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ID number:  BIRBI-R1156
Object type:  Coin
Institution:  The Barber Institute of Fine Arts
Named collection:  G. Haines Collection
Collector:  Haines, Geoffrey
Maker:  Hadrian (117-138)
Denomination:  Sestertius
Place made:  Mint of Rome
Culture:  Roman
Date made:  132-134
Metal:  Brass
Weight (g):  28.94

Description:  Obverse: Laureate head of Trajan.
Reverse: Ship with steersman and rowers.

This coin is thought to celebrate the return of Hadrian, by ship, from Judaea to Rome. In 130 Hadrian had decided to rebuild Jerusalem, in ruins since the defeat of the Jewish revolt sixty years earlier. The new city war to be called Aelia Capitolina and a temple to Jupiter Capitolinus was built over the ruins of the Jewish Temple. Hadrian also outlawed circumcision. These measures caused the Jews in Judaea to revolt. The resulting war was a difficult one for the Romans, ending in 135 after severe losses to the Roman army and the devastation of the region. Judaea was renamed Syria Palaestina and Jews were forbidden to settle in the new city of Aelia Capitolina. Hadrian continued to use the republican powers and titles and which were the constitutional basis of the secular power of the emperor, Tribunicia Potestate and his religious authority, Pontifex Maximus as well as the now customary honorifics and imperial titulature.

Inscriptions:  Obverse: HADRIANVS AVGVSTVS
Reverse: FELICITATIAVG (Happiness of Augustus) COSIIIPP (Consul three times, Father of his Country) in exergue, S C (by permission of the Senate)

Bibliography:  Mattingly, H, and Sydenham, E. The Roman Imperial Coinage Vol II, Vespasian to Hadrian (London 1968) Coin 706.

2 Related People

Haines, Geoffrey Colton
Whitting, Philip David
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