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    Description

    Hadrian Rejuvenated

    Hadrian (AD 117-138). AV aureus (19mm, 7.39 gm, 7h). Rome, ca. AD 129-131 or 138. HADRIANVS AVGVSTVS, youthful, bareheaded bust of Hadrian right, wearing aegis on left shoulder / COS III P P, emperor in military dress standing left, raising hand and holding spear; two military standards on left, one on right. RIC 204b. Calicó 1239a. Very rare 'rejuvenated' portrait issue! Slight flan crack at 11:00 on the obverse. Good Very Fine.

    This enigmatic portrait type for Hadrian, which depicts him as a young man in his early 20s with a thin moustache and slight beard, dates from late in his reign and has been the subject of much speculation and dispute. Similar marble portrait busts were long identified only as a "young Roman" and were often ascribed to the Renaissance period. Only in 1954 was an indisputably ancient bust of this type excavated from the ruins of Hadrian's Villa in Tivoli. One theory holds that the "rejuvenated" portrait reflects Hadrian's belief that he had somehow been "renatus," or reborn, after the death of Antinoüs and / or his participation in religious mystery rites. Another possibility is that the portrait type is posthumous and was struck by Antoninus Pius as part of his campaign to have Hadrian deified.


    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    April, 2014
    10th-16th Thursday-Wednesday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 11
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
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