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Research Coins: Feature Auction

 
11100697

ADVENTVI AVG IVDAEAE

CNG 111, Lot: 697. Estimate $2000.
Sold for $8000. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.

Hadrian. AD 117-138. Æ Sestertius (29.5mm, 24.30 g, 6h). “Travel series” issue. Rome mint. Struck circa AD 134-138. Bareheaded and draped bust right / ADVENTVI AV[G I]VDAEAE around, S C in exergue, Hadrian standing right, togate, raising right hand and holding scroll in left, facing Judaea standing left, holding patera in right hand and cup in left, at her feet, youth standing left before her, one behind her, each holding a palm frond; between them, lighted altar, behind which is a sacrificial bull lying left. RIC II 890; Banti 37; Hendin 1604a. VF, brown patina, some roughness. Rare.


Ex Karel de Geus 45 (23 April 2018), lot 1797, reportedly from a Dutch collection formed between the 1960s and 1980s.

Hadrian made a brief visit to Judaea circa AD 130, during his second great provincial tour of AD 129-132. Prior to his arrival, rumors spread among the Jews that he intended to rebuild Jerusalem and the great Temple, destroyed during the Jewish War of AD 66-73, so he was at first warmly welcomed. However, Hadrian decided to rebuild the city as the Roman veteran colony of Aelia Capitolina, with a temple to Jupiter replacing the one once dedicated to Jehovah. This ultimately sparked the bloody Bar Kokhba Revolt of AD 132-135, which devastated the province and darkened Hadrian’s final years. The rare coinage issued to mark his visit, with the legend ADVENTVS AVG IVDAEA (”the Emperor Enters Judaea”) depicts Hadrian being greeted by a female personification of the province and two children bearing palm branches. Although these coins are usually dated to AD 134-138, there is no suggestion of a military conflict in the design and the province is clearly named Judaea, which suggest it was struck before the conflict concluded in 135. Judaea was renamed Syria Palaestina in response to the Bar Kochba conflict, though precisely when this occurred is not known.