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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.
Hadrian, 11 August 117 - 10 July 138 A.D., Nicomedia, Bithynia
SH25882. Silver cistophoric tetradrachm, Metcalf Type B1, 3 (dies 2/3); BMCRE III 1099 note; RSC II 240b, VF, weight 10.410 g, maximum diameter 27.3 mm, die axis 180o, Nicomedia (Izmit, Turkey) mint, obverse IMP CAES TRA HADRIANO AVG P P, laureate bust right; reverse COM - BIT, octastyle temple on podium of three steps, ROM S P AVG in entablature in pediment; Forum purchased from Harlan Berk for $1680; SOLD
Certificate of Authenticity issued by David R. Sear.SH51587. Gold aureus, Calico 1333/1334b (same rev die), RIC II 77c, BMCRE III 133, Hill 232, cf. Cohen 1104, aEF, ex jewelry, weight 7.279 g, maximum diameter 19.6 mm, Rome mint, 119 - 122 A.D.; obverse IMP CAESAR TRAIAN HADRIANVS AVG, laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right; reverse P M TR P COS III, Roma seated left on cuirass, shield at her side, Victory in right and vertical spear in left, shield bow and quiver behind; SOLD
The rabbit on the reverse is in reference to the Roman province of Hispania Baetica and the issue is an appeal for the aid of the gods as during Hadrian's first travels around the empire, leaving Rome in 121. On this example, Minerva is shown in her "peace-giving" aspect versus her more often seen guise of war.SH34690. Gold aureus, Calico 1309 var. (obv legend break), RIC II 70 var. (same plus portrait and spear vice scepter); BMC 117 - 118 var. (same); SRCV II -, VF, some circulation marks, weight 7.129 g, maximum diameter 19.7 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 119 - 122 A.D.; obverse IMP CAESAR TRAIAN HA-DRIANVS AVG, laureate and draped bust right from behind; reverse P M TR P COS III, Minerva standing facing, helmeted head left, long scepter in left hand, right hand pointing to Spanish olive tree on left, rabbit right at the base of the tree; ex Munzhandlung Basel, 6 March 1936 (Dr. H St. S & Prince Waldeck); very rare; SOLD
Certificate of Authenticity issued by David R. Sear.
On the Certificate, David Sear notes, "a very rare obverse variant and an excellent example of the early "Trajanic" style of Hadrian's portraiture."SH24853. Gold aureus, BMCRE III p. 250, 84 note; RIC II 46 var. (bust right), Cohen 1368 var. (same), Choice VF, weight 7.124 g, maximum diameter 19.4 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 118 A.D.; obverse IMP CAESAR TRAIAN HADRIANVS AVG, laureate and cuirassed bust left; reverse P M TR P COS II, Salus seated left, feeding snake coiled around altar, SALVS AVG (the health of the Emperor) in exergue; ex Freeman and Sear; very rare; SOLD
SH51590. Gold aureus, RIC II 91, Cohen II 1092, Choice VF, weight 7.161 g, maximum diameter 19.7 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 119 - 122 A.D.; obverse IMP CAESAR TRAIAN HADRIANVS AVG, laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right; reverse P M TR P COS III, Genius standing half-left, patera in right, ears of grain in left; attractive bust, ex Edgar L. Owen; SOLD
The sparse references for this type do not note the strong resemblance of the reverse figure to Antinous, as found on this example. We were unable to find even a single plate example of this type from this year to determine if other examples bear the same resemblance to Antinous.
