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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


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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.

SH73703. Copper as, BMCRE III 1459, RIC II 719(d), Cohen II 659, Hunter 478 var. (draped), SRCV II -, Choice gVF, well centered, excellent portrait, green patina, areas of porosity, weight 10.412 g, maximum diameter 25.7 mm, die axis 0o, Rome mint, 132 - 135 A.D.; obverse HADRIANVS AVGVSTVS, laureate head right; reverse FELICITATI AVG, war galley rowed left over waves, mast with furled sail on prow, five oarsmen, steersman under an arched shelter and apluster at stern, S - C flanking ship, COS III P P in exergue; ex Tom Cederlind; $700.00 (616.00)


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In summer 130 A.D., Hadrian traveled from Syria, into Judaea and Palestine, and then on to Egypt. The bar-Kochba revolt in Judaea forced Hadrian to remain in the region until 135. In 136 A.D., Hadrian returned to Rome, ending his long travels.
SH72906. Orichalcum sestertius, RIC II 894 (R); Hendin 1604d, Cohen II 52, SRCV II 3566 var, Fair, weight 24.916 g, maximum diameter 31.5 mm, die axis 225o, Rome mint, c. 136 - 138 A.D.; obverse HADRIANVS AVG COS III P P, laureate and draped bust right; reverse ADVENTVI AVG IVDAEAE, Hadrian on left, standing right, togate, raising right hand, facing Judaea who holds a patera over altar in right and cup in left, two small children each holding a palm frond flank the altar, S C in exergue; rare; $640.00 (563.20)


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.
RX90574. Lead tessera, Unpublished; cf. Dattari 6444 and Geissen 3584 (for obverse type) and Dattari 6493 and 3575 (for reverse type), VF, weight 5.107 g, maximum diameter 22.5 mm, die axis 270o, Alexandria(?) mint, Nov 130 - c. 138 A.D. (possibly later); obverse Antinous on horseback right, wearing hem hem crown, caduceus in right hand; reverse Nilus reclining left on crocodile right below, nude to waist, himation around hips and legs, reeds in his right hand, cornucopia in left; before him at his feet stands Euthenia (prosperity) wearing chiton and peplos, offering wreath held in right hand; extremely rare; $540.00 (475.20)


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

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Byza (or Byze) was located between Hadrianopolis and Byzantion. The first Roman imperial coins struck at Byza, were struck under Hadrain.
RP77130. Bronze AE 31, Jurukova Bizye, pl. 1, 3; 6 (same dies) 1A; Price-Trell p. 247, 83; Varbanov 1421 var., VF, well centered, green patina, weight 18.00 g, maximum diameter 30.6 mm, Bizya (Vize, Turkey) mint, magistrate Maec. Nepos, 117 - 119; obverse AYTO TPAIANOC A∆PIANOC KAICA-P CE / GEP B, laureate, draped and cuirassed bust right, Door with two; reverse EΠI MAI NEΠ ΠPECB KAI ANT, city gate arch, flanked by two columns and two round crenelated towers, quadriga galloping right above, BIZYH/NΩN in two lines in the exergue; ex Numismatik Lanz auction 160 (15 Jun 2010), lot 414; rare; $300.00 (264.00)


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; $200.00 (176.00)


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

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The Lighthouse of Alexandria, also called the Pharos, built by the Ptolemaic Kingdom between 280 and 247 B.C., was one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. Between 393 and 450 feet (120 - 140 m) tall, it was one of the tallest man-made structures on Earth for many centuries. Damaged by three earthquakes between 956 and 1323, it then became an abandoned ruin. It was the third longest surviving ancient wonder (after the Mausoleum at Halicarnassus and the still extant Great Pyramid of Giza), until in 1480 the last of its remnant stones were used to build the Citadel of Qaitbay on the site. In 1994, French archaeologists discovered some remains of the lighthouse on the floor of Alexandria's Eastern Harbor.
RX75135. Bronze drachm, Dattari 1768; Geissen 1121; Milne 1416; Kampmann 32.588; SNG Cop 386; BMC Alexandria p. 89, 757; Emmett 1002, aF, centered, weight 22.074 g, maximum diameter 32.4 mm, die axis 345o, Alexandria mint, 29 Aug 133 - 28 Aug 134 A.D.; obverse AYT KAIC TPAIAN A∆PIANOC CEB, laureate and draped bust right; reverse Isis Pharia right holding a billowing sail with both hands and left foot, sailing toward the Lighthouse of Pharos, which is surmounted by a statue and two Tritons, each blowing a buccinum (sea shell trumpet), L IH (year 18) above center; big 32 mm bronze; $200.00 (176.00)


