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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ Roman Coins ▸ The Adoptive EmperorsView Options:  |  |  | 

Roman Coins of the Adoptive Emperors

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

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Kayseri, Turkey was originally named Mazaca. It was renamed Eusebia by Ariarathes V Eusebes, King of Cappadocia, 163 - 130 B.C. The last king of Cappadocia, King Archelaus, renamed it "Caesarea in Cappadocia" to honor Caesar Augustus upon his death in 14 A.D. Muslim Arabs slightly modified the name into Kaisariyah, which became Kayseri when the Seljuk Turks took control, c. 1080 A.D.
RP84962. Silver hemidrachm, Metcalf Cappadocia 85; Sydenham Caesarea 257; BMC Galatia p. 62, 143; SNG Cop 223; SNGvA -, gVF, light marks, slight porosity, weight 1.439 g, maximum diameter 14.2 mm, die axis 0o, Cappadocia, Caesarea mint, 120 - 121 A.D.; obverse AYTO KAIC TPAI A∆PIANOC CEBACT, laureate bust right, slight drapery on far shoulder; reverse club, ET - (year 4) divided across field; $130.00 (€115.70)


Commodus, March or April 177 - 31 December 192 A.D., Thessalonica, Macedonia

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Victory or Nike is seen with wings in most statues and paintings, with one of the most famous being the Winged Victory of Samothrace. Most other winged deities in the Greek pantheon had shed their wings by Classical times. Nike is the goddess of strength, speed, and victory. Nike was a very close acquaintance of Athena and is thought to have stood in Athena's outstretched hand in the statue of Athena located in the Parthenon. Victory or Nike is also one of the most commonly portrayed figures on Greek and Roman coins.
RP84963. Bronze AE 27, RPC IV 8302, Touratsoglou 38 ff., Varbanov 4338 (R5) var. (crescent and star right), SNG Hunterian -, BMC Macedonia -, SNG ANS -, SNG Cop -, VF, nice portrait, die wear, slight corrosion, tiny edge cracks, weight 12.628 g, maximum diameter 26.7 mm, die axis 0o, Thessalonika (Salonika, Greece) mint, 184 - 188 A.D.; obverse AVTOK M AVP KOMM ANTΩNEINON (clockwise from upper right), laureate head right; reverse ΘECCAΛONIKEΩN (clockwise from upper right), Nike advancing right, wreath in extended right hand, palm frond in left hand over left shoulder, crescent right; rare; $160.00 (€142.40)


Antoninus Pius, August 138 - 7 March 161 A.D.

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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.
RB84964. Orichalcum sestertius, RIC III 780, BMCRE IV 1710, Cohen II 753, SRCV II 4221, Hunter II -, aVF, nice green patina, small edge crack, weight 23.734 g, maximum diameter 30.7 mm, die axis 0o, Rome mint, 145 - 161 A.D.; obverse ANTONINVS AVG PIVS P P TR P COS IIII, laureate head right; reverse Roma seated left, Victory holding wreath and palm in extended right hand, long scepter resting against the crook of her left arm, her left forearm resting on shield set on a prow behind, S - C (senatus consulto) flanking across field; $160.00 (€142.40)


Antoninus Pius, August 138 - 7 March 161 A.D.

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Indulgentia personifies clemency, lenity, grace, or favor. Indulgentia on Roman coins advertises either some permission given, some privilege bestowed, or some tribute remitted.
RB84936. Orichalcum sestertius, RIC III 914, Cohen II 454, Strack III 1091, BMCRE IV 1939, SRCV II 4183 var. (date), Nice VF, attractive coin, some tiny pitting, weight 23.315 g, maximum diameter 32.3 mm, die axis 0o, Rome mint, 153 - 154 A.D.; obverse ANTONINVS AVG PIVS P P TR P XVII (Antoninus Pius, emperor, father of the country, tribune of the people 17 years), laureate head right; reverse INDVLGENTIA AVG COS IIII (clemency of the emperor, consul 4 times), Indulgentia seated left, extending right hand, scepter in left, S C (senatus consulto) in exergue; $400.00 (€356.00)


