Project Description

Roman coinage has existed about as long as Rome. Even emperors whose reigns did not last long often minted one or two coins in their image. Hadrian was Emperor of Rome between 117-138 C.E. The Roman Empire at that time was huge, and Hadrian halted outward expansion of the borders.  As Roman Emperor, Hadrian was known for building the wall that marked the northern edge of the Roman province of Britannia. In his coinage, Hadrian was seen laureate, and often on the reverse of Roman coins the goddess Moneta was depicted. The depiction of Moneta speaks to the pecuniary success of the Roman Empire. Extremely taken with Greek culture, Hadrian took on several Greek lovers and attempted to make Athens the cultural capital of the Roman Empire.  Hadrian travelled extensively in almost every province of Rome, often sleeping and dining with the soldiers. In his travels, Hadrian sought to unite the Roman empire under himself. Coins serve a similar purpose in reinforcing who holds power. Coins were one way of getting recognition throughout the empire, but provincial travel cemented that Hadrian was in charge.

-Constantine Botimer, Class of 2019

Object Details

c. 117-138 CE
2.5 cm
Gift of Joe Bush, 1955