Annia Cornificia Faustina Minor

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Statue of Annia Cornificia Faustina Minor (Archaeological Museum in Ostia antica)

Annia Cornificia Faustina Minor (Minor Latin for the younger, 160–212) was a daughter of the Roman emperor Marcus Aurelius and his wife, Faustina the Younger. She was sister to Lucilla and Commodus. Her maternal grandparents were Antoninus Pius and Faustina the Elder, and her paternal grandparents were Domitia Lucilla and praetor Marcus Annius Verus. She was named in honor of her late paternal aunt Annia Cornificia Faustina.


Cornificia Faustina was born and raised in Rome and later married the African Roman politician Marcus Petronius Sura Mamertinus, who served as consul in 182. Sometime after 173, she bore him a son called Petronius Antoninus. It's possible that she and her family were at the winter camp of where Marcus Aurelius died in early 180.

Her brother Commodus succeeded her father as emperor and, sometime between 190 and 192, he ordered the deaths of her husband, her son, her brother-in-law and her sister-in-law’s family. Cornificia survived the political executions of Commodus and later married Lucius Didius Marinus, a powerful Roman noble of equestrian rank who served as Procurator in various provinces. He later became a tax collector and tribune of the first Praetorian cohort.

During the brief reign of Pertinax (193), she was involved in an affair with the emperor. In 212, when she was in her fifties, Caracalla ordered her death, thus eliminating the last surviving child of Marcus Aurelius and Faustina the Younger. Historian Cassius Dio recorded the manner of her death:

"Her last words were 'My poor, unhappy soul, trapped in an unworthy body, go forth, be free, show them that you are the daughter of Marcus Aurelius!' Then she took off her ornaments, composed herself, opened her veins, and died."

Nerva–Antonine family tree[edit]

  • (1) = 1st spouse
  • (2) = 2nd spouse (not shown)
  • (3) = 3rd spouse
  • Darker purple indicates Emperor of the Nerva-Antonine dynasty; lighter purple indicates designated imperial heir of said dynasty who never reigned
  • dashed lines indicate adoption; dotted lines indicate love affairs/unmarried relationships
  • small caps = posthumously deified (Augusti, Augustae, or other)

Q. Marcius Barea Soranus Q. Marcius Barea Sura Antonia Furnilla M. Cocceius Nerva Sergia Plautilla P. Aelius Hadrianus
(r. 79-81)
Marcia Furnilla Marcia Trajanus Pater Nerva
(r. 96–98)
Ulpia Aelius Hadrianus Marullinus
Julia Flavia Marciana C. Salonius Matidius Trajan
(r. 98–117)
Plotina P. Acilius Attianus P. Aelius Afer Paulina Major L. Julius Ursus Servianus
Lucius Mindius
Libo Rupilius Frugi
Matidia L. Vibius Sabinus
Antinous Hadrian (r. 117–138) Paulina
Matidia Minor Suetonius Sabina
Annius Verus
C. Fuscus Salinator I Julia Serviana Paulina
Rupilia Faustina Boionia Procilla Cn. Arrius Antoninus
L. Caesennius Paetus L. Ceionius Commodus Appia Severa C. Fuscus Salinator II
Arria Antonia Arria Fadilla T. Aurelius Fulvus
L. Caesennius Antoninus Lucius
Fundania Plautia Ignota Plautia C. Avidius
Antoninus Pius
(r. 138–161)
M. Annius Verus Domitia Lucilla Fundania M. Annius Libo FAUSTINA Lucius Aelius
Avidia Plautia
(r. 161–180)
FAUSTINA Minor C. Avidius Cassius Aurelia Fadilla LUCIUS VERUS
(r. 161–169)
Ceionia Fabia Plautius Quintillus Q. Servilius Pudens Ceionia Plautia
Cornificia Minor M. Petronius Sura COMMODUS
(r. 177–192)
Fadilla M. Annius Verus Caesar Ti. Claudius Pompeianus (2) Lucilla M. Plautius Quintillus Junius Licinius Balbus Servilia Ceionia
Petronius Antoninus L. Aurelius Agaclytus
Aurelia Sabina L. Antistius Burrus
Plautius Quintillus Plautia Servilla C. Furius Sabinus Timesitheus Antonia Gordiana Junius Licinius Balbus
Furia Sabina Tranquillina GORDIAN III
(r. 238-244)


  • Septimius Severus: the African emperor, By Anthony Richard Birley Edition: 2 – 1999
  • Roman social history: a sourcebook By Tim G. Parkin, Arthur John Pomeroy 2007
  • A commentary on the Letters of M. Cornelius Fronto, By Michael Petrus Josephus van den Hout, Marcus Cornelius Fronto 1999
  • From Tiberius to the Antonines: a history of the Roman Empire AD 14-192, by Albino Garzetti, 1974.
  • Stefan Priwitzer, Faustina minor - Ehefrau eines Idealkaisers und Mutter eines Tyrannen quellenkritische Untersuchungen zum dynastischen Potential, zur Darstellung und zu Handlungsspielraeumen von Kaiserfrauen im Prinzipat (Bonn: Dr. Rudolf Habelt, 2008) (Tuebinger althistorische Studien, 6).

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