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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ |Roman Coins| ▸ |The Adoptive Emperors| ▸ |Aelius||View Options:  |  |  |   

Aelius, Caesar, July or August 136 - 1 January 138 A.D.

In 136, Aelius was adopted by an aging and ailing Hadrian and made caesar, successor to the throne. He had no military experience but had served as a senator and had powerful political connections. He was known for luxurious taste, an extravagant lifestyle, but also poor health. He was never to become emperor, dying before Hadrian, on 1 January 138.


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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.
SH14070. Silver denarius, RIC II Hadrian 432, RSC II 53, BMCRE III 972, SRCV II 3974, VF, weight 3.091 g, maximum diameter 17.7 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 137 A.D.; obverse L AELIVS CAESAR, bare head right; reverse TR POT COS II, Pietas standing half left, sacrificing with right over altar, box of incense in left; excellent bold portrait, old collection toning; scarce; SOLD


Aelius, Caesar, July or August 136 - 1 January 138 A.D., Roman Provincial Egypt

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Aelius had luxurious taste and led an extravagant life. He is said to have had Ovid's erotic poetry and "a book about Apicius" (presumably Apion's On the Luxury of Apicius) as bedside reading. Aelius personally invented tetrapharmacum, a dish that contained sow's udder, pheasant, wild boar and ham in pastry. Hadrian, liked it; the later emperor, Alexander Severus, liked it too.
RX59447. Bronze drachm, Dattari 2076, Milne 1546, Geissen 1273, Kampmann-Ganschow 34.4, BMC Alexandria 923, Emmett 1351, gF, weight 22.926 g, maximum diameter 32.9 mm, die axis 0o, Alexandria mint, 29 Aug 137 -1 Jan 138 A.D.; obverse Λ AIΛIOC KAICAP, draped bust right; reverse ∆HM EΞOYC YΠAT B (holder of Tribunitian power, consul for the 3rd time), Homonoia seated left, patera in right, cornucopia under throne, OMONOIA in exergue; rare; SOLD


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Felicitas was the goddess or personification of happiness, good fortune, 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.
SH26653. Silver denarius, RIC II Hadrian 430, RSC II 50, BMCRE III Hadrian 969, SRCV II 3973, VF, weight 3.072 g, maximum diameter 17.6 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 137 A.D.; obverse L AELIVS CAESAR, bare head right; reverse TR POT COS II, Felicitas standing left, caduceus in left, cornucopia in right; scarce; SOLD


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Aelius assumed COS II on 1 January 137 and died on 1 January 138 A.D.
SL76248. Silver denarius, RIC II Hadrian 439, BMCRE III Hadrian 989, Strack II 389, RSC II 36, Hunter II 12, SRCV II 3871, NGC VF, strike 4/5, surface, 5/5 (3763262-011), weight 3.11 g, maximum diameter 18.0 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, as caesar under Hadrian, 137 A.D.; obverse L AELIVS CAESAR, bare head right; reverse TR POT COS II, Pietas standing right, dropping incense from right hand onto flaming and garlanded altar on right, acerrum in left hand, PIE-TAS divided across field; NGC certified and in NGC plastic holder (slabbed); scarce; SOLD


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In Roman religion, Concordia was the goddess of agreement, understanding, and marital harmony. The cult of Concordia Augusta ("Majestic Harmony") was of special importance to the imperial household. She is usually depicted wearing a long cloak and holding a patera (sacrificial bowl), a cornucopia (symbol of prosperity), or a caduceus (symbol of peace).
SH08476. Silver denarius, RIC II Hadrian 436 (S), BMCRE III Hadrian 983, Hunter II 7, RSC II 1, SRCV II -, gVF, toned, flow lines, slightly off center, edge split, weight 3.43 g, maximum diameter 18.2 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 137 A.D.; obverse L AELIVS CAESAR, bare head right; reverse TR POT COS II, Concordia enthroned left, patera in right hand, resting left elbow on cornucopia, CONCORD in exergue; scarce; SOLD


