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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ |Roman Coins| ▸ |The Adoptive Emperors| ▸ |Hadrian||View 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


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

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Caesarea, about 30 miles north of Joppa and about 70 miles northwest of Jerusalem, was the capital of the Roman province of Judaea, the seat of the procurators, and the headquarters of the Roman troops. It was founded by Herod the Great and named after Caesar Augustus.
JD93012. Bronze AE 32, Hendin 836, SNG ANS 766, Rosenberger 24, Kadman Caesarea 27, F, green patina, grainy, earthen deposits, weight 18.384 g, maximum diameter 31.6 mm, die axis 0o, Caesarea Maritima mint, obverse IMP TRA HADRIANO CAES AVG, laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right; reverse COL I FL AVG, Hadrian, as priest-founder, plowing right with oxen, Nike flying left above holding wreath, CAESAREN in exergue; from The Jimi Berlin Caesarea Collection (surface find, Caesarea, Israel, 1972); $300.00 SALE |PRICE| $270.00
 


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One look at Medusa would turn a man to stone. Bellerophon slew Medusa with one blow of his sword. From her blood sprang Pegasus. Minerva gave Bellerophon a golden bridle with which he caught Pegasus. Later he placed the head of Medusa on Minerva's shield to repay her. But Bellerophon grew proud and sought to ride Pegasus to the Palace of Jupiter in the heavens. Angered, Jupiter, sent an insect to sting Pegasus, causing the winged steed to throw Bellerophon to his death.
RB91575. Orichalcum dupondius, RIC II 658j (S), Hunter II 419, BMCRE III 1332, Cohen II 436, SRCV II 3660 var. (rev. III in exergue), VF, nice style, broad flan, scratches, light corrosion, weight 13.775 g, maximum diameter 28.7 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 124 - 128 A.D.; obverse HADRIANVS AVGVSTVS, radiate bust right, drapery on left shoulder; reverse COS III, Pegasus flying right, S C (senatus consulto) below; from the Maxwell Hunt Collection; scarce; $220.00 SALE |PRICE| $198.00 ON RESERVE


Augustus, 16 January 27 B.C. - 19 August 14 A.D., Kibyra, Phrygia

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Kibyra (Cibyra) near the modern town of Gölhisar in south-west Turkey, was possibly originally settled by Lydians. The city was in the far south of Phrygia adjoining Lycia. It is uncertain whether the city was part of the Province of Asia or of Lycia in the early imperial period. According to Strabo, the Lydian language was still being spoken by a multicultural population in the 1st century B.C. Thus Kibyra was the last place where the Lydian culture, by then extinct in Lydia proper, persevered.
RP89888. Bronze AE 17, RPC I 2882 (5 spec. online); SNG Fitzwilliam 4954 (same dies); SNGvA 3727; Imhoof GM p. 397, 88; Waddington 5819; SNG Cop -; BMC Phrygia -, aVF, green patina, most of ethnic off flan, small edge splits, weight 4.425 g, maximum diameter 17.2 mm, die axis 270o, Kibyra (near Golhisar, Turkey) mint, obverse bare head right; reverse capricorn right, head turned back left, CEBATOC above, KIBYPATWN counterclockwise below and upward on right; rare; $150.00 SALE |PRICE| $135.00
 


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In ancient Roman religion and myth, Tellus Mater or Terra Mater ("Mother Earth") is a goddess of the earth. Although Tellus and Terra are hardly distinguishable during the Imperial era, Tellus was the name of the original earth goddess in the religious practices of the Republic or earlier. The scholar Varro (1st century B.C.) lists Tellus as one of the di selecti, the twenty principal gods of Rome, and one of the twelve agricultural deities. She is regularly associated with Ceres in rituals pertaining to the earth and agricultural fertility.
RS92847. Silver denarius, RIC II 276(d), RSC II 1427, BMCRE III 739, SRCV II 3543, Choice VF/F, well centered, toned, flow lines, light scratches, small edge crack, weight 3.023 g, maximum diameter 18.4 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 133 A.D.; obverse HADRIANVS AVGVSTVS COS III P P, laureate head right; reverse TELLVS STABIL, Tellus standing left, plow handle in right hand, rake in left hand, two stalks of grain at feet on right; $140.00 SALE |PRICE| $126.00
 


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Pietas in traditional Latin usage expressed a complex, highly valued Roman virtue; a man or woman with pietas respected his or her responsibilities to the gods, family, other people and entities (such as the state), and understood his or her place in society with respect to others.
RS92952. Silver denarius, RIC II 45(a), RSC II 1027, BMCRE III 82, Strack II 39, Hunter II 31, SRCV II -, VF, toned, nice portrait, flow lines, edge cracks, weight 2.992 g, maximum diameter 18.7 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 118 A.D.; obverse IMP CAESAR TRAIAN HADRIANVS AVG, laureate bare-chest bust right, drapery on left shoulder; reverse P M TR P COS II, Pietas standing left, veiled, raising right hand, PIE-TAS across fields; ex Colosseum Coin Exchange; scarce; $140.00 SALE |PRICE| $126.00
 


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Juno was the chief female divinity in the Roman pantheon. She was the wife of Jupiter and a member of the Capitoline Triad. She had many different aspects, such as Juno Regina, Juno Sospita, and Juno Lucina, but here she is depicted as Juno Moneta, holding the scales symbolic of equity and a cornucopia indicating plenty. This surname was given to Juno because she counseled the Romans to undertake only just wars in which case she promised that they would never be in want of money. The first mint in Rome was within the temple of Juno Moneta.
RS88834. Silver denarius, RIC II 256(d), RSC II 966, BMCRE III 680, Hunter II 223, Strack II 251, SRCV II 3507 var. (bare head, slight drapery), VF, excellent portrait, light toning, flow lines, light marks and scratches, small edge cracks, weight 3.277 g, maximum diameter 18.1 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 134 - 138 A.D.; obverse HADRIANVS AVG COS III P P, laureate head right; reverse MONETA AVG, Moneta standing slightly left, head left, scales in right hand, cornucopia in left; ex Numismatik Naumann auction 72, part of lot 1045; $135.00 SALE |PRICE| $122.00
 


