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

Roman Coins of the Adoptive Emperors

Trajan, 25 January 98 - 8 or 9 August 117 A.D., Roman Provincial Egypt

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In 116, Trajan completed his invasion of Parthia by capturing the cities of Seleucia, Babylon, Ctesiphon and Susa. This was the high-water mark of the Roman Empire's eastern expansion.
RX87338. Bronze drachm, BMC Alexandria p. 48, 402; Geissen 702; Emmett 611.19; Dattari 1072; Kampmann-Ganschow 27.662; SNG Milan -, VF, well centered, attractive brown patina, a little flatly struck on highest points, weight 18.113 g, maximum diameter 33.8 mm, die axis 0o, Alexandria mint, 29 Aug 115 - 28 Aug 116 A.D.; obverse AVT TPAI-AN API CEB Γ-EPM ∆AKIK ΠAP, laureate bust right, aegis on far shoulder; reverse Zeus enthroned left, long scepter vertical in right hand, thunderbolt at side in left hand, eagle at feet standing left looking back, L I-Θ (year 19) across field; ex CNG, auction 78 (14 May 2008), lot 1508 ($650 plus fees); ex Empire Coins, auction 8 (7 Dec 1987), lot 429; $520.00 (442.00)


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

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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; $500.00 SALE PRICE $450.00


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

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In 146, Marcus Aurelius received the imperium proconsular and Faustina the Younger was given the title Augusta.
SH73156. Orichalcum sestertius, BMCRE IV 1669, RIC III 767a, Strack III 974, Cohen II 320, Hill UCR 709, SRCV II 4168, VF, nice green patina, nice portrait, light scratches, tight flan, weight 22.051 g, maximum diameter 31.5 mm, die axis 0o, Rome mint, c. 146 A.D.; obverse ANTONINVS AVG - PIVS P P TR P, laureate head right; reverse Antoninus in slow quadriga left, eagle-tipped scepter in left, reins in right, COS IIII / S C in two lines in exergue; $430.00 (365.50)


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

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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.
RB82751. Orichalcum sestertius, RIC II 771(f), BMCRE III 1534, Cohen II 1035, SRCV II 3616 var. (laureate head), Hunter II 547 (draped, head bare), VF, well centered on a tight flan, dark green patina, some light corrosion, weight 25.535 g, maximum diameter 31.0 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 134 - 138 A.D.; obverse HADRIANVS AVG COS III P P, laureate and draped bust right, from behind; reverse PIETAS AVG (piety of the Emperor), Pietas standing slightly left, head left, praying with hands upraised, altar to left; stork to right, S - C (senatus consulto) across fields; $420.00 (357.00)


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

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Hadrian was born in Hispania. The origin of the name Hispania is much disputed and the evidence for the various speculations is very weak. Two theories hold it to be of Punic derivation, from the Phoenician language of colonizing Carthage. In Hebrew, "i-shfania" means "island of the rabbit." Punic-Phoenician and Hebrew are both Canaanite languages and therefore closely related to each other. The name Hispania may be derived from an ancient Punic name identifying the place as a land of rabbits. Another theory holds the name is derived the word from the Phoenician word "span," meaning hidden, indicating a hidden, that is, a remote, or far-distant land. The rabbit on this coin type has been used as evidence to support the first theory.
RS87611. Silver denarius, RSC II 834, RIC II 306, Strack II 304, BMCRE III 849 note, Hunter II 287 var. (head left), SRCV II -, Choice VF, centered, uneven toning, light marks, tiny edge cracks, weight 2.824 g, maximum diameter 19.1 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 134 - 138 A.D.; obverse HADRIANVS AVG COS III P P, bare head right; reverse HISPANIA, Hispania reclining left on rock, olive branch in right hand, rabbit behind below left arm; $380.00 (323.00)


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

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NEP RED on the reverse abbreviates Neptuno Redux, Neptune who brings back the Emperor in safety by sea. Hadrian toured Greece, 124 - 125, made a detour to Sicily, and returned to Italy in 126. This type honors Neptune for ensuring Hadrian's safety during his sea voyages.
RB88005. Orichalcum sestertius, RIC II 651, BMCRE III 1318, Cohen II 980, SRCV II 3612, Hunter II 438 var. (dolphin vice acrostolium), VF, well centered, nice style, Tiber patina, edge cracks, weight 22.893 g, maximum diameter 33.4 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, c. 126 A.D.; obverse HADRIANVS AVGVSTVS, laureate head right, drapery on left shoulder; reverse COS III, Neptune standing right, left knee bend and left foot on prow, nude but for cloak over left thigh, trident vertical with head down behind in right hand, acrostolium in left hand, NEP - RED / S - C in two divided lines across field; ex William Rosenblum, mailbid sale 38C (5 Jun 2008), lot 120; $280.00 (238.00)


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

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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. Her father Asclepius learned the secrets of keeping death at bay after observing one snake bringing another snake healing herbs. Woman seeking fertility, the sick, and the injured slept in his temples in chambers where non-poisonous snakes were left to crawl on the floor and provide healing.
RS87614. Silver denarius, RSC II 1327a, BMCRE III 316, Hunter II 116, Strack II 80, SRCV II 3539, RIC II 137c var. (draped and cuirassed), Choice aEF, well centered and struck, attractive style, toned, edge cracks, weight 3.153 g, maximum diameter 19.3 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 123 A.D.; obverse IMP CAESAR TRAIAN HADRIANVS AVG, laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right; reverse P M TR P COS III, Salus seated left, with patera in right feeding snake rising from altar, resting left elbow on chair, SALVS AVG (to the health of the Emperor) in exergue; $260.00 (221.00)


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

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RS85051. Silver denarius, RSC II 472, RIC III 101 var. (thunderbolt vice Victory), BMCRE IV 151 var. (same), SRCV II 5676 var. (same), Hunter II -, aVF, attractive toning, bumps and marks, tight flan, edge cracks, weight 2.603 g, maximum diameter 17.8 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, Dec 184 - Dec 185 A.D.; obverse COMM ANT AVG P BRIT, laureate head right; reverse P M TR P X IMP VII COS IIII P P, Jupiter seated left on throne with low back, nude to the waist, himation around hips and legs, right leg drawn back, Victory on globe in extended right hand (dividing legend), inverted spear behind in left hand; extremely rare variant with Jupiter holding Victory and a spear instead of the normal thunderbolt and a long scepter, missing from most references and collections, only one sale in the last two decades on Coin Archives, and only three specimens in Reka Devnia hoard; $200.00 (170.00)


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

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This is an extremely rare coin, missing from most references and collections. RSC II and BMCRE IV both reference only the one single specimen in the Reka-Devnia Hoard. There are no sales of the type in the last two decades recorded on Coin Archives, but we do know of several additional examples.
RS85053. Silver denarius, Reka-Devnia p. 91, pl. III, 40 (1 spec.!); RSC II 854b; Szaivert MIR 559-4/30; BMCRE IV p. 705, †; RIC III -; Cohen III -; Hunter -; SRCV II -, F, nice portrait, well centered obverse, reverse a little off center, light bumps and marks, edge cracks, weight 2.525 g, maximum diameter 17.8 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, early 183 A.D.; obverse M COMMODVS ANTONINVS AVG, laureate head right; reverse TR P VIII IMP V COS IIII P P, Roma seated left, helmeted and draped, Victory in right hand, spear vertical behind in left hand, shield on near side of seat; extremely rare; $200.00 (170.00)


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

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On June 11, 173, during the Marcomannic Wars (166180), the Roman army in Moravia was outnumbered and surrounded by the Quadi, suffering from the extreme heat, out of water, and on the verge of defeat. Dio writes, "many clouds gathered and a mighty rain, not without divine interposition, burst upon them...when the rain poured down, at first all turned their faces upwards and received the water in their mouths; then some held out their shields and some their helmets to catch it, and they not only took deep draughts themselves but also gave their horses to drink...while those on the one side were being drenched and drinking, the others [Quadi] were being consumed by fire [lightning] and dying." The Romans were soon victorious. Marcus was saluted imperator for the seventh time and the "miracle of the rain" was memorialized on Marcus Aurelius' column. In 174, Marcus Aurelius officially conferred the title Fulminata (Thundering) to the Legio XII Fulminata.Miracle_in_the_Rain
RS87651. Silver denarius, RIC III 273, RSC II 261, BMCRE IV 571, SRCV II 4906, Hunter II -, EF, nice portrait, bold strike, sharp detail, flow lines, coppery spots, edge cracks, weight 2.925 g, maximum diameter 18.9 mm, die axis 0o, Rome mint, Dec 172 - Dec 173 A.D.; obverse M ANTONINVS AVG TR P XXVII, laureate head right; reverse IMP VI COS III, Victory walking right, raising wreath in extended right hand, palm frond in left hand over left shoulder; $200.00 (170.00)




  







Catalog current as of Monday, January 21, 2019.
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Adoptive Emperors