AE Sestertius. 20.76g, 33mm
MINTED: Rome mint, AD 128-129
REF: RIC II.3 989
OBVERSE: HADRIANVS AVGVSTVS P P, laureate bust right, draped on left shoulder.
REVERSE: HILARITAS P R, Hilaritas standing left, holding long palm branch upright in right hand and cornucopiae in left; at her feet, on left, a small naked boy standing right, touching palm; on right, a small girl standing left, touching dress of Hilaritas; COS III in exergue, S - C in field.
Good Fine/Fine. Pleasantly toned, yellow orichalchum surfaces. Minor crack and some pits on reverse.
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 . Sestertius . "Hilaritas, Goddess of Mirth"
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