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Faustina I - Roman Empress Wife of Roman Emperor
In Roman mythology, Providentia was the goddess of forethought. Providentia. (Providence).----With all their vices, follies, and gross superstitions (indeed, in spite of them), the Romans still appear to have cherished a belief in the perpetual and direct interposition of the gods with respect to human affairs.----Among the various monuments which attest this religious feeling, or at leas this profession of religion, on the part of both princes and people, none are more conspicuous than those to be found on their imperial coins, for it is to be observed that previous to the substitution of the monarchical for the republican form of government, that allegorical divinity whose name is derived from providere (to foresee) is not seen either on metal or on marble.
Annia Galeria Faustina, more familiarly referred to as Faustina the Elder (Latin: Faustina Major; born September 21 about 100, died October or November 140), was a Roman Empress and wife of Roman Emperor Antoninus Pius.
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 perhaps were Roman Empress Vibia Sabina, Matidia Minor. Her paternal grandfather had the same name as her father and her maternal grandparents possibly 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:
On July 10, 138, her uncle emperor Hadrian had died and her husband became the new emperor. Antoninus was Hadrian's adopted son and heir. Faustina became Roman Empress and the senate accorded her the title of Augusta. Faustina as an empress was well respected and this beautiful woman was renowned for her wisdom. The Augustan History impugned her character, criticizing her as having "excessive frankness" and "levity". However, this doesn’t appear to be the case with her character. Throughout her life, Faustina as a private citizen and an empress was involved in assisting with charities, assisting the poor and sponsoring and assisting in the education of Roman children, particularly of Roman girls.
She can be viewed as one of the most moral, stable and respected empresses in the history of the Roman Empire. When Faustina died, Antoninus was in complete mourning for Faustina.
Antoninus did the following in memory of his loving wife:
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