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    Hadrian's Hispanic Homeland

    Hadrian (AD 117-138). AV aureus (20mm, 7.02 gm, 6h). NGC Choice XF ★ 5/5 - 5/5, Fine Style. Rome, AD 132. HADRIANVS AVG COS III P P, bareheaded bust of Hadrian left / HISPANIA, female personification of Hispania reclining to left, holding olive branch in extended right hand, resting left elbow on rock, rabbit crouching right by her feet. RIC 305. BMCRE 844, pl. 62.11. Cohen 828. Calicó 1273 (same dies). A beautiful aureus, struck in high relief from dies of superb style.

    Hadrian is often identified as a "Spanish" Emperor, although he was likely born in Rome. His family, the Aelii, had centuries-long roots in Roman Spain and rose to wealth and prominence there. Hadrian spent much of his youth on family estates in Baetica, but upon entering public life his Spanish origins became something of an embarrassment when his peers laughed at him for speaking with a foreign accent. Upon becoming Emperor, Hadrian seems to have 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 identity of each place he visited with a remarkable series of coins, including this lovely aureus celebrating his homeland of Hispania.




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    3rd Thursday
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