Roman Imperial coin, silver, AR denarius. Struck during the reign of the emperor Hadrian (Publius Aelius Hadrianus Augustus) in Rome, 132-134 C.E. The bare head of Hadrian faces right in profile, on obverse with the inscriptions "HADRIANVS AUGUSTUS" on left and right of image. On reverse, the seated and veiled figure of Pietas (the goddess and personification of a respectful and faithful attachment to gods, country, and family) faces left with a patera in her right hand and a transverse specter in her right with the inscriptions "PIETAS AVG COS III P P" surrounding image. Obverse and reverse slightly off struck.
Date range: 132-134 C.E.
Remarks: Born in 76 C.E., he was placed under the care of guardians, one of whom was the future emperor Trajan. He soon embarked upon a military career and in 100 C.E. he married Trajan's grand-niece, Sabina. He was appointed governor of Syria during Trajan's Parthian war and was adopted by the emperor shortly before the latter's death. Much of Hadrian's reign was spent in visiting the provinces of his vast empire, and he greatly improved the defenses of the frontiers. He was best known in this country as the builder of the great wall from Tyne to the Solway: much of this immense work is still to be seen. There is little doubt that he was one of the most capable emperors who ever occupied the throne and he devoted his whole life to the improvement of the state. His rule was firm and humane and he was also a patron of the arts. He died at Baiae on July 10th, 138 C.E., after a long illness. Hadrian's coins were minted in Rome, Asia Minor, and possibly Ephesus, Sardes, Smyrna and other mints.
Reference: David Sear, "Roman Coins and Their Values" , London 2002 (Vol II), #3515, pg 148; see also Harold Mattingly, Coins of the Roman Empire in the British Museum, III, p. 312, Pl. 58, no. 9.
|Credit line||Gift of Arthur G. and Roswitha Haas|