Sestertius of Hadrian

119 -122 AD


On the obverse of this piece, issued by Hadrian and minted in Rome, a nude bust of the Emperor is depicted with a laurel-leaf crown on his head and the edge of his robe draped over his shoulder. The inscription announces Hadrian’s name with the titles of Emperor, Caesar, adopted son of Trajan, Augustus and Pontifex Maximus along with references to the Tribunicia Potestas and third year of the Consul. On the reverse, the Emperor is depicted dressed as Pontifex Maximus with the inscription ‘PROVIDENTIA DEORUM’. Its place in Alfonso II d’Este’s collection is also asserted by the presence of a silver damascene Estense eagle.