AE Drachm. 24.82g, 33.6mm
MINTED: EGYPT, Alexandria, 2nd Consulship (AD 137)
REF: Emmett 1351; Dattari 2076; RPC 6226
OBVERSE: Λ ΑΙΛΙΟС ΚΑΙСΑΡ, bareheaded and draped bust right.
REVERSE: ΔΗΜ ƐΞΟΥС ΥΠΑΤ Β, Homonoia seated left, holding patera, cornucopiae under throne; OMONIA in exergue.
About Fine. Multi-hued deep green patina. A worn but nevertheless handsome coin with a reasonably clear portrait of Aelius.
A coin of a scarce ruler and an interesting type, being a rare example in Alexandrian coinage where the reverse legend uses the Roman consulship instead of the ruler's regnal year to date it. With a museum pedigree and sold with its original tag (see below).
Ex Robert L. Grover Collection of Roman-Egyptian Coinage, previously held by the Art Institute of Chicago (1982.2072)
Robert Grover's collection of Roman-Egyptian coins was accessioned to the Art Institute of Chicago in the early 1980s. There, it was catalogued by Theresa Gross-Diaz, who is currently Associate Professor of History at Loyola University Chicago.
Egypt supplied as much as half of Rome’s annual grain supply, and was as such a hugely important province. Its economic and cultural heart was Alexandria, the second largest city in the Empire with a population of more than half a million during the time of Augustus. The coins of Roman Egypt were heavily used in daily commerce, and most often found in extremely worn condition. They are nevertheless highly collectible and interesting, sometimes featuring unique Egyptian-themed reverses and deities.
Aelius, Hadrian's original heir:
In 136, an illness-plagued and childless Emperor Hadrian adopted Lucius Aelius as his heir. While Aelius had no military experience, he was a senator, came from a distinguished family, and was said to have been very handsome. Unfortunately, the 34-year old Aelius was also not in good health, and a little over a year after his being appointed Caesar, he died of a brain haemorrhage. While Aelius never became emperor, his son, Lucius Verus, joined the line of imperial succession when Antoninius Pius ascended the throne in 138 when Hadrian died. Verus would become co-emperor with Marcus Aurelius when Pius died in 161.
AELIUS . EGYPT, Alexandria . AE Drachm . Ex Art Institute of Chicago . *Scarce*
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