Coins of Hadrian

Roman Emperor (AD 117-138)

Publius Aelius Hadrianus was born in AD 76. He was related to the emperor Trajan through his grandmother Ulpia, Trajan’s aunt. In 85, Hadrian’s father died and Hadrian became the ward of Trajan, who had no children. Hadrian grew up in Trajan’s household and later became a tribune, consul, and governor of Syria. The day after Trajan’s death, Hadrian learned that he had been adopted as Trajan’s son and successor. Immediately, Hadrian was proclaimed emperor by the troops and the Senate in turn recognized his imperial powers.

During his reign, Hadrian toured the provinces to attend to such matters as military organization and defense, administrative coordination, to present himself to provincials as their leader, and to observe the conditions in the provinces. He spent most of the years between 120 and 131 traveling and developing a foreign policy aimed at a peaceful economy and secure frontiers. He also headed developments in administrative policy. He reorganized the army, appointed curatores to supervise local finance in municipal areas, and had laws passed to improve the conditions under which slaves lived.

In 136, Hadrian’s health began to deteriorate. In 138, he adopted Antoninus Pius as his successor, just before his death and consecration.

AE Sestertius, Rome
AD 119-138

Obverse:
Head of Hadrian laureate HADRIANVS upwards l. AVGVSTVS downwards r. 

Reverse:
Aequitas holding scale in r. hand and vertical rod in l. COS upwards l. III downwards r. S C to l. and r.  in field.