AUGUSTUS SILVER CISTOPHORUS – HADRIANIC RESTITUTION OF AD 129 IN ASIA MINOR – VF NGC GRADED ROMAN PROVINCIAL COIN (Inv. 15486)
ROMAN EMPIRE. AUGUSTUS, 27 BC – AD 14.
Silver Cistophorus, 10.29 g, 29 mm, restitution issue struck under Hadrian at the unidentified Mint C in Asia Minor, ca AD 129-138 BC.
Obv. IMP CAESAR AVGVSTVS, bare head of Augustus right (with Hadrian-like features)
Rev. HADRIANVS AVG P P REN, Hadrian, standing facing and looking left, holding grain in his right hand.
RIC I 532; Metcalf Type 92, nos. 340-355.
Ex Phil Peck/Morris Collection
NGC graded VF, Strike 4/5, Surface 4/5, “overstruck”. A fascinating issue, where Hadrian honors directly Augustus who was instrumental in establishing the cistophorus as a Roman coin for Asia Minor. The title “REN” on the reverse as applied to Hadrian has generated much scholarly discussion, but Metcalf proposes that it likely refers to Hadrian’s renewal of the coinage by restriking the old and worn coins into new ones. Metcalf writes: “As alternative is to read, with earlier scholars, renovavit, without the implication of “restoration” as it was known at Rome. Indeed, Hadrian was not “restoring” anything…but he was “renewing” the coinage in a very literal sense by restriking it, and equally he gave it new form through the employment of local types…” (Metcalf, p. 90)