The Adoptive Emperors - Coins of Hadrian, 117 to 138 AD

Hadrian married Trajan’s niece Sabina and was adopted as Trajan’s heir.  Hadrian spent his reign travelling and defining frontiers to ‘fix’ the extent of the Empire. These frontiers included walls in North Africa, Germany and Hadrian's Wall in Britain.  Hadrian also built on a lavish scale. The pax romana which refers to domestic and foreign peace dates from Hadrian’s reign. Unfortunately his own adopted heir Aelius died of tuberculosis while Hadrian was still alive.  Hadrian then appointed Antoninus Pius as heir with instructions to ‘coach’ his two new adopted heirs - 16 year old Marcus Aurelius and the 7 year old Lucius Verus (son of his original heir).

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Sestertii of Hadrian     Dupondii and Asi of Hadrian

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Silver denarii

Denarii were the standard silver coins of the Republic and of the first and second centuries AD.
25 denarii made 1 golden aureus and one denarius was worth 4 sestertii
A typical denarius measures approximately 18 mm in diameter and weighs between 3 and 3.5 grams.

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RC 3312 - Hadrian (AD 117-138) - silver denarius


RC 3312 - Hadrian (AD 117-138) - silver denarius, Rome mint 131 AD
obverse –  HADRIANVS AVGVSTVS
reverse – IVSTITIA AVG - COS III - Justice seated with staff and patera (sacrificial bowl).
£68

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RC 3306 - Hadrian (AD 117-138) - silver denarius


RC 3306 - Hadrian (AD 117-138) - silver denarius, Rome mint 123 AD
obverse – IMP CAESAR TRAIAN HADRIANVS AVG
reverse – PM TR P COS III - SALVS AVG - Salus (safety) seated, feeding a snake.
SOLD

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RC 3307 - Hadrian
(AD 117-138) - silver denarius


RC 3307 - Hadrian (AD 117-138) - silver denarius, Rome mint 137 AD
obverse –   HADRIANVS AVG COS III PP
reverse – MONETA AVG - Moneta (money supply) holding scales and a cornucopia.
£78

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RC 3326 - Hadrian (AD 117-138) - silver denarius


RC 3326 - Hadrian (AD 117-138) - silver denarius, Rome mint 135 AD
obverse – HADRIANVS AVG COS III PP
reverse – AEQVITAS AVG - Equity with scales and staff
£78

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RC 3314 - Hadrian (AD 117-138) - silver denarius


RC 3314 - Hadrian (AD 117-138) - silver denarius, Rome mint 133 AD
obverse – HADRIANVS AVG COS III PP
reverse – FORTVNA AVG - Fortune, with cornucopia, steering the Ship of State.
A clear, well centred coin.
SOLD

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RC 1140 – Hadrian (117-138 AD) – silver denarius


RC 1140 – Hadrian
(117-138 AD) – silver denarius of 120 AD
obverse - IMP CAESAR TRAIAN HADRIANVS AVG
reverse - PM TR P  COS III - Piety standing with raised hands.
A clear, well centred coin.
£85

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RC 3325 – Hadrian (117-138 AD) – silver denarius


RC 3325 – Hadrian
(117-138 AD) – silver denarius of 137 AD
obverse - HADRIANVS AVG COS III PP
reverse - SALVS AVG - Salus (safety) feeding a snake rising from an altar.
A clear, well centred coin.
£85

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RC 1141 – Hadrian (117-138 AD) – silver denarius


RC 1141 – Hadrian
(117-138 AD) – silver denarius of 132 AD
obverse - HADRIANVS AVG COS III PP
reverse - PIETAS AVG - Piety seated with patera (sacrificial dish).
SOLD

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RC 1154 – Hadrian (117-138 AD) – silver denarius


RC 1154 – Hadrian
(117-138 AD) – silver denarius of 135 AD
obverse - HADRIANVS AVG COS III PP
reverse - VICTORIA AVG - Winged Victory alighting, holding olive branch.
£88

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RC 1155 – Hadrian (117-138 AD) – silver denarius


RC 1155 – Hadrian
(117-138 AD) – silver denarius of 123 AD
obverse - IMP CAESAR TRAIAN HADRIANVS AVG
reverse - PM TR P COS III - Winged Victory holding trophy.
£88

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RC 1147 – Hadrian (117-138 AD) – silver denarius


RC 1147 – Hadrian
(117-138 AD) – silver denarius of 137 AD
obverse - HADRIANVS AVG COS III PP
reverse - MONETA AVG - Moneta (money supply) with scales & cornucopia.
£92

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RC 1142 – Hadrian (117-138 AD) – silver denarius


RC 1142 – Hadrian
(117-138 AD) – silver denarius of 120 AD
obverse - IMP CAESAR TRAIAN HADRIANVS AVG
reverse - PM TR P  COS III - Piety standing with raised hands.
£95

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RC 1149 – Hadrian (117-138 AD) – silver denarius


RC 1149 – Hadrian
(117-138 AD) – silver denarius of 132 AD
obverse - HADRIANVS AVG COS III PP
reverse - ROMA FELIX - Roma seated with olive branch and staff.

£95

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RC 1159 – Hadrian (117-138 AD) – silver denarius


RC 1159 – Hadrian
(117-138 AD) – silver denarius of 128 AD
obverse - HADRIANVS AVGVSTVS PP
reverse - COS III - Virtus (strength) seated holding a spear and ceremonial dagger.
£95

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RC 1148 – Hadrian (117-138 AD) – silver denarius


RC 1148 – Hadrian
(117-138 AD) – silver denarius of 125 AD
obverse - IMP CAESAR TRAIAN HADRIANVS AVG
reverse - PM TR P COS III - LIB PUB - Liberty holding Cap of Liberty and staff
The Pileus or Cap of Liberty was the red conical cap presented to freed slaves (presumably while their hair grew back).
In the late 18th century, it was the symbol adopted by the American and French Revolutionaries.

SOLD

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RC 1162 – Hadrian (117-138 AD) – silver denarius


RC 1162 – Hadrian
(117-138 AD) – silver denarius of 124 AD
obverse - IMP CAESAR TRAIAN HADRIANVS AVG
reverse - PM TR P  COS III - Hadrian, with spear and tiller, steering the Ship of State, globe below.
SOLD

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RC 1168 – Hadrian (117-138 AD) – silver denarius


RC 1168 – Hadrian
(117-138 AD) – silver denarius of 136 AD
obverse - HADRIANVS AVG COS III PP
reverse - ALEXANDRIA - Alexandria standing, holding sistrum and snake in basket.
A sistrum was an Egyptian sacred percussion instrument associated with the mother goddess Hathor (goddess of love, beauty, music, dance, motherhood and joy)
£210

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Sabina, wife of Hadrian (died 136 AD)
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Aelius Caesar (Hadrian's adopted son)

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RC 3146 - Aelius Caesar - silver denarius


RC 3146 - Aelius Caesar
- silver denarius of 137 AD
obverse - L AELIVS CAESAR
reverse - TR POT COS II - CONCORD - Concord (harmony) seated with sacrificial dish.
Aelius was Hadrian's adopted son and heir but he died suddenly on New Year's Day in 138 AD, leaving the ailing Emperor without an heir.
£275

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 If you are interested in buying any of the coins featured on this page,
please email us to check that it is still available, quoting our reference number (beginning RC_).

Sestertii of Hadrian     Dupondii and Asi of Hadrian

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