A ROMAN DENARIUS OF HADRIAN
Please refer to our stock # hadrian when inquiring.
Reign of Hadrian (117-138 CE)
Rome Mint; 134-138 CE
Obverse: HADRIANVS AVG COS III P P. Bare head of Hadrian facing right.
Reverse: FELICITAS AVG. Felicitas standing left, holding short caduceus and cornucopia.
Weight: 3.1 g; Diameter: 18.1 mm
Worldwide shipping and Certificate of Authenticity included in price.
Reference: RIC II, 233a
Hadrian ruled Rome as Emperor from 117-138 CE after the death of Trajan. He was one of the "Five Good Emperors" who ruled from 96-180 CE. He was a well traveled, well educated, patron of the arts who served the Empire well. He was also a prudent military commander, often to the dismay of his contemporaries who wished to see the conquests of Trajan continued. He is perhaps best remembered as the builder of Hadrian's Wall which was constructed between 122 and 128 CE and marked the most northerly boundary of the Roman Empire at that time. During this period he also rebuilt the Pantheon originally constructed by Marcus Agrippa. When one visits Rome today it is Hadrian's Pantheon that greets them.
As with all Roman Emperors it was important for Hadrian to honor the gods and goddesses on his coinage and in the larger public sphere. In this example we see Felicitas, the personification of fertility and good fortune is honored. Etymologically this concept is derived from the Latin world "Felix" meaning fruitful, lucky or happy. In the form of Felicitas this can refer to a woman's fertility or general good fortune. While having similarities to Fortuna, the fortune of Felicitas is always beneficial whereas Fortuna can often be capricious. The cult of Felicitas is first evidenced in Rome in the 2nd Century BCE and continued to be an important role in the Imperial Era. When depicted on coins, as with other deities, her good fortune and prosperity reference that of the Empire itself.