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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.
Providentia is the personification of the ability to foresee and to make provision for the future. This ability was considered essential for the emperor and providentia was among the embodiments of virtues that were part of the imperial cult. Cicero said that providentia, memoria (memory) and intellegentia (understanding) are the three main components of prudentia, the knowledge what is good or bad or neither.RB95780. Orichalcum sestertius, RIC II-3 260 (S), BMCRE III 1203, Hunter II 358, SRCV II 3625, Cohen II 1207 var. (no drapery), Choice aEF, dark patina, light deposits, spots of corrosion, weight 27.215 g, maximum diameter 35.2 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, c. 119 A.D.; obverse IMP CAESAR TRAIANVS HADRIANVS AVG P M TR P COS III, laureate bust right, bare chest, slight drapery on left shoulder; reverse PROVIDENTIA DEORVM (to the foresight of the gods), Hadrian standing facing, togate, lituus (or scroll?) in left hand, head left looking at eagle flying right with scepter held in talons, extending right hand to receive scepter from eagle, S - C (senatus consulto) flanking across field; scarce; $990.00 (€910.80)
Pergamon, Mysia, c. 134 A.D.
Eurypylos was a Mysian hero of the Trojan War. His image is otherwise unknown on coinage. Like Bellerophon at Corinth and Dionysos at Tium, this image of a local hero appears modeled on Antinous. Homer (Odyssey 11.522) has Odysseus say that Eurypylus was, next to Memnon, the most beautiful man he had ever seen.
The strategos I. Pollion is named on several coin types of Pergamon during the reign of Hadrian, including one for Sabina (RPC III 1737) and another for Antinous (RPC III, 1738).
The link between Pergamon and Paphos, evidenced by this coin, is not well understood. However, the same reverse was used, from Hadrian to Philip I, on coins struck to honor an alliance between Sardes and Paphos.RP96071. Orichalcum dupondius, RPC Online III 1740 (4 spec.), SNG BnF 1897, Weber 5206, SNG Cop -, BMC Mysia -, F, porous, reverse off center, countermark obscure, weight 11.652 g, maximum diameter 26.5 mm, die axis 0o, Pergamon (Bergama, Turkey) mint, time of Hadrian, c. 134 A.D.; obverse HPΩC EYPYΠYΛOC (Hero Eurypylos), head of hero Eurypylos (with the features of Antinous) right, flowing hair, uncertain oval countermark; reverse ΠEPΓAMHNΩN EΠI CTP ΠΩΛΛIΩNOC (Pergamon, struck under strategos Pollion), temple of Aphrodite at Paphos, in which conical xoanon, semicircular walled courtyard, ΠAΦIA (of Paphos) across the courtyard; extremely rare, the 5th known; $970.00 (€892.40)
Most references list this type as a quadrans but examples without patina appear to be orichalcum (brass) vice copper. Yellow brass indicates the type is a semis. This coin has a near black patina, which is more common on brass than on bronze or copper, and the few spots of bare metal do look to be brass.RB97458. Orichalcum semis, RIC II 625 (S), BMCRE III 1279, Cohen II 1167 (5 fr.), SRCV II 3704, Strack II 579, Hunter II 380 var. (eagle left, head right), gVF, very attractive eagle, slightly rough, weight 3.352 g, maximum diameter 17.9 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 (senatus consulto) below; ex Savoca Coins auction blue 89 (8 Nov 2020), lot 1243; scarce; $150.00 (€138.00)
In Roman religion, every man has a genius, a presiding spirit. In De Die Natali, Censorinus says, from the moment we are born, we live under the guard and tutelage of Genius. Cities, organizations, and peoples also had a genius. On coins, we find inscriptions to the Genius of the Army, of the Senate, of the Roman People, etc. The figure depicted is the statue of the Spirit of the Roman People which was then in the Roman Forum (it is now lost). The act of pouring the libation to the emperor illustrates what the Christians were required to do in order not to be persecuted.RS94593. Silver denarius, RIC II-3 724, RIC II 173(c), RSC II 335b, BMCRE III 400, Hunter II 128, Strack II 168, SRCV II 3476 var. (slight drapery), Choice F, toning, centered on a wide flan, flow lines, porosity, edge ragged with small splits, weight 2.712 g, maximum diameter 20.7 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, c. 124 - 125 A.D.; obverse HADRIANVS AVGVSTVS, laureate head right; reverse COS III, Genius standing left, nude to waist, himation around hips and legs and draped over left arm, sacrificing from patera in right over flaming garlanded altar, cornucopia in left hand; from the Ray Nouri Collection; $120.00 (€110.40)
Hadrian, 11 August 117 - 10 July 138 A.D.
