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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ |Roman Coins| ▸ |The Adoptive Emperors| ▸ |Sabina||View Options:  |  |  |   

Sabina, Augusta 128 - c. 136 A.D., Wife of Hadrian

Vibia Sabina was the wife of Emperor Hadrian, and a grand-niece of Trajan. They had an unhappy marriage and no children. Although she accompanied Hadrian on his many travels, he ignored her and had numerous affairs with both men and women. Sabina had an affair with Suetonius, Hadrian's secretary, in 119. Sabina is said to have remarked that she had taken steps to see she never had children by Hadrian because they would "harm the human race." She may have once aborted a child of theirs. Sabina died in 136 or 137 A.D., perhaps of natural causes or perhaps poisoned by Hadrian.


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Pudicitia, modesty and chastity, was for Romans the highest regarded female virtue. For an unmarried girl, pudicitia meant virginity. For a wife, it meant faithfulness and devotion to her husband. Romans loved the story of Arria, an ultimate example of Roman pudicitia. When the emperor Claudius ordered her husband Paetus to end his own life, he hesitated. Arria took his dagger and stabbed herself to set an example, saying, "Paetus, it doesn't hurt."
SH73695. Bronze sestertius, RIC II Hadrian 1032(c) (S), Hunter II 32, Cohen II 61, BMCRE III Hadrian 1877 var. (diadem vice wreath), SRCV II 3937, aVF, excellent portrait, well centered, green patina, marks and scratches, some corrosion, weight 23.691 g, maximum diameter 33.1 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, c. 135 A.D.; obverse SABINA AVGVSTA HADRIANI AVG P P, draped bust right, wearing wreath of grain, hair in long plait falling down back of neck and roll above wreath in front; reverse PVDICITIA, Pudicitia seated left on high-backed throne, veiled and draped, feet on footstool, right hand on breast (raising to lips), left hand in lap, S C (senatus consulto) in exergue; old anonymous dealer or collector tag in Italian; scarce; SOLD


Sabina, Augusta 128 - c. 136 A.D., Kestros (Cestrus), Cilicia

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Very rare city. Only one coin in the BMC (a Faustina) and one in SNG Copenhagen (Aelius). No coins in SNG von Aulock (the supplement included), Weber, and others.
SH46490. Bronze AE 19, Levante, Cilician Coinage, 2 - Kestros, NC 1991, 208, 3; SNG Levante, Supplement I, 93; SNG Cop -; BMC Lycaonia -; SNGvA -, VF, bold, weight 2.866 g, maximum diameter 18.8 mm, die axis 0o, Kestros (Cestrus) mint, obverse CEBACTH CABEINA, draped bust bust right; reverse KECTPHNwN, star within crescent; attractive dark patina, ex Sternberg 23 (2000) lot 530; very rare; SOLD


Sabina, Augusta 128 - c. 136 A.D., Roman Provincial Egypt

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Rome mint issued coins in the name of Sabina after A.D. 128, when she received the title of Augusta. She did not have her own coinage at Alexandria until A.D. 130.
RX41085. Bronze drachm, Dattari 2067; Geissen 1268; Milne -; BMC Alexandria -; SNG Cop -; Emmett 1337 (R4), aVF, weight 11.422 g, maximum diameter 29.1 mm, die axis 0o, Alexandria mint, 134 - 135 A.D.; obverse CABINA CEBACTH, draped bust bust right; reverse LENNE−AK∆ (year 19), Dikaiosyne (Aequitas) standing left, scales in right hand, cornucopia in left; very rare; SOLD


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Ceres a goddess of agriculture, grain crops, fertility and motherly relationships, was listed among the Di Consentes, Rome's equivalent to the Twelve Olympians of Greek mythology. The Romans saw her as the counterpart of the Greek goddess Demeter, whose mythology was reinterpreted for Ceres in Roman art and literature.
RB57155. Orichalcum sestertius, RIC II Hadrian 1019, Cohen II 69, F, weight 27.366 g, maximum diameter 33.1 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 128 - 134 A.D.; obverse SABINA AVGVSTA HADRAINI AVG P P, diademed and draped bust right; reverse S C, Ceres seated left, grain ears in right hand, torch in left hand; scarce; SOLD


Sabina, Augusta 128 - c. 136 A.D., Wife of Hadrian, Amphipolis, Macedonia

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Plotina was the wife of Trajan, married to him before his succession. She was renowned for her virtue and simplicity. In 100, Trajan awarded her with the title of Augusta, but she did not accept the title until 105. Plotina did not appear on the coinage until 112. She was largely responsible for Hadrian's succession to the throne after the death of Trajan. Plotina died in 129 A.D.
RP83496. Bronze AE 25, RPC Online III 655 (8 spec.); BMC Macedonia p. 56, 103; Varbanov 3186 (R5); SNG Evelpidis 1171; Lindgren 987; SNG Cop -; SNG ANS -; SNG Hunterian -, VF, green patina, tight flan, some corrosion and scratches, reverse off center, central cavities, weight 12.382 g, maximum diameter 24.5 mm, die axis 180o, Amphipolis mint, 128 - c. 136 A.D.; obverse CABEINA CEBACTH, draped bust right wearing stephane, pellet within crescent with horns up left below chin; reverse AMΦIΠOΛTWN, Tyche seated left on high back throne, wearing turreted crown, patera in right hand; rare; SOLD


