The wife of Constantine, Fausta, who was executed in 326. 19 mm. 2.81 grams
SPES REIPVBLICAE, empress standing left holding two children ("hope of the republic")
Mintmark: SMTSA (Sacra Moneta Thessalonica, officina A) for the Thessalonica mint.
RIC Thessalonica 161, struck 326 for
Constantine had one son, Crispus, from a previous wife who had been set aside for dynastic reasons in order to marry Fausta, daughter of the emperor Maximian.
Fausta was executed in 326, probably as a result of the intrigue which resulted in the death of Crispus. (We imagine she framed and caused the execution of Crispus to favor her own sons. The plot was exposed not long afterward and she was also executed not long after Crispus.) Her sons, Constantine II, Constantius II, and Constans, remained to inherit the empire.
SPES is often personified on coins of recently promoted Caesars who will be heir to the throne. This one depicts the mother and children instead.
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