Antinous probably joined the entourage of Hadrian when it passed through Bithynia in about 124. He became Hadrian's constant companion and lover but in October 130 Antinous drowned in the Nile. Hadrian's grief knew no bounds; he enrolled him among the gods, erected a temple, and founded a city in his honor. Artists vied with each other in immortalizing his beauty. Temples and statues to his memory were erected all over the Empire, and there began a Cult of Antinous. On this coin he is depicted in the guise of Hermanubis.SH17103. Bronze drachm, Emmett 986, year 18: cf. BMC Alexandria p. 91, 770 (year 19), Choice VF, weight 23.873 g, maximum diameter 33.5 mm, die axis 0o, Alexandria mint, regnal year 18, 133 - 134 A.D.; obverse AVT KAIC TPAIANA A∆PIANOC CEB, laureate and draped bust right; reverse bust of Antinous as Hermanubis right, diadem and modius ornamented with lotus on head, bare chest, himation on back, L - IH, palm right; very rare; SOLD
During the reign of Hadrian the denarius was 87% silver.SH53583. Silver denarius, RIC II 290, RSC II 1481a, BMCRE III 778, SRCV II 3550 var., Superb EF, weight 3.203 g, maximum diameter 17.3 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 137 A.D.; obverse HADRIANVS AVG COS III P P, laureate bust right with slight drapery on far shoulder; reverse VOTA PVBLICA, Hadrian standing half left, togate, patera in right, sacrificing over altar left; ex H.S. Perlin Co., 1988; magnificent coin, beautiful toning, suitable for the finest collection; SOLD
From the Prof. Henry H. Armstrong collection. In 1910, the year when he acquired this coin, Professor Armstrong lived in Rome working as a Research Associate of the Carnegie Institution in Archaeology teaching at the American School for Classical Studies in Rome. From 1918 until his death in 1935 he taught at Beloit College as head of the Department of Romance Languages. Nicknamed "Sparky" by the students, his death after a two-week illness came as a shock to the college. His coins, inherited by his son, sat in a cigar box for the next 74 years, acquiring this beautiful iridescent toning.SH84800. Silver denarius, BMCRE III 247, RSC II 1174b, Strack II 105, RIC II 113c var. (draped and cuirassed), SRCV II 3529 var. (same), gem EF, beautiful old collection "cigar box" rainbow toning, fantastic galley, handsome portrait, some light marks, small edge cracks, weight 3.212 g, maximum diameter 18.3 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 122 A.D.; obverse IMP CAESAR TRAIAN HADRIANVS AVG, laureate and draped bust right; reverse P M TR P COS III (high priest, holder of Tribunitian power, consul 3 times), galley rowed left, mast with furled sail in bow, rudder and cabin in stern; from the Prof. Henry H. Armstrong collection, handwritten envelope notes, "Purchase, Champion, 1910."; SOLD
Bacchus was the Roman god of agriculture, wine and fertility, equivalent to the Greek god Dionysus. He carried a pinecone-topped staff, and his followers were goat-footed Satyrs and Maenads, wild women who danced energetically during his festivals. Bacchus was the child of Jupiter and Semélé, a human. Juno tricked her into asking to see Jupiter as he really was. Since she was a mortal, she was burned up by the sight of his divine form. So Jupiter sewed the infant Bacchus into his thigh, and gave birth to him nine months later. Before he took his place at Olympus, Bacchus wandered the world for many years, going as far as India to teach people how to grow vines. In myth, Dionysius was the last god to join the twelve Olympians. Hestia gave up her seat for him.SH32539. Silver cistophoric tetradrachm, RIC II 485; Metcalf Type 101/Type 98 (unidentified mint D), Choice gVF, weight 10.161 g, maximum diameter 29.1 mm, die axis 180o, uncertain Asia Minor mint, obverse HADRIANVS AVGVSTVS P P, bare-headed bust right, drapery on left shoulder; reverse COS III, Bacchus standing facing, nude, head left, thyrsus in left hand, oenochoe in right hand over panther left at feet; SOLD
SH21153. Orichalcum dupondius, RIC II 909, Cohen II 238, SRCV II -, VF, weight 11.644 g, maximum diameter 26.4 mm, die axis 0o, Rome mint, 134 - 138 A.D.; obverse HADRIANVS AVG COS III P P, laureate and draped bust right, from behind; reverse Hadrian, standing right on platform praetorian prefect beside him, addressing officer (centurion?) and three soldiers, the first two soldiers hold oblong shields, the first soldier holds a vexillum, the two behind him hold standards, the final soldier unclear, COH PRAETOR S C in exergue; very rare; SOLD
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).
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