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

Roman Coins of the Adoptive Emperors
Nerva, 18 September 96 - 25 January 98 A.D.

|Nerva|, |Nerva,| |18| |September| |96| |-| |25| |January| |98| |A.D.|, |sestertius|
Nerva maintained that he had liberated Rome from the tyranny of Domitian and restored a constitutionally-based regime. The pileus liberatis was a soft felt cap worn by liberated slaves of Troy and Asia Minor. In late Republican Rome, the pileus was symbolically given to slaves upon manumission, granting them not only their personal liberty, but also freedom as citizens with the right to vote (if male). Following the assassination of Julius Caesar in 44 B.C., Brutus and his co-conspirators used the pileus to signify the end of Caesar's dictatorship and a return to a Republican system of government. The pileus was adopted as a popular symbol of freedom during the French Revolution and was also depicted on some early U.S. and many Mexican coins.
SH94036. Orichalcum sestertius, RIC II 86, BMCRE III 112, BnF III 100, Cohen II 114, SRCV II 3050, Hunter I -, Choice gVF, well centered, nice portrait, mottled patina, scattered tiny pits, weight 19.627 g, maximum diameter 34.8 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, Jan - Sep 97 A.D.; obverse IMP NERVA CAES AVG P M TR P COS III P P, laureate head right; reverse LIBERTAS PVBLICA (freedom of the people), Libertas standing left, pileus liberatis (freedom cap) in right hand, staff in left hand, S - C (senatus consulto) flanking across field; $1410.00 SALE |PRICE| $1269.00


Lucilla, Augusta c. 164 - 182 A.D., Wife of Lucius Verus

|Lucilla|, |Lucilla,| |Augusta| |c.| |164| |-| |182| |A.D.,| |Wife| |of| |Lucius| |Verus|, |sestertius|
For Roman wives, piety often meant accepting neglect. It was not considered adultery for a Roman husband to have sex with slaves or unmarried women. The historian Spartianus wrote that after Lucilla complained, Lucius Verus reproached her: "Uxor enim dignitatis nomen est, non voluptatis" (Wife is the name of dignity, not bliss).
RB92463. Orichalcum sestertius, RIC III 1756, BMCRE IV 1161, Cohen III 54, Hunter II 27, SRCV II 5505, VF, nice portrait, flow lines, well centered on a squared flan, light bumps and scratches, weight 26.206 g, maximum diameter 30.2 mm, die axis 330o, Rome mint, 164 - 166 A.D.; obverse LVCILLAE AVG ANTONINI AVG F, draped bust right, hair waived and knotted in chignon low at back; reverse PIETAS, Pietas standing left, veiled, right hand extended over flaming altar at feet on left, incense box in left hand, S - C (senatus consulto) flanking across field; from the Errett Bishop Collection; $450.00 SALE |PRICE| $405.00


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

|Antoninus| |Pius|, |Antoninus| |Pius,| |August| |138| |-| |7| |March| |161| |A.D.|, |dupondius|
Annona was worshiped in Rome as the goddess who prospered the year's supply of grain. She was represented on an altar in the capital. The three principal granaries of Rome were Sicily, Egypt, and the African provinces. Annona civilis was the grain which purchased each year by the Roman state, then imported and put into storage, reserved and distributed for the subsistence of the people. Annona militaris was grain appropriated to the use of an army during a campaign.
RB92442. Orichalcum dupondius, RIC III 993; Strack III 1129; BMCRE IV p. 342, * (refs Strack); Hunter II 342; SRCV II -; Cohen II -, gVF, superb portrait and reverse style, attractive toned brass surfaces, marks, some porosity, tight flan, weight 11.118 g, maximum diameter 24.8 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 156 - 157 A.D.; obverse ANTONINVS AVG PIVS P P IMP II, radiate head right; reverse TR POT XXI COS IIII (holder of Tribunitian power 21 years, consul 4 times), Annona standing slightly left, head left, two stalks of grain downward in right hand, modius at feet left overflowing with grain, rudder in left hand resting on prow at feet on right, S - C (senatus consulto) divided across field at center; from the Errett Bishop Collection; $300.00 SALE |PRICE| $270.00


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

|Roman| |Judea| |and| |Palestina|, |Hadrian,| |11| |August| |117| |-| |10| |July| |138| |A.D.,| |Caesarea| |Maritima,| |Samaria|, |AE| |32|
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.
JD93012. Bronze AE 32, Hendin 836, SNG ANS 766, Rosenberger 24, Kadman Caesarea 27, F, green patina, grainy, earthen deposits, weight 18.384 g, maximum diameter 31.6 mm, die axis 0o, Caesarea Maritima mint, obverse IMP TRA HADRIANO CAES AVG, laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right; reverse COL I FL AVG, Hadrian, as priest-founder, plowing right with oxen, Nike flying left above holding wreath, CAESAREN in exergue; from The Jimi Berlin Caesarea Collection (surface find, Caesarea, Israel, 1972); $300.00 SALE |PRICE| $270.00


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

|Hadrian|, |Hadrian,| |11| |August| |117| |-| |10| |July| |138| |A.D.|, |denarius|
On 8 or 9 August 117, Trajan, age 63, died at Selinus, Cilicia while en route from Mesopotamia to Italy. On his death bed, he adopted Hadrian as his successor. The Roman Empire reached its maximum territorial extent at the time of Trajan's death. Hadrian soon abandoned indefensible parts of Mesopotamia to the Parthians.Rome's greatest extent 117 A.D.
RS92429. Silver denarius, RIC II-3 54 (S), BMCRE III 18, RSC II 248a, Hunter II 10 var. (no cuirass), Strack II 13, SRCV II -, Choice VF, well centered and struck, attractive portrait, attractive toning, flow lines, light marks, mild porosity, light die wear, tiny edge cracks, weight 3.128 g, maximum diameter 19.5 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 11 Aug 117 - Dec 117 A.D.; obverse IMP CAES TRAIAN HADRIANO AVG DIVI TRA, laureate and cuirassed bust right, drapery on far shoulder; reverse PARTH F DIVI NER NEP P M TR P COS, Concordia seated left on throne, patera in right hand, resting left elbow on statue of Spes, cornucopia under chair, feet on footstool, CONCORD in exergue; from the Errett Bishop Collection; scarce; $250.00 SALE |PRICE| $225.00


Marcus Aurelius, 7 March 161 - 17 March 180 A.D.

|Marcus| |Aurelius|, |Marcus| |Aurelius,| |7| |March| |161| |-| |17| |March| |180| |A.D.|, |sestertius|
Primi Decennales - The first period of ten years. This epigraph (with COS. III. in a crown of oak) appears for the first time, either abridged or at full length, on coins, in all three metals, of Antoninus Pius, and afterward on those of his immediate successors, M. Aurelius and Commodus. These Decennales (says Eckhel) like the vota, whether suscepta or soluta, were doubtless celebrated for the health and safety of the reigning emperor. Recorded in the first instance during the reign of the Antonines, they afterward became a constantly recurring subject of numismatic inscription, and especially in the age of the Constantines. -- Dictionary of Roman Coins
RB92451. Orichalcum sestertius, RIC III 1016 (S), Cohen III 1034, BMCRE IV 1401, Hunter II - (p. cxxvi), SRCV II -, Nice F, attractive brown tone, nice portrait, spots of light corrosion, some bumps and marks, weight 24.890 g, maximum diameter 31.6 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, Dec 170 - Dec 171 A.D.; obverse IMP M ANTONINVS AVG TR P XXV, laureate head right; reverse VOTA SOLVTA DECENNALIVM, emperor standing half left, head left, sacrificing from patera in right hand over flaming tripod altar on left, togate and veiled, a bull lying left at his feet, S - C (senatus consulto) flanking across field, COS III in exergue; from the Errett Bishop Collection, records of only two specimens of this type on Coin Archives in the last two decades; scarce; $220.00 SALE |PRICE| $198.00


