Adopted Emperors Coins For Sale (96 - 180 AD)

The period between the accession of Nerva and the death of Marcus Aurelius is often referred to as the ‘High Point of Empire’ or ‘The Golden Age of Rome’. The Empire certainly reached its maximum size during this period and enjoyed many decades of wise and stable government under the Adopted Emperors. Rome’s power seemed impregnable; her authority undisputed in Western Europe and the Mediterranean. However, the beginning of this era was very different. Marcus Cocceius Nerva, who became emperor in the aftermath of Domitian’s assassination in AD 96, feared a repeat of the civil wars which followed the death of Nero 28 years earlier. Nerva avoided potential army rebellions by appointing the popular general, Marcus Ulpius Traianus, as his heir. This action diffused army opposition to the death of Domitian and secured Nerva’s position. The practice of adopting the best man as successor was thus established; Trajan, in turn, adopted Publius Aelius Hadrianus (Hadrian), who adopted Titus Aurelius Fulvus Boionius Arrius Antoninus (Antoninus Pius), and Marcus Aelius Aurelius Verus (Marcus Aurelius). Unfortunately, the successor of Marcus Aurelius was his son, Commodus, who proved a tyrant and megalomaniac. His assassination on New Year’s Eve AD 192 began a new round of internal strife and civil war. James R. Wadman B.A., M.A. [History and Archaeology] for TimeLine Originals.

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Select from the coin links below to navigate around our catalogue:



Nerva CoinsNerva (96 - 98 AD)
Trajan CoinsTrajan (98 - 117 AD)
Hadrian CoinsHadrian (117 - 138 AD)
Aelius CoinsLucius Aelius Verus Caesar (101 - 138 AD)
Sabina CoinsSabina (Died 136 AD)
Antoninus Pius CoinsAntoninus Pius (138 - 161 AD)
Faustina I CoinsFaustina I (138 - 141 AD)
Faustina II CoinsFaustina II (Died 175/6 AD)
Marcus Aurelius CoinsMarcus Aurelius (161 - 180 AD)
Lucius Verus CoinsLucius Verus (161 - 169 AD)
Lucilla CoinsLucilla (164 - 169 AD)



Example of an adopted emperor coin we have sold recently:

Hadrian 012395

Hadrian 'Felicitas and Hadrian' Denarius
Silver, 3.19 grams; 19.12 mm. Rome. 134-138 AD. Obverse: HADRIANVS AVG COS III P P, bare head right. Reverse: FELICITAS AVG, Hadrian, standing right, holding scroll in left hand, clasping hands with Felicitas, standing left, holding caduceus. RIC II 237; BMC 613; RSC 628. Almost extremely fine.

more info
Hadrian 012395


Main Roman Coin Book and Other References:

RIC = Mattingly, Harold    The Roman Imperial Coinage
BMC = Coins of the Roman Empire in the British Museum
RSC = Seaby, H A    Roman Silver Coinage
RCV = Sear, David R    Roman Coins and Their Values
Cr = Crawford, Michael    The Roman Republican Coinage
SB = Sear, David R    Byzantine Coins and Their Values
S = Coins of England and the United Kingdom
WW = Wildwinds.com (reference & attribution site)



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