Hadrian, Numismatics, Rome

Dupondius commemorating Hadrian’s arrival in Rome on July 9, 118 A.D.

On this day (July, 9) in 118 A.D., Hadrian entered the city of Rome, eleven months after his succession to Trajan.

RIC 554 Dupondius, 118 A.D.
Rad. r., dr. l. s.
Roma, helmeted, seated r. on cuirass, holding spear in l. hand, clasping r. hands with Hadrian who stands l., togate.


Hadrian’s arrival in Rome was overshadowed by the execution of four respected senators, despite his promise not to execute members of the Senate. As a consequence, Hadrian focused on measures to increase his popularity with the plebs by cancelling the public debt worth 900 million sestertii. The records of these debts were publicly burned in the Forum Trajanum, an event which gained him public favor (see the burning of the tax debts tablet on the Plutei of Trajan and on this sestertius of Hadrian).

“Moreover, he [Hadrian] used every means of gaining popularity. He remitted to private debtors in Rome and in Italy immense sums of money owed to the privy-purse, and in the provinces he remitted large amounts of arrears; and he ordered the promissory notes to be burned in the Forum of the Deified Trajan, in order that the general sense of security might thereby be increased. He gave orders that the property of condemned persons should not accrue to the privy-purse, and in each case deposited the whole amount in the public treasury. He made additional appropriations for the children to whom Trajan had allotted grants of money.”

Historia Augusta, Hadrian (I.7.5-8)

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