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Spes was the Roman personification of Hope. In art Spes is normally depicted carrying flowers or a cornucopia, but on coins she is almost invariably depicted holding a flower in her extended right hand, while the left is raising a fold of her dress. She was also named "ultima dea" - for Hope is the last resort of men. On this coin, the Caesar, Aelius, the designated successor of the emperor, is identified as the hope for the future of the Roman people. Aelius was never to become emperor, dying shortly before Hadrian.
SH65284. Copper as, RIC II Hadrian 1067, SRCV II 3993, aVF, some light corrosion, nice dark green patina, weight 9.0 g, maximum diameter 25.8 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 137 A.D.; obverse L AELIVS CAESAR, bare head right; reverse TRPOT COS II S C, Spes walking left, raising flower in right, lifting skirt drapery with left, S - C (senatus consulto) flanking across field; scarce; SOLD


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Salus was the Roman goddess of health. In 136, Aelius was adopted by an aging and ailing Hadrian and made caesar, successor to the throne. This coin, dedicated to Salus, was struck in 137 when both Hadrian and Aelius were in poor health. It is a handsome coin but apparently Salus was not impressed. Aelius was never to become emperor, dying on 1 January 138. Hadrian died soon after on 10 July 138.
SH60654. Orichalcum sestertius, RIC II Hadrian 1063, Cohen II 44, gF, superb portrait, weight 26.768 g, maximum diameter 31.8 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 137 A.D.; obverse L AELIVS CAESAR, bare head right; reverse TR POT COS II, Salus seated on throne left, with patera in right hand, feeding snake rising from altar, left elbow on back of chair, S - C (senatus consulto) flanking low across field, SALVS (health) in exergue; SOLD


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Aelius consul for the second time (COS II) on 1 January 137 and died on 1 January 138 A.D.
RS79988. Silver denarius, RIC II Hadrian 439, BMCRE III Hadrian 989, Strack II 389, RSC II 36, Hunter II 12, SRCV II 3871, aVF, nice portrait, reverse slightly off-center, light marks and scratches, small edge cracks, weight 3.464 g, maximum diameter 17.3 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, as caesar under Hadrian, 137 A.D.; obverse L AELIVS CAESAR, bare head right; reverse TR POT COS II, Pietas standing right, dropping incense from right hand onto flaming and garlanded altar on right, incense box in left hand, PIE-TAS divided across field; scarce; SOLD


Click for a larger photo
Spes was the Roman personification of Hope. In art Spes is normally depicted carrying flowers or a cornucopia, but on coins she is almost invariably depicted holding a flower in her extended right hand, while the left is raising a fold of her dress. She was also named "ultima dea" - for Hope is the last resort of men. On this coin, the Caesar, Aelius, the designated successor of the emperor, is identified as the hope for the future of the Roman people. Aelius was never to become emperor, dying shortly before Hadrian.
SH28310. Copper as, RIC II Hadrian 1065, Cohen II 66, VF, rough surfaces, weight 8.720 g, maximum diameter 25.3 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 137 A.D.; obverse L AELIVS CAESAR, bare head right; reverse TR POT COS II S C, Fortuna-Spes standing left, holding flower in right and cornucopia in left; excellent portrait; scarce; SOLD


Aelius, Caesar, July or August 136 - 1 January 138 A.D., Roman Provincial Egypt

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In 137, tax laws were passed for trade in Palmyra. The caravan city grew rich by importing rare products from the Persian Gulf, and by exporting items manufactured by the Mediterranean world to the East.
RX09618. Bronze diobol, Milne 1538, Emmett 1353, gF, weight 8.90 g, maximum diameter 23.7 mm, die axis 0o, Alexandria mint, 137 A.D.; obverse Λ AIΛIOC KAICAP, draped bust right; reverse ∆HM EΞOY CYΠATB, Homonoia (Concordia) standing left holding grain and patera; rare; SOLD




  




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OBVERSE| LEGENDS|

LAELIVSCAESAR
LAELIVSCAESARTRPCOSII


REFERENCES|

Banti, A. and L. Simonetti. Corpus Nummorum Romanorum. (Florence, 1972-1979).
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).
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).
Vagi, D. Coinage and History of the Roman Empire. (Sidney, 1999).

Catalog current as of Tuesday, October 22, 2019.
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Roman Coins of Aelius