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Description: Diva Faustina Senior. Died AD 140/1. AR Denarius, Rome mint. Struck under Antoninus Pius, circa AD 146-161. Draped bust right / Pietas standing facing, head left, raising hand and holding incense box; altar to left. RIC III 374 (Pius)
History: Annia Galeria Faustina or Faustina the Elder, (about 100 - about 141CE) was a Roman Empress, wife of Roman Emperor Antoninus Pius and a paternal aunt to Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius. She married Anoninus Pius before he came to the throne in CE 138, and unfortunately died less than three years later in 141 CE. She was the daughter of the consul Marcus Annius Verus and Rupilia Faustina. Her mother was a half-sister to Roman Empress Vibia Sabina and a daughter to Salonina Matidia (niece of the Roman Emperor Trajan). She married Antoninus between 110-115CE. They had two sons and two daughters. The names of their children that didn't survive to adulthood were Marcus Aurelius Fulvus Antoninus, Marcus Galerius Aurelius Antoninus and Aurelia Fadilla. The only child that survived to adulthood was their daughter Faustina the Younger.She became Augusta upon the accession of her husband. Although the (late and unreliable) Augustan History impugned her character, criticizing her for "excessive frankness" and "levity", she and Antoninus seem to have been happily married until her death in 141 CE. Antoninus Pius must have held her in very high regard as he never re-married, and continued to strike coins in her honour, with her name and image, until the end of his reign. Coins issued for her prior to her death are quite scarce, but can be easily identified as they lack "DIVA" at the beginning of the obverse legends. He also consecrated her and created a new alimenta (charity), the Puellae Faustinianae, in her name.