Denarius of Sabina Augusta, “CONCORDIA”

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128–137, perhaps 138, CE
Hood Museum of Art: Purchased through the Hood Museum of Art Acquisitions Fund; 2001.8.34005

Obverse: Bust of Sabina Augusta, facing right, wearing diadem, with drapery over the shoulder. Border of dots.

Legend: SABINA AVGVSTA HADRIANI AV[G](usti) P(ater) P(atriae) (Sabina Augusta, wife of Hadrian Augustus, Father of his Country) clockwise from seven o’clock.

Reverse: Concordia on a throne, facing left, wearing dress and diadem, holding a patera in her right hand and scepter in her left. A cornucopia lies beneath the throne. Border of dots.

Legend: CONCORDIA AVG(usti) (the Concordia of Augustus) clockwise from eight o’clock.


Hadrian’s coinage relies on the political and matrimonial significance of Concordia, along with her strong association with Sabina, in order to make the innovative claim that men and women must be relatively equal in marriage for the state to function optimally. Hadrian and Sabina themselves modeled their relationship on equality. By giving Sabina a stake in a medium whose purpose was frequently political, Hadrian demonstrates that marriage and the Roman woman could not exist in isolation from the workings of the Roman state.

This text was prepared by Clare Hornig, Class of 2013 

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