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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., Saite Nome, Roman Egypt

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Sais was the provincial capital of the Saite Nome. Herodotus wrote Sais is where the grave of Osiris was located. Plutarch said the shrine of Athena (Isis) in Sais carried the inscription "I am all that hath been, and is, and shall be; and my veil no mortal has hitherto raised." The Temple of Sais had a medical school (as did many Egyptian temples), which had many female students and apparently women faculty as well, mainly in gynecology and obstetrics. An inscription from the period survives at Sais, and reads, "I have come from the school of medicine at Heliopolis, and have studied at the woman's school at Sais, where the divine mothers have taught me how to cure diseases." Hector Berlioz' L'Enfance du Christ, has Sais as the setting for the youth of Jesus Christ until age 10, after his parents escape Herod the Great's massacre of male children.
RX85923. Bronze obol, Dattari 6370, Geissen 3427, Kampmann N45.13, SNG Cop 1145, BMC Alexandria 54, Emmett 1219/11, F, well centered, rough, corrosion, small edge splits, closed crack, weight 4.380 g, maximum diameter 19.5 mm, die axis 0o, Alexandria mint, 29 Aug 126 - 28 Aug 127 A.D.; obverse AVT KAI TPAI ADPIA CEB, laureate head right; reverse Athena standing slightly left, head left, wearing crested helmet, owl in right hand, spear in left hand, CAI-T (Saite nome) upward on left, L IA (year 11) downward on right; ex Tom Cederlind, with his $550 ticket; very rare; $400.00 (€340.00)
 


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 (€170.00)
 


Hadrian, 117 - 138 A.D., Perga, Pamphylia

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Artemis is depicted here in the same pose as The Diana of Versailles, a slightly over life-size Roman marble statue from the 1st or 2nd century A.D., copying a lost Greek bronze original attributed to Leochares, c. 325 B.C. The sculpture also has a stag at her side. The sculpture may have come from a sanctuary at Nemi or possibly from Hadrian's Villa in Tivoli. In 1556, it was given by Pope Paul IV to Henry II of France, a subtle allusion to the king's mistress, Diane de Poitiers. It is now in the Musée du Louvre, Paris.
RP86567. Bronze AE 21, SNG BnF 400, Waddington 3345, SNG Cop -, SNGvA -, SNG Righetti -, gVF/aVF, nice green patina, attractive portrait, porous, areas of reverse slightly rough, weight 5.484 g, maximum diameter 21.1 mm, die axis 0o, Perga (15 km east of Antalya, Turkey) mint, 117 - 138 A.D.; obverse A∆PIANOC KAICAP, laureate draped cuirassed bust right, from behind; reverse APTEMI∆OC ΠEPΓAIAC, Artemis standing right, bow in left hand, reaching with right hand for arrow in quiver on his shoulder, stag right on far side; from the David Cannon Collection, ex Beast Coins; rare; $155.00 (€131.75)
 


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 (senatus consulto) below; scarce; $150.00 (€127.50)
 


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

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In 132 A.D., merchants in Britain erected structures outside the forts of Hadrian's Wall and offer goods and services (including brothels) to Roman soldiers. The soldiers receive salaries in a region that otherwise has virtually no coinage.
RS86785. Silver denarius, Hunter II 185, RSC II 652, RIC II 209 corr. (this bust not listed), BMCRE III 543 var. (bust noted), SRCV II 3490 var. (bust), Strack II 337, VF, well centered, toned, bumps and scratches, obverse die wear/damage, edge cracks, weight 2.896 g, maximum diameter 18.9 mm, die axis 0o, Rome mint, 132 - 135 A.D.; obverse HADRIANVS AVGVSTVS, laureate and draped bust right, slight drapery on far shoulder; reverse FELICITATI AVG (clockwise above), COS III P P (counterclockwise below), galley left, vexillum(?) on prow, four rowers, pilot and cabin; $150.00 (€127.50)
 


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 (€106.25)
 


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 (€102.00)
 


Hadrian, 11 August 117 - 10 July 138 A.D., Cyrenaica and Crete(?)

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This type was certainly struck in the east. RPC Online III assigns it to the province of Cyrenaica and Crete; Mantis ANS to Caesarea in Cappadocia; Bostra is also a possibility.
RP85807. Bronze semis, RPC Online III 11, Mantis ANS 1944.100.62449, Sydenham Caesarea 288, Asolati 179 (Cyrene), RIC II p. 428 note, BMCRE III p. 440 note, VF, slightly rough, scratches, encrustations, edge cracks, weight 2.813 g, maximum diameter 18.7 mm, die axis 180o, uncertain eastern (Caesarea?) mint, 11 Aug 117 - 10 Jul 138 A.D.; obverse HADRIANVS AVGVSTVS, laureate head right; reverse COS III, bearded and horned head of Zeus Ammon right; scarce; $110.00 (€93.50)
 


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Hadrian's galley reverse types refer to his return to Rome by sea from his travels to the provinces.
RB85872. Copper as, RIC II 673d (S), Hunter II 422, BMCRE III 1342, SRCV II 3682, Cohen II 446 var. (no drapery), VF/F, centered on a tight flan, corrosion, scrapes on reverse, weight 8.824 g, maximum diameter 25.4 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, c. 125 - 128 A.D.; obverse HADRIANVS AVGVSTVS, laureate bust right, slight drapery on left shoulder; reverse COS III, galley right with rowers; ram, acrostolium, and vexillum (or furled sail) at prow; rudder and arched cabin at stern; S C (senatus consulto) in exergue; scarce; $70.00 (€59.50)
 


Harmer Rooke Numismatics, The Hoffer-Brandenburg Sale, 12-13 Dec 1986, Featuring Coins of Hadrian

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Harmer Rooke Numismatists auction, featuring the coins of Hadrian and coins of Germany. Also including shooting talers and medals and a special offering of gold jewelry and objets d'art.
BL16901. Harmer Rooke Numismatics, The Hoffer-Brandenburg Sale, 12-13 Dec 1986, featuring coins of Hadrian, booklet style, 155 pages, 2427 lots, cover wear, international shipping at the actual cost of postage; $15.00 (€12.75)
 







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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 Wednesday, May 23, 2018.
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Roman Coins of Hadrian