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

|Lucius| |Verus|, |Lucius| |Verus,| |7| |March| |161| |-| |February| |169| |A.D.|, |denarius|
In 168, Marcus Aurelius and Lucius Verus left Rome, establish their headquarters at Aquileia. The Roman army crossed the Alps into Pannonia and subdued the Marcomanni at Carnuntum north of the Danube.
RS94120. Silver denarius, RSC II 325a, BMCRE IV 499, Szaivert MIR 18 172, Hunter II 44, SRCV II 5363, RIC III -, aVF, well centered, toned, nice portrait style, flow lines, edge splits and cracks, weight 2.697 g, maximum diameter 18.8 mm, die axis 0o, Rome mint, Dec 168 - Feb 169 A.D.; obverse L VERVS AVG ARM PARTH MAX, laureate head right; reverse TR P VIIII IMP V COS III, Aequitas seated left, feet on footstool, scales in right hand, cornucopia in left hand; very rare, not in RIC!; $200.00 SALE |PRICE| $180.00


Marcus Aurelius, 7 March 161 - 17 March 180 A.D.

|Marcus| |Aurelius|, |Marcus| |Aurelius,| |7| |March| |161| |-| |17| |March| |180| |A.D.|, |sestertius|
Roma was a female deity who personified the city of Rome and more broadly, the Roman state. The earliest certain cult to dea Roma was established at Smyrna in 195 B.C., probably to mark the successful alliance against Antiochus III. In 30/29 B.C., the Koinon of Asia and Bithynia requested permission to honor Augustus as a living god. "Republican" Rome despised the worship of a living man, but an outright refusal might offend their loyal allies. A cautious formula was drawn up, non-Romans could only establish a cult for divus Augustus jointly with dea Roma. In the city of Rome itself, the earliest known state cult to dea Roma was combined with Venus at the Hadrianic Temple of Venus and Roma. This was the largest temple in the city, probably dedicated to inaugurate the reformed festival of Parilia, which was known thereafter as the Romaea after the Eastern festival in Roma's honor. The temple contained the seated, Hellenized image of dea Roma with a Palladium in her right hand to symbolize Rome's eternity.
RB91587. Orichalcum sestertius, BMCRE IV 1417, SRCV II 4976, RIC III 1033 var. (no drapery), Cohen III 281 var. (same), Hunter II 163 var. (same), MIR 18 232-6/30 var. (same), VF, nice portrait, green patina, tight flan, light marks, slight porosity, weight 23.418 g, maximum diameter 30.5 mm, die axis 0o, Rome mint, Dec 171 - Dec 172 A.D.; obverse M ANTONINVS AVG TR P XXVI, laureate head right, slight drapery on far shoulder; reverse IMP VI COS III (imperator 6 times, consul 3 times), Roma seated left on low seat, helmeted and draped, Victory in extended right hand, long scepter vertical behind in left hand, oval shield at side ornamented with head of Medusa, S - C (senatus consulto) flanking across field at center; from the Maxwell Hunt Collection; $195.00 SALE |PRICE| $176.00


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.
RB92434. Orichalcum sestertius, BMCRE III 1372, RIC II-3 988, SRCV II 3602, Cohen II 819, Hunter II 447, aVF, excellent portrait, light corrosion, weight 24.640 g, maximum diameter 34.5 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, 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; from the Errett Bishop Collection; $180.00 SALE |PRICE| $162.00


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

|Antoninus| |Pius|, |Antoninus| |Pius,| |August| |138| |-| |7| |March| |161| |A.D.|, |sestertius|
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.
RB92441. Orichalcum sestertius, RIC III 906, Cohen II 732, BMCRE IV 1925, SRCV II 4216, Hunter II 303, Choice aVF, nice portrait, well centered, green and brown patina, edge crack, weight 22.600 g, maximum diameter 33.0 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 152 - 153 A.D.; obverse ANTONINVS AVG PIVS P P TR P XVI, laureate head right; reverse SALVS AVG COS IIII (health of the emporer), Salus standing left, feeding snake coiled around round altar from patera in her right hand, long scepter vertical in her left hand, S - C (senatus consulto) flanking across field; from the Errett Bishop Collection; $180.00 SALE |PRICE| $162.00











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