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

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RX76582. Billon tetradrachm, Geissen 1064; Kampmann-Ganschow 32.534; BMC Alexandria p. 77, 648; SNG Cop 371; Dattari 1436 var. (obv. legend); Milne 1354/1355, aVF/F, high relief portrait, well centered, grainy and porous, contact marks, light scrapes, weight 10.016 g, maximum diameter 24.7 mm, die axis 0o, Alexandria mint, 29 Aug 132 - 28 Aug 133 A.D.; obverse AYT KAIC TPAIAN A∆PIANC CEB, laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right; reverse Nilus reclining left, himation over legs, crowned with lotus, reed in right hand, cornucopia in left hand, crocodile below, LIZ (year 17) upper left; $150.00 (132.00)


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

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The destruction of Jerusalem in the First Jewish War made Caesarea, with a population above 125,000 and the hub of the road network, the economic and political hub of Palaestina. Caesarea was again the marshaling point for the Roman army during the reign of Hadrian for the Bar Kochba War, 132 - 136. Hadrian himself visited the city in 130 and again in 134. Hadrian, like Titus sixty-four years earlier, executed Jewish rebels in the city. By tradition, the condemned including Akiva, a leading Jewish sage and the rabbi who had greeted the rebel leader as the expected Messiah (Yer. Ta'anit, iv. 68d). By Hadrian's time Caesarea's outer harbor had deteriorated badly. The harbor had been wrecked by a tsunami in December 115. Tectonic activity had lowered the ocean floor and sunken parts of the breakwater were causing a hazard to shipping. Another earthquake struck in 132 when urban areas were again severely damaged. Much of the original city, including its celebrated harbor, had to be built anew by Hadrian and his successor Antoninus Pius. At its height the rebuilt city covered an urban area of nearly a thousand acres - almost five-times the size of Jerusalem. -- Kenneth Humphreys
JD77072. Bronze AE 13, Kadman Caesarea 30 (same dies?); Rosenberger 28; Sofaer 33; BMC Palestine p. 21, 76 - 77; SNG ANS 773 - 775; SNG Cop -, VF, well centered on a tight flan, dark near black patina, a little rough, weight 2.137 g, maximum diameter 12.9 mm, die axis 30o, Caesarea Maritima mint, 11 Aug 117 - 10 Jul 138 A.D.; obverse IM TRA HADRIANO CAE, laureate bust right; reverse lion walking right, snake right above, C I F A C (Colonia Prima Flavia Augusta Caesarea) below; from the J. Berlin Caesarea Collection, found in Caesarea Maritima; very rare; $140.00 (123.20)


Roman Empire, Anonymous, Domitian to Antoninus Pius, c. 81 - 161 A.D.

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RIC identifies this type as common but it appears to be rare with the dove facing left.

Quadrantes, like quinarii, were issued only occasionally, perhaps exclusively for imperial distributions. Suetonius reported that, from the roof of the Basilica Julia "Caligula threw coins among the people." Perhaps this small coin was thrown to the crowd by the emperor himself at a similar event.
RB63623. Bronze quadrans, RIC II p. 218, 25, VF, weight 1.847 g, maximum diameter 14.4 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, c. 81 - 161 A.D.; obverse diademed and draped bust of Venus right; reverse dove standing left, S C in exergue; rare; $130.00 (114.40)


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

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In a statue at the Vatican of Nilus and Euthenia (his wife, the spirit of prosperity) the 16 cubits of the ideal Nile flood are represented by 16 children, 15 of whom have emerged from a cornucopia and the last of which is still emerging. On coinage the number is reduced. Here, due to space limitations, we have only two.
RX90590. Lead tessera, Savio pl. 322, 6463 (plate does not match the Dattari description); otherwise apparently unpublished, aF, weight 4.526 g, maximum diameter 21.2 mm, die axis 45o, Alexandria(?) mint, probably Nov 132 - Nov 133 A.D.; obverse Antinous on horseback right, wearing hem hem crown, caduceus in right hand, Nike above flying left and crowning him; horse's right foreleg raised, L in right field above it, Γ below (year 3); reverse Nilus seated right on rocks, nude to the waist, himation around hips and legs, holding a cornucopia in his right hand, crocodile left on rocks below; Euthenia standing left before him, wearing a wreath of grain and uraeus, a chiton and peplos, crowning Nilus with a wreath, a child between them reaches to Nilus, child behind her reaches to Euthenia; extremely rare; $125.00 (110.00)


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

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The ancients did not agree on the attributes of Serapis. A passage in Tacitus affirms that many recognized in this god, Aesculapius, imputing healing to his intervention; some thought him identical with Osiris, the oldest deity of the Egyptians; others regarded him as Jupiter, possessing universal power; but by most he was believed to be the same as Pluto, the "gloomy" Dis Pater of the infernal regions. On this coin, Pluto's influence is evident with the fearsome Kerberos at Serapis' feet.
RX76581. Billon tetradrachm, Kampmann 32.571, Geissen 1094, Dattari 1479, Milne 1399, Emmett 892, BMC Alexandria 623, SRCV II 6739 var (date), aF, well centered, grainy and porous, weight 10.343 g, maximum diameter 13.74 mm, die axis 0o, Alexandria mint, 29 Aug 133 - 28 Aug 134 A.D.; obverse AYT KAIC TPAIAN A∆PIANOC CEB, laureate and draped bust right, from behind; reverse Serapis seated left, reaching with right to Cerberus at feet left, long scepter vertical in right, LI - H (regnal year 18) across fields; $110.00 (96.80)


