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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Silver denarii of Hadrian     Sestertii of Hadrian

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Brass dupondii and copper asi

A copper As was worth four quadrantes or two semis. A brass Dupondius (the same size as the as) was worth two asi.  Two dupondii (or 4 asi) made one sestertius. On the dupondius, the Emperor was shown wearing a radiate crown (representing the rays of the sun), as opposed to the usual laurel wreath, to help distinguish it from the similar sized (but different coloured) as.

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RC 2738 - Hadrian (117-138 AD) - copper as

 
RC 2738 - Hadrian (117-138 AD) - copper as
obverse - HADRIANVS AVG COS III PP
reverse - (no legend) SC - Ceres (?) standing
£35

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RC 2663 - Hadrian (117-138 AD) - copper as


RC 2663 - Hadrian (117-138 AD) - copper as - Rome mint 136 AD
obverse - HADRIANVS AVGVSTVS COS III PP
reverse - RESTITVTI ACHEIAE - Hadrian raising Achaea, urn between them.

This refers to the large-scale building programme inaugurated by Hadrian on his visits to Greece
£45

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RC 1114 - Hadrian (117-138 AD) - brass dupondius


RC 1114 - Hadrian (117-138 AD) - brass dupondius - Rome mint 128 AD
obverse - HADRIANVS AVGVSTVS PP
reverse - HILARITAS PR COS III - Hilaritas (joy)  with long palm and cornucopia, 2 children at feet.
£80

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RC 2909 - Hadrian (117-138 AD) - copper as


RC 2909 - Hadrian (117-138 AD) - copper as - Rome mint 126 AD
obverse - HADRIANVS AVG COS III
reverse - SALVS AVG - Salus (safety) seated feeding snake
this coin has an attractive green patina
£85

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RC 2910 - Hadrian (117-138 AD) - copper as


RC 2910 - Hadrian (117-138 AD) - copper as - Rome mint 122 AD
obverse - IMP CAESAR TRAIAN HADRIANVS AVG
reverse - PM TR P COS III - Ceres holding wheat ears and cornucopia.
£85

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RC 2914 - Hadrian (117-138 AD) - copper as


RC 2914 - Hadrian (117-138 AD) - copper as of 134 AD
obverse -  HADRIANVS AVGVSTVS PP
reverse - FELICITAS AVG - Felicitas presenting scroll to Hadrian.
£85

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RC 2915 - Hadrian (117-138 AD) - copper as


RC 2915 - Hadrian (117-138 AD) - copper as of 134 AD
obverse -  HADRIANVS AVGVSTVS PP
reverse - FORTVNAE REDVCI - Fortune presenting scroll to Hadrian.
£88

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RC 599 - Hadrian (117-138 AD) - copper as


RC 599 - Hadrian (117-138 AD) - copper as - Rome mint 122 AD
obverse - IMP CAESAR TRAINAN HADRIANVS AVG
reverse - PM TR P [COS III] SC - Pax (peace) standing holding an olive branch and cornucopia
this coin has an attractive green patina.
£90
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RC 2905 - Hadrian (117-138 AD) - copper as


RC 2905 - Hadrian (117-138 AD) - copper as - Rome mint 126 AD
obverse - HADRIANVS AVGVSTVS
reverse - ANNONA AVG - Annona (corn supply) standing with ears of wheat & modius (corn measure)
this coin has an attractive green patina
£100

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RC 750 - Hadrian (117-138 AD) - copper as


RC 750 - Hadrian (117-138 AD) - copper as
obverse - HADRIANVS AVGVSTVS
reverse - IVSTITIA AVG COS III PP - Justice seated
£110

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RC 3153 - Hadrian (117-138 AD) - copper as

 
RC 3153 - Hadrian (117-138 AD) - copper as of 133 AD
obverse - HADRIANVS AVGVSTVS
reverse - TELLUS STABILE  SC - Tellus (the land) reclining holding corn ears or vine branch.
£225

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RC 2944 - Hadrian (117 - 138 AD), copper as


RC 2944 - Hadrian (117 - 138 AD), copper as of 126 AD, 25 mm
obverse - HADRIANVS AVGVSTVS
reverse - COS III - Fides holding corn ears and a dish of fruit.
A lovely clear, well-centred patinated coin with a super portrait.
£245

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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_).

Silver denarii of Hadrian     Sestertii of Hadrian

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