Roman Empire, Antoninus Pius for his Wife Annia Galeria Faustina Major, Aureus

The Spaniard Annia Galeria Faustina the Elder was the wife of Emperor Antoninus Pius (138-161). She died at the age of only 36, three years after the proclamation of her husband as emperor. Immediately after her death, Antoninus Pius consecrated Faustina and thus made her Diva, a goddess. A temple was built in her honor on the Forum Romanum, and priestesses worshiped the new goddess. Moreover, Antoninus Pius issued gold coins for Faustina; that the aurei were minted after her death is shown by the legend DIVA.

The obverse of this aureus depicts Faustina wearing an elegant hairstyle plaited with strings of pearls. On the reverse is Ceres, an old italic deity, whom the Romans worshiped as goddess of earth, growth and maturation, and who as earth goddess had connections to the deceased as well.