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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ Roman Coins ▸ The Adoptive Emperors ▸ HadrianView Options:  |  |  | 

Hadrian, 11 August 117 - 10 July 138 A.D.

Hadrian, one of the "Five Good Emperors," abandoned the expansionist policy of Trajan and established a policy of defense and consolidation during which Hadrian's Wall in Britain was constructed. He traveled to nearly every province of the Empire, more than any other emperor, often ordering grandiose building programs to improve infrastructure and the quality of life in those regions. An ardent admirer of Greece, he sought to make Athens the cultural capital of the Empire and ordered the construction of many opulent temples in the city. He spent much of his time with the military; usually wore military attire and even dined and slept amongst the soldiers. He ordered military training and drilling to be more rigorous and made use of false reports of attack to keep the army alert. He suppressed the Bar Kokhba revolt in Judaea, renaming the province Syria Palaestina.Roman Empire 125 AD


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Ceres' known mythology is indistinguishable from Demeter's. Her virgin daughter Proserpina (Persephone) was abducted by Hades to be his wife in the underworld. Ceres searched for her endlessly lighting her way through the earth with torches. While Ceres (Demeter) searched, she was preoccupied with her loss and her grief. The seasons halted; living things ceased their growth, then began to die. Some say that in her anger she laid a curse on the world that caused plants to wither and die, and the land to become desolate. Faced with the extinction of all life on earth, Zeus sent his messenger Hermes to the underworld to bring Proserpina back. However, because she had eaten while in the underworld, Hades had a claim on her. Therefore, it was decreed that she would spend four months each year in the underworld. During these months Ceres grieves for her daughter's absence, withdrawing her gifts from the world, creating winter. Proserpina's return brings the spring.
SH77274. Silver denarius, RSC II 69a (R); Strack II 859; BMCRE II p. 356, - (*ref. Moushmov pl. 2, 13); RIC II Hadrian 409 var. (modius at feet); Hunter II -; SRCV II -, F, dark toning, scratches, edge cracks, weight 3.172 g, maximum diameter 19.1 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 128 A.D.; obverse SABINA AVGVSTA HADRIANI AVG P P, diademed and draped bust right, wearing stephane, hair in a plaited coil on crown of head; reverse Ceres seated left on basket, two stalks of grain and poppy in right hand, lit torch in left hand, S•C in exergue; extremely rare; $200.00 (€170.00)
 


Roman Egypt, Nov 130 - c. 138 A.D.

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Both the obverse and reverse types on this tessera are published but the combination does not appear to be published. Nor did we find another example online. According to Milne, lead tesserae served as local small change in Egypt during the first to the third century A.D.
RX74430. Lead tessera, Unpublished; cf. Dattari 6444 and Geissen 3584 (for obverse type), F, weight 3.300 g, maximum diameter 21.7 mm, die axis 180o, Alexandria(?) mint, Nov 130 - c. 138 A.D. (possibly later); obverse Antinous on horseback right, wearing hem hem crown, caduceus in right hand; reverse bust of Serapis(?) right, kalathos (?, on head), cornucopia on shoulder behind, snake entwined staff before; extremely rare; $140.00 (€119.00)
 


Hadrian, 11 August 117 - 10 July 138 A.D., Roman Provincial Egypt

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The ancients did not agree on the attributes of Serapis. A passage in Tacitus affirms that many recognized in this god, Aesculapius, imputing healing to his intervention; some thought him identical with Osiris, the oldest deity of the Egyptians; others regarded him as Jupiter, possessing universal power; but by most he was believed to be the same as Pluto, the "gloomy" Dis Pater of the infernal regions. On this coin, Pluto's influence is evident with the fearsome Kerberos at Serapis' feet.
RX76581. Billon tetradrachm, Kampmann 32.571, Geissen 1094, Dattari 1479, Milne 1399, Emmett 892, BMC Alexandria 623, SRCV II 6739 var. (date), aF, well centered, grainy and porous, weight 10.343 g, maximum diameter 13.74 mm, die axis 0o, Alexandria mint, 29 Aug 133 - 28 Aug 134 A.D.; obverse AYT KAIC TPAIAN A∆PIANOC CEB, laureate and draped bust right, from behind; reverse Serapis seated left, reaching with right to Cerberus at feet left, long scepter vertical in right, LI - H (regnal year 18) across fields; $90.00 (€76.50)
 


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Hadrian's galley reverse types refer to his return to Rome by sea from his travels to the provinces.
RB85872. Copper as, RIC II 673d (S), Hunter II 422, BMCRE III 1342, SRCV II 3682, Cohen II 446 var. (no drapery), VF/F, centered on a tight flan, corrosion, scrapes on reverse, weight 8.824 g, maximum diameter 25.4 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, c. 125 - 128 A.D.; obverse HADRIANVS AVGVSTVS, laureate bust right, slight drapery on left shoulder; reverse COS III, galley right with rowers; ram, acrostolium, and vexillum (or furled sail) at prow; rudder and arched cabin at stern; S C (senatus consulto) in exergue; scarce; $80.00 (€68.00)
 