Hadrian, 11 August 117 - 10 July 138 A.D. Struck at Rome for Use in Syria

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In 125 A.D., the Pantheon was constructed in Rome as it stands today.
RP65923. Orichalcum as, McAlee 551, SRCV II 3695, RIC II 666 corr., VF, cleaning scratches, weight 7.465 g, maximum diameter 23.8 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 125 - 128 A.D.; obverse HADRIANVS AVGVSTVS, laureate and draped bust right, from behind; reverse COS III, Roma seated left on cuirass, right foot drawn back and resting on helmet, Victory in right, long scepter vertical behind in left, round shield behind cuirass, S C in exergue; rare; $105.00 (92.40)


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

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Athena was the Greek goddess of wisdom, war, the arts, industry, justice and skill. Her usual attribute is the owl and Nike is her frequent companion.
RX74287. Bronze drachm, Dattari 1632; Geissen 1009; Kampmann-Ganschow 32.481; Milne 1286; BMC Alexandria p. 82, 689; Emmett 925.14, aF, edge splits, weight 26.721 g, maximum diameter 35.3 mm, die axis 0o, Alexandria mint, 129 - 130 A.D.; obverse AVT KAI TPAINOC A∆PIANOC CEB, laureate and draped bust right; reverse Athena standing left, wearing crested helmet, chiton, diplois, and aegis, Nike offering wreath in Athena's extended right hand, resting her left hand on shield, date LI-∆ (year 14) across field; big 35 mm bronze!; $80.00 (70.40)


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

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The Greek numeral sixteen (Iς) above Nilus refers to what was considered the ideal height of the annual Nile flood, sixteen cubits. Less could mean drought or famine. Even in modern times grand celebrations were held when the flood reached 16 cubits. In years when the flood failed to reach 16 cubits, the celebrations were canceled, and prayers and fasting were held instead. The peak flood occurred at the end of August, which explains why the Egyptian year began on 29 August.
RX74299. Bronze drachm, Geissen 1001; Dattari 1808; Milne 1276; SNG Cop 350; BMC Alexandria p. 92, 785; Kampmann-Ganschow 32.470; Emmett 1014, aF, edge split, weight 24.92 g, maximum diameter 35.8 mm, die axis 0o, Alexandria mint, 29 Aug 128 - 28 Aug 129; obverse AVT KAIC TPAI A∆PIA CEB, laureate, draped and cuirassed bust right, wearing aegis, from behind; reverse Nilus reclining left on a crocodile right, himation around waist and legs, cornucopia in right from which an infant genius emerges, reed in left, Iς above, L TPICKAI (year 13) in exergue; big 36 mm bronze!; $80.00 (70.40)


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

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RX73012. Bronze obol, BMC Alexandria p. 99, 854, Milne 1235; Geissen 966; Dattari 2023; SNG Cop 336; Emmett 1169, Choice F, weight 5.160 g, maximum diameter 20.4 mm, die axis 180o, Alexandria mint, 29 Aug 126 - 28 Aug 127 A.D.; obverse AVT KAI - TRAI A∆PIA CEB, laureate head right; reverse stag with large antlers standing right, head looking upward, date L IA (year 11) in fields; $60.00 (52.80)


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

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Caesarea, about 30 miles north of Joppa and about 70 miles northwest of Jerusalem, was the capital of the Roman province of Judaea, the seat of the procurators, and the headquarters of the Roman troops. It was founded by Herod the Great and named after Caesar Augustus. This city is the location of the 1961 discovery of the Pilate Stone, the only archaeological item that mentions the Roman prefect Pontius Pilate, by whose order Jesus was crucified. Its ruins are a national park on the Mediterranean coast of Israel, about halfway between Tel Aviv and Haifa.
BB75507. Bronze AE 17, Kadman Caesarea 29, Rosenberger 25, SNG ANS 771, aF, rough, tight flan, weight 5.937 g, maximum diameter 16.9 mm, Caesarea mint, obverse IMP TRA HADRIANO CAE, laureate and draped bust right; reverse CIF AVG CAESAR, Apollo standing left, snake in right hand, resting left elbow on tripod lebes behind; $8.49 (7.47)







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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. and L. Simonetti. Corpus Nummorum Romanorum. (Florence, 1972-1979).
Blum, G. "Numismatique D'Antinoos" in JIAN 16. (Athens, 1914). pp. 33 - 70.
Calic, E.X. The Roman Avrei, Vol. I: From the Republic to Pertinax, 196 BC - 193 AD. (Barcelona, 2003).
Cohen, H. Description historique des monnaies frappes 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).
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 Friday, February 12, 2016.
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Roman Coins of Hadrian