Hadrian. AD 117-138. Sestertius (Orichalcum, 34mm, 24.38 g 12), Rome, 134-138. HADRIANVS AVG COS III P P Laureate and draped bust of Hadrian to right. Rev. S-C / EXER MOESIACVS On the left, Hadrian, in military attire, standing right on a low platform, haranguing an officer, facing right and holding a sword and a spear, and three soldiers facing left and bearing an eagle and standards. Cohen 654. RIC 926var. (S-C in reverse field). Extremely rare. One of only very few known specimens of this type, which is missing in most of the special collections (i.e. Ebert or Friedrich). An attractive piece with the whole reverse composition struck in detail. Fine brown patina. Good very fine.
From a Swiss collection.
Hadrian is well-known for his many journeys throughout the Empire during and before his 21 years of rule. His travels were a fundamental part of his style of governing, and he went from Britannia and especially to the eastern provinces. More than half his reign was spent outside Italy, not only in order to fight against foreign enemies, but also to give instructions for new public works and to inspect the legions. This Sestertius belongs to the scarce ’EXERCITVS’ types that show the emperor speaking to the troops, in this case those in Moesia (present day parts of Serbia, Bulgaria and Romania). All of Hadrian’s Exercitus types are scarce, but this one referring to the troops stationed in Moesia is a great rarity and is only known from a very few specimens.