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In 132, a messianic, charismatic Jewish leader Simon bar Kokhba started the Bar Kokhba revolt, a war of liberation for Judea against Rome. At first the rebellion was a success. The legion X Fretensis was forced to retreat from Jerusalem to Caesarea. The legion XXII Deiotariana, which advanced from Egypt, was destroyed. The Jews re-established their sacrifices and struck coins to celebrate their independence. The rebellion would last for only 30 months. By 135, the Romans had recaptured Jerusalem, Simon bar Kokhba was dead, and the majority of the Jewish population of Judea was either killed, exiled, or sold into slavery. Jerusalem was renamed Colonia Aelia Capitolina and an altar to Jupiter was erected on the site of the Temple. The Jews remained scattered without a homeland for close to two millennia.
RB91573. Copper as, RIC II 717f var. (no cuirass), BMCRE III 1452 var. (same), Cohen II 495 var. (same), SRCV II 3684 var. (hd. bare), Hunter II 453 var. (from front), VF, fine style, ragged irregular flan, corrosion, flan crack, scratches, weight 10.406 g, maximum diameter 29.5 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, c. 129 A.D.; obverse HADRIANVS AVGVSTVS, laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, from behind; reverse COS III P P, Hadrian on horse prancing right, wearing military dress, with cloak flying behind him, holding spear in right hand, S C (senatus consulto) in exergue; from the Maxwell Hunt Collection; although this bust variety is unpublished, we know of a few other examples; very rare; $100.00 (€88.00) ON RESERVE


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

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An interesting type with Tyche of Antioch and the river-god Orontes, but struck at the Rome mint!
RP92966. Orichalcum as, McAlee 544, RIC II-3 750 (650), RPC II 3756, BMCRE III 1350, Hunter II 417, SRCV II 3696, VF, excellent portrait, brown tone with brassy high points, red earthen deposits, slightly off center, closed edge crack, weight 6.533 g, maximum diameter 23.1 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 125 - 128 A.D.; obverse HADRIANVS AVGVSTVS, laureate and draped bust right, from behind; reverse COS III, Tyche seated left on rock, veiled, stalks of grain in right hand, resting left elbow on rock behind, river god at feet visible to waist swimming left, S - C (senatus consulto) flanking across field; $100.00 (€88.00) ON RESERVE


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

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A life-size, black basalt statue of the Apis Bull inscribed with a dedication of Hadrian was discovered in the underground vaults of the Serapeum. It is now in Room 6 of the Greco-Roman Museum in Alexandria. The Apis Bull statue appears on Alexandrian coins of Hadrian and other emperors. The custom of the Apis Bull had been reluctantly preserved by Augustus. He refused to "enter the presence of Apis . . . declaring that he was accustomed to worship gods, not cattle." Dio, 51.16:5. "In spite of this declaration, two stelai from the Bucheum at Hermonthis in Upper Egypt show Augustus" dressed as a Pharaoh sacrificing to bovine deities. Richard Ashton, The City of Roman and Byzantine Egypt, p. 198. Ptolemy III built the Serapeum, the largest and most magnificent of the temples of Alexandria, containing a giant statue by Briaxis. Almost 400 years later, Hadrian rebuilt the temple, which may have been among the temples of Alexandria damaged in 117 A.D. during the Kitos War by the Jewish forces under Lukuas. Eusebius of Caearea, "Historia Ecclesiastica, books iv & v, written in the 4th century A.D." The Apis Bull depicted here may have been that bull, a replacement for an earlier similar statue.
RX86734. Bronze diobol, Geissen 1102, Dattari 2009, Milne 1436, SNG Cop 391, SNG Milan 1114, BMC Alexandria 811, Kampmann 32.610, Emmett 1114/18, F, well centered on a tight flan, some legend weak, scratches, edge cracks, weight 7.579 g, maximum diameter 23.4 mm, die axis 0o, Alexandria mint, 29 Aug 133 - 28 Aug 134 A.D.; obverse AVT KAIC TPAIAN - A∆PIANOC CEB, laureate and draped bust right; reverse Apis bull standing right on ground line, altar to right, L IH (year 18) above; scarce; $100.00 SALE |PRICE| $90.00
 


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In 119 A.D., Hadrian visited Britain at the request of Governor of Britain Quintus Pompeius Falco. Hadrian moved Legio VI Victrix to Britain, to assist in quelling a local rebellion. The legion was key to securing victory, and eventually replaced Legio IX Hispana at Eboracum.
RB92950. Copper as, RIC II 572; BMCRE III 1173; Cohen 1190, Hunter II -, SRCV II -, VF, well centered, turquoise green patina, rough, porous, scratches, weight 11.572 g, maximum diameter 27.7 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 119 - 122 A.D.; obverse IMP CAESAR TRAIANVS HADRIANVS AVG, laureate heroic bust right, chest bare but for slight drapery on left shoulder; reverse PONT MAX TR POT COS III, Victory walking right, wreath in extended right hand, palm frond over left shoulder in left hand, S - C (senatus consulto) flanking below center; ex Bertolami Fine Arts e-auction 61 (9 Sep 2018), lot 532; $90.00 SALE |PRICE| $81.00
 




  



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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 Thursday, January 23, 2020.
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Roman Coins of Hadrian