EGYPT, Alexandria

Hadrian, CE 117-138

Æ Drachm, 35 mm, 24.8 gm; Regnal year 15 (CE 130/1)

Obv:  AVT KAI TPAI ADPIA CEB; laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, seen from behind

Rev:  Hadrian standing left, togate, holding sceptre, greeted by Alexandria, clad in elephant's skin headdress, chiton, and peplos, holding two grain ears in her left hand, and kissing Hadrian's extended right hand; L-IE (date) below.

Ref:  Emmett 964(15), R1

Triskeles auction Dec. 2013

This coin commemorates Hadrian's visit to Alexandria in CE 130.

 

His beloved companion, Antinoüs, drowned in the Nile on the trip.  The circumstances are unclear and some historians suggest it was an intentional sacrifice.

 

Hadrian mourned the loss of his lover. Antinoüs was deified, a cult began,  and the city of Antinopolis was established on the Nile's bank not far from where he drowned.

Translation of legend abbreviations:

AVT KAI TPAI ADPIA CEB

Imperator Caesar Trajanus Hadrianus Augustus

L IE

year 15