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

Roman Coins of the Adoptive Emperors
Antoninus Pius, August 138 - 7 March 161 A.D.

|Antoninus| |Pius|, |Antoninus| |Pius,| |August| |138| |-| |7| |March| |161| |A.D.||sestertius|
The Temple of Divus Augustus was a major temple originally built to commemorate the deified first Roman emperor, Augustus. It was built between the Palatine and Capitoline Hills, behind the Basilica Julia, on the site of the house that Augustus had inhabited before he entered public life in the mid-1st century B.C. It is known from Roman coinage that the temple was originally built to an Ionic hexastyle design. However, its size, physical proportions and exact site are unknown. Provincial temples of Augustus, such as the much smaller Temple of Augustus in Pula, now in Croatia, had already been constructed during his lifetime. Probably because of popular resistance to the notion, he was not officially deified in Rome until after his death, when a temple at Nola in Campania, where he died, seems to have been begun. Subsequently, temples were dedicated to him all over the Roman Empire. The last known reference to the temple was on 27 May 218. At some point thereafter it was completely destroyed and its stones were presumably quarried for later buildings. Its remains are not visible and the area in which it lay has never been excavated.
SL97997. Orichalcum sestertius, RIC III 1004, BMCRE IV 2063, Cohen II 805, Hunter II 352, Banti 406, SRCV II 4235, Ch VF, strike 5/5, surface 2/5 (605513-014); Tiber patina, weight 26.07 g, maximum diameter 9.0 mm, die axis 0o, Rome mint, c. 158 - 159 A.D.; obverse ANTONINVS AVG PIVS P P TR P XXII, laureate head right; reverse TEMPLVM DIV AVG REST, octastyle temple set on podium of four steps, seated facing statues of Divus Augustus and Livia within, standing figure (Divus Augustus?) between two reclining figures on pediment, quadriga at peak of roof, acroteria (Romulus on left, Aeneas bearing Anchises on right) at corners of roof, S - C (senatus consulto) across fields, COS IIII below; ex Heritage auction 61210 (16 May 2021), lot 99129; ex CNG e-auction 247 (12 Jan 2011), lot 287 (realized $1,300 plus fees); NGC| Lookup; $800.00 SALE |PRICE| $720.00


Commodus, March or April 177 - 31 December 192 A.D., Nicomedia, Bithynia

|Bithynia|, |Commodus,| |March| |or| |April| |177| |-| |31| |December| |192| |A.D.,| |Nicomedia,| |Bithynia||AE| |26|
Nicomedia was the Roman metropolis of Bithynia. Diocletian made it the capital of the Eastern Roman Empire in 286 when he introduced the Tetrarchy system. Nicomedia remained the eastern (and most senior) capital of the Empire until co-emperor Licinius was defeated by Constantine the Great at the Battle of Chrysopolis in 324. Constantine resided mainly in Nicomedia as his interim capital for the next six years, until in 330 when he declared nearby Byzantium (renamed Constantinople) the new capital. Constantine died in his royal villa near Nicomedia in 337. Due to its position at the convergence of the Asiatic roads leading to the new capital, Nicomedia retained its importance even after the foundation of Constantinople.
RP92638. Bronze AE 26, RPC IV.1 T9895 (1 spec.), Rec Gen 144(2), SNG Cop 568, SNGvA -, Corsten -, aVF, well centered, earthen highlights, porous, weight 10.629 g, maximum diameter 26.0 mm, die axis 30o, Nikomedia (Izmit, Turkey) mint, obverse A K M AV KO ANTΩNI, laureate head right; reverse MHT NEΩ NEIKOMH∆, Athena standing left, wearing crested helmet, small galley in extended right hand, grounded vertical spear and round shield in left hand; from the Errett Bishop Collection, this is the second known and finest know specimen of the type; extremely rare; $500.00 SALE |PRICE| $450.00


Trajan, 25 January 98 - 8 or 9 August 117 A.D., Struck for Use in Roman Arabia

|Roman| |Arabia|, |Trajan,| |25| |January| |98| |-| |8| |or| |9| |August| |117| |A.D.,| |Struck| |for| |Use| |in| |Roman| |Arabia||tridrachm|
This type was previously attributed to Caesarea, Cappadocia, but the Tell Kalak hoard and a lack of finds in Cappadocia indicate the type circulated in Arabia. Slightly more than two-thirds silver, the composition of this type is identical to contemporary Syrian tetradrachms. The weight indicates they are tridrachms, but there is no consensus as to the denomination. Sydenham and Kindler refer to them as tridrachms, McAlee as light tetradrachms, and Butcher as tetradrachms. The type has no iconographic link with Arabia and Arabian drachms are considerably more debased, typically at a 50:50 ratio of silver to bronze. RPC III notes they may have been struck in Rome for circulation in Arabia, or at least, the dies were made in Rome.
RS97644. Silver tridrachm, RPC III 4071 (23 spec.); Henseler 267; Sydenham Caesarea 190a; SNG ANS 1161 (Caesarea); BMC Galatia p. 55, 74 (Caesarea), VF, superb "Roman" dies portrait, toned, flow lines, light bumps and scratches, reverse slightly off center, edge splits, weight 10.347 g, maximum diameter 23.7 mm, die axis 180o, Bostra(?) mint, 112 - 114 A.D.; obverse AYTOKP KAIC NEP TPAIANOC CEB ΓEPM ∆AK, laureate and draped bust right, seen from slightly behind; reverse ∆HMAPX EΞ YΠATOC (holder of Tribunitian power, consul), distyle temple, podium of four steps, cult image of Artemis of Perge within, eagle standing on pediment with head left and wings open; scarce; $400.00 SALE |PRICE| $360.00


Antoninus Pius, August 138 - 7 March 161 A.D., Roman Provincial Egypt

|Roman| |Egypt|, |Antoninus| |Pius,| |August| |138| |-| |7| |March| |161| |A.D.,| |Roman| |Provincial| |Egypt||drachm|
The Nilometer measured the height of the annual Nile flood. Sixteen cubits was considered the ideal height of the annual Nile flood. 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.
RX95862. Bronze drachm, RPC Online IV.4 T15735 (3 spec.); Dattari-Savio pl. 138, 2705bis var. (draped); Emmett 1613/10 (R5); Geissen -; Milne -; BMC Alexandria -; SNG Cop -, aF, well centered, light corrosion, obverse edge beveled, weight 20.203 g, maximum diameter 33.5 mm, Alexandria mint, 29 Aug 146 - 28 Aug 147; obverse AYT K T AIΛ A∆P ANTWNINOC CEB EYC, laureate head right; reverse L ∆E-KATOY (year 10), Nike standing right, nude to the waist, left foot on helmet, inscribing NI/KH on an oval shield set on her left knee and a column before her; extremely rare; $310.00 SALE |PRICE| $279.00


Antoninus Pius, August 138 - 7 March 161 A.D., Lystra, Lycaonia

|Lycaonia|, |Antoninus| |Pius,| |August| |138| |-| |7| |March| |161| |A.D.,| |Lystra,| |Lycaonia||AE| |23|NEW
Lystra, mentioned six times in the New Testament, was on an ancient road from Ephesus, to Sardis, to Antioch in Pisidia, to Iconium, to Lystra, to Derbe, through the Cilician Gates, to Tarsus, to Antioch in Syria, and then to points east and south. The city was visited several times by the Paul the Apostle, along with Barnabas or Silas. There Paul met a young disciple, Timothy. The site of Lystra is believed to be located 30 kilometres south of the city of Konya (Iconium in the New Testament), north of the village of Hatunsaray. A small museum within the village of Hatunsaray displays artifacts from ancient Lystra.
RP97243. Bronze AE 23, RPC Online IV.3 7263 (7 spec.); SNG Righetti 1465; vA Lystra p. 516; vA Lycaoniens -, SNGvA -; SNG BnF -; BMC Lycaonia -; SNG Cop -, SNG Hunterian -, VF, attractive dark green paint, earthen deposits, tight flan cutting off part of legends, weight 7.914 g, maximum diameter 23.4 mm, die axis 0o, Lystra mint, August 138 - 7 March 161 A.D.; obverse ANTONINVS AVG PIVS P P TR P COS IIII, laureate head right; reverse MINERVAE COL LVSTRA, Athena standing, facing, head left, wearing Corinthian helmet, holding patera over lighted altar and spear, shield at feet right; ex Leu Numismatik web auction 13 (15 Aug 2020), lot 910; rare, and rare city; $220.00 SALE |PRICE| $198.00


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

|Hadrian|, |Hadrian,| |11| |August| |117| |-| |10| |July| |138| |A.D.||sestertius|
This type of reverse usually indicates the birth of a prince, and we would normally assume the boy and girl on the reverse represent children of the emperor. Hadrian and Sabina, however, had no children.
RB97380. Orichalcum sestertius, BMCRE III 1372 (also with slight drapery), RIC II-3 988, Strack 629a, Banti 442, Cohen II 819, Hunter II 447, SRCV II 3602, VF, well centered, Tiber patina, light corrosion, weight 22.258 g, maximum diameter 33.0 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 128 A.D.; obverse HADRIANVS AVGVSTVS P P, laureate head right, long neck, slight drapery on left shoulder; reverse HILARITAS P R (Joy of the Roman People), Hilaritas standing half left, head left, palm frond in right hand, cornucopia in left hand, at her feet on left a small nude boy standing right also holding the palm frond, at feet on right a dressed small girl standing left and reaching up touching Hilaritas' drapery, S - C (senatus consulto) flanking across field, COS III in exergue; ex Ammon Shahar Collection; $220.00 SALE |PRICE| $198.00


Commodus, March or April 177 - 31 December 192 A.D.

|Commodus|, |Commodus,| |March| |or| |April| |177| |-| |31| |December| |192| |A.D.||sestertius|NEW
This obverse legend is listed in references with reverses depicting three, four, or five soldiers. Specimens with six soldiers on the reverse in Cohen III, RIC III, and noted in BMCRE IV (refs. Cohen) all have the obverse legend, M COMMODVS ANT AVG P BRIT FELIX. The four specimens on Coin Archives with six soldiers all share the same obverse legend with our coin. Perhaps RIC III copied an error by Cohen?
RB97213. Orichalcum sestertius, Hunter II 126 var. (same obv. die, 5 soldiers), RIC III 468d (R) var. (obv. leg.), Cohen III 138 var. (same), BMCRE IV 579 var. (4 soldiers, note), F, green patina, tight flan cutting off reverse legend, weight 23.587 g, maximum diameter 29.9 mm, die axis 0o, Rome mint, 186 A.D.; obverse M COMMODVS ANT P FELIX AVG BRIT, laureate head right; reverse P M TR P XI IMP VII COS V P P, Commodus standing left on platform, haranguing six soldiers, three legionary standards on the far side of soldiers, S - C (senatus consulto) across fields, FID EXERCIT (loyalty of the army) in exergue; rare; $200.00 SALE |PRICE| $180.00


Lucius Verus, 7 March 161 - February 169 A.D.

|Lucius| |Verus|, |Lucius| |Verus,| |7| |March| |161| |-| |February| |169| |A.D.||sestertius|
Fortuna Redux, one of the many aspects of Fortuna, was in charge of bringing people home safely, primarily from wars - redux means "coming back" or "returning." She may be one of the later aspects of Fortuna, as the earliest mention of her is on an altar dedicated by the Senate in 19 B.C. for the safe return of Emperor Augustus.
RB97215. Orichalcum sestertius, RIC III 1317; BMCRE IV p. 548, 1027; Cohen III 87; Banti 61; Hunter II 53 var. (cuirassed), SRCV II, F, glossy dark green patina, weight 21.167 g, maximum diameter 31.8 mm, die axis 0o, Rome mint, Dec 161 - Dec 162 A.D.; obverse IMP CAES L AVREL VERVS AVG, bare head right; reverse TR POT II COS II (holder of tribune power for 2 years, consul two times), Fortuna seated left, feet on footstool, holding tiller of rudder (on globe?) in right hand, cornucopia in left hand, S - C (senatus consulto) divided low across field, FORT RED (Fortuna Redux) in exergue; $180.00 SALE |PRICE| $162.00


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

|Hadrian|, |Hadrian,| |11| |August| |117| |-| |10| |July| |138| |A.D.||denarius|
Salus was the Roman goddess of health. She was Hygieia to the Greeks, who believed her to be the daughter of Aesculapius, the god of medicine and healing, and Epione, the goddess of soothing of pain. Her father Asclepius learned the secrets of keeping death at bay after observing one snake bringing another snake healing herbs. Woman seeking fertility, the sick, and the injured slept in his temples in chambers where non-poisonous snakes were left to crawl on the floor and provide healing.
RS97481. Silver denarius, RIC II-3 374, RSC II 1326, Strack II 80, BMCRE III 314, Hunter II 112, SRCV II 3539 var. (slight drapery), VF, well centered, nice portrait, light tone, flow lines, light scratch, edge cracks, weight 3.080 g, maximum diameter 19.5 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, c. late 120 - 121 A.D.; obverse IMP CAESAR TRAIAN HADRIANVS AVG, laureate head right; reverse P M TR P COS III, Salus seated left, feeding snake rising from altar with patera in right hand, resting left elbow on back of chair, SAL AVG in exergue; $170.00 SALE |PRICE| $153.00


Trajan, 25 January 98 - 8 or 9 August 117 A.D., Caesarea, Cappadocia

|Cappadocia|, |Trajan,| |25| |January| |98| |-| |8| |or| |9| |August| |117| |A.D.,| |Caesarea,| |Cappadocia||didrachm|
Kayseri, Turkey was originally named Mazama. It was renamed Eusebia by Ariarathes V Eusebes, King of Cappadocia, 163 - 130 B.C. The last king of Cappadocia, King Archelaus, renamed it "Caesarea in Cappadocia" to honor Caesar Augustus upon his death in 14 A.D. Muslim Arabs slightly modified the name into Kaisariyah, which became Kayseri when the Seljuk Turks took control, c. 1080 A.D.
RP97230. Silver didrachm, RPC III 3004 (25 spec.); Sydenham Caesarea 196; BMC Galatia p. 55, 69; SNG Fitzwilliam 5435; Metcalf Cappadocia 64c & Hoard 314 - 333, pl. 17 - 18, aVF, as found thick black toning, light scratches, tight flan, weight 5.970 g, maximum diameter 20.8 mm, die axis 210o, Cappadocia, Caesarea (Kayseri, Turkey) mint, 112 - 114 A.D.; obverse AVTOKP KAIC NEP TPAIANOC CEB ΓEPM ∆AK, laureate and draped bust right; reverse ∆HMAPX EΞ YΠATO ς (consul 6 times), bust of Artemis left, in chiton, spear upward in right hand, phiale in left hand; ex Zeus Numismatics auction 11 (1 Aug 2020), lot 502; $160.00 SALE |PRICE| $144.00











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