Sabina, Augusta 128 - c. 136 A.D., Wife of Hadrian, Amphipolis, Macedonia

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RP64034. Bronze AE 26, RPC Online III 655 (8 spec.); BMC Macedonia p. 56, 103; Varbanov 3186 (R5); SNG Evelpidis 1171; Lindgren 987; SNG Cop -; SNG ANS -; SNG Hunterian -, VF/F, weight 11.829 g, maximum diameter 25.6 mm, die axis 180o, Amphipolis mint, obverse diademed and draped bust left; pellet within crescent before; reverse Tyche enthroned left, phiale in right; ex Helios Numismatik auction 7 (12 Dec 2011), lot 554 (est 200 Euro, unsold); rare; SOLD


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Pudicitia, modesty and chastity, was for Romans the highest regarded female virtue. For an unmarried girl, pudicitia meant virginity. For a wife, it meant faithfulness and devotion to her husband. Romans loved the story of Arria, an ultimate example of Roman pudicitia. When the emperor Claudius ordered her husband Paetus to end his own life, he hesitated. Arria took his dagger and stabbed herself to set an example, saying, "Paetus, it doesn?t hurt."
RB16818. Orichalcum sestertius, RIC II Hadrian 1032(c) (S), Hunter II 32, Cohen II 61, BMCRE Hadrian III 1877 var. (diadem vice wreath), SRCV II 3937, gF, weight 27.672 g, maximum diameter 33.1 mm, die axis 0o, Rome mint, obverse SABINA AVGVSTA HADRAINI AVG P P, draped bust right, wearing wreath of grain, hair in long plait falling down back of neck and roll above wreath in front; reverse PVDICITIA, Pudicitia seated left on high-backed throne, veiled and draped, feet on footstool, raising right hand to lips, left hand in lap, S C (senatus consulto) in exergue; scarce; SOLD


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Concordia Augusta ("Majestic Harmony") was hononored for her role promoting understanding and marital harmony in the imperial household. Concordia did not serve Sabina well. She and Hadrian had an unhappy marriage, both had affairs, and they had no children.
RS11287. Silver denarius, RIC II Hadrian 399a, RSC II 25, BMCRE III Hadrian 905, VF, weight 3.509 g, maximum diameter 18.6 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, obverse SABINA AVGVSTA HADRIANI AVG P P, draped bust right; reverse CONCORDIA AVG (harmony of the Emperor), Concordia seated left, patera in right hand, long scepter vertical behind in left hand; attractive coin; SOLD


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Concordia Augusta ("Majestic Harmony") was honored for her role promoting understanding and marital harmony in the imperial household, but she did not serve Sabina well. She and Hadrian had an unhappy marriage, both had affairs, and they had no children.
SH60457. Silver denarius, RIC II Hadrian 398, Cohen II 14, BMCRE III Hadrian 902, nice VF, toned, weight 3.605 g, maximum diameter 16.6 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, obverse SABINA AVGVSTA HADRIANI AVG P P, diademed and draped bust left; reverse CONCORDIA AVG (harmony of the Emperor), Concordia seated left, patera in right hand, resting left elbow on statuette of Spes, cornucopia under seat; scarce; SOLD


Sabina, Augusta 128 - c. 136 A.D., Wife of Hadrian, Tmolus, Lydia

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The primary reference for Tmolus is: Foss, C. "A neighbor of Sardis: the city of Tmolus and its successors" in Classical Antiquity, vol. 1, no. 2 (Oct. 1982), pp. 178-201, available online: http://www.jstor.org/stable/25010770

Foss wrote that the small city of Tmolus was first authorized to strike coins under Hadrian. He believed that Tmolus issued coinage only very sporadically and the coins were probably struck at the mint of their neighbor Sardis.
RP85354. Bronze AE 19, RPC Online III 2388 (5 spec.); SNG Cop 635; NC 1903, p. 337, 29 and pl. X, 12 rev.; Foss Tmolus p. 181, type I, VF, grainy surface, edge split, weight 4.542 g, maximum diameter 18.9 mm, die axis 190o, struck for Tmolus at Sardis(?) mint, 128 - c. 136 A.D.; obverse CEBACTH CABEINA, draped bust right, wearing stephane; reverse TMΩΛITΩN, Apollo standing right, nude, bow in right hand, arrow in left hand; very rare; SOLD




  




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OBVERSE| LEGENDS|

DIVAAVGSABINA
DIVAAVGVSTASABINA
SABINAAVGVSTA
SABINAAVGVSTAHADRIANIAVGPP


REFERENCES|

Banti, A. and L. Simonetti. Corpus Nummorum Romanorum. (Florence, 1972-1979).
Blum, G. "Numismatique D'Antinoos" in JIAN 16. (Athens, 1914). pp. 33 - 70.
Caliců, E.X. The Roman Avrei, Vol. I: From the Republic to Pertinax, 196 BC - 193 AD. (Barcelona, 2003).
Cohen, H. Description historique des monnaies frappťes 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).
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).
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 Monday, October 14, 2019.
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Roman Coins of Sabina