Agesilaos Antik Sikkeler Nümzimatik

Roman Imperial Hadrian

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Antik Sikkeler

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RESTITVTORI ACHAIAE - To the restorer of Achaea.

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If any emperor could claim to be the Restorer of Greece it was Hadrian, whose love of the Greeks earned him the nickname the Greekling [Graeculus].

This was the most important magistracy in Athens, and that year in Athenian history took the name of the 36 year old future emperor. The Athenians knew of Hadrians importance, and their gestures paid off well, for when he became emperor Hadrian lavished Greece particularly Athens as would no other emperor in the history of Rome.

While emperor Hadrian visited Athens at least three times: 124, 128 and 131. Without question it was his favorite destination, and had he not been afflicted by a general wanderlust and a sense of duty, Hadrian might have spent the whole of his reign in the shadow of the Parthenon.

This spectacular #aureus is part of the travel series issued by Hadrian, and it does not require too much imagination to believe this coin pleased him the most: an aureus in honor of the Greeks.

Hadrian paid for many capital improvements in Greece new temples, statues and monuments were erected, and dilapidated ones were restored. He also sponsored games and festivals.

During his last visit to Athens Hadrian attended a revitalization of the mysteries of Eleusis and presided at the consecration of the newly completed temple of Olympian Zeus.

Hadrian understood the cultural and political importance of games to the Greeks, and the design of this aureus clearly reflects that by the inclusion of the agonistic urn with a palm branch a symbol of Greek games.

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