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Research Coins: Feature Auction

 
11100727

MATRI MAGNAE

CNG 111, Lot: 727. Estimate $10000.
Sold for $16000. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.

Faustina Junior. Augusta, AD 147-175. AV Aureus (19mm, 6.45 g, 11h). Rome mint. Struck under Marcus Aurelius, circa AD 170-175/6. FAVSTINA AVGVSTA, draped bust right, hair waved and fastened in bun on back of head / MATRI MAGNAE, Cybele, towered, draped, seated right on throne between two lions, holding drum balanced in left hand and on left knee. RIC IV 704 (Aurelius); MIR 18, 25-2(c); Calicó 2071; BMCRE 132-3 (Aurelius and Verus); Biaggi 934; Jameson 140 (same dies); Mazzini 168. Choice EF, lustrous, minor deposits on reverse.


Ex Classical Numismatic Group 103 (14 September 2016), lot 858.

The cult of Cybele, known by a variety of names including ‘The Great Mother’, was brought to Rome in the late third century BC, where she was worshipped in the form of a sacred stone. Her rituals were characterized most notably through ecstatic rituals where her worshippers became insensitive to pain and her priests castrated themselves in homage to her mythical lover Attis. Cybele’s role as life-giver and sustainer made her especially attractive to women, and she first features on coins of the Imperial women, beginning with Diva Faustina. Cybele is often shown riding in a chariot pulled by lions or, as on this example, sitting on a throne flanked by lions.