AD 117-138

AR Denarius. 3.04g, 18.7mm
MINTED: Rome mint, AD 117
REF: RIC 8b; Cohen 1024
OBVERSE: IMP CAES TRAIAN HADRIAN OPT AVG GER DAC, laureate and cuirassed bust right, balteus (sword belt) strap over shoulder and across chest.

REVERSE: PARTHIC DIVI TRAIAN AVG F P M TR P COS P P, Pietas standing left, raising right hand; PIE-TAS in field.

Very Fine. Well-centered. Minor porosity under dark tone. Scarce early issue with lengthy legends indicating Hadrian's names and titles.

Early style bust with Hadrian seen wearing a balteus, or sword belt, slung obliquely across the shoulder to support a sword worn at the waist. Where other emperors may have favored decorated or bejeweled sword belts, Historia Augusta purports that Hadrian "generally wore the commonest clothing [and] would have no gold ornaments on his sword-belt".


Historical Notes:
Hadrian was a capable but complex emperor - he could be ascetic in taste, dressing simply and sleeping and dining with regular soldiers, but he was at the same time a passionate admirer of Greek culture and an active patron of artistes and architects.  He began extensive building projects during his reign, not only in Rome, but in many cities throughout his vast empire.  Hadrian's Wall in Britain, and the reconstructed Pantheon in Rome, and Hadrian's Villa at Tivoli are some of his most famous architectural legacies.  

He was known as perennial traveler, spending more than half of his reign outside Italy.  Perhaps his most well-known series of coins is the so-called 'Travel series', various types struck bearing the names and personifications of the provinces visited by the emperor.  Hadrian was also well-known for his open homosexual relationship with Greek youth, Antinous, who drowned while travelling with the emperor in Egypt, and who was thereafter deified by him.

HADRIAN . AD 117-138 . AR Denarius . Scarce early issue with long legends

SKU: 2513
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