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    Diva Sabina (After AD 136/7). AV aureus (19mm, 7.12 gm, 5h). NGC VF 5/5 - 5/5. Rome, AD 138-139. DIVA • AVG-SABINA, veiled, diademed, draped bust of Sabina right, seen from front / CO-NSE-CRAT-IO, Sabina reclining on aloft eagle right holding scepter in talons, Sabina holding scepter in right hand, scarf open behind her. RIC II (Hadrian) 418a. Cohen 27. Calicó 1432 (this coin). Biaggi 677 (this coin). Very attractive portrait in nice style with lovely matte surfaces.

    From the Morris Collection. Ex "An Interesting Selection of Roman Gold Coins from the B.d.B Collection" (Numismatica Ars Classica, Auction 49, 21 October 2008), Lot 232; Hess-Leu sale (27 March 1956), lot 385.

    Vibia Sabina was the daughter of Matidia, the favorite niece of the emperor Trajan. Sabina married the 24-year-old Hadrian in AD 100, marking him out as the likely successor to the throne. Hadrian and Sabina's 36-year marriage remained childless and the union appears to have been coldly cordial at best. Sabina was not formally named Augusta, or Empress, until AD 128, perhaps to coincide with Hadrian receiving the title of Pater Patriae from the Senate. She accompanied Hadrian on many of his famous travels. Although Hadrian engaged in affairs with both sexes, he frowned on Sabina's extramarital friendships. In AD 122 he dismissed two courtiers for being overly familiar with her; one of these was the historian Suetonius. Sabina's close friend, the poetess Julia Balbilla, accompanied the royal couple to Egypt in AD 130, where she recorded their presence by inscribing five stanzas on the Colossi of Memnon in Thebes. Both Sabina and Balbilla were thus probably present when Hadrian's boy lover, Antinous, drowned in the Nile, plunging the emperor into extravagant grief. The tragedy seemed to kill Hadrian's wanderlust, and he and Sabina returned to their lavish villa in Tivoli. Sabina died late in AD 136 or early the following year, probably of natural causes (although there were inevitable rumors of poisoning), and Hadrian ordered her deification.


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    Auction Info

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    January, 2019
    6th-7th Sunday-Monday
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