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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ Roman Coins ▸ The Adoptive Emperors ▸ HadrianView Options:  |  |  |   

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

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.Roman Empire 125 AD


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

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This small, rare silver denomination was worth half of a denarius, or two sestertii.
RS85765. Silver quinarius, BMCRE III 223, RSC II 1127, RIC II 103, SRCV II 3555, Hunter II 84 var. (bust),, VF, heroic bust, toned, struck with worn dies, bumps, scratches, edge flaws, weight 1.669 g, maximum diameter 14.8 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 119 - 121 A.D.; obverse IMP CAESAR TRAIAN HADRIANVS AVG, laureate bust right, bare chest, slight drapery on left shoulder; reverse P M TR P COS III, Victory advancing right, wreath in right hand, palm frond in left across shoulder; scarce; $300.00 SALE PRICE $270.00 ON RESERVE


Ainos, Thrace, c. 117 - 138 A.D.

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This extremely rare type is unpublished in references and missing from major collections. The only other example we know is the referenced example sold in Nomos obolos 7. Nomos dated the type c. 280 - 200 B.C. AMNG and RPC Online IV list a similar type with both Hermes and the goat right. RPC dates that type to the 2nd Century A.D. We believe the Hermes portrait is Augusticized and has some resemblance to Hadrian. We tentatively date the type to Hadrian's reign, c. 117 - 138 A.D.
GB86124. Bronze AE 18, Nomos obolos 7 (9 Jul 2017), lot 28 (same dies); cf. AMNG 403, pl. V.26 (rev.) (Hermes and goat right, etc.); RPC Online IV temp. 4495 (=AMNG 403), F/aF, well centered, bumps and marks, corrosion, porosity, centration dimple on reverse, weight 4.132 g, maximum diameter 17.8 mm, die axis 180o, Ainos (Enez, Turkey) mint, c. 117 - 138 A.D.; obverse head of Hermes left, caduceus before, no centration dimple; reverse AI-NIΩN, goat standing left, centration dimple; unpublished in references, missing from major collections, extremely rare - 2nd known specimen; $200.00 SALE PRICE $180.00
 


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

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During Hadrian's reign agriculture in Italy declined. Imports from Egypt and North Africa depressed wheat prices, making farming unprofitable and forcing many farmers off the land. In Rome, bakeries produced dozens of bread varieties, and free bread was distributed to the poor.
RS86481. Silver denarius, RIC II 171, RSC II 379a, BMCRE III 387, Strack II 166, Hunter II -, SRCV -, Choice EF, well centered and struck, a few bumps, slight porosity, edge cracks and ragged in part, weight 3.098 g, maximum diameter 19.3 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 128 A.D.; obverse HADRIANVS AVGVSTVS, laureate head right; reverse COS III, Annona seated left, hook in right hand, scepter in left hand, modius at feet, globe in exergue; $180.00 SALE PRICE $162.00 ON RESERVE


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

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Abundantia, her Greek name is Euthenia, stands for abundance or plenty. Abundantia resembles Annona, but Annona was limited to the grain supply for the current year, whereas Abundantia was a prodigal distributor of all kinds of things. Her attributes are stalks of grain and the cornucopia. Clothed in a long robe, and wearing a veil, she can be seated or standing and is sometimes shown emptying a cornucopia.
RS85759. Silver denarius, RSC II 380a, Hunter II 167, RIC II 388 var. (no drapery), Strack 205 var. (same), BMC III 488 var. (same, var. noted), SRCV II 3474 var. (obv. leg.), gVF, nice style, light toning, some luster, bumps and scratches, small edge cracks, weight 3.188 g, maximum diameter 18.0 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 126 A.D.; obverse HADRIANVS AVGVSTVS P P, laureate head right, slight drapery on left shoulder; reverse COS III, Abundantia or Annona seated left on chair without back, raising hook in right hand, cornucopia in left hand, modius at feet overflowing with stalks of grain; scarce variety; $170.00 SALE PRICE $153.00
 


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

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Felicitas was the goddess or personification of happiness, good luck and success. She played an important role in Rome's state religion during the empire and was frequently portrayed on coins. She became a prominent symbol of the wealth and prosperity of the Roman Empire.
RS85760. Silver denarius, RSC II 602, BMCRE III 604, RIC II 233, Strack II 230, SRCV I -, gVF, nice style, corrosion, scrapes, scratches, edge cracks, weight 3.168 g, maximum diameter 18.3 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 134 - 138 A.D.; obverse HADRIANVS AVG COS III P P, laureate head right; reverse FELICITAS AVG (the good fortune of the Emperor), Felicitas (happiness) standing half left, caduceus (symbol of peace) in right hand, cornucopia (symbol of abundance) in left hand; $160.00 SALE PRICE $144.00
 


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

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Most references list this type as a quadrans but examples without a thick patina, including this coin, appear to be orichalcum (brass) vice copper. Yellow brass indicates the type is a semis.
RB85750. Orichalcum semis, RIC II 625 (S), BMCRE III 1279, Cohen II 1167 (5 fr.), SRCV II 3704, Strack II 579, Hunter II 380 var. (standing left, head right), VF, Tiber patina, tight flan, corrosion, weight 2.104 g, maximum diameter 17.0 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 120 - 123 A.D.; obverse IMP CAESAR TRAIAN HADRIANVS AVG, eagle standing half right, head turned left, wings open but not spread; reverse P M TR P COS III, horizontal winged thunderbolt, S C below; scarce; $150.00 SALE PRICE $135.00
 


