Portraits andTypes, 117-8 to near the end of his reign
The world of portraits and associations on coins is more varied than that of statuary!
04 X 99 AR denarius Hadrian (AD 118: Cos II). Laureate bust right. IMP CAESAR TRAIAN HADRIANVS AVG. Rev: PAX (looking like Abundantia, with cornucopiae and ears of grain): P M TR P COS II (the second consulship is AD 118).
|15 V 00 AR denarius. Hadrian, left-draped bust to r., laureate: IMP CAESAR TRAIAN HADRIANVS [AVG. Pietas stg frontal, facing l. P M TR P COS II and PIE TAS across field. AD 118. RIC 45.|
This Rome mint denarius shows Hadrian at the beginning of his reign. Compare the fourth coin, below. Note, too, that this bust is what, to be accurate, is described as 'bare, with drapery on his left shoulder'. Altogether bare would communicate some degree of real divinity, and the reverse type (whose meaning need not always be significantly related to the obverse) claims only Pietas (not quite the same as modern piety, but expressive of family and civic values).
The obv. legend on both is: AUTOKR KAIS TRAIANOS ADRIANOS SEB (the legends in Greek letters, of course).
The upper portrait, with Amaltheia (search Theoi.com, which includes all the sources), is very strikingly comparable with the PIETAS denarius at the top.
|Prieur, Aegeae, p. 85, no. 716. Amaltheia. With Aegeai's goat as the type, Amaltheia with her Horn, dandling the infant Zeus, is a natural choice.|
|Prieur, Aegeae, p. 85, no. 717. Perseus, with harpe. The harpe, the weapon that decapitated Medousa, is usully curved like a sickle. Perseus is properly shown as a mere boy. The portrait of Hadrian is just slightly sturdier, and cuirassed.|
M. & K. Prieur, The Syro-Phoenician Coins Tetradrachms and their Fractions, from 57 BC to AD 253, Classical Numismatic Group, 2000.
Notice that this little hemidrachm, which was one of my earliest acquisitions and looked curious to me, considered as a portrait of Hadrian, is clearly related to the Pax and Pietas at the top of this Post. Caesarea in Cappadocia had a long-standing franchise to mint official silver for Rome. It is the modern Keyseri in Turkey, south of Ankara. I wonder if my pretty galley (at bottom) could be Cappadocian.
|25 03 09 AR4dr Cilicia Aegeae Prieur cf no. 721 (with long obverse legend) I cannot read the date on reverse, and this specimen is not illustrated in Prieur, but the long obv legend resembles their no. 721, which dates AD 133-134|
|04 04 08. AE25. 9.74g, axis 630h. Bithynium-Claudiopolis. Hadrian, laureate, bust in armor, from in front. Rev, Athena in helmet (perhaps with aegis, but not plainly so), wearing peplos, standing r., leaning on spear in her left and holding owl on her l. hand. For the rev. legend, see http:// www.forumancientcoins.com/board/index.php?topic=44926.0. For the obverse, at least ADRIANOS (Greek) is plain in the photos here.|
Claudiopolis in Bithynia was Antinoos' birthplace. Not before Hadrian's first visit there, which was in AD 123 (when Antinoos would have been about twelve). One of a few portraits that LOOK as if it is based on firsthand knowledge of Hadrian's face in the 120s.
Bithynian mints were very, very good. Ordinary dies, including many of Rome herself, express Hadrian's aging as he neared 60 by increased formality (as the excellent Aegeai tetradrachm, above, does), but my favorite Hadrian, with Demeter reverse, though contemporary with the Aegeai eagle tetradrachm, really does show a tired-fleshed Hadrian. The Pontos Amisos denarius that he had struck to honor Sabina when she died shows the famous crouching Aphrodite that may well be the creation of Doidalsos of Bithynia. Administratively, under the Empire, on the northern coast of Asia Minor, Pontos and Bithynia, side by side, were combined. See the convenient reference map in David Sear's Roman Provincial Coins, where you can also find lists of equivalent dating systems, for example.
Though my worn, but very rare, Bithynium-Claudiopolis bronze need not be as early as Antinoos's childhood on the occasion of Hadrian's first visit to the place, I suspect that it may be several years earlier than the first PP issues. A good enlargement of a good photo of the coin can be found in the thread, http://www.forumancientcoins.com/board/index.php?topic=44926.0
Back in Rome
Not all coins marked COS III, but not PP, so far as I have determined, are AD 128 or later. I do have one Hadrian sestertius, though, and it looks mature but not elderly (the kind of lively refinement we just saw in Pontos and Bithynia—Rome tended to be somewhat more formal, even in the finest work). The black goop on the sestertius is typical of coins that had lain on river beds.