Commodus, March or April 177 - 31 December 192 A.D., Parium, Mysia

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Founded in 709 B.C., the ancient city of Parion was a major coastal city, near Lampsacus, with two harbors used to connect Thrace with Anatolia. Parium belonged to the Delian League. In the Hellenistic period, it came under the domain of Lysimachus, and subsequently the Attalid dynasty. Julius Caesar refounded it as a colonia in the province of Asia. It was the main customs station through which all goods bound for Byzantium from Greece and the Aegean had to pass. When this coin was minted, Parium was within the Conventus of Adramyteum. After Asia was divided in the 4th century, Parium was in the province of Hellespontus. Today it is the village of Kemer in the township of Biga, Canakkale province, Turkey.
RP84683. Bronze AE 24, RPC IV online 3152 (4 spec.); ANS Collection 1944.100.43132; BMC Mysia p. 105, 103 var. (no globe); SNG BnF -; SNG Cop -; SNGvA -; SNG Tub -, Choice F, well centered, attractive toned brassy surfaces, marks, small edge crack, centration dimples, weight 9.952 g, maximum diameter 23.6 mm, die axis 180o, Parium (Kemer, Canakkale, Turkey) mint, c. 178 - 180, probably 180; obverse IMP CAI Λ AV - COMODVS, laureate, draped and cuirassed bust right, with a short beard, from behind; reverse Capricorn swimming right, holding celestial globe between hooves, cornucopia on back, C G I H PAR (Colonia Gemella Iulia Hadriana Pariana) below; very rare; $170.00 (€151.30)


Marcus Aurelius, 7 March 161 - 17 March 180 A.D.

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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.
SL84528. Orichalcum sestertius, RIC III 1037, BMCRE IV 1420, Hunter II 169, Cohen III 284, MIR 18 233, SRCV II 4977, ANACS VF30 (4625585), Rome mint, Dec 171 - Dec 172 A.D.; obverse M ANTONINVS - AVG TR P XXVI, laureate head right; reverse IMP VI COS III (imperator 6 times, consul 3 times), Roma seated left on cuirass, helmeted and draped, transverse spear on far side in right hand, resting her left forearm on round shield stacked upon an oval shield and a hexagonal shield, S C (senatus consulto) flanking across fields; from the Dr. Sam Mansourati Collection, certified (slabbed) by ANACS; $195.00 (€173.55)


Antoninus Pius, August 138 - 7 March 161 A.D.

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This coin is in an unusual slab with a clear plastic dome over the reverse. The dome looks attractive but the coin is impossible to photograph. The coin is normally and evenly dark, much nicer than the photo with its strange banded light and dark reflections off the dome.

This type commemorates Antoninus Pius acclamation as imperator for the second time, recognizing the victory of Q. Lollius Urbicus over the Brigantes in Britain, and the construction of the Antonine Wall.
SL84529. Orichalcum sestertius, RIC III 717b, Banti 179, Hunter II 252, Cohen II 434, SRCV II 4182, BMCRE IV 1612 var. (No TR P), ANACS VF30 (4625583), Rome mint, 143 A.D.; obverse ANTONINVS AVG PIVS P P TR P COS III, laureate and draped bust right, from behind; reverse IMPERATOR II, Victory alighting right, wings spread, holding transverse trophy with both hands, S - C (senatus consulto) flanking at thighs; certified (slabbed) by ANACS, from the Dr. Sam Mansourati Collection; $300.00 (€267.00)


