Consider giving the gift of Roman-inspired jewelry, this Valentine's Day!
These earrings are modeled after examples dating to the third century AD now housed in the British Museum. They recall one of the most classic Roman designs, with three dangles hanging from a flat bar, and the characteristic Roman hook at the back.
Faustina the Elder was empress married to Antoninus Pius (r. AD 138 - 161). Exalted as an Augusta, therefore, during her life, she was also deified after her death in AD 140. A temple in the Roman forum was dedicated to her; she was the first deified empress to be so honored in Rome's city center. Twenty years later, when her husband died and was deified, the temple was rededicated to them both. The Temple of the Divine Antoninus and Faustina is still visible in the Roman forum, today.
Faustina was a respected empress, considered wise and beautiful, but also quite reserved. She was a champion of the poor, and a sponsor of the education of children, especially little girls. It is said that after her death, Antoninus founded an order of impoverished girls, called "Faustinianae," in her honor (Historia Augusta, Antoninus Pius 8.1), and, too, that he remained faithful to her for the next 20 years, until his own death.
Indeed, in a letter to M. Cornelius Fronto (AD 143), the emperor writes, "That part of your speech, which you most kindly devoted to honoring my Faustina, seemed to me as true as it was eloquent. For this is the plain fact: By heaven, I would sooner live with her on Gyara [the exile island], than in the palace without her." - Fronto, Ep. 2.2
Overall height: 3.5 cm (1.4 in)
Width: 2 cm (.8 in)
Available Precious Metals and Prices
925 Sterling Silver: $180
18 Karat Gold Over Sterling Silver: $360
14 Karat Gold: $820
18 Karat Gold: $1,370
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