MYSIA, Hadrianothera. Hadrian
After CE 123
Æ 16 mm, 2.30 gm
Obv: AΔPIANOC AYΓOYCTOC; bare head right
Rev: AΔPIANOΘHPITN; head of she-bear left
Ref: AMNG 565; SNG France 1091; RPC 1629. Rare.
Hadrian was an avid hunter. From Cassius Dio's Roman History, book 69:
"He also constructed theatres and held games as he travelled about from city to city, dispensing, however, with the imperial trappings; for he never used these outside Rome. And yet he did not see his native land, though he showed it great honour and bestowed many splendid gifts upon it. 2 He is said to have been enthusiastic about hunting. Indeed, he broke his collar-bone at this pursuit and came near getting his leg maimed; and to a city that he founded in Mysia he gave the name of Hadrianotherae. However, he did not neglect any of the duties of his office because of this pastime. Some light is thrown upon his passion for hunting by what he did for his steed Borysthenes, which was his favourite horse for the chase; when the animal died, he prepared a tomb for him, set up a slab and placed an inscription upon it. 31 It is not strange, then, that upon the death of Plotina, the woman through whom he had secured p445the imperial office because of her love for him, he honoured her exceedingly, wearing black for nine days, erecting a temple to her and composing some hymns in her memory. ... He was so skilful in the chase that he once brought down a huge boar with a single blow."
This coin celebrates a bear hunt.