Hadrian, 11 August 117 - 10 July 138 A.D. Struck at Rome for Use in Syria

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In 125 A.D., the Pantheon was constructed in Rome as it stands today.
RP65923. Orichalcum as, McAlee 551, SRCV II 3695, RIC II 666 corr., VF, cleaning scratches, weight 7.465 g, maximum diameter 23.8 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 125 - 128 A.D.; obverse HADRIANVS AVGVSTVS, laureate and draped bust right, from behind; reverse COS III, Roma seated left on cuirass, right foot drawn back and resting on helmet, Victory in right hand, long scepter vertical behind in left hand, round shield behind cuirass, S C (senatus consulto) in exergue; rare; $50.00 (€42.50)
 


Hadrian, 11 August 117 - 10 July 138 A.D., Roman Provincial Egypt

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The Greek numeral sixteen (Iς) above Nilus refers to what was considered the ideal height of the annual Nile flood, sixteen cubits. Less could mean drought or famine. Even in modern times, grand celebrations were held when the flood reached 16 cubits. In years when the flood failed to reach 16 cubits, the celebrations were canceled, and prayers and fasting were held instead. The peak flood occurred at the end of August, which explains why the Egyptian year began on 29 August.
RX74299. Bronze drachm, Geissen 1001; Dattari 1808; Milne 1276; SNG Cop 350; BMC Alexandria p. 92, 785; Kampmann-Ganschow 32.470; Emmett 1014, aF, edge split, weight 24.92 g, maximum diameter 35.8 mm, die axis 0o, Alexandria mint, 29 Aug 128 - 28 Aug 129; obverse AVT KAIC TPAI A∆PIA CEB, laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, wearing aegis, from behind; reverse Nilus reclining left on a crocodile right, himation around waist and legs, cornucopia in right from which an infant genius emerges, reed in left, Iς above, L TPICKAI (year 13) in exergue; big 36 mm bronze!; $50.00 (€42.50)
 







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OBVERSE LEGENDS

AVGVSTVSHADRIANVS
AVGVSTVSHADRIANVSPP
DIVVSHADRIANVSAVG
HADRIANVSAVGCOSIIIPP
HADRIANVSAVGVST
HADRIANVSAVGVSTVS
HADRIANVSAVGVSTVSPP
IMPCAEDITRAIANFDIVNERNEPTRAHADRIANOAVG
IMPCAEDIRAPARFDIVINERNEPTRAHADRIANOAVG
IMPCAESARTRAIAHADRIANVSAVG
IMPCAESARTRAIANHADRIANVSAVG
IMPCAESARTRAIANVSHADRIANVSAVG
IMPCAESARTRAIANVSHADRIANVSAVGPMTRPCOSIII
IMPCAESHADRIANDIVINERTRAIANOPTFIL
IMPCAESTRAHADRIANOAVGPP
IMPCAESTRAIANHADRIANOAVGDIVITRA
IMPCAESTRAIANHADRIANOAVGDIVITRAPARTHF
IMPCAESTRAIANHADRIANOPTAVGGERDAC
IMPCAESTRAIANHADRIANOOPTAVGGERDAC


REFERENCES

Banti, A. & L. Simonetti. Corpus Nummorum Romanorum. (Florence, 1972-1979).
Blum, G. "Numismatique D'Antinoos" in JIAN 16. (Athens, 1914). pp. 33 - 70.
Calicó, E.X. The Roman Avrei, Vol. I: From the Republic to Pertinax, 196 BC - 193 AD. (Barcelona, 2003).
Cohen, H. Description historique des monnaies frappées sous l'Empire Romain, Vol. 2: Nerva to Antoninus Pius. (Paris, 1883).
Hill, P.V. The Dating and Arrangement of the Undated Coins of Rome, A.D. 98-148. (London, 1970).
Mattingly H. & E. Sydenham. The Roman Imperial Coinage, Vol. II: Vespasian to Hadrian. (London, 1926).
Mattingly, H. & R.A.G. Carson. Coins of the Roman Empire in the British Museum, Vol. 3: Nerva to Hadrian. (London, 1936).
McAlee, R. The Coins of Roman Antioch. (Lancaster, PA, 2007).
Robinson, A.S. Roman Imperial Coins in the Hunter Coin Cabinet. II. Trajan to Commodus (London, 1971).
Seaby, H.A. & R. Loosley. Roman Silver Coins, Vol. II: Tiberius to Commodus. (London, 1979).
Sear, D.R. Roman Coins and Their Values, Vol. II: The Accession of Nerva to the Overthrow of the Severan Dynasty AD 96 - AD 235. (London, 2002).
Strack, P.L. Untersuchungen zur römischen Reichsprägung des zweiten Jahrhunderts, Teil II: Die Reichsprägung zur Zeit des Hadrian. (Stuttgart, 1933).
Toynbee, J.M.C. Roman medallions. ANSNS 5. (New York, 1944).
Vagi, D. Coinage and History of the Roman Empire. (Sidney, 1999).

Catalog current as of Tuesday, December 12, 2017.
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Roman Coins of Hadrian