The Dilemma of Vibia Sabina’s Roman Coins

A paper by Trudie Fraser for the Ancient World Seminar at 1:00 on Monday 24 April in the Mcmahon Ball Theatre, Old Arts.

The coins of Vibia Sabina, wife of the emperor Hadrian, are beautiful and their number suggests that she was honoured with more coins than any previous emperor’s wife. The chronology of these coins, however,  has puzzled many scholars for nearