Coins of Roman Egypt
CollectionTopicsResources
Greek Dates

 

 

Augustus 27 B.C.—A.D. 14  
2335 4th series, 2 B.C.—A.D 14
Æ diobol (7.15 gm).
BMC 26v (filleted double cornucopiae, no base). Dattari 55. Milne 21v (no base)
Obv: Laureate head of Augustus r., ΠΑΤΗΡ  ΠΑΤΡΙΔΟ ΟΣ

Rev: ΣΕΒΑ— ΣΤΟΣ, double cornucopia on base.

  
Livia wife of Augustus  
2336 5th series, A.D. 10/11
Æ diobol (10.40 gm).
 Dattari 60 (Μ described asΛΑ). Cf. Milne 27 (LΜΑ). BMC —.
Obv: Draped bust of Livia r.
Rev: Athena standig facing, head l., holding Nike and resting hand on shield, Date L—Μ across field.
  
Tiberius A.D. 14-37  
2337  A.D. 17/18
Æ obol (4.51 gm).
Dattari 101. Milne 36. BMC 57.
Obv: Bare head of Tiberius r.
Rev: ΤΙΒΕΡΙΟΥ, hippopotamus r., date L Ε in ex.
 
2338  A.D. 19/20
Billon tetradrachm
Dattari 81. Milne 56. BMC 36. Curtis 1.
Obv: Radiate head of Tiberius r.
Rev: Laureate head of Augustus r., date L Ζ
Note: The head of Divus Augustus was the sole reverse type of Tiberius' billon tetradrachms, introduced in his seventh regnal year and issued irregularly until the final six years of his reign, when they were produced annually. The propaganda content mirrors that of Tiberius' middle aes from Rome, which throughout his reign bore the portrait of Divus Augustus on the obverse.
 
2339
A.D. 26/27
Billon tetradrachm
Dattari 81. Milne 56. BMC 41. Curtis —.
Obv: Laureate head of Tiberius l., date L ΙΔ in front.
Rev: Radiate head of Augustus r.
 
2340

A.D. 33/34

Billon tetradrachm
Dattari 90v (littus on rev.). Milne 56. BMC 41. Curtis —.
Obv: Laureate head of Tiberius l., date L ΚΑ in front.
Rev: Radiate head of Augustus r.
 
Claudius A.D. 41-54
 
2341
 A.D. 41/42
Billon tetradrachm
Dattari 114. Milne 61. BMC 65. Curtis 8.
Obv: Laureate head of Claudius r., date L Β in front.
Rev: Draped bust of Antonia r.
Note:Claudius continued to associate the billon tetradrachm denomination with dynastic types. He honored his mother Antonia on the Alexandrian coinage of his second regnal year only. Rome also issued aurei and denarii in her name in A.D. 41/2, and a dupondius coinage from A.D. 41-43.
 
2342
A.D. 41/42
Billon tetradrachm
Dattari 122. Milne 65. BMC 69. Curtis —.
Obv: Laureate head of Claudius r., date L Β in front.
Rev: Messalina standing three quarters left, holding two children in extended r. hand and stalks of grain in l. resting l. elbow on column, lituus in l. field.
Note: The major reverse type of Claudius' Alexandrian tetradrachms featured his notorious empress Messalina, who played no role on his Rome coinage. Tetradrachms with the Messalina reverse were minted annually during the first six years of Claudius' reign but then discontinued. The reasons were probably monetary, and the cessation of this coinage in no way presages the disgrace of Messalina in A.D. 48.
 
2343  A.D. 43/44
Billon tetradrachm (13.27 gm)
Dattari 125. Milne 94 var. (lituus on rev. to l.). BMC 73. Curtis 17.
Obv: Laureate head of Claudius r., date L Δ in front.
Rev: Messalina standing three quarters left, holding two children in extended r. hand and stalks of grain in l. resting l. elbow on column.
 
2344  A.D. 51/52
 Æ diobol (8.77 gm.) Dattari 155. Milne —. BMC 91.
Obv: Laureate head of Claudius r.
Rev: [Α]ΥΤΟΚΡΑ, eagle standing r. on thunderbolt, head reverted, date LΙΒ in field.
 
Agrippina Jr. wife of Claudius  
2345  A.D. 51/52
 Æ diobol (7.21 gm.) Dattari 178, pl. xiii. Milne 124. BMC 108, pl. xxi.
Obv: Draped bust of Agrippina r., crowned with grain. ΕΥΘΗΝΙΑ across field.
Rev: Draped bust of Euthenia r., crowned with grain, date L—ΙΒ across field.
Note: Diobols were issued in the name of Claudius' new wife Agrippina in A.D. 51/2 and 52/3. The reverse type represents Nilus' consort Euthenia, a harvest goddess equivalent to the Roman Annona. The Rome mint struck denarii for Agrippina in A.D. 51 (see Kaenel Type 50). The empress was depicted on this coinage, as on the Alexandrian diobols, wreathed with grain, implying an assimilation to Ceres, or perhaps Annona.
 
2346 A.D. 52/53
Æ diobol (9.87 gm.) Dattari 179. Milne 127. BMC 110.
Obv: Draped bust of Agrippina r., crowned with grain. ΕΥΘΗΝΙΑ across field.
Rev: Draped bust of Euthenia r., crowned with grain, date L—ΙΓ across field.
 
Nero A.D. 54-68  
2347 A.D. 56/57
Billon tetradrachm (13.05 gm) Dattari 186. Milne 131. BMC 116. Curtis 33.
Obv: Laureate head of Nero r.
Rev: Draped bust of Agrippina Jr. r, date LΕ in front.
Note: Nero struck no coins at Alexandria until the third year of his reign. The portrait of his mother Agrippina constituted one of his regular reverse types through year 5, her tenure ending only with her murder in A.D. 59. At Rome, by contrast, she appeared along with her son on the obverse of aurei and denarii dated A.D. 54 and 55; but by the time production began at Alexandria, she had disappeared from the Rome coinage.
 
2348 A.D. 58/59
Billon tetradrachm (12.90 gm) Dattari 192. Milne 169. BMC —. Curtis 137.
Obv: Laureate head of Nero r.
Rev: Draped bust of Octavia r., date LΕ in front.
Note: Octavia, Nero's hapless first wife, was honored on the reverses of his Alexandrian tetradachms from his third through sixth regnal years. This coinage thus endured a short time after the murder of Agrippina, but ceased several years before the final dissolution of the marriage in A.D. 62. Octavia never appeared on Nero's Rome coinage.
 
2349 A.D. 63/64
Billon tetradrachm (12.93 gm) Dattari 241. Milne 216. BMC - . Curtis 132.
Obv: Laureate head of Nero r.
Rev: ΑΥΤΟΚΡΑ, bust of Nilus r., crowned with lotus, lotus stalk and reed over far shoulder, cornucopiae and date LΙ in front.
Note: Nero greatly expanded the repertory of tetradrachm reverse types, which lost their exclusively dynastic character. The personification of the Nile had previously appeared on the bronze coinage of Augustus and Claudius, but Nero was the first to depict him on the billon as well.
 
2350 A.D. 64/65
Billon tetradrachm (13.69 gm) Dattari 197. Milne 223. BMC 124. Curtis 143.
Obv: Rad. hd. of Nero r.
Rev: Draped bust of Poppaea, hd. r., shoulders facing, date LΙΑ in front.
Note: Nero's second wife Poppaea was featured on the tetradrachms for every year of their brief marrriage, A.D. 62-65. Poppaea's role on Nero's Rome coinage is almost negligible, consisting merely in the AVGVSTVS—AVGVSTA reverse of aurei and denarii, produced only in A.D. 64-65 and showing the mperial couple standing at full length. The Alexandrian coinage is thus the most useful source as to the appearance of this famous beauty.
 
2351 A.D. 64/65
Billon tetradrachm (12.66 gm) Dattari 197. Milne 223. BMC 124. Curtis 143.
Obv: Rad. hd. of Nero r.
Rev: Draped bust of Poppaea, hd. r., shoulders facing, date LΙΑ in front.
 
2352 A.D. 66/67
Billon tetradrachm (13.50 gm) Dattari 184. Milne 251. BMC 112. Curtis 65.
Obv: Radiate head of Nero r., date LΙΓ in front.
Rev: Radiate head of Divus Augustus r.
Note: Nero commemorated both Divus Augustus and Tiberius on the billon tetradrachms of his thirteenth regnal year. Neither of these ancestors appears on his Rome coinage, and no particular motive can be suggested for this isolated return to dynastic propaganda at so late a date in Nero's reign.
 
2353 A.D. 66/67
Billon tetradrachm (12.95 gm) Dattari 264. Milne 273. BMC 177. Curtis 113.
Obv: Radiate bust of Nero l., wearing aegis, date LΙΓ in front.
Rev: ΣΕΒΑΣΤΟΦΟΡΟΣ, galley right, two dolphins in exergue.
Note: The imperial galley is one of several types advertising the dilettante emperor's visit to Greece in A.D. 66-67, and his participation in all the Panhellenic games, which were held in a single year for his convenience.
 
2354 A.D. 66/67
Billon tetradrachm (12.07 gm) Cf. Dattari 264. Milne 273. BMC 177. Curtis 113.
Obv: Radiate bust of Nero r., wearing aegis, date LΙΓ (retrograde) in front.
Rev: ΣΕΒΑΕΤΟΦΟΡΟ(sic), galley right, two dolphins in exergue.
Note: An ancient forgery, see Metcalf, RBN 122 (1976), pp. 65 ff. Possibly ex Luxor hoard, 1908.
 
2355 A.D. 67/68
Billon tetradrachm (13.15 gm) Dattari 236. Milne 297. BMC 133. Curtis 126.
Obv: Radiate bust of Nero r., wearing aegis, date LΙΔ in front.
Rev: ΗΡΑ ΑΡΓΕΙΑ, diademed, draped and veiled bust of Hera r., star in front.
Note: Hera Argeia is another of the types used by Nero to advertise his tour of Greece, specifically commemorating his participation in the festival of Hera at Argos, one of her chief cult centers.
 
Galba A.D. 68-69  
2356 c. April-August A.D. 68
Billon tetradrachm (13.05 gm) Dattari 298-299. Milne 320-322. BMC 199-200. Curtis 194-196.
Obv: laureate head of Galba r., date LΑ in front.
Rev: ΑΛΕΞΑΝΔΡΕΑ, dr. bust of Alexandria r., wearing elephant headdress.
Note: The city of Alexandria was most commonly personified wearing an elephant skin headdress, a traditional symbol of Africa. Poole also suggested (BMC p. lxxxiii) that the elephant headdress recalled the city's foundation by Alexander the Great, who was characteristically represented with this attribute in Alexandrian art.
 
2357 c. April-August A.D. 68
Billon tetradrachm (12.61 gm)  Dattari 306. Milne 312. BMC 192. Curtis 206.
Obv: Laureate head of Galba r., date LΑ in front.
Rev: Eleutheria stg. l., holding wreath and sceptre and leaning on column.
Note: Eleutheria was the Hellenic equivalent of Libertas, who figured on Galba's precious metal coinage from Spain and Rome and on his bronze coinage from Lugdunum and Rome. These types of course symbolize Galba's claim to be restoring liberty after the tyranny of Nero. The column, an attribute of Securitas rather than Libertas, is not part of Galba's European Libertas type. However it does enrich the connotations of Eleutheria by suggesting that liberty has been solidly established.
 
Otho A.D. 69  
2358 A.D. 69
Billon tetradrachm (13.18 gm) Dattari 325. Milne 363-364. BMC 206-207. Curtis 232-233.
Obv: laureate head of Otho r., date LΑ in front.
Rev: ΕΙΡΗΝΗ, laur., dr. and veiled bust of Eirene r., caduceus over far shoulder.
Note: Otho's Alexandrian coinage simply repeats the reverse types of Galba. Eirene, the Greek equivalent of Pax, had appeared on Galba's aurei from Lugdunum and on his Roman aes. Eirene is the only one of these inherited types to be mirrored on Otho's Rome coinage.
 
