Numism > Reading For the Advanced Collector

Two rare Eastern denarii of Hadrian

(1/38) > >>

Hadrian's main issue of Eastern denarii seems to have been produced c. 129-131 in connection with his second great provincial tour.

The obv. and rev. types generally copy those of Roman denarii.  Many of the types are rare, attested in only a couple of specimens, and it is not unusual for previously unknown types to emerge.

The usual obv. legend is HADRIANVS AVGVSTVS P P, a legend that was used at Rome in 128-9.

Considerably rarer are Eastern denarii with obv. legend HADRIANVS AVGVSTVS or HADRIANVS AVG COS III P P, the first of which was used at Rome c. 125-8 and then again c. 129-131, and the second of which was Hadrian's latest obv. legend at Rome, used from c. 131 on.

My first coin, acquired at the recent ANA show in Milwaukee, has obv. legend HADRIANVS AVGVSTVS, rev. ROMA FELIX COS III P P, Roma seated l. on curule chair, holding branch and scepter, 3.01 g., 6h.

This is an exact copy of a Rome-mint denarius of c. 130-1, the second coin below, but is unpublished in Eastern style.  It is from the same obv. die as Strack pl. XX, *21, the third coin reproduced below, which has the earlier Roman rev. type P M TR P COS III, Mars advancing r. holding spear and trophy over shoulder.

That Mars advancing rev. type was used at Rome in the early 120s, but was evidently copied on Eastern denarii considerably later, c. 130!

My second coin, perhaps just by engraver's error, has the two words of the obv. legend reversed, AVGVSTVS - HADRIANVS.  Rev. is COS - III, Minerva standing l. holding thunderbolt and spear, shield on ground behind her, 2.91 g., corroded, 6h, from Forvm.

Strack knew just three Eastern denarii with this transposed obv. legend, including one with this Minerva standing rev. type in the Trau coll., Strack's pl. XVIII, *18, reproduced below, which is from the same dies as my coin.  This Eastern rev. type is exceptional because it does NOT appear to be known on any Rome-mint denarius of Hadrian.  It is a common-enough type, being for example one of the four Minerva types repeated by Domitian on his denarii year after year during the second half of his reign.

The same Eastern obv. die of my coin was also used for Strack's pl. XVIII, *19 with rev. COS III, Eagle with spread wings standing on thunderbolt, also reproduced below.

I have now added above reproductions of the three die-linked coins in Strack.

In the first posting, the coin numbered *21 is from the same obv. die as my ROMA FELIX COS III P P coin.

In the second posting, *18 is from the same dies as my corroded AVGVSTVS - HADRIANVS / Minerva denarius, and *19 is from the same obv. die, but with Eagle standing rev. type.  The asterisk before Strack's numbers means "Eastern mint".

Thanks again to Susan Headley for making and editing the scans.   She produced three of the five images, all except the Rome-mint ROMA FELIX COS III P P, which is from CoinArchives, and my second acquisition, which is the seller's image, that is Forvm's!

Salem Alshdaifat:
Thanks Curtis
one qustion plz, when you say Eastern where could that be???


Probably Asia Minor, but that question has still to be resolved.

Perhaps the Eastern denarii can be attributed to one of the Asia Minor mints that also struck cistophori for Hadrian.


[0] Message Index

[#] Next page

Go to full version