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Tetradrachm (Coin) Portraying Emperor Hadrian

A work made of billon.
CC0 Public Domain Designation

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  • A work made of billon.




Roman, minted in Alexandria, Egypt

About this artwork

The Good Emperors dedicated themselves to the well-being of the people, but as the back of their coins indicate, each ruler had his own understanding of what made good government.
Although in his Satires Juvenal chided those in power for duping the populace with “bread and circuses,” feeding the people concerned all the emperors. Since Italy could no longer feed itself, rulers depended on the grain-growing provinces of Egypt and Africa to supply its food. On this coin, a figure representing the city of Alexandria presents Egypt’s crops to Emperor Hadrian.


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Arts of the Ancient Mediterranean and Byzantium


Ancient Roman


Tetradrachm (Coin) Portraying Emperor Hadrian


Alexandria (Minted in)

Date  Dates are not always precisely known, but the Art Institute strives to present this information as consistently and legibly as possible. Dates may be represented as a range that spans decades, centuries, dynasties, or periods and may include qualifiers such as c. (circa) or BCE.

131 CE




Diam.: 2.5 cm (1 in.)

Credit Line

Gift of Robert L. Grover

Reference Number


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Extended information about this artwork

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