' title of Pater Patriae, "Father of the Fatherland," and bear the inscription FAVSTINA AVG ANTONINI AVG P P.

The silver and gold issues of the third issue, AD 140, bear the legend FAVSTINA AVGVSTA.[2]

The inscriptions on the aes coinage are even more limited; all reflect Pius's title of Pater Patriae and were issued from AD 139-140. They bear the inscriptions FAVSTINA AVG ANTONINI AVG PII P P or FAVSTINA AVG PII P P (on a single issue, RIC 1077b).


While I have many coins of this reverse type, some are extremely rare and are lacking in my numophylacium. I must therefore illustrate these with specimens from museum collections. These coins lacking from my own collection are clearly indicated.

First Emission,
FAVSTINA AVG ANTONINI AVG, 11 July 138 – 28 February 139 CE

This first issue was limited to denarii, which are extremely rare.[3] The reverse design depicts Concordia standing left with her usual accoutrements, a patera and double cornucopiae, and resting her left arm on a column. I illustrate this type with an example from the Osijek (Aelia Mursa) hoard.


FaustinaSrCONCORDIAAVGnoPPstandingdenariusBMC36.jpg.b4271445fd7a946fadd38b732f45fe5c.jpg

Denarius of the 1st issue for Faustina the Elder (unlisted in RIC). British Museum collection, BMCRE 36.


Second Emission, FAVSTINA AVG(VSTA) ANTONINI AVG (PII) P P, 1 March 139 – 140 CE

Coins of the second issue were issued in the denarius, sestertius, and medium bronze denominations.[4] Concordia is depicted standing left, holding a patera and a double or single cornucopiae. She typically rests her left arm on a column, or sometimes the column is absent. Some dies used for the bronze issues have expanded the obverse inscription to read FAVSTINA AVGVSTA ANTONINI AVG PII P P. Although Cohen and RIC assign different catalog numbers to the issues with and without the column, the presence or absence of a column should probably not be taken to represent separate issues but is likely the result of the idiosyncrasies of the different die-engravers at the Rome mint. Similarly, the bronze coins with the expanded obverse legend appear to have been in use simultaneously with those bearing the shorter inscription and represent not separate issues, but variability among the die engravers.


FaustinaSrCONCORDIAAVGstandingdenariuslonginscription.jpg.6eb0a39c5074cbac53c8ef266a51ea7b.jpg

Faustina I 138-140 CE.
Roman AR denarius, 3.13 g, 18.3 mm, 5 h.
Rome, 139-140 CE.
Obv: FAVSTINA AVG ANTONINI AVG P P, bare-headed and draped bust, right.
Rev: CONCORDIA AVG, Concordia standing left, holding patera and double cornucopiae and resting l. arm on column.
Refs: RIC 329; BMCRE 42; Cohen 153; Strack 395; RCV –; CRE 92.


FaustinaSrCONCORDIAAVGSCsestertius.jpg.c102705b7d4ace122070710f4808f1ba.jpg

Faustina I 138-140 CE.
Roman orichalcum sestertius, 29.31 g, 32.5 mm, 12 h.
Rome, 139-140 CE.
Obv: FAVSTINA AVG ANTONINI AVG PII P P, bare-headed and draped bust, right.
Rev: CONCORDIA AVG S C, Concordia standing left, holding patera and double cornucopiae and resting left arm on column.
Refs: RIC 1076; BMCRE 1115; Cohen 154; Strack 1215; RCV 4674; Hill UCR 124.


FaustinaSrCONCORDIAAVGSCsestertiuslongobvinscriptionDavissons.png.1d1d6b760efdb3178fa355bf76db4e97.png

Sestertius with an expanded obverse inscription reading FAVSTINA AVGVSTA ANTONINI AVG PII P P (Strack 1228, citing a specimen in Berlin; unlisted in RIC or Cohen). This was likely produced with a single variant obverse die. Davisson’s Ltd., E-Auction 35, lot 53, 10 June 2020.


FaustinaSrCONCORDIAAVGSCsestertiusnocolumnBMC.png.b14e65630b1a45ad45f4c50397df45a8.png

Sestertius of Faustina I, variety without a column (RIC 1075). British Museum collection, BMCRE 1114.


FaustinaSrCONCORDIAAVGSCleaningoncolumnMB.jpg.55925b88d7661789c8bc028fae1c8c55.jpg

Faustina I 138-140 CE.
Roman Æ as or dupondius, 16.75 g, 28.3 mm, 12 h.
Rome, 139-140 CE.
Obv: FAVSTINA AVG ANTONINI AVG PII P P, bare-headed and draped bust, right.
Rev: CONCORDIA AVG S C, Concordia standing left, holding patera and double cornucopiae and resting left arm on column.
Refs: RIC 1089; BMCRE 1126; Cohen 155; Strack 1215; RCV 4681.
Notes: Ex- Louis-Robert Casterman collection, Elsen Auction 65, lot 93, 17 March 2001.


