ROMAN EMPIRE, Hadrian, 117-138 AD, as


ROMAN EMPIRE, Hadrian, 117-138 AD, as, no date (126 AD), Rome mint, Obverse: laureate head R, HADRIANVS AVGVSTVS P P, Reverse: Salus standing R holding snake which he is feeding from a patera, COS III SC, bronze, 24-28mm, 9.52g, RIC669, corroded surfaces, VF

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Hadrian came to the throne because Plotina, wife of Trajan, said that the dying Emperor had named him, without witnesses, as heir. His first job was to finish the Second Jewish Revolt. He spent a lot of his time touring the Empire, built Hadrian’s Wall in northern England.

In the Imperial Period Roman coinage became an engine for governmental propaganda. All of the themes of the coins are celebratory of some aspect of govermental authority or achievement.

The Roman Republic was founded in response to tyrannical kings. It functioned for several centuries in a kind of balance of rich and poor people (slaves didn’t count). The general idea was that laws would constrain personal power. During the days of Julius Caesar, et al, powerful people became too powerful, and a new system of slightly constrained autocracy, the Empire, developed. The main catalog we use on this web site for Roman coins is Roman Coins and their Values, by David Sear.

Ancient Coins includes Greek and Roman coins and those of neighbors and successors, geographically from Morocco and Spain all the way to Afghanistan. Date ranges for these begin with the world’s earliest coins of the 8th century BC to, in an extreme case, the end of Byzantine Empire, 1453 AD.