This is an ancient Roman silver denarius, of Emperor Hadrian, struck in Rome between 134 - 138 AD
Obverse: HADRIANVS AVG COS III P P; "Hadrian, emperor (Augustus), consul for the third time, father of the nation" bare head of Hadrian facing right.
Reverse: AEGYPTOS; "Egypt" Egypt reclining left against basket, sistrum in right hand; ibis standing right at feet.
Hadrian visited Egypt during his great tour of the East AD 129-131. He was accompanied by a large entourage including his wife Sabina, her friend the poetess Julia Balbilla, and his young constant companion Antinous, who perished in a rather mysterious drowning in the Nile. The experience seems to have killed Hadrian’s wanderlust, for he returned to Italy and spent his remaining years holed up at his beautiful villa in Tivoli, which included many poignant remembrances of Egypt. On this “travel series” denarius, Egypt is represented by the goddess Isis, who rests her elbow on a basket symbolizing Egypt’s importance as a granary for the Empire, and holds a type of rattle called a sistrum used in religious ceremonies.
DATE: 117 - 138 AD (this coin minted between 134 - 138 AD)
SIZE: 18mm dia
WEIGHT: 3.09 grams
ATTRIBUTION: RIC II 297; Strack 294; RSC 100; BMCRE 801
PROVENANCE: Private collection. Cologne, Germany.
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