FaustinaSrCONCORDIAAVGSCleaningoncolumnMBlongobvinscriptionBnF.jpg.71348078065a05036cedaec894e073cb.jpg

Dupondius with an expanded obverse inscription reading FAVSTINA AVGVSTA ANTONINI AVG PII P P (Strack 1228, citing a specimen in Paris; unlisted in RIC or Cohen). This specimen appears to be unique. Specimen in the Bibliothèque nationale de France, Paris. Photo from Gauthier-Dussart, Roxane, et al. "Entre Rome et Alexandrie: Le Monnayage d'antonin Le Pieux (138-161), Idéologie Du Règne et Adaptations Locales." l'Université de Montréal, 2017, Plate 86, no. 1432.


FaustinaSrCONCORDIAAVGSCdupondius.jpg.508b896e10b1a9c2f7cb44328fe4481c.jpg

Faustina I 138-140 CE.
Roman Æ as or dupondius, 16.75 g, 28.3 mm, 12 h.
Rome, 139-140 CE.
Obv: FAVSTINA AVG ANTONINI AVG PII P P, bare-headed and draped bust, right.
Rev: CONCORDIA AVG S C, Concordia standing left, holding patera and double cornucopiae.
Refs: RIC 1088; BMCRE 1125; Cohen 152; Strack 1215; RCV –.
Notes: BMCRE4 incorrectly describes #
1125 as depicting Concordia leaning on a column. However, the specimen is illustrated in plate 25, no. 2 and the BMC website has corrected this.


Third Emission, FAVSTINA AVGVSTA, 140 CE

The coins of the third issue of the above reverse type but bearing the legend FAVSTINA AVGVSTA were issued in the aureus and denarius denominations. In addition, a single specimen of a denarius of this type with a left-facing bust was found in the Reka Devnia hoard[5] and it is
listed but not illustrated in Oxford’s online inventory of the hoard. After an exhaustive internet search, however, I have not been able to confirm the existence of this variety.

A second reverse type depicting Concordia standing facing, head right, holding a scepter and cornucopiae was introduced but issued only in the aureus denomination.


FaustinaSrCONCORDIAAVGstandingaureusBMC.png.5ae6654d5f50d46aa6b40ad769aa477d.png

Aureus of Faustina I, Concordia standing left, holding patera and double cornucopiae and resting left arm on column. (RIC 336). British Museum collection, BMCRE 132.


FaustinaSrCONCORDIAAVGstandingdenarius.jpg.041a7277b65fd20da96c588d005b70b9.jpg

Faustina I, 138-140 CE.
Roman AR denarius, 3.36 g, 17.4 mm, 6 h.
Rome, 140 CE.
Obv: FAVSTINA AVGVSTA, bare-headed and draped bust, right.
Rev: CONCORDIA AVG, Concordia standing left, holding patera and double cornucopiae.
Refs: RIC 335; BMCRE 133-135; Cohen/RSC 151; Strack 401; RCV 4668; Hill UCR 199; CRE 93.


FaustinaSrCONCORDIAAVGstandingaureusscepterandcornucopiaeStacks.jpg.f0a3ac477ddbb5667a9f4f6752c33372.jpg

Aureus of Faustina I, variety depicting Concordia standing facing, head right, holding a scepter and cornucopiae (RIC 337). Stack’s Bowers Galleries, January 2013 N.Y.I.N.C., lot 2050, 8 January 2013.


Conclusions

Coins of the CONCORDIA AVG, Concordia standing reverse type were produced throughout Faustina's entire reign as Augusta. This reverse type's message of imperial harmony was obviously an important one to the new imperial administration after Pius's assumption of the throne following the death of Hadrian. Although minor variations in obverse inscription, the direction of the bust, and in the details of the reverse design are to be seen in all three issues, there is no indication to suggest that these varieties constituted separate issues, but are best taken as
the result of artistic idiosyncrasies at the hands of the different die-engravers at the Rome mint.

