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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.
Of this type, the Dictionary of Roman Coins says, "This is a finely designed coin in first brass [a sestertius]. The equestrian group is in a spirited style of workmanship, both horse and man. The Augustus raises aloft his right hand, and with his left holds the bridle of his generous steed, as setting out on him on some journey, about that vague period, his third consulate."SH89464. Orichalcum sestertius, RIC II 645 (S), BMCRE III 1313, Hunter II 436, Cohen II 590 var. (bust), SRCV II 3594, Choice VF, mottled turquoise and brown patina, well centered, nice portrait, legends a little weak, edge crack, weight 24.967 g, maximum diameter 33.6 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 124 - 128 A.D.; obverse HADRIANVS AVGVSTVS, laureate head right, slight drapery on left shoulder; reverse COS III, emperor on horseback prancing left, bare-headed, wearing military garb, cloak flying behind, raising right hand in salute, reins in left hand, S - C divided low across field, EXPED AVG in exergue; Numismatik Naumann auction 72 (2 Dec 2018), lot 458; scarce; $650.00 (€572.00)
Hadrian traveled to nearly every province of the Empire and spent more than half his reign outside Italy. Nero had been criticized as self-indulgent for his trip to Greece, but Hadrian proudly advertised his travels with his "Adventus" coinage series. Unlike Nero, the pleasure-seeking tourist, Hadrian inspected and corrected the legions and made grants for the construction of new public buildings, projects, and settlements. Hadrian travels were intended to transform conquered lands into a unified Roman Empire.RB87800. Orichalcum sestertius, RIC II 938f (S), BMCRE III 1782, Hunter II 636, Cohen II 1218, SRCV II 3627, gVF, superb portrait, attractive green patina, well centered and struck, light marks, light corrosion, light earthen deposits, weight 25.249 g, maximum diameter 32.3 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 131 - 138 A.D.; obverse HADRIANVS AVG COS III P P, laureate and draped bust right, from behind; reverse RESTITVTORI ACHAIAE, Hadrian standing left, togate, holding roll in left hand, with right hand raising Achaea, draped, kneeling right and resting left hand on knee; urn containing palm between them, S C (senatus consulto) in exergue; rare; $450.00 (€396.00)
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; $175.00 (€154.00)
In 125, Hadrian distributed imperial lands to small farmers.RS88838. Silver denarius, RIC II 345(c), RSC II 363, BMCRE III 497, Hunter II 170, Strack II 209, SRCV II -, Choice VF, excellent portrait, well centered, some light marks and scratches, edge cracks, weight 3.251 g, maximum diameter 18.6 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 125 - 128 A.D.; obverse HADRIANVS AVGVSTVS P P, laureate bust right, slight drapery on left shoulder; reverse COS III, Victory seated left on stool, wreath in extended right hand, palm frond in left hand; ex Numismatik Naumann auction 72, part of lot 1045; $160.00 (€140.80)
Salus was the Roman goddess of health. She was Hygieia to the Greeks, who believed her to be the daughter of Aesculapius, the god of medicine and healing, and Epione, the goddess of soothing of pain. Coins dedicated to Salus Augusti, like this coin, probably indicate the emperor was at the time suffering from some disease, and sacred rites had been performed for his recovery.RS88841. Silver denarius, RSC II 1331, BMCRE III 721 note, RIC II 269 (S), Strack II 265, Hunter III -, SRCV II -, Choice VF, excellent portrait, well centered, reverse die wear, small edge cracks, weight 3.526 g, maximum diameter 18.5 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 137 A.D.; obverse HADRIANVS AVG COS III P P, bare head right; reverse SALVS AVG (the health of the Emperor), Salus standing half left, head left, from patera in right hand rising up from altar, long scepter in left hand; ex Numismatik Naumann auction 72, part of lot 1045; scarce; $160.00 (€140.80)
