The coinage of the Emperor Hadrian (AD 117-38) provides a rich visual commentary on the Roman Empire at the peak of its prosperity and development. Hadrian was noted for interests that included architecture, travel and Hellenistic culture and religion. He embellished the capital and helped to reinforce its cultural identity through important building works. Outside Rome his great expeditions establish him a benefactor of the provinces and the originator of the common cultural hegemony which characterised the later Roman Empire.

Roman Imperial Coinage (RIC) is the standard typological reference work for the Roman coinage produced by the Roman state (as opposed to civic coinage covered in Roman Provincial Coinage). RIC volume II (from the reign of Vespasian to Hadrian), was created in 1926 and is currently being rewritten. The twenty-first century version of RIC volume II will place the coinage in a more scientific format, providing closer production dating and adding the new types which have been found.

Coin of Hadrian

Sestertius of the Emperor Hadrian, AD 117-138