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Roman imperial dynasties
Antonine Dynasty
Faustina02 pushkin.jpg
Vaticanian bust of Faustina Major.
Antoninus Pius
   Natural - Faustina the Younger, also one other daughter and two sons, all died before 138
   Adoptive - Marcus Aurelius and Lucius Verus
Marcus Aurelius with Lucius Verus
Marcus Aurelius alone
   Natural - 13, including Commodus and Lucilla
Denarius of Faustina I

Annia Galeria Faustina, more familiarly referred to as Faustina I (Latin: Faustina Major; born on September 21, in about 100; died in October or November of 140[1]), was a Roman Empress and wife of Roman Emperor Antoninus Pius.

Early life[edit]

Faustina was the only known daughter of consul and prefect Marcus Annius Verus and Rupilia Faustina. Her brothers were consul Marcus Annius Libo and praetor Marcus Annius Verus. Her maternal aunts were Roman Empress Vibia Sabina and Matidia Minor. Her paternal grandfather had the same name as her father and her maternal grandparents were Salonina Matidia (niece of Roman Emperor Trajan) and suffect consul Lucius Scribonius Libo Rupilius Frugi Bonus. Faustina was born and raised in Rome.

As a private citizen, she married Antoninus Pius between 110 and 115. Faustina and Antoninus had a very happy marriage. Faustina bore Antoninus four children, two sons and two daughters. They were:

  • Marcus Aurelius Fulvius Antoninus (died before 138); his sepulchral inscription has been found at the Mausoleum of Hadrian in Rome.
  • Marcus Galerius Aurelius Antoninus (died before 138); his sepulchral inscription has been found at the Mausoleum of Hadrian in Rome. His name appears on a Greek Imperial coin.
  • Aurelia Fadilla (died in 135); she married Aelius Lamia Silvanus or Syllanus. She appears to have had no children with her husband and her sepulchral inscription has been found in Italy.
  • Annia Galeria Faustina Minor or Faustina the Younger (between 125-130-175), a future Roman Empress; she married her maternal cousin, future Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius. She was the only child who survived to adulthood.


On July 10, 138, her uncle, Emperor Hadrian, died and her husband became the new emperor, as Antoninus was Hadrian's adopted son and heir. Faustina became Roman Empress and the Senate accorded her the title of Augusta. As empress, Faustina was well respected and was renowned for her beauty and wisdom. The Historia Augusta criticized her as having "excessive frankness" and "levity". Throughout her life, as a private citizen and as empress, Faustina was involved in assisting charities for the poor and sponsoring and assisting in the education of Roman children, particularly girls.

Death and legacy[edit]

This section of a belt contains two mounted medallions. The smaller of the two, honors Galeria Faustina.[2] The Walters Art Museum.

When Faustina died in 140, Antoninus was devastated and took several steps to honor her memory. He deified her (her apotheosis was portrayed on an honorary column) and had the Temple of Faustina built in the Roman Forum. He also ordered various coins with her portrait struck, inscribed DIVA FAVSTINA ("Divine Faustina") and elaborately decorated. Antoninus also established a charity called Puellae Faustinianae ("Girls of Faustina") to assist orphaned Roman girls and created a new alimenta (see Grain supply to the city of Rome).

In 2008, archaeologists digging at the ancient site of Sagalassos in Turkey discovered a colossal marble head which is believed to be that of Faustina.[3]

Nerva–Antonine family tree[edit]


  1. ^ Birley, Anthony. Marcus Aurelius, Routledge, p. 243. Routledge, 2000. ISBN 0-415-17125-3
  2. ^ "Belt Section with Medallions of Constantius II and Faustina". The Walters Art Museum. 
  3. ^ BBC News, Head of Roman empress unearthed


Royal titles
Preceded by
Vibia Sabina
Empress of Rome
Succeeded by
Annia Galeria Faustina Minor

Original courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Faustina_the_Elder — Please support Wikipedia.
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5 news items

BBC News
Tue, 12 Aug 2008 00:00:00 -0700

It was discovered in a rubble-filled building where parts of a huge statue of the emperor Hadrian were unearthed last year. The discovery, at the ancient site of Sagalassos, is thought to show Faustina the Elder, wife of Roman emperor Antoninus Pius.


Fri, 06 Jun 2014 09:30:29 -0700

Strong, intelligent, and long-lived – yet surprisingly gentle – elephants have long exerted a powerful hold over the human imagination. Prehistoric cave paintings depict elephants and their extinct cousins, the wooly mammoth and mastodon. Ivory from ...
Tue, 26 Aug 2008 03:22:34 -0700

And just weeks ago, they found a huge head and arm belonging to Faustina the Elder, wife of the emperor Pius. Prof Waelkens believes the room housed representations of the whole Antonine dynasty, the Spanish rulers who presided over the Roman empire ...
Daily Mail
Tue, 26 Aug 2008 00:00:00 -0700

Archaeologists have been excavating the frigidarium for 12 years and enormous sculptures of Hadrian, his wife Vibia Sabina, emperor Antoninus Pius, his wife Faustina the Elder and Marcus Aurelius are all thought to have adorned the 13,500sq ft room.
Tue, 01 Nov 2011 22:35:53 -0700

安东尼乌斯和福斯蒂娜神庙(Temple of Antoninus and Faustina)是安东尼乌斯。派厄斯皇帝在公元141年为纪念他已故的妻子福斯蒂娜(Faustina the Elder)而修建的。后被改建为教堂,因其前面的石柱建得太结实无法拆除 ...

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