Cornelia 59
Circa 56 BC. Roman Republic silver denarius.  Mint - Rome
On the front of this coin is a diademed, or crowned and draped bust of the Goddess Diana facing right. There is a crescent moon above her head and a lituus, or crooked staff behind her head. The letters FAVSTVS are in front.

Coin Ref: Crawford 426/1; Sydenham 879; Cornelia 59
On the reverse one sees Faustus' father, Lucius Cornelius Sulla, seated facing left. On his left is Bocchus the king of Mauretania who is kneeling and offering an olive-branch. Jugurtha, the king of Numidia, kneels behind Sulla, hands tied, in submission. Above on right are the letters FELIX.  This image is taken from Sulla's personal signet ring.

Note: The image on the reverse side refers to the end of the Jugurthine War which had lasted six years, a pivotal point in Sulla's career. It occured when, in 105 BC, Lucius Cornelius Sulla convinced King Bocchus of Mauretania to become an ally and to betray his own son-in-law, King Jugurtha. Weary of the war, Bocchus agreed and he took Jugurtha prisoner during a private meeting. Jugurtha was then taken to Rome, dragged through the streets in all his Kingly robes and at the end of the procession he was stripped of his finery and thrown in prison where he dies six days later of starvation.

Sydenham and Seaby place the date of all Faustus coins at 63-62 BC, Crawford and Sear at 56 BC

“The moneyer was the son of the great dictator, and his types are in honour of his father. The reverse represents one of the earliest and most remarkable events in the life of Sulla, the submission of Bocchus and the surrender of Jugurtha.  Faustus married Pompey’s daughter.”
Roman Silver Coins Vol.I Republic to Augustus by H.A.Seaby 1952, pg. 33

“Faustus was the son of L. Cornelius Sulla. This remarkable reverse type reproduces the device engraved on the dictator’s signet ring which commemorated the pivotal event in his early career – the betrayal of Jugurtha by his father-in-law Bocchus at Sulla’s instigation. Harlan dates the issue of Faustus as moneyer to 55 BC and those struck ex senatus consulto (see nos. 385-386) to the following year.”
Roman Coins and Their Values by David Sear, Vol.1, 2000, pgs. 145, 146


According to legend, Rome was founded in 753BC by Romulus & Remus. Romulus became the first of seven powerful Kings, many of whom were Etruscan. They ruled until 509BC. This is when the Roman people rose up and expelled these foreign monarchs from their city. Rome then established a more representative form of government known as the Republic. In place of a King, the newly founded Republic relied upon its Senate, or its aristocratic family classes, to oversee the government and the election of various officials; like the Consuls who were the most important executives in the Republic. The Consuls were often military leaders who could represent Rome in foreign matters, and who would lead the Senate. The limits on their authority were few, but important: there were always two consuls per year, each acting as a 'watch' on the other. They were elected by popular assembly, and they served for a period of one year (although they could be re-elected). During the period of the Republic there were many great leaders who carried the noble name of Cornelius. One such person was Lucius Cornelius Sylla Epaphroditus, who was better known as Sulla Cornelius. He was born in138BC, three hundred and seventy one years after the founding of the Republic. He emerged into an uneasy generation, hardened by disappointment, which by now had lost faith in the stern yet obsolete code of the old Roman structure. In 97BC he was elected as a Praetor and in 88BC he and Q. Pompeius Rufus were elected Consuls. In 81BC, shortly after the Roman Senate elected him 'dictator for life', Sulla adopted the title of Felix, meaning "the Lucky." He strongly believed in this; that the gods were always favorable to him.

Sulla would inevitably be married four times. His first wife was named Julia. They had two children together; a son Lucius Cornelius Sulla who died very young and a daughter named Cornelia Sulla who would marry Gnaeus Pomeius Rufus. Her child, Pompeia Sulla would become the second wife of Julius Ceasar.

Sulla's second wife was name Aelia, whom little is known and his fourth wife was named Valeria who was pregnant when Sulla died. She gave to birth Postumia Cornelia Sulla.

It is his third wife who is most interesting. She was Caecilia Metella Dalmatica. She was daughter of Lucius Caecilius Metellus Dalmaticus, the Roman pontifex maximus in 115 BC. Dalmatica's first marriage, as a young matrona, was to Marcus Aemilius Scaurus, an aging politician at the peak of his power. After his death she married Sulla and gave birth to twins. In 80BC Metella died. Reportedly her dying words were, "Tell my lord Dictator he has lost his hostage with fortune." She then laughed, closed her eyes and died. Sulla, ignoring the Roman 'anti-luxury laws' that he himself had drafted, organized a spectacular state funeral for his wife. Less that two years later, in 78 BC, Sulla died of natural causes in a villa outside the city of Puteoli.

"His monument is in the Field of Mars and they say that the inscription on it is one
that he wrote for it himself. The substance of it is that he had not been outdone
by any of his friends in doing good or by any of his enemies in doing harm."
Plutarch, Life of Sulla, 38.

