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557180. Sold For $625

Sabina. Augusta, AD 128-136/7. Æ As (25.5mm, 8.90 g, 6h). Rome mint. Struck under Hadrian, circa AD 130-133. Draped bust left, wearing wreath and stephane, hair in knot at nape of neck / Concordia seated left, holding patera and resting arm on statuette of Spes; cornucopia below seat. RIC II.3 2517. Dark green-brown patina, areas of roughness. Good VF. Rare.

Vibia Sabina was the daughter of L. Vibius Sabinus and Salonia Matidia, the favorite niece of the childless emperor Trajan. Sabina married the 24-year-old Hadrian in AD 100, marking him out as the likely successor to the throne, which he achieved in AD 117. Sabina was not formally named Augusta, or Empress, until AD 128, perhaps to coincide with Hadrian receiving the title of Pater Patriae from the Senate. She accompanied Hadrian on many of his famous travels. Although Hadrian reportedly engaged in affairs with both sexes, he frowned on Sabina's extramarital friendships. In AD 122 he dismissed two courtiers for being overly familiar with her. Sabina's close friend, the poetess Julia Balbilla, accompanied the royal couple to Egypt in AD 130, where she recorded their presence by inscribing five stanzas on the Colossi of Memnon in Thebes. Both Sabina and Balbilla were thus probably present when Hadrian's young male favorite, Antinous, drowned in the Nile. The tragedy seemed to kill Hadrian's wanderlust, and he and Sabina returned to their lavish villa in Tivoli, where they spent most of their remaining days. Sabina died late in AD 136 or early the following year, probably of natural causes (although there were inevitable rumors of poisoning and forced suicide), and Hadrian ordered her deification.