Roman Imperial coin, bronze, AE 2. Struck during the reign of Flavius Theodosius Augustus in honor of his first wife Aelia Flaccilla (356-386 C.E.), in Antioch, 379-386 C.E. The draped bust of Aelia Flaccilla wears an elaborate head-dress and a necklace and faces right in profile, on obverse with the inscriptions AEL FLACCILLA AVG" left and right of image. On reverse, the seated figure of Victoria, the goddess and personification of victory, faces right and inscribes a Christogram on a shield supported on a cippus with the inscription "SALVS REIPVBLICAE" left and right of image and "ANT S" in the exergum. Obverse and reverse edges damaged and inscriptions faded rendering the difficult to decipher.
Date range: 379-386 C.E.
Remarks: Aelia Flaccilla was born on March 31st, 356 and was of Hispanian Roman descent. In about 375-376, she married Theodosius I and was the mother of Arcadius and Honorius, future co-emperors. She was a fervent supporter of the Nicene Creed. Sozomen reports her preventing a conference between Theodosius and Eunomius of Cyzicus who served as figurehead of Anomoeanism, the most radical sect of Arians, who believed that Jesus was in no way similar to the Father. Ambrose and Gregory of Nyssa praise her Christian virtue and comment on her role as "a leader of justice" and "pillar of the Church". She is commemorated as a saint by the Eastern Orthodox Church, her feast day being 14 September. Coins struck in her honor were minted in Siscia, Thessalonica, Heraclea, Constantinople, Cyzicus, Nicomedia, Antioch, and Alexandria.
Reference: David Sear, "Roman Coins and Their Values", (Vol V, 2014), #20616, pg 418; J.P. Kirsch, Roman Catholic Encyclopedia (1909), article "Aelia Flaccilla".
|Credit line||Gift of Arthur G. and Roswitha Haas|
|Place of Origin||Asia/Turkey/Antioch|