Do you have any CONCORDIA AVG issues of Faustina? As always feel free to post comments, coins, or anything you feel is relevant!

~~~

Notes


1. Mattingly, Harold, Coins of the Roman Empire in the British Museum, vol. IV: Antoninus Pius to Commodus. Introduction, indexes and plates. London, BMP, 1968, p. xxxii, n. 2 cites Dessau, Hermann, Inscriptiones Latinae Selectae 2182, a statue dedication which records Antoninus as Pater Patriae on 1 March 139. This firmly dated inscription provides a terminus ante quem for the emperor's acceptance of the title.

2. The change of titulature to FAVSTINA AVGVSTA is undated yet is so prominent that one is tempted to look for a significant political change to prompt it. The most important event of the period is the joint-consulship of Antoninus and Aurelius Caesar in 140. The change in Faustina's obverse inscription likely reflects the new power structure: it completes the dynastic triad of Augustus, Augusta, and Caesar.

3. Strack notes two specimens of this type: Paris 5484 and a second from the Osiek hoard, which was acquired by the British Museum Collection and is illustrated above. There are, in addition, the following specimens: Classical Numismatic Group, Inc. (Electronic Auction 202), 14.1.2009, lot 287; Numismatik Lanz München (Auction 159), 8.12.2014, lot 472; London Ancient Coins Ltd (Auction 46), 12.10.2015, lot 235.

4. The aureus, quoted by Cohen (no. 156) from Caylus, with reverse Concordia standing right, holding scepter and cornucopiae, is doubtful. Mattingly, op. cit., p. 9, 42n.

5. One specimen in Varna. Mouchmov, Nicolas A. Le Trésor Numismatique de Réka-Devnia: Marcianopolis. Musée National Bulgare, 1934, p.59.

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Happy Faustina Friday everyone! Great coins and write up @Roman Collector.

My lifetime Faustina is one of my favorite denarii.

Faustina_Den_Lifetime_CSH.jpeg.e21342535dbcf1e1be332d66ffbac323.jpeg
Roman Empire 
Faustina I
AR Denarius, Rome mint, struck AD 139-140
Dia.: 18 mm
Wt.: 2.77 g
Obv.: FAVSTINA AVGVSTA; Draped bust right.
Rev.: CONCORDIA AVG; Concordia standing left, holding patera and cornucopia.
Ref.: RIC 335 (Antoninus Pius)
Ex Collection of a Hanseatic “Römerfreundes” (Sammlung eines hanseatischen Römerfreundes), Auktion Münzzentrum 94, Lot 420 (Cologne) (May 13, 1998); Ex Fritz Rudolf Künker GmbH, Auktion 341, lot 5936 (October 2020); Ex Numismatik Naumann, Auction 100, lot 509 (March 7, 2021).

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Great post, @Roman Collector and great Concordia reverses.

Of all the Roman deities in my collection, Concordia is the most plentiful — although I have no examples of her standing with cornucopia and patera such as yours.

As far as Roman deities are concerned Concordia’s benevolence makes her one of my favorites. She’d be welcome to come knocking on my door anytime, which is not the case for all Roman deities. For example, I’d have to make a dash for the back door if Nemesis were to show up on my front steps 😱 🏃‍♂️ 😆 !

image.jpeg.542fa46124d60b49e959a85a9a7d107e.jpegimage.jpeg.4e4d614814856393f8cf79d342896fcd.jpegimage.jpeg.25408b36c3806e62dbbc24959650fb58.jpeg

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11 hours ago, Curtisimo said:

Happy Faustina Friday everyone! Great coins and write up @Roman Collector.

My lifetime Faustina is one of my favorite denarii.

Faustina_Den_Lifetime_CSH.jpeg.e21342535dbcf1e1be332d66ffbac323.jpeg
Roman Empire 
Faustina I
AR Denarius, Rome mint, struck AD 139-140
Dia.: 18 mm
Wt.: 2.77 g
Obv.: FAVSTINA AVGVSTA; Draped bust right.
Rev.: CONCORDIA AVG; Concordia standing left, holding patera and cornucopia.
Ref.: RIC 335 (Antoninus Pius)
Ex Collection of a Hanseatic “Römerfreundes” (Sammlung eines hanseatischen Römerfreundes), Auktion Münzzentrum 94, Lot 420 (Cologne) (May 13, 1998); Ex Fritz Rudolf Künker GmbH, Auktion 341, lot 5936 (October 2020); Ex Numismatik Naumann, Auction 100, lot 509 (March 7, 2021).

Thank you for the kind words, @Curtisimo. I'm glad you enjoy Faustina Friday. What a lovely coin! Gorgeous toning on that one! Thanks for sharing it for all to see!

11 hours ago, LONGINUS said:

Great post, @Roman Collector and great Concordia reverses.

Of all the Roman deities in my collection, Concordia is the most plentiful — although I have no examples of her standing with cornucopia and patera such as yours.

As far as Roman deities are concerned Concordia’s benevolence makes her one of my favorites. She’d be welcome to come knocking on my door anytime, which is not the case for all Roman deities. For example, I’d have to make a dash for the back door if Nemesis were to show up on my front steps 😱 🏃‍♂️ 😆 !

image.jpeg.542fa46124d60b49e959a85a9a7d107e.jpegimage.jpeg.4e4d614814856393f8cf79d342896fcd.jpegimage.jpeg.25408b36c3806e62dbbc24959650fb58.jpeg

Seven beautiful denarii, @LONGINUS and six beautiful representations of the goddess! Concordia in Latin means "with hearts together"; the Greek equivalent, Homonoia, means "of the same mind." Concordia is a lovely virtue and certainly something the modern world needs more of. Thank you, as always, for your kind words and for contributing to Faustina Friday!

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