In 132, a messianic, charismatic Jewish leader Simon bar Kokhba started the Bar Kokhba revolt, a war of liberation for Judea against Rome. At first the rebellion was a success. The legion X Fretensis was forced to retreat from Jerusalem to Caesarea. The legion XXII Deiotariana, which advanced from Egypt, was destroyed. The Jews re-established their sacrifices and struck coins to celebrate their independence. The rebellion would last for only 30 months. By 135, the Romans had recaptured Jerusalem, Simon bar Kokhba was dead, and the majority of the Jewish population of Judea was either killed, exiled, or sold into slavery. Jerusalem was renamed Colonia Aelia Capitolina and an altar to Jupiter was erected on the site of the Temple. The Jews remained scattered without a homeland for close to two millennia.
RB95834. Orichalcum sestertius, RIC II-3 1291, BMCRE III 1400, Strack II 837, Hunter II 473, SRCV II 3596, Fair, pitting, weight 22.403 g, maximum diameter 33.5 mm, die axis 0o, Rome mint, 129 - 130 A.D.; obverse HADRIANVS AVGVSTVS, laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right; reverse FELICITATI AVG (above around edge), galley rowed left over waves, six oarsmen, steersman under an arched shelter at the stern, vexillum on prow, S - C (senatus consulto) flanking ship, COS III P P in exergue; ex Dan Clark (c. 1990); $80.00 (€73.60)
Annona was worshiped in Rome as the goddess who prospered the year's supply of grain. She was represented on an altar in the capital. The three principal granaries of Rome were Sicily, Egypt, and the African provinces. Annona civilis was the grain which purchased each year by the Roman state, then imported and put into storage, reserved and distributed for the subsistence of the people. Annona militaris was grain appropriated to the use of an army during a campaign.RB95900. Orichalcum dupondius, RIC II-3 742; BMCRE III 1334A; Strack II 588; cf. SRCV II 3675 (similar but Annona right); Cohen II 176 (perhaps this coin); Hunter II -, aVF, well centered, rough corrosion, weight 10.531 g, maximum diameter 26.7 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 124 - 127 A.D.; obverse HADRIANVS AVGVSTVS, radiate bust right, chest bare, slight drapery on left shoulder; reverse COS III, Annona seated left, attendant stands before her helping to draw out a a cloth full of bread loaves(?), stern of ship in the background on right, S - C (Senatus Consulto) across field, ANNONA AVG in exergue; $80.00 (€73.60)
Hadrian, 11 August 117 - 10 July 138 A.D., Roman Provincial Egypt
In 127 A.D., Hadrian, acting on the advice of his proconsul of Asia, Gaius Minicius Fundanus, determined that Christians shall not be put to death without a trial.RX92542. Bronze obol, RPC Online III 5681; Geissen 961; Dattari 1915; Milne 1236; BMC Alexandria p. 104, 894; SNG Cop 337; Kampmann 32.436; Emmett 1149/11 (R1), aVF, partial green patina, obverse edge beveled, porous, many tiny edge splits, weight 5.184 g, maximum diameter 20.5 mm, die axis 0o, Alexandria mint, 29 Aug 126 - 28 Aug 127 A.D.; obverse AYT KAI TPAI A∆PIA CEB, laureate bust right, slight drapery on left shoulder; reverse two cornucopias, upright tops curving outward, overflowing with fruits, LIA (year 11) between; from the Errett Bishop Collection; $70.00 (€64.40)
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