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

Sabina, Augusta 128 - c. 136 A.D., Wife of Hadrian

Vibia Sabina was the wife of Emperor Hadrian, and a grand-niece of Trajan. They had an unhappy marriage and no children. Although she accompanied Hadrian on his many travels, he ignored her and had numerous affairs with both men and women. Sabina had an affair with Suetonius, Hadrian's secretary, in 119. Sabina is said to have remarked that she had taken steps to see she never had children by Hadrian because they would "harm the human race." She may have once aborted a child of theirs. Sabina died in 136 or 137 A.D., perhaps of natural causes or perhaps poisoned by Hadrian.


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Ceres' known mythology is indistinguishable from Demeter's. Her virgin daughter Proserpina (Persephone) was abducted by Hades to be his wife in the underworld. Ceres searched for her endlessly lighting her way through the earth with torches. While Ceres (Demeter) searched, she was preoccupied with her loss and her grief. The seasons halted; living things ceased their growth, then began to die. Some say that in her anger she laid a curse on the world that caused plants to wither and die, and the land to become desolate. Faced with the extinction of all life on earth, Zeus sent his messenger Hermes to the underworld to bring Proserpina back. However, because she had eaten while in the underworld, Hades had a claim on her. Therefore, it was decreed that she would spend four months each year in the underworld. During these months Ceres grieves for her daughter's absence, withdrawing her gifts from the world, creating winter. Proserpina's return brings the spring.
SH54918. Silver denarius, RSC II 69a (R); Strack II 859; BMCRE III p. 356, - (*ref. Moushmov pl. 2, 13); RIC II Hadrian 409 var. (modius at feet); Hunter II -; SRCV II -, VF, superb portrait, light toining, weight 3.119 g, maximum diameter 18.9 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 128 A.D.; obverse SABINA AVGVSTA HADRIANI AVG P P, diademed and draped bust right, wearing stephane, hair in a plaited coil on crown of head; reverse Ceres seated left on basket, two stalks of grain and poppy in right hand, lit torch in left hand, SC in exergue; extremely rare; SOLD


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Pudicitia, modesty and chastity, was for Romans the highest regarded female virtue. For an unmarried girl, pudicitia meant virginity. For a wife, it meant faithfulness and devotion to her husband. Romans loved the story of Arria, an ultimate example of Roman pudicitia. When the emperor Claudius ordered her husband Paetus to end his own life, he hesitated. Arria took his dagger and stabbed herself to set an example, saying, "Paetus, it doesn't hurt."
SH73695. Bronze sestertius, RIC II Hadrian 1032(c) (S), Hunter II 32, Cohen II 61, BMCRE III Hadrian 1877 var. (diadem vice wreath), SRCV II 3937, aVF, excellent portrait, well centered, green patina, marks and scratches, some corrosion, weight 23.691 g, maximum diameter 33.1 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, c. 135 A.D.; obverse SABINA AVGVSTA HADRIANI AVG P P, draped bust right, wearing wreath of grain, hair in long plait falling down back of neck and roll above wreath in front; reverse PVDICITIA, Pudicitia seated left on high-backed throne, veiled and draped, feet on footstool, right hand on breast (raising to lips), left hand in lap, S C (senatus consulto) in exergue; old anonymous dealer or collector tag in Italian; scarce; SOLD


Sabina, Augusta 128 - c. 136 A.D., Wife of Hadrian, Amphipolis, Macedonia

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RP64034. Bronze AE 26, RPC Online III 655 (8 spec.); BMC Macedonia p. 56, 103; Varbanov 3186 (R5); SNG Evelpidis 1171; Lindgren 987; SNG Cop -; SNG ANS -; SNG Hunterian -, VF/F, weight 11.829 g, maximum diameter 25.6 mm, die axis 180o, Amphipolis mint, obverse diademed and draped bust left; pellet within crescent before; reverse Tyche enthroned left, phiale in right; ex Helios Numismatik auction 7 (12 Dec 2011), lot 554 (est 200 Euro, unsold); rare; SOLD







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OBVERSE| LEGENDS|

DIVAAVGSABINA
DIVAAVGVSTASABINA
SABINAAVGVSTA
SABINAAVGVSTAHADRIANIAVGPP


REFERENCES|

Banti, A. and L. Simonetti. Corpus Nummorum Romanorum. (Florence, 1972-1979).
Blum, G. "Numismatique D'Antinoos" in JIAN 16. (Athens, 1914). pp. 33 - 70.
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).
Toynbee, J.M.C. Roman medallions. ANSNS 5. (New York, 1944).
Vagi, D. Coinage and History of the Roman Empire. (Sidney, 1999).

Catalog current as of Sunday, September 15, 2019.
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Roman Coins of Sabina