sestertius of Antoninus Pius

The reverse of this sestertius of Antoninus Pius (142 CE) celebrates the marital harmony within two generations of the imperial family and uses this as a metaphor for political harmony in the empire. The emperor and his wife, Faustina the Elder, stand facing each other and clasping right hands in the traditional dextrarum iunctio gesture symbolic of marriage. Below their clasped hands stand the smaller figures of their daughter Faustina the Younger and her husband Marcus Aurelius, clasping right hands over an altar. The emperor holds a statuette of the goddess Concordia in his left hand and the empress holds a long scepter; the whole is encircled by the inscription CONCORDIAE S[enatus] C[onsulto]. Berlin, Altes Museum. Credits: Barbara McManus, 2012.