Faustina Sr., Augusta 25 February 138 - Early 141, Wife of Antoninus Pius

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Faustina I was the wife of Antoninus Pius. Little is known of her, except that she was regarded as vain and frivolous, though this may have just been malicious gossip. Antoninus Pius loved her greatly, and upon her death in 141 A.D., she was deified and a temple was built in her honor.
RB84504. Orichalcum sestertius, RIC III AP1133(a) (R), BMCRE IV AP1424, Strack III 1237, Cohen II 183, Hunter II 59 var. (veiled), SRCV II 4624 var. (same), aF, porous, corrosion, weight 24.168 g, maximum diameter 30.4 mm, die axis 0o, Rome mint, posthumous, 141 - 147 A.D.; obverse DIVA AVGVSTA - FAVSTINA, draped bust right, pearls in hair and hair in elaborate bun on top; reverse CONSE-CRATI-O, Faustina seated facing on an eagle flying upward right, her head right, scepter in her left hand, her mantle in her right hand, fluttering behind her and decorated with five stars, S C (Senatus consulto) below; from the Dr. Sam Mansourati Collection; rare; $90.00 (€80.10)


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

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The mint location for the Koinon of Bithynia is uncertain but it was probably Nicomedia. Nicomedia was the Roman metropolis of Bithynia. Diocletian made it the capital of the Eastern Roman Empire in 286 when he introduced the Tetrarchy system. Nicomedia remained as the eastern (and most senior) capital of the Roman Empire until co-emperor Licinius was defeated by Constantine the Great at the Battle of Chrysopolis in 324. Constantine resided mainly in Nicomedia as his interim capital for the next six years, until in 330 when he declared the nearby Byzantium (renamed Constantinople) the new capital. Constantine died in his royal villa in the vicinity of Nicomedia in 337. Due to its position at the convergence of the Asiatic roads leading to the new capital, Nicomedia retained its importance even after the foundation of Constantinople.
RP84486. Bronze AE 21, RPC Online III 1017 (3 spec.); Rec Gen I.2 p. 241, 38; SNG Cop -; SNGvA -; 38; BMC Pontus -, gF, brown patina, some roughness, smoothing on reverse, reverse die breaks, cracks, weight 25.115 g, maximum diameter 33.2 mm, die axis 180o, uncertain (Nicomedia?) mint, 2nd issue; obverse AYT KAIC TPAI A∆PIANOC CEB, laureate head right; reverse octastyle temple (Temple of Rome and Augustus at Nicomedia?), Corinthian columns, on podium of two steps, pellet between middle columns, pediment ornamented with a small figure holding a scepter and sacrificing on an altar, KOI-NON in divided line flanking across center, BEIOYNIANC over prow right in exergue; from the Dr. Sam Mansourati Collection, ex Classical Numismatic Group e-auction 349 (22 Apr 2015), lot 263; better than the RPC plate coin; very rare; $240.00 (€213.60)


Commodus, March or April 177 - 31 December 192 A.D., Kanatha, Decapolis, Provincia Arabia

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Kanatha (or Canatha), 16 miles North of Bostra, is today Qanawat, Syria. It was the Biblical Kenath, which was captured by Nobah from the Amorites (Numbers 32:42 and Judges 8:11) and taken back by Geshur and Aram. The epithet Gabinia (ΓABI in the reverse legend) was probably derived from Gabinius the Proconsul of Syria.
RP83599. Bronze AE 17, SNG ANS 1268 (same dies); Sofaer p. 154 & pl. 132, 6 ff.; Spijkerman p. 92, 8; Rosenberger IV p. 18, 8, F, well centered on a tight flan, toned bronze surfaces, weight 2.54 g, maximum diameter 17.1 mm, die axis 0o, Kanatha (Qanawat, Syria) mint, obverse KOMO ANTONOC (A unbarred), laureate, draped, and cuirassed right, from behind; reverse ΓABI KANAΘ (A's unbarred, Θ appearing as O), bust of Athena right, draped, wearing crested Corinthian helmet; ex Alex G. Malloy; rare coin and city; $90.00 (€80.10)











Catalog current as of Thursday, May 25, 2017.
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Adoptive Emperors