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

Roman Coins of the Adoptive Emperors
Hadrian, 11 August 117 - 10 July 138 A.D.

|Hadrian|, |Hadrian,| |11| |August| |117| |-| |10| |July| |138| |A.D.||sestertius|
Providentia is the personification of the ability to foresee and to make provision for the future. This ability was considered essential for the emperor and providentia was among the embodiments of virtues that were part of the imperial cult. Cicero said that providentia, memoria (memory) and intellegentia (understanding) are the three main components of prudentia, the knowledge what is good or bad or neither.
RB95780. Orichalcum sestertius, RIC II-3 260 (S), BMCRE III 1203, Hunter II 358, SRCV II 3625, Cohen II 1207 var. (no drapery), Choice aEF, dark patina, light deposits, spots of corrosion, weight 27.215 g, maximum diameter 35.2 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, c. 119 A.D.; obverse IMP CAESAR TRAIANVS HADRIANVS AVG P M TR P COS III, laureate bust right, bare chest, slight drapery on left shoulder; reverse PROVIDENTIA DEORVM (to the foresight of the gods), Hadrian standing facing, togate, lituus (or scroll?) in left hand, head left looking at eagle flying right with scepter held in talons, extending right hand to receive scepter from eagle, S - C (senatus consulto) flanking across field; scarce; $990.00 (910.80)


Pergamon, Mysia, c. 134 A.D.

|Pergamon|, |Pergamon,| |Mysia,| |c.| |134| |A.D.||dupondius|
Eurypylos was a Mysian hero of the Trojan War. His image is otherwise unknown on coinage. Like Bellerophon at Corinth and Dionysos at Tium, this image of a local hero appears modeled on Antinous. Homer (Odyssey 11.522) has Odysseus say that Eurypylus was, next to Memnon, the most beautiful man he had ever seen.

The strategos I. Pollion is named on several coin types of Pergamon during the reign of Hadrian, including one for Sabina (RPC III 1737) and another for Antinous (RPC III, 1738).

The link between Pergamon and Paphos, evidenced by this coin, is not well understood. However, the same reverse was used, from Hadrian to Philip I, on coins struck to honor an alliance between Sardes and Paphos.
RP96071. Orichalcum dupondius, RPC Online III 1740 (4 spec.), SNG BnF 1897, Weber 5206, SNG Cop -, BMC Mysia -, F, porous, reverse off center, countermark obscure, weight 11.652 g, maximum diameter 26.5 mm, die axis 0o, Pergamon (Bergama, Turkey) mint, time of Hadrian, c. 134 A.D.; obverse HPΩC EYPYΠYΛOC (Hero Eurypylos), head of hero Eurypylos (with the features of Antinous) right, flowing hair, uncertain oval countermark; reverse ΠEPΓAMHNΩN EΠI CTP ΠΩΛΛIΩNOC (Pergamon, struck under strategos Pollion), temple of Aphrodite at Paphos, in which conical xoanon, semicircular walled courtyard, ΠAΦIA (of Paphos) across the courtyard; extremely rare, the 5th known; $970.00 (892.40)


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 (460.00)


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

|Commodus|, |Commodus,| |March| |or| |April| |177| |-| |31| |December| |192| |A.D.||denarius|
Curtis Clay suggests that this issue was struck in preparation for Commodus' proposed visit to Alexandria, prior to his assassination.
RS96923. Silver denarius, Bickford-Smith p. 54, note 7; RIC III -; MIR -; BMCRE -; RSC -, aVF, well centered on a tight flan, toned, small edge cracks, weight 2.588 g, maximum diameter 17.3 mm, die axis 0o, Alexandria mint, late 192 A.D.; obverse IM COMM ANTONINVS PIVS TR P II, laureate head right; reverse LIB AVG P M TR P XVIII COS VII P P, Libertas standing slightly left, head left, pileus (freedom cap - worn by freed slaves) in right hand, vindicta (rod) in vertical in left hand, star upper left field; very rare; $500.00 (460.00)


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; $350.00 (322.00)


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|
Elpis is the personification and spirit of hope. She was depicted as a young woman, usually carrying flowers or a cornucopia in her hands. Elpis (hope) was the last item in Pandora's box, the one item, that did not escape.
RX92508. Bronze drachm, Dattari-Savio 2537 (same dies), RPC Online IV.4 T15426, Emmett 1501/5 (R4), Geissen -, Milne -, SNG Cop -, SNG Milan -, BMC Alexandria -, Kampmann -, Choice aF, nicely centered, attractive toned brown surfaces, a few light scratches, small edge cracks, weight 22.289 g, maximum diameter 34.3 mm, die axis 0o, Alexandria mint, 29 Aug 141 - 28 Aug 142 A.D.; obverse AYT K T AIΛ A∆P - ANTWNINOC CEB - EYC, laureate head right; reverse Elpis (hope) walking left, flower in extended right hand, lifting hem of chiton with left hand, L - E (year 5) across field; from the Errett Bishop Collection; rare; $200.00 (184.00)


