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Extraordinary Galley BronzeHadrian (AD 117-138). Orichalcum dupondius (26mm, 12.97 gm, 6h). Rome, ca. AD 132-135, HADRIANVS AVGVSTVS, bareheaded and draped bust of Hadrian left / FELICITATI AVG S-C, galley under oar left with five rowers; Hadrian as gubernator at stern, COS III P P in exergue. Cf. RIC II 719. Very rare! An extraordinary example, with a choice dark brown patina and an exceptionally detailed strike on both sides. Choice Extremely Fine.
Hadrian never felt comfortable in Rome and spent most of his 21-year reign traveling, eventually visiting every province of the Roman Empire. He honored the unique ethnicity and cultural identify of each place he visited, but also made sure the legions were maintained in a high state of readiness. His building projects were many and long-lasting, including Hadrian's Wall in northern Britain and the Pantheon in Rome. He fostered a new appreciation for the Greek classics and, under his patronage, Roman art and sculpture reached its creative peak. Since travel overland, even on Roman roads, was time-consuming, most of his imperial tours involved sea travel. This magnificent dupondius depicts Hadrian setting forth or returning from one of his journeys aboard a Roman military galley.
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