2359 A.D. 69
Billon tetradrachm (13.18 gm) Dattari 326. Milne 365. BMC 209. Curtis 234.
Obv: laureate head of Otho r., date LΑ in front.
Rev: Eleutheria stg. l., holding wreath and sceptre and leaning on column.
 
Vitellius A.D. 69  
2360 A.D. 69
Billon tetradrachm (13.27 gm) Dattari 340. Milne 372. BMC 218. Curtis 243.
Obv: laureate head of Vitellius r.
Rev: Nike adv. l., holding wreath and palm, date LΑ in l. field.
Note: Nike is the sole tetradrachm type of Vitellius, appearing also on his bronze drachms. Her equivalent, Victoria, occurs on the precious metal coinage of each of Vitellius' European mints, and on the bronze coinage of both mints that struck Vitellian aes.
 
Vespasian A.D. 69-79 A.D.  
2361 A.D. 75/76
Billon tetradrachm (11.87 gm). Cf. Dattari 347, Milne 442, BMC 225, and Curtis 268 (none noting aegis).
Obv: Laur. hd. of Vespasian r., date LΗ in front.
Rev: Laur. hd. of Titus r., with tiny aegis(?) at point of neck truncation.
Note: The portrait of Titus was used as a reverse type of Vespasian's billon tetradrachms in every year they were produced. Titus additionally appeared on the reverse of bronze drachms of the last two years of the reign. Dynastic propaganda was also a prominent theme of the early Flavian coinage from Rome and other mints, but it featured Domitian as well as Titus, and soon spawned coinage issued in the names of each of the Caesars.
 
Titus A.D. 79-81 A.D.  
 2362 A.D. 80/81
Billon tetradrachm (12.72 gm). Dattari 424. Milne 463. BMC 279. Curtis 278.
Obv: Laureate head of Titus r.
Rev: Homonoia enthroned l., holding olive branch, date [L]Γ in l. field, star in r. field.
 Note: Homonoia was the Greek equivalent of Concordia. The type had various connotations, but in a dynastic context, as here, it expressed harmony within the imperial family. It was employed contemporaneously on the Rome dupondii of Titus, Domitian, Divus Vespasian, and Julia Titi.
 
Domitian A.D. 81-96 A.D.  
 2363 A.D. 82/83
Billon tetradrachm (11.75 gm). Apparently unpublished. Possibly unique.
Obv: Laureate head of Domitian r.
Rev: Draped bust of Sarapis r., wearing modius, date LΕ in front.
Note: The cult of Sarapis was established at Alexandria as the official state cult of the Ptolemies. Through its auspices Osiris, the Egyptian god of the underworld, assimilated aspects of many of the great Greek gods, including Hades, Zeus, Asclepius, Dionysus, and Helios. Thus by Roman times he was the chief god of the Egyptian pantheon. The bust of Sarapis has been recorded as a type of Domitian's tetradrachms for year 8 and of his bronze coinage for years 2 through 8.
 
2364 A.D. 88/89
Billon tetradrachm (12.95 gm). Dattari 435, this coin. Milne . Curtis X-283. BMC.
Obv: Laureate head of Domitian r.
Rev: Athena stg. l., holding Nike and resting hand on round shield, date LΗ in l. field.
Note: Athena has been recorded as a reverse type of Domitian's billon tetradradrachms for two of the three years in which they were issued. The type reflects, however faintly, the prevalence of the emperor's patroness Minerva on his Rome coinage.
 
2365 A.D. 90/91
Æ diobol (10.80 gm).
Cf. Dattari 563 (rev. type r.). Milne . Cf. BMC 334 (rev. type r., date LΙΑ) and 335 (obv. type l.). Cf. Cologne 367 (rev. type r.) and 380 (LΙΑ). SNG Copenhagen 214.

Obv: Head of Domitian right, crowned with grain.

Rev: Agathodaemon serpent on back of bridled horse galloping l., date LΙ below.
Note: The Agathodaemon serpent was a good luck spirit sacred to Sarapis. Every Egyptian town had its own Agathodaemon, worshipped under a special name.
 
2366 A.D. 93/94
Æ drachm (27.48 gm).
Dattari 452. Cf. Milne 523 (LΙΔ) and 529 (LΙΕ). Cf. BMC 338 (LΙΔ) and 339 (LΙΕ).
Obv: Laureate head. of Domitian r.
Rev: Emperor in biga of centaurs r., date L ΙΓ in exergue.
Note: Despite the fanciful aura contributed by the centaurs, this type is basically triumphal. The type of the emperor in triumphal quadriga was also employed on Rome aurei of A.D. 92-94 (see Carradice, p. 40), apparently in celebration of Domitian's sixteenth consulship.
 
2367 A.D. 95/96
Æ drachm (23.82 gm).
Dattari 544. Milne 532. BMC 342, pl. xxix.
Obv: Laur. hd. of Domitian r.
Rev: Triumphal arch, date L ΙΕ across field.
Note: A triumphal arch surmounted by two elephant quadrigae appears on the reverse of Domitian's Rome sestertii in A.D. 85, 90/1, and 95/6. The triumphal arch type, without elephants, has been recorded for his Alexandrian coinage for A.D. 83/4 (billon tetradrachms), 86/7 (billon tetradrachms), and 94/5 (bronze drachms) as well as 95/6. At both mints the type seems to eonstitute a part of the prolonged commemoration of the emperor s German victories.
 
Nerva A.D. 96-98  
2368 A.D. 96/97
Billon tetradrachm (12.99 gm). Dattari 638. Milne 542. BMC 353. Curtis 293.
Obv: Laureate head of Nerva r.
Rev: Agathodaemon serpent r. coiled around caduceus and grain ear, date LΑ in ex.
 
2369 A.D. 96/97
Billon tetradrachm (12.99 gm). Dattari 631. Milne 534. BMC. Curtis 298.
Obv: Laureate head of Nerva r.
Rev: Dikaiosyne stg. three quarters l., holding scales and cornucopiae, date L Α across field.
Note: Dikaiosyne was the Greek equivalent of Justitia, who appeared on the precious metal coinage of Rome in the first two years of Nerva s reign.
 
2370
A.D. 96/97
Billon tetradrachm (12.96 gm). Dattari 633. Milne - . BMC 349. Curtis 306.
Obv: Laureate head of Nerva r.
Rev: Eagle stg. three quarters r., date L Α across field.
Note: The eagle had been the standard Ptolemaic reverse type and was adopted by Augustus for the first Roman coinage of Egypt. For the Romans the eagle was not only a symbol of Jupiter; it was inevitably associated with the legions and warfare. In the present case it may be the Alexandrian equivalent of the CONCORDIA EXERCITVVM type, which depicted clasped hands holding a legionary eagle resting on a prow. This was one of Nerva s most characteristic types, employed on both precious metal and aes coinage of the Rome mint throughout his brief reign.
 
2371 A.D. 96/97
Billon tetradrachm (12.96 gm). Dattari 639. Milne 540. BMC 352. Curtis 299.
Obv: Laureate head of Nerva r.
Rev: Eirene Stg. three quarters l., holding grain ears and caduceus, date L Α across field.
Note: Eirene was the Greek equivalent of Pax, who appeared on Nerva s sestertii throughout his reign. The iconography of Pax/Eirene constitutes an interesting contrast: at Rome she carries her familiar attributes, a branch and sceptre, but at Alexandria her attributes are more expressive of prosperity and good fortune, happy states which can only be achieved in a condition of peace.
 
2372 A.D. 96/97
Billon tetradrachm (13.69 gm). Dattari 635. Milne 539. BMC . Curtis 08.
Obv: Laureate head of Nerva r.
Rev: Bust of Nilus r., crowned with lotus, cornucopiae at r. shoulder, date L Α across field.
Note: The Nile with its annual flooding was of central importance to Egyptian life, and consequently the personification of the river appeared on the coinage of nearly every reign. Iconographically Nilus is a standard Hellenistic river god, and in this particular rendering there are no special attributes to distinguish him from river gods elsewhere in the empire.
 
Trajan A.D. 98-117  
2373 A.D. 100/101
Æ drachm (27.66 gm). Dattari 1044. Milne —. BMC —.
Obv: Laureate head of Trajan r.
Rev: Tyche stg. l., holding rudder and cornucopiae, L Δ across field.
Note: Tyche was the Greek equivalent of Fortuna, who appeared on Trajan's Rome aurei in A.D. 99 and 100. This goddess-personification was a typical substantive type for the early years of a reign, as she expressed the notion that the emperor enjoyed the special favor of providence, which could equally lift an obscure man to greatness or cast the mighty down.
 
2374 A.D. 109/110
Æ drachm (17.69 gm). Apparently unpublished. Possibly unique.
Obv: Laureate head of Trajan r. with drapery on r. shoulder.
Rev: Nilus and Alexandria reclining l. on crocodile r.; he holds a reed; she crowns him and holds a cornucopiae; to l. genius on garlanded altar; date LΙΓ and Ις above.
Note: Nilus reclining may be compared to the much less common Roman type of the Tiber reclining. What makes this particiular rendering unusual is the pairing of Nilus not with his consort Euthenia, but with the personification of Alexandria. The numeral Ις which appears in the field refers to the Sixteen Cubits, the traditional measure for a "good Nile," an innundation adequate to insure the next year's crops.
 
2375 A.D. 111/112
Æ drachm (21.23 gm).
Apparently unpublished. Possibly unique.
Obv: Laureate head of Trajan r. with drapery on r. shoulder.
Rev: Artemis stg. r., pulling arrow from quiver and holding bow, facing Athena stg. l., resting hands on spear and shield, date LΙΕ in l. field.
Note: In Trajan's tenth year the Alexandria mint introduced a program of pairing gods and/or personifications on the bronze drachms, a practice which persisted to the end of the reign. There is usually some logic to the pairings, though in the present case it is not readily apparent. Possibly Artemis and Athena are associated here through their love of weapons.
 
2376 A.D. 116/117
Billon tetradrachm (12.81 gm).
Dattari 661 var. (star lacking). Milne —. BMC . Curtis —, but cf. X-332 (Eirene holds caduceus and cornucopiae).
Obv: Radiate head of Trajan r., wearing aegis, star in front.
Rev: Eirene stg. three quarters l., holding grain ears with poppies and double cornucopiae, date LΚ in l. field.
Note: Trajan's tetradrachms did not give much exposure to personifications of the imperial virtues. It is perhaps ironic that Eirene (Peace) appeared on the tetradrachms only in year 20, the year of his great Parthian campaign. There is no corresponding Pax type on contemporary Rome coinage, which comments on the Parthian war, the emperor's vicennalia, and finally his failing health.
 
Hadrian A.D. 117-138
2377 A.D. 117/118  
Billon tetradrachm (12.40 gm). Dattari 1247. Milne . BMC . Curtis X-543.
Obv: Laur. hd. of Hadrian r. with draped l. shoulder, star in front.
Rev: Dr. hd. of Trajan r., with aegis on l. shoulder, date LΒ in front.
Note: Hadrian's accession issue at Rome had featured types associating the new emperor with his adoptive father, and other issues of 117 and 118 had emphasized his filial piety by advertising Trajan's consecration and the posthumous celebration of his Parthian triumph. This tetradachm, though dated to Hadrian's second regnal year, belongs to his first year of coinage at Alexandria and obviously ref ects the dynastic propaganda of the Rome coinage. That first year's coinage also employed four personifications who appeared repeatedly on contemporary Rome coinage, as well as a number of unrelated gods and local types.
 
2378 A.D. 125/126
Billon tetradrachm (13.73 gm). Dattari 1326. Milne 1151. BMC 630. Curtis 316.
Obv: Laur., dr. and cuir. bust of Hadrian r., viewed from behind.
Rev: Canopus of Osiris r., two figures on body, date L ΔΕΚΑΤΟΥ around.
Note: Canopic types relate to the cult of Osiris. In Pharaonic times four canopic jars were employed to hold the viscera of a mummy. In the Roman period canopic jars also held papyri with funereal texts.
 
2379 A.D. 128/129
Billon tetradrachm (13.46 gm). Dattari 1249. Milne 1272. BMC 566. Curtis 504.
Obv: Laur., dr. and cuir. bust of Hadrian r., viewed from behind.
Rev: Dr. bust of Sabina r., wearing stephane, date LΙΓ behind.
Note: Sabina was elevated to the rank of Augusta in A.D. 128, whereupon she received her own coinage at Rome. At Alexandria she was portrayed on Hadrian's tetradrachm reverses for the remainder of her life, and in addition had a coinage in her own name from A.D. 130.
 
2380 A.D. 128/129
Billon tetradrachm (13.17 gm). Dattari 1525, pl. xxviii. Milne 1274. BMC 671. Curtis 420.
Obv: Laur., dr. and cuir. bust of Hadrian r., viewed from behind.
Rev: ΠΑΤΗΡ ΠΑΤΡΙΔΟΣ, clasped hands, date L—ΙΓ above and below.
Note: The abbreviation PP appears on Hadrian's earliest Rome coinage, but then disappears for some eleven years. It can be deduced that with the emperor absent in the East, mint officials improvised his titulature until his wishes became known. Evidently Hadrian did not consent to accept the honorary title of Pater Patriae, or Father of his Country, until A.D. 129. On his Rome coinage the event is commemorated modestly, by the addition of the letters P P to Hadrian's obverse legends. The Alexandria mint made more of it, issuing this tetradrachm type in the twelfth and thirteenth years of the reign.
 
2381 A.D. 132/133
Æ drachm (29.55 gm). Dattari 1848. Milne 1364. BMC 687
Obv: Laur., dr. and cuir. bust of Hadrian r., viewed from behind.
Rev: Triptolemus scattering seed from biga drawn by winged Agathodaemon serpents r., the snakes wearing the crowns of Upper and Lower Egypt, date LΙΖ above.
Note: A member of the Eleusinian trinity (together with Demeter and Persephone), Triptolemus was the hero sent by Demeter to teach men the secrets of agriculture. In Greece he was typically depicted in a car drawn by winged serpents. That design was introduced to the Alexandrian coinage under Trajan. The addition of the skhent crowns assimilates the serpents to the Agathodaemones, giving the type an authentic Egyptian flavor.
 
2382 A.D. 133/134
Æ drachm (21.68 gm). Dattari 1787. Milne 1423. BMC 794, pl. xx.
Obv: Laur., dr. and cuir. bust of Hadrian r., viewed from behind.
Rev: Nilus reclining l. on crocodile, holding reed and cornucopiae, date LΙΗ in upper l. field.
 
2383 A.D. 134/135
Billon tetradrachm (13.47 gm). Dattari 1430. Milne 1450. BMC 646. Curtis 456.
Obv: Laureate head of Hadrian l. with draped r. shoulder.
Rev: Bust of Nilus r., crowned with lotus, cornucopiae at r. shoulder, date LΕΝΝΕΑΚΔ around.
Note: This coin illustrates a common practice of the Alexandrian mint, avoidance of the numeral Θ, which as the initial letter of the Greek word for death ("Thanatos") was considered ill-omened. In this case the regnal year is spelled out instead of being expressed in numerals.
 
2384 A.D. 134/135
Æ drachm (24.46 gm). Dattari 1955. Milne —. BMC 878.
Obv: Laur., dr. and cuir. bust of Hadrian, viewed from behind.
Rev: Distyle temple in which Isis enthroned r., offering breast to Harpocrates, date Distyle temple in which Isis enthroned r., offering breast to Harpocrates, date LΕΝΝΕΑΚΔ around.
Note: Isis, the consort of Sarapis, was the chief goddess of the Egyptian pantheon. She was a true Egyptian deity, having been the consort of Osiris in Pharaonic times. Their myth recounts that after the death of Osiris, Isis had to flee from her evil brother Seth into the swamps of the Delta to give birth to her child and rear him in secret. The depiction of Isis giving suck to the sacred infant is a traditional Egyptian theme and alludes to this ancient myth. The shrine of course is a later addition, but its papyrus columns lend a distinctly Egyptian character as well. On the avoidance of Θ in the regnal date, see commentary on preceding lot.
 
2385 A.D. 135/136
Æ drachm (22.43 gm).
Dattari 1737, pl. xiv. Milne —. BMC —. Cologne —. SNG Copenhagen —.
Obv: Laur., dr. and cuir. bust of Hadrian, viewed from behind.
Rev: Harpocrates riding l. on ram, raising hand to lips and holding club, date L—Κ across field.
Note: Harpocrates was the hellenized name for Har-pa-khruti, Horus the child. Horus was worshipped in different forms and with different attributes throughout Egypt. This version is basically the Alexandrian one, but the ram associates him with Harpocrates of Mendes. The club suggests assimilation to Hercules, probably because of a similarity in their myths: the infant Heracles overcame an attack of snakes sent by the jealous Hera, and the infant Horus in his Delta exile also prevailed over poisonous snakes, at least one of whom was his evil uncle Seth in disguise.
 
2386 A.D. 136/137
Æ drachm (26.06 gm).
Dattari 1726, pl. xiv. Milne . BMC . Cologne 1222 var. (date in ex.).
Obv: Laur., dr. and cuir. bust of Hadrian, viewed from behind.
Rev: Androsphinx reclining l. on which Harpocrates std. l., raising hand to lips and holding club, date ΚΑ in r. field.
Note: The type of Harpocrates seated on an androsphinx was introduced in the reign of Trajan. In its earliest version the androsphinx is surrounded by lotuses in allusion to Horus' childhood in the Delta.
 
Sabina wife of Hadrian  
2387 A.D. 130/131
Billon tetradrachm (12.72 gm). Dattari 2064. Milne 1309. BMC 918. Curtis 561 
Obv: Draped bust of Sabina r., wearing taenia and poppy.
Rev: Sabina as Demeter enthroned three quarters l., holding grain ears and lotus sceptre, date LΙΕ in upper l. field.
Note: As noted above, the Rome mint issued a coinage in the name of Sabina after A.D. 128, when the empress received the title of Augusta. She did not have her own coinage at Alexandria until A.D. 130. Her assimilation to Demeter is of course equivalent to her assimilation to Ceres at Rome: Ceres was one of the chief reverse types of the special issues that inaugurated Sabina's Rome coinage in A.D. 128. Ceres does not, however, appear on the Rome coinage that is contemporary with this Alexandrian issue.
 
Antinous favorite of Hadrian  
2388 A.D. 134/135
Æ diobol (9.86 gm). Dattari 2085. Milne —. BMC —.
Obv: Draped bust of Antinous r., wearing hem-hem crown.
Rev: Antinous as Hermes on horseback r., holding caduceus, date L—ΙΘ scattered in field.
Note: Hadrian's young favorite Antinous accidentally drowned in the Nile during an imperial visit to Egypt , in A.D. 130. The grieving emperor had him heroized and established his cult throughout the eastern provinces, most notably in Asia Minor and Egypt. A bronze coinage in the name of Antinous was struck at Alexandria in the nineteenth through twenty-first years of the reign, with types indicating his assimilation to Hermes.
 
2389 A.D. 136/137
 Æ drachm (26.65 gm).
Dattari 2088 var. (L—Κ/Α). Milne—. BMC 925 var. (LΚ—Α).
Obv: Draped bust of Antinous r., viewed from behind, wearing hem-hem crown.
Rev: Antinous as Hermes on horseback r., holding caduceus, date L—Κ—Α scattered in field.
 
Aelius Caesar A.D. 136-138  
2390 A.D. 137
Billon tetradrachm (13.14 gm).
Dattari 2074 var. (no dr. l. shoulder). Milne 1541. BMC 921 var. (no dr. l. shoulder). Curtis 563.
Obv: Bare head of Aelius r. with draped l. shoulder.
Rev: ΔΕΜ ΕΞΟΥC ΥΠΑΤ Β, around, Homonoia stg. three quarters l., holding patera and cornucopiae, lighted altar at her feet.
Note: The coinage for Hadrian's heir-designate is all confined to a single year, the twenty-first of the emperor's reign. Its sole reverse type is Homonoia, corresponding to the Concordia reverses of Aelius' Rome coinage. In its details the type conflates several features of the Caesar's Rome coinage: Homonoia appears with an altar, an attribute more commonly pertaining to Pietas, the other type of the special Rome issue commemorating the emperor's adoption of Aelius. The legend, a Greek translation of the titulature used on the Caesar's Rome coinage, is exceptional in the Alexandrian context.
 
Antoninus Pius A.D. 138-161  
2391 A.D. 141/142
Billon tetradrachm (13.09 gm).
Dattari 2096 (wrongly described with ΦΑΙCΤΙΝΑ). Milne 1684-85 var. (different breaks in rev. legend). BMC —. Curtis —.
Obv: Laureate head of Antoninus Pius r.
Rev: Diademed, veiled and draped bust of Diva Faustina l., date L—Ε across field.
Note: The emperor's wife Faustina died in A.D. 141 and was promptly consecrated. At Rome she immediately received a coinage in her own name, which was issued in every subsequent year until at least A.D. 148. At Alexandria, however, the deified empress merely appeared on the reverses of her husband's coinage in the year of her death. Further commemoration awaited the fifth anniversary of her consecration (see lot 2411 below).
 
2392 A.D. 141/142
Billon tetradrachm (14.03 gm).
Dattari 2105. Milne 1699 var. (obv. leg.). BMC 1216.
Obv: Laureate, dr. and cuir. bust of Antoninus Pius, viewed from behind.
Rev: Diva Faustina stg. three quarters l., sprinkling incense over altar and resting on sceptre, date L—Ε across lower field.
 
2393 A.D. 141/142
Billon tetradrachm (12.67 gm).
Dattari 2323 bis. Milne 1703. BMC 930, pl. ii. Curtis 653 var. (holds dolphin by tail).
Obv: Laureate, dr. and cuir. bust of Antoninus Pius, viewed from behind.
Rev: Poseidon stg. three quarters r., holding trident and dolphin, resting l. foot on prow, dateΕL in l. field.
 
2394 A.D. 141/142
Æ drachm (22.94 gm). Dattari 3035. Milne 1728. BMC 196.
Obv: Laur. hd. of Antoninus Pius r.
Rev: Distyle temple in which Hermanubis stg. three quarters r., holding caduceus and long palm branch, small jackal to his l., small figure of Elpis adv. l. to his r., date L—Ε across field.
Note: Hermanubis was the hellenized form of Anubis, the Egyptian god of embalmment. Both the name and the caducous indicate that Anubis was assimilated to Hermes, who guided the souls of the dead to the Underworld. In traditional Egyptian art Anubis had been represented as jackal-headed, but as Hermanubis he instead has the jackal as an attribute. The small figure of Elpis (Spes) symbolizes men's hopes for the afterlife.
 
2395 A.D. 143/144
Billon tetradrachm (13.82 gm).
Dattari 2114 var. (obv. hd. Iaur.). Milne—. BMC—. Curtis—. Cologne 1437.
Obv: Head of Antoninus Pius r., crowned with grain.
Rev: Bare-headed, dr. and cuir. bust of Marcus Aurelius r., viewed from behind, L in ex., Ζ to r.
Note: Marcus Aurelius was formally adopted in A.D. 139, which corresponded to the third Alexandrian year of Antoninus Pius. Although the Caesar immediately received his own coinage at Rome, in Alexandria he merely became one of the regular reverse types of the billon tetradrachms from the third through eighth years of the reign, after which a coinage was established in his name.
 
2396 A.D. 144/145
Æ drachm (24.46 gm).
Dattari 2983, pl. xxvi. Milne —. BMC 1078, pl. xii.
Obv: Laureate head of Antoninus Pius r.
Rev: Two zodiacs, one within the other, each sign coinciding; in central circle, jugate busts of Sarapis and Isis l.
Note: This interesting and desirable type graphically illustrates the coincidence of the Sothaic and Egyptian civil calendars, an event which occurred only every 1460 years. The following zodiacal types were all struck to commemorate the beginning of the Sothaic cycle early in the reign of Antoninus Pius, specifically in A.D. 139. It is not known why commemoration was delayed until the eighth year of the reign, but it may be pointed out that the Rome coinage celebrating Rome's nine hundredth anniversary was also not perfectly timely.
 
2397 A.D. 144/145
Æ drachm (25.72 gm).
Dattari 2960, pl. xxvi. Milne 1807. BMC 1080, pl. xii.
Obv: Laureate head of Antoninus Pius r.
Rev: Venus in Taurus: diad. and dr. bust of Aphrodite l. above bull rushing l., star in upper l. field, date LΗ in ex.
 
2398 A.D. 144/145
Æ drachm (26.61 gm). Dattari 2968. Milne 1813. BMC 1084, pl. xii.
Obv: Laureate head of Antoninus Pius r.
Rev: Sun in Leo: rad. and dr. bust of Helios r. above lion charging r., star in upper r. field, date LΗ under lion.
 
2399 A.D. 144/145
Æ drachm (23.36 gm).
Dattari 2970, pl. xxvi. Milne—. BMC—. Cologne 1900-1901. SNG Copenhagen 461, same rev. die.
Obv: Laureate head of Antoninus Pius r.
Rev: Venus in Libra: diad. and dr. bust of Venus l. above young female floating l., holding scales, star in upper l. field, date [LΗ] illegible.
 
2400 A.D. 144/145
Æ drachm (21.74 gm). Dattari 2972. Milne 1820. BMC—. Cologne 1500.
Obv: Laureate head of Antoninus Pius r.
Rev: Mars in Scorpio: helmeted and dr. bust of Ares l. above scorpion l., star in upper l. field, date L—Η across upper field.
 
2401 A.D. 144/145
Æ drachm (21.32 gm).
Dattari 2976 v. (four-legged capricorn). Cf. Milne 1823 (rev. type r.). BMC —. Cologne 1505.
Obv: Laureate head of Antoninus Pius r.
Rev: Saturn in Capricorn: veiled hd. of Cronus l., wearing disc, above capricon l., star in upper l. field, date [L]—Η across upper field.
 
2402 A.D. 144/145
Æ drachm (22.74 gm).
Dattari 2981, pl. xxvi. Milne 1826. BMC 1090, pl. xii. Cologne 1897.
Obv: Laureate head of Antoninus Pius r.
Rev: Jupiter in Pisces: laur. and dr. bust of Jupiter r., sceptre over far shoulder, above two fishes, the top one facing r., the bottom one facing l., star in upper r. field, date [LΗ] illegible.
 
2403 A.D. 146/147
Æ drachm (28.66 gm).
Dattari 2452, pl. ix. Milne 1908. BMC 1028, pl. iii.
Obv: Laureate head of Antoninus Pius r.
Rev: Apollo of Miletus stg. facing, holding deer over tripod, fanked by two Nemeses, date L ΔΕΚΑΤΟΥ in ex.
Note: The reverse type depicts a famous cult statue of Apollo, located in the temple of Branchidae near Miletus in Asia Minor. The cult statue appears alone on billon tetradrachms of Antoninus Pius, but on the bronze drachms, as here, it is accompanied by two Nemeses. This design recalls the Homonoia coinage of Miletus and Smyrna, also issued under Antoninus Pius. The appearance on the type on Alexandrian coinage may have some connection with a cult of Milesian Apollo in Naucratis.
 
2404 A.D. 147/148
Billon tetradrachm (14.29 gm).
Dattari 2331, pl. xxi. Milne 1950. BMC 997. Curtis 654.
Obv: Laur., dr. and cuir. bust of Antoninus Pius r., viewed from behind.
Rev: Roma std. l. on cuirass, holding Palladium and sceptre, date L ΕΝΔΕΚΑΤΟΥ around.
Note: Types representing Roma appeared irregularly on the Alexandrian coinage over the years, infrequently under Trajan and not at all under Hadrian. Under Antoninus Pius, however, Roma types were used in at least six regnal years (years 2, 7, 9, 11, 14, and 17), a phenomenon which must surely be connected with the celebration of Rome's nine-hundredth anniversary in A.D. 148. On the Rome coinage this major festival was anticipated as early as A.D. 140, and again in 142, 143, 145, and 146.
 
2405 A.D. 147/148
Æ drachm (23.54 gm).

Cf. Dattari 2711 and BMC 1072 (LΔΕΚΑΤΟΥ). Milne —. Cf. Cologne 552-553 (L ΔΕΚΑΤΟΥ). SNG Copenhagen —. Apparently unpublished for this date.

Obv: Laur., dr. and cuir. bust of Antoninus Pius r., viewed from behind.
Rev: Nike adv. l., crowning trophy and holding palm branch, date LΕΝΔΕΚΑΤΟΥ around l. edge.
Note: The concentration of Nike types in Antoninus' tenth year may mark the type as commemorating his decennalia. Several issues for the decennalia were struck at Rome in the course of 146 and 147; however, Victory was not among the types used there, nor did she appear in the contemporary substantive issues.
 
2406 A.D. 148/149
Billon tetradrachm (11.98 gm).
Dattari 2350. Milne —. BMC —. Curtis —. Cologne 1588. SNG Copenhagen 489.
Obv: Laur., dr. and cuir. bust of Antoninus Pius r., viewed from behind.
Rev: Bust of Sarapis r., wearing modius, date L ΔΩΔΕΚΑΤΟΥ around.
 
2407 A.D. 149/150
Billon tetradrachm (14.01 gm).
Dattari —. Milne 2045. BMC —. Curtis —. Cologne 1627 var. (laur. hd.). SNG Copenhagen 494 var. (laur. hd.).
Obv: Laur., dr. and cuir. bust of Antoninus Pius r., viewed from behind.
Rev: Nike stg. r. on globe, holding wreath and palm branch, date L—ΙΓ  across field.
Note: The type of Nike standing right on a globe is well documented for year 23, but quite rare for year 13.
 
2408 A.D. 157/158
Æ drachm (17.89 gm).
Dattari 2603, pl. xv (misdescribed as LΚΔ). Milne —. Cf. BMC 1054 (Lς). Cologne —. SNG Copenhagen —.
Obv: Laureate and draped bust of Antoninus Pius r.
Rev: Labors of Heracles: Heracles stg. three quarters r., hd. l., lifting Antaeus from ground, date L Κ/Α across field.
Note: This scene from the sought-after Labors of Heracles series depicts the combat between Heracles and the giant Antaeus, a son of Earth. Normal wrestling throws only made Antaeus a more dangerous adversary, for he drew unnatural strength from contact with his mother. Heracles thus defeated him by lifting him into the air.
 
2409 A.D. 159/160
Billon tetradrachm (12.88 gm).
Dattari 2377, pl. xxiii. Milne —. BMC —. Curtis 699 var. (L—ΚΓ below busts). Cologne —. SNG Copenhagen —.
Obv: Laureate and draped bust of Antoninus Pius r.
Rev: Confronted busts of Sarapis on l. and Isis on r., date L—Κ—Γ scattered in field.
 
2410 A.D. 160/161
Æ drachm (22.34 gm).
Dattari —. Milne —. BMC —. Cologne —. SNG Copenhagen —. Demetrio sale, Feuardent 1872 —.
Apparently an unpublished type.
Obv: Laureate and draped bust of Antoninus Pius r.
Rev: Euthenia stg. facing on l., hd. r., holding grain ears, and Dikaiosyne stg. facing on r., hd. l., holding cornucopiae and scales, date L—Κ—Δ around field.
Note: The pairing of these two seemingly opposed types implies a new imperial virtue, the fair distribution of abundance.
 
Diva Faustina Sr. died A.D. 141  
2411 A.D. 151/152
Æ drachm (27.00 gm). Dattari 3295. Milne 2154. BMC —.
Obv: Draped bust of Diva Faustina r. with pearls in hair.
Rev: Dr. bust of Zeus Ammon r., wearing disc, above ram walking r., Egyptian altar in front, date L—ΙΕ across upper field.
 
M. Aurelius Caesar, A.D. 138-161  
2412 A.D. 148/149
Billon tetradrachm (12.21 gm).
Dattari 3187, pl. xxv. Milne 1973. BMC 1219. Curtis —.
Obv: Bare head of Marcus Aurelius r.
Rev: Dr. bust of Zeus Ammon r., wearing disc, date L ΔΩΔΕΚΑΤΟΥ around.
Note: Zeus Ammon is essentially the ram god of the Egyptian city of Thebes, whose desert oracle at Siwah was consulted by Alexander the Great in 331 B.C. Ammon was identified with Zeus but seems not to have acquired any important characteristics from him.
 
M. Aurelius A.D. 161-189  
2413 A.D. 161/162
Billon tetradrachm (12.38 gm). Dattari 3327. Milne —. BMC —. Curtis —.
Obv: Confronted busts of Marcus Aurelius on l. and Lucius Verus on r., both bare-headed, dr., and cuir.
Rev: Eagle with spread wings stg. three quarters r., palm branch over far shoulder, date L Β across field.
 
2414 A.D. 161/162
Billon tetradrachm (11.27 gm).
Dattari 3328 and Curtis X-722 var. (crescent on Faustina's hd.). Milne—. BMC—.
Obv: Laureate bust of Marcus Aurelius right.
Rev: Dr. bust of Faustina Jr. r., date L—Β across field.
Note: The use of the empress' portrait as a reverse type appears to be confined to the second year of this reign. Otherwise her image was kept before the public by means of a coinage in her own name, which had already begun in the reign of Antoninus Pius.
 
2415 A.D. 165/166
Æ drachm (22.25 gm)
Dattari 3527 and Milne 2548 var. (Helios bust lacking, date in field). BMC—.
Obv: Laureate bust of Marcus Aurelius left with draped r. shoulder.
Rev: Sarapis in quadriga l., raising r. hand, rad. and dr. bust of Helios r. above horses' backs, date Lς in ex.
 Note: The type of the emperor in triumphal quadriga was employed on Rome coinage issued in August and September of A.D. 166, celebrating Verus' Median victories and the fourth imperatorial acclamation of the coemperors. This Rome issue actually falls at the beginning of regnal year seven at Alexandria, so that the present type anticipates its counterpart at Rome. The Alexandrian version substitutes Sarapis for the emperor(s) in the quadriga, an iconographic change which would seem to blur the significance of the type. Yet the bust of Helios subtly indicates the eastern locus of the victory.
 
2416 A.D. 165/166
Æ drachm (23.67 gm)
Dattari 3573. Milne 2563 var. (dr. bust). BMC—.
Obv: Laureate bust of Marcus Aurelius left with draped r. shoulder.
Rev: Trophy flanked by two std. captives, date L—ς across field.
Note: The trophy is another type alluding to the eastern military campaigns. Trophy types, with and without captives, were employed in the Rome coinage for Verus in A.D. 165 and 166, in honor of his Parthian victories.
 
Faustina Jr. daughter of Antoninus Pius and wife of Marcus Aurelius
2417 A.D. 152/153 under Pius
Billon tetradrachm (13.70 gm)
Dattari 3240. Milne 2174. BMC 1318. Curtis—.
Obv: FΑΥCΤΙΝΑ CΕΒΑCCΤΗ (sic), draped bust of Faustina Jr. r.
Rev: Dikaiosyne enthroned l., holding scales and comucopiae, date L Ις in l. field.
Note: Iustitia, the Roman equivalent of Dikaiosyne, was not normally associated with empresses and was not one of the types employed for Faustina at Rome.
 
2418 A.D. 165/166 under Aurelius
Æ Drachm (21.45 gm)
Dattari 3623, pl. xi. SNG Copenhagen 552.
Obv: Draped bust of Faustina Jr. r. with pearls in hair.
Rev: Small figure of Harpocrates stg. three quarters l., raising hand to lips and holding club, flanked by two canopi, below this group eagle with spread wings three quarters r., hd. reverted, date L ς across field.
 

 

 

Collection | Topics | Resources | Library | Contact | Home
© Copyright 2001-2006 Michael J. Covili. All rights reserved.