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    Description

    'Rejuvinated' Hadrian Portrait

    Hadrian (AD 117-138). AV aureus (20mm, 7.20 gm, 12h). Rome, ca. AD 132-138 or early posthumous period. HADRIANVS AVGVSTVS, bare-headed youthful bust of Hadrian right, with slight beard, aegis on neck / COS III. P. P, emperor standing left, extending arm and holding spear, between two standards on left and one on right. RIC 204b. Calic├│ 1239 (same dies as illus.). Very rare. Lovely style portrait. Nearly Extremely 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 Antinous 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
    Apr-May, 2012
    25th-1st Wednesday-Tuesday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 6
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 1,105

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