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

|Antoninus| |Pius|, |Antoninus| |Pius,| |August| |138| |-| |7| |March| |161| |A.D.||denarius|
Annona was the goddess of harvest and her main attribute is grain. This reverse suggests the arrival of grain by sea from the provinces (especially from Africa) and its distribution to the people.
RS97455. Silver denarius, RIC III 175; RSC II 284; BMCRE IV p. 95, 657; Strack III 191; cf. SRCV II 4067 (TR P XI), VF, well centered, toned, flow lines, long closed flan crack, weight 3.091 g, maximum diameter 19.3 mm, die axis 225o, Rome mint, 148 - 149 A.D.; obverse ANTONINVS AVG PIVS P P TR P XII, laureate head right; reverse COS IIII, Annona standing left holding stalks of grain over modius left and anchor; ex Savoca Coins auction blue 90 (29 Nov 2020), lot 1247; $150.00 (138.00)


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

|Hadrian|, |Hadrian,| |11| |August| |117| |-| |10| |July| |138| |A.D.||semis|
Most references list this type as a quadrans but examples without patina appear to be orichalcum (brass) vice copper. Yellow brass indicates the type is a semis. This coin has a near black patina, which is more common on brass than on bronze or copper, and the few spots of bare metal do look to be brass.
RB97458. Orichalcum semis, RIC II 625 (S), BMCRE III 1279, Cohen II 1167 (5 fr.), SRCV II 3704, Strack II 579, Hunter II 380 var. (eagle left, head right), gVF, very attractive eagle, slightly rough, weight 3.352 g, maximum diameter 17.9 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 120 - 123 A.D.; obverse IMP CAESAR TRAIAN HADRIANVS AVG, eagle standing half right, head turned left, wings open but not spread; reverse P M TR P COS III, horizontal winged thunderbolt, S C (senatus consulto) below; ex Savoca Coins auction blue 89 (8 Nov 2020), lot 1243; scarce; $150.00 (138.00)


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

|Antoninus| |Pius|, |Antoninus| |Pius,| |August| |138| |-| |7| |March| |161| |A.D.||denarius|
Liberalitas coin types attest to occasions when the emperor has displayed his generosity towards the people by a distribution to them of money, provisions, or both. The first mention of Liberalitas was on coins of Hadrian. It was a type frequently repeated by the succeeding emperors. Indeed these instances of imperial generosity are more carefully recorded on coins than they are by history. Liberality is personified by the image of a woman, holding in one hand a counting board, or square tablet with a handle on which are cut a certain number of holes. These boards were used to quickly count the proper number of coins or other items for distribution to each person. In the other hand she holds a cornucopia, to indicate the prosperity of the state and the abundance of wheat contained in the public graineries.
RS97467. Silver denarius, RSC II 517a; RIC III 228c (S); BMCRE p. 116, 708*; Hunter II 90 var. (slight drapery); Strack III 262; SRCV II -, VF, toned, radiating flow lines, tight flan, reverse off center, small edge spits/cracks, weight 3.292 g, maximum diameter 18.1 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 152 - 153 A.D.; obverse ANTONINVS AVG PIVS P P TR P XVI, laureate bust right; reverse LIBERALITAS VII COS IIII, Liberalitas standing left, emptying coins out of cornucopias held in both hands; ex Savoca Coins auction blue 89 (07 Nov 2020), lot 1250; rare; $150.00 (138.00)


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

|Lucilla|, |Lucilla,| |Augusta| |c.| |164| |-| |182| |A.D.,| |Wife| |of| |Lucius| |Verus||denarius|
Venus (Aphrodite) can be faulted for the Trojan War. Upset that she was not invited to a wedding, she went anyway and maliciously left a golden apple inscribed "For the fairest" on the banquet table. The goddesses, as Aphrodite expected, argued who was the rightful possessor of this prize. It was determined the most handsome mortal in the world, a noble Trojan youth named Paris, would decide. Each of the three finalists offered Paris a bribe. Hera promised he would rule the world. Athena said she would make him victorious in battle. Aphrodite guaranteed the love of the most beautiful woman in the world. This was Helen, who was married to the king of Sparta. Paris awarded the golden apple to Aphrodite. Aphrodite enabled Paris to elope with Helen, Helen of Troy. Helen's husband raised a Greek army to retrieve his wife, starting the Trojan War.
RS97457. Silver denarius, RIC III 784, BMCRE IV 322, RSC II 70, Hunter II 70, SRCV II 5491, VF, toned, radiating flow lines, tight flan, light marks/scratches, light porosity, tiny edge cracks, weight 3.323 g, maximum diameter 18.9 mm, die axis 0o, Rome mint, 164 - 166 A.D.; obverse LVCILLA AVG ANTONINI AVG F, draped bust right, hair waived and knotted in chignon low at back; reverse VENVS, Venus standing left, apple in right hand, long scepter vertical in left hand; ex Savoca Coins auction blue 90 (29 Nov 2020), lot 1276; $140.00 (128.80)




  







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