Faustina The Elder: Diva Faustina Senior


This article will cover the life of Diva Faustina Sr. We also know her by the name Faustina the Elder. We will cover Diva Faustina Sr’s early life, time as Empress, the Temple of Faustina, and her death.

Diva Faustina’s Early Life

Diva Faustina Sr was born on the 16th of February, 100 CE. Her family had a reasonably notable background as well as being the daughter of a known Consul and Prefect. Sometime between 110 CE and 115 CE, Faustina the Elder married Antoninus Pius.

During their marriage, they had four children together. Two boys and two girls. All three, except one, would die before the year 138 CE. The one surviving daughter, we know today as Faustina the Younger, a future empress of Rome.


Empress Faustina

Diva Faustina Sr became the Empress of Rome in 138 CE. Her rule as Empress would be a short one. However, she was known to be a loving figure throughout Rome. Historians have noted that she was also quite beautiful and wise. One example is how her hairstyle influenced Roman fashion. Her hairstyle was copied by many Roman women and remained popular in Rome for many centuries after her death.

As Empress of Rome, she was involved in various charities that focused on helping the less fortunate. Faustina wanted to make education accessible to the average Roman citizen. Her main focus, however, would be the well-being of Rome’s younger girls and orphans.


Diva Faustina’s Death

In 141 CE, Faustina the Elder passed away. During this time, her husband, Antoninus, was greatly distressed. He asked the senate to deify her, leading to the Temple of Faustina being built. He minted coins with her name and portrait on them to honor her. Faustina was so famous her portrait would continue to be minted on coins even a decade after her death. After being deified, Roman citizens of her cult would connect her to the Roman God Ceres.

Antoninus Pius also established a charity called Puellae Faustinianae (“Girls of Faustina”) in honor of her life’s pursuit of helping the less fortunate. This program assisted orphaned Roman girls. It also helped expand the Roman Grain supply for the city. Her cult after her death grew to an impressive size primarily due to these programs.


Temple of Faustina

The Temple of Faustina was founded in 141 CE following the death of Diva Faustina Sr. This made Faustina the first empress with such representation in the Forum Romanum.

After Antoninus Pius passed away, It was dedicated to both of them in 161 CE. Its name was then changed to The Temple of Antoninus and Faustina.

Sometime during the 7th century CE, it was changed to a Catholic church. Which is known today as “Chiesa di San Lorenzo in Miranda.”

Temple of Antoninus and Faustina
The Temple of Antoninus and Faustina in the Roman Forum

Roman Denarius

Each coin has a unique history attached to it. Coin collectors love the Roman Denarius. We carry Roman Denarius from various periods in the Roman Republic/Empire. Coins of Faustina were sometimes made into jewelry and then worn as an amulet. Click the link below to see if a Roman Empress Diva Faustina Sr denarius is currently in stock.

diva faustina early life
A Roman Denarius showing the portrait of Diva Faustina Sr.

Published by Invest in History Co.

We specialize in high-quality gold and silver coins. Focusing on Middle East, Eastern European, and Ancient coins. We carry Roman, Greek, Parthian, Phoenician, Celtic, Byzantine, Russian, Jewish, Islamic, and many other culture's coins.