Roma was a female deity who personified the city of Rome and more broadly, the Roman state. The earliest certain cult to dea Roma was established at Smyrna in 195 B.C., probably to mark the successful alliance against Antiochus III. In 30/29 B.C., the Koinon of Asia and Bithynia requested permission to honor Augustus as a living god. "Republican" Rome despised the worship of a living man, but an outright refusal might offend their loyal allies. A cautious formula was drawn up, non-Romans could only establish a cult for divus Augustus jointly with dea Roma. In the city of Rome itself, the earliest known state cult to dea Roma was combined with Venus at the Hadrianic Temple of Venus and Roma. This was the largest temple in the city, probably dedicated to inaugurate the reformed festival of Parilia, which was known thereafter as the Romaea after the Eastern festival in Roma's honor. The temple contained the seated, Hellenised image of dea Roma with a Palladium in her right hand to symbolize Rome's eternity.RS88839. Silver denarius, RIC II 160, RSC II 353, BMCRE III 356, Hunter II 139, Strack II 183, SRCV II -, Choice VF, superb portrait, light toning, edge splits, weight 3.206 g, maximum diameter 18.9 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 125 - 128 A.D.; obverse HADRIANVS AVGVSTVS, laureate bust right, slight drapery on left shoulder; reverse COS III, Roma standing right, left foot on helmet, inverted spear in right hand, parazonium at side in left hand; ex Numismatik Naumann auction 72, part of lot 1045; $150.00 (€132.00)
Hadrian, 117 - 138 A.D., Perga, Pamphylia
Artemis is depicted here in the same pose as The Diana of Versailles, a slightly over life-size Roman marble statue from the 1st or 2nd century A.D., copying a lost Greek bronze original attributed to Leochares, c. 325 B.C. The sculpture also has a stag at her side. The sculpture may have come from a sanctuary at Nemi or possibly from Hadrian's Villa in Tivoli. In 1556, it was given by Pope Paul IV to Henry II of France, a subtle allusion to the king's mistress, Diane de Poitiers. It is now in the Musée du Louvre, Paris.RP86567. Bronze AE 21, SNG BnF 400, Waddington 3345, SNG Cop -, SNGvA -, SNG Righetti -, gVF/aVF, nice green patina, attractive portrait, porous, areas of reverse slightly rough, weight 5.484 g, maximum diameter 21.1 mm, die axis 0o, Perga (15 km east of Antalya, Turkey) mint, 117 - 138 A.D.; obverse A∆PIANOC KAICAP, laureate draped cuirassed bust right, from behind; reverse APTEMI∆OC ΠEPΓAIAC, Artemis standing right, bow in left hand, reaching with right hand for arrow in quiver on his shoulder, stag right on far side; from the David Cannon Collection, ex Beast Coins; rare; $120.00 (€105.60)
Hadrian, 11 August 117 - 10 July 138 A.D., Roman Provincial Egypt
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 AD during the Kitos War by the Jewish forces under Lukuas. Eusebius of Caearea, "Historia Ecclesiastica, books iv & v, written in the 4th century AD." 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; $120.00 (€105.60)
The Romans believed that Fortuna, after deserting the Persians and Assyrians, took flight over Macedonia and saw Alexander perish as she passed into Egypt and into Syria. At last arriving on Mount Palatine, she threw aside her wings and casting away her wheel, entered Rome where she took up her abode forever.RB88866. Orichalcum sestertius, RIC II 759(d), BMCRE III 1507, Hunter II 533, Cohen II 763, SRCV II 3599, aF, toned brass surfaces, some porosity, edge bump, weight 24.815 g, maximum diameter 30.5 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 134 - 138 A.D.; obverse HADRIANVS AVG COS III P P, laureate head right; reverse FORTVNA AVG (good fortune of the Emperor), Fortuna standing slightly left, head left, holding rudder by tiller in right hand, cornucopia in left hand, S - C (senatus consulto) across field; $120.00 (€105.60)
Hadrian, 11 August 117 - 10 July 138 A.D., Laertes, Cilicia
Laerte was on the coast of Cilicia, east of Syedra, and 25 km northwest of Coracesium (modern Alanya, Turkey). The identity of the ruins was confirmed when the name of the town was found on the foot of a statue of Vespasian. A Phoenician tablet found there indicates the town already existed in 625 B.C. Strabo describes Laertes as a fortress on the crest of a breast-shaped hill. Laertes fell under the control of pirates in Hellenistic times. They were expelled in 67 B.C. No Hellenistic buildings have survived; they were completely replaced in Roman and Byzantine times. The heyday of the town was in the 1st and 2nd centuries A.D. when it was densely populated and retired Roman soldiers would settle there. The town probably declined after the harbor silted up and may have been abandoned after attacks by Arab pirates.RP88200. Bronze AE 19, SNG Levante 374 (same obv. die); RPC III Online 2751; SNG BnF 594; SNG Leypold 2499; BMC Cilicia p. 91, 4, F, green patina, patina chips, edge chip, light earthen deposits, weight 3.307 g, maximum diameter 19.3 mm, die axis 0o, Laertes (25 km NW of Alanya, Turkey) mint, 11 Aug 117 - 10 Jul 138 A.D.; obverse AY KAI TRA A∆PIANOC, laureate head right; reverse ΛAEPTEITWN, Tyche standing half left, head left, polos on head, grounded rudder in right hand, cornucopia in left hand; ex Alex G. Malloy; $80.00 (€70.40)
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