As for the twins of Sulla. In the writing of Plutarch (circa 45-125AD), the Priest of the Delphic Oracle and historian who wrote about many of the lives of prominent Greeks and Romans, he has an interesting quote pertaining to Sulla Cornelius. He writes, "Moreover, when his wife had brought him forth twins, he named the male Faustus and the female Fausta, the Roman words for what is auspicious and of happy omen." Their names are basically a male and female versions of "Lucky."

The military exploits of Sulla's son Faustus Cornelius Sulla are quite impressive. It was Faustus who put to siege and conquered Jerusalem in 64BC. Josephus wrote that he was the first man over the wall when the Holy of Holies, or Temple in Jerusalem was finally stormed.

" ... for it was in the third month of the siege before the Romans could even with great difficulty overthrow one of the towers, and get into the temple. Now he that first of all ventured to get over the wall, was Faustus Cornelius the son of Sylla; and next after him were two centurions, Furius and Fabius; and every one of these was followed by a cohort of his own, who encompassed the Jews on all sides, and slew them, some of them as they were running for shelter to the temple,
and others as they, for a while,  fought in their own defense."         
Josephus, Book 21, Chapter 7, Verse 4.

Faustus Cornelius Sulla would inevitably marry a young woman named Pompeia. She was one of the three daughters of Gnaeus Pompeius Magnus, more commonly known as Pompey the Great, with his third wife Mucia Tertia whom he had married in 81 BC.

Faustus and Pompeia had only one known son whom they also named  Faustus Cornelius Sulla. He would marry Domitia Lepida, the youngest daughter of Lucius Domitius Ahenobarbus and Antonia Major, the latter whom was the daughter of Mark Anthony.

Faustus and Domitia had only one son; Faustus Cornelius Sulla Felix. He became a Consul in 52 AD. He married a beautiful woman named Claudia Antonia, often referred to as the 'Princess of Rome.' She was the daughter of Tiberius Claudius Nero Emperor of Rome. Unfortunately, this Faustus' political career was cut short in 58 AD when a  former imperial palace slave falsely accused him of plotting to kill Nero. Nero treated Sulla as if he were gulity without trial and exiled him to Massilia (modern Marseille, France). Later, Gaius Ophonius Tigellinus, a friend of emperor Nero, sent assassins to murder Faustus Cornelius Sulla Felix. He was killed while at dinner in 62 AD. His death was reported back to Rome as a suicide.

Faustus and Claudia Antonia had only one son, reportedly a weak child of little strength. He died before his second birthday.

As for the twin of the first Faustus, or Fausta Cornelia Sulla, daughter of Lucius Cornelius Sulla. She would marry the famous Roman leader Titus Annius Milo. He was the dictator of Lanuvium, which was his native city just south of Rome in the Alban Hills near the Appian Way. It was no secret that Milo detested the Roman leader Publius Clodius and that they often quarreled in the streets. However, on one faithful day in January of 52BC as Clodius was riding a horse with approximately thirty mounted slaves all carrying swords, along with three traveling companions, he stumbled upon Milo coming in the opposite direction. Milo was being carried in a carriage along with his wife Fausta and his close friend Marcus Fufius. A large contingent of slaves also accompanied him, along with many gladiators; two of which were the famous gladiators Eudamus and Birria. What happened next was predicable - everyone started fighting. In the end Milo was victorious, Clodius was slain and some witnesses even pointed their finger at Milo himself as the assassin. When Milo was brought to trial he did not speak fearing the followers of Clodius would be incited to riot. Instead his defense was composed and read by the famous philosopher, and friend, Marcus Tillius Cicero. In the end Milo was convicted but his life was spared and he was banished to Marseilles. His wife Fausta followed him into exile.

Lucius Caecilius
  daughter named Caecilia Metella Dalmatica (Born  ? - Died 80BC)
Metellus Dalmaticus                              she married
                                             Lucius Cornelius Sulla 
                                           (They had twins, a son and a daughter)
    I                                                                  I
          Faustus Cornelius Sulla                                                  Fausta Cornelia Sulla
                     He married                                                                           She married
                        Pompeia                                                                       Titus Annius Milo
  She was the daughter of  Pompey the Great
                  and Mucia Tertia
                  They had son
          Faustus Cornelius Sulla
                    He married
                Domitia Lepida
       (Born 10BC - Died 54AD)     -----   She was the daughter of Lucius Domitius Ahenobarbus and
                            I                                           Antonia Major (wife) whose father was Mark Antony
              They had a son
   Faustus Cornelius Sulla Felix
       (Born 22AD - Died 62AD) 
                  He married
              Claudia Antonia    
           (Born 30AD - Died ? )   ----------  She was the daughter of Emperor Claudius (Born 10BC - Died 54AD)
                          I                                             and Aelia Paetina
              They had a son
     (he died before he was 2)

RETURN TO:                                
Cornelia Main Page

  Copyright (c) Cornelius 2007