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

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Neptune was the god of freshwater and the sea in Roman religion. He is the counterpart of the Greek god Poseidon. In the Greek-influenced tradition, Neptune was the brother of Jupiter and Pluto; the brothers presided over the realms of Heaven, the earthly world, and the Underworld. Salacia was his consort. Neptune was likely associated with fresh water springs before the sea. Like Poseidon, Neptune was worshiped by the Romans also as a god of horses, under the name Neptunus Equester, a patron of horse-racing.
RS85764. Silver denarius, RSC II 313, RIC II 159, Stack 162, BMCRE III 354 var. (note), Hunter II 135 var. (foot on prow), SRCV II 3470 var. (same, dolphin in right), aVF/F, nice portrait, well centered, toned, light marks, edge cracks, weight 3.102 g, maximum diameter 19.0 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 126 A.D.; obverse HADRIANVS AVGVSTVS, laureate bust right, slight drapery on left shoulder; reverse COS III, Neptune standing left, right foot on globe, nude but for cloak over thigh, grounded scepter or trident vertical in left hand, apluster in right hand, right elbow resting on thigh; $140.00 SALE PRICE $126.00
 


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

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Neptune was the god of freshwater and the sea in Roman religion. He is the counterpart of the Greek god Poseidon. In the Greek-influenced tradition, Neptune was the brother of Jupiter and Pluto; the brothers presided over the realms of Heaven, the earthly world, and the Underworld. Salacia was his consort. Neptune was likely associated with fresh water springs before the sea. Like Poseidon, Neptune was worshiped by the Romans also as a god of horses, under the name Neptunus Equester, a patron of horse-racing.
RS85763. Silver denarius, RSC II 307, RIC II 155, Strack II 160, BMCRE III 348, Hunter II 134, SRCV II 3470 var. (Neptune left), VF, toned, tight flan, tiny edge cracks, weight 3.207 g, maximum diameter 18.6 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 126 A.D.; obverse HADRIANVS AVGVSTVS, laureate bust right, slight drapery on left shoulder; reverse COS III, Neptune standing right, left foot on prow, nude but for cloak over thigh, grounded trident vertical in right hand, dolphin in left hand; $135.00 SALE PRICE $122.00
 


Roman Egypt, Nov 130 - c. 138 A.D.

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Both the obverse and reverse types on this tessera are published but the combination does not appear to be published. Nor did we find another example online. According to Milne, lead tesserae served as local small change in Egypt during the first to the third century A.D.
RX74430. Lead tessera, Unpublished; cf. Dattari 6444 and Geissen 3584 (for obverse type), F, weight 3.300 g, maximum diameter 21.7 mm, die axis 180o, Alexandria(?) mint, Nov 130 - c. 138 A.D. (possibly later); obverse Antinous on horseback right, wearing hem hem crown, caduceus in right hand; reverse bust of Serapis(?) right, kalathos (?, on head), cornucopia on shoulder behind, snake entwined staff before; extremely rare; $125.00 SALE PRICE $113.00
 


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

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The Romans used poppy for cooking and medicinal purposes. For cooking, it was used mainly as a garnish or sprinkled on bread, perhaps also in desserts. Pliny sites the medicinal purpose: "...allow the poppy sap to thicken, roll it into pastilles and allow these to dry in the shade. It is a tranquilizer, but if you take too much, you will die in your sleep." (N.H. XX-lxxvi)
RS85761. Silver denarius, RSC II 172, RIC II 230a, BMCRE III 595, Hunter II 201, Strack II 227, SRCV II 3461 var. (laureate), VF, well centered, uneven toning, light corrosion, edge cracks, weight 2.514 g, maximum diameter 17.8 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 134 - 138 A.D.; obverse HADRIANVS AVG COS III P P, bare head right; reverse ANNONA AVG, modius with four stalks of grain and one poppy in center; $120.00 SALE PRICE $108.00
 




  



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OBVERSE LEGENDS

AVGVSTVSHADRIANVS
AVGVSTVSHADRIANVSPP
DIVVSHADRIANVSAVG
HADRIANVSAVGCOSIIIPP
HADRIANVSAVGVST
HADRIANVSAVGVSTVS
HADRIANVSAVGVSTVSPP
IMPCAEDITRAIANFDIVNERNEPTRAHADRIANOAVG
IMPCAEDIRAPARFDIVINERNEPTRAHADRIANOAVG
IMPCAESARTRAIAHADRIANVSAVG
IMPCAESARTRAIANHADRIANVSAVG
IMPCAESARTRAIANVSHADRIANVSAVG
IMPCAESARTRAIANVSHADRIANVSAVGPMTRPCOSIII
IMPCAESHADRIANDIVINERTRAIANOPTFIL
IMPCAESTRAHADRIANOAVGPP
IMPCAESTRAIANHADRIANOAVGDIVITRA
IMPCAESTRAIANHADRIANOAVGDIVITRAPARTHF
IMPCAESTRAIANHADRIANOPTAVGGERDAC
IMPCAESTRAIANHADRIANOOPTAVGGERDAC


REFERENCES

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).

Catalog current as of Tuesday, February 20, 2018.
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Roman Coins of Hadrian