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Faustina Friday – Twin Gods on Twin Coins (Die-Matched Pair)

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Friday felicitations, fellow Faustina Fanatics! Today I'm going to talk about a pair of provincials issued for Faustina the Younger. They were minted in the Phrygian city of Aezani and feature the twin gods, Artemis and Apollo. I have previously written elsewhere about Aezani, so I won't repeat myself with a discussion of the city or its mint.


Faustina II, AD 147-175.
Roman Æ 20.05 mm, 5.89 g, 7 h.
Phrygia, Aezani, c. AD 158-161.
Obv: ΦΑΥϹΤΙΝΑ ϹЄΒΑϹΤΗ, bare-headed and draped bust, right.
Rev: ΑΙΖΑΝ-ЄΙΤΩΝ, cult statue of Artemis of Ephesus standing facing wearing kalathos, hands resting on supports.
RPC IV.2 1678 (temporary); BMC 25.39,117; SNG Cop 101.


Faustina II, AD 147-175.
Roman Æ 20.2 mm, 5.39 g, 7 h.
Phrygia, Aezani, c. AD 158-161.
Obv: ΦΑΥϹΤΙΝΑ ϹЄΒΑϹΤΗ, bare-headed and draped bust, right.
Rev: ΑΙΖ-ΑΝ-ΙΤΩΝ, nude Apollo standing left, holding phiale and laurel branch.
RPC IV.2 1677 (temporary); BMC 25.39,116; SNG Hunterian I, 2006; Lindgren III, 551.

About the Coins

Coins of Aezani of three reverse types are known bearing the obverse portrait of Faustina the Younger, of apparently the same denomination (~20 mm, ~5 g). A coin certainly issued under Antoninus Pius (
RPC IV.2 1674
) bears the obverse inscription ΦΑΥϹΤΙИΑ ΝЄΑ ("Faustina Junior") and a portrait with an early hairstyle paired with a reverse type featuring Asklepios standing. The two coins illustrated above, however, were issued later. They bear the obverse inscription ΦΑΥϹΤΙΝΑ ϹЄΒΑϹΤΗ ("Faustina Augusta") and a portrait featuring Faustina's Beckmann Type 5 hairstyle – a combination used on imperial issues from AD 158 through late 161. These coins therefore date to late in the reign of Antoninus Pius or very early in the reign of Marcus Aurelius. They were struck with the same obverse die, indicating contemporaneous or rapidly sequential production at the mint. I like to think the pair were issued as a set, as befitting the twin gods, Artemis and her slightly younger brother, Apollo.

Artemis and Apollo

Apollo and Artemis were the children of Leto (Roman Latona) and Zeus (Roman Jupiter). Leto was divine protector of both matrons and of the young. She was often associated with the wilderness and wolves, associations which she passed on to her daughter, Artemis. Zeus, the king of the Greek gods, fell in love with Leto and conceived twins with her.

In most versions of the myth, Artemis was born first, and was said to have helped her mother birth Apollo. For this reason, she was worshiped in antiquity as a goddess of childbirth as well as the protector of women and young children.


Latona (Leto) and Her Children, Apollo and Diana, by William Henry Rinehart, 1870.The Met Museum.

Λητὼ δ᾽ Ἀπόλλωνα καὶ Ἄρτεμιν ἰοχέαιραν,
ἱμερόεντα γόνον περὶ πάντων Οὐρανιώνων,
γείνατ᾽ ἄρ᾽ αἰγιόχοιο Διὸς φιλότητι μιγεῖσα.

And Leto birthed Apollo and Artemis the arrow-pourer,
children lovelier than all from the heavens,
having mixed with aegis-bearing Zeus in love.

Hesiod, Theogony, ll. 918-920[1] (translation mine).


Latona (Leto) resting with infants Diana (Artemis) and Apollo standing on each side; Jupiter (Zeus) watches from above, etching by Remy Vuibert after Domenichino, 1615-55. British Museum.

Apollo and Artemis were the divine archers of Greek mythology. They were similar in many ways – they both had a love for archery and the hunt, they were equally highly venerated, and they often chose youthful forms to express themselves. However, they were also the opposites of one another: Apollo represented the sun and day, whereas Artemis' domain was the night and everything touched by moonlight.


Apollo in his Chariot, by Lucas Giordano, c.1685. Museum of Fine Arts, Boston


Diana (Artemis) in Her Chariot, by Claude Mellan, 1633. The Met Museum

"The goddess Artemis had a twin brother, Apollo, the many-faceted god of the Sun. He was her male counterpart: his domain was the city, hers the wilderness; his was the sun, hers the moon; his the domesticated flocks, hers the wild, untamed animals; he was the god of music, she was the inspiration for round dances on the mountains."
Jean Shinoda Bolen.


Admission ticket for a performance of Carmen Saeculare, etching by James Barry, 1779; a bust of Horace at bottom with classical building in background; Artemis and Apollo in the clouds above, looking down; Apollo with lyre, bow and arrows, Artemis seated with bow and arrows; a horse-driven chariot behind them; early state before aquatint. British Museum.

The divine twins were effectively two sides of the same coin – or in this case, two reverses paired with one obverse die – inseparable yet different. One without the other was inconceivable. Though Apollo and Artemis were often in opposition, they sometimes came together in unison. They were the Greco-Roman version of the Yin and Yang symbol: Together they represent the impossibility of having one side of something without the other. Without the light, there would be no moon. Their opposites and parallels signify the dualities of humankind: female and male, wild and civilized, chastity and sexuality, night things and daytime things.

A modern song that might represent Artemis is "Girl" by Destiny’s Child. Artemis was important in the lives of Greek women and in their protection. Artemis surrounded herself with girls who similarly took an oath of chastity, the Nymphs of Artemis. From the line in the song's chorus, "I'm your girl, you're my girl, we your girls," female solidarity is communicated as a powerful source of protection.



A song that might represent Apollo is “I Hear a Symphony” by Cody Fry. Filled with emotion, it conveys the sense of Apollo’s radiant grace and youthful beauty.


Let’s see your coins of Apollo and Artemis!



1. Greek Text: Hesiod. Homeric Hymns; Epic Cycle; Homerica. Harvard University Press, 1998, p. 144.

2. Inspiringquotes.us. “Quotes -- Jean Shinoda Bolen.” Inspiring Quotes,

Edited by Roman Collector
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1 hour ago, Roman Collector said:

Let’s see your coins of Apollo and Artemis!

Nice provincial coins @Roman Collector.  These die matches are quite common for rare! provincial coins. This means that a die was not used until the end of the lifetime for one type, but for combinations with two or three different reverses. Usually a sign that only a small number of coins were minted for each type.


Here are two coins with Apollo and Artemis:


Valerian I (AD 253-260).
Asia Minor, Ionia, Ephesos.
Obv: AYT K ΠO ΛIKINI BAΛEPIANOC, Laureate, draped and cuirassed bust right.
Rev.: EΦECIΩN Γ NEΩKOPΩN, Leto advancing right, head left, holding her children, Artemis (right) and Apollo (left); Apollo holding branch; Artemis holding bow and drawing arrow.
AE, 27mm, 7.21 g
Ref.: Karwiese 1057 (V/R); SNG von Aulock 1921; BMC -.



LYDIA, Conventus of Apamea, Tripolis.
Pseudo-autonomous: Reign of Antoninus Pius or Marcus Aurelius
Obv: IЄPA CYNKΛHTOC, Draped bust of Senate left.
Rev: ΤΡΙΠΟΛЄΙΤΩΝ, To left, Artemis standing right, drawing arrow from quiver at shoulder, holding bow; to right, Apollo standing left, holding laurel-branch and chlamys.
Æ, 17.54g, 30mm
Ref.: RPC IV.2 online 1644; BMC 12-3; SNG von Aulock 3301.

Edited by shanxi
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Nice die match find RC! 


Here are the twins from Hyrgaleis.


Phrygia, Hyrgaleis. Severus Alexander Æ30

Obv: ΑΥΤ Κ Μ ΑΥΡ ΑΛƐΞΑΝΔΡΟϹ / Laureate, draped and cuirassed bust of Severus Alexander, r.
Rev: ΥΡΓΑΛƐΩΝ ΤΟ TϚ / Apollo standing facing, looking r., resting on lyre on tripod, and Artemis standing facing, looking l., holding bow and arrow, stag before her, looking back.
TϚ = 306


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Beautiful coins, images, and a great compendium of interesting information, Roman Collector !


Here is my Artemis and Apollo coin.




My second coin — although not featuring Artemis — illustrates Apollo and a bow-like instrument.

The lyre — made from similar materials as the hunting bow — must be tightly strung to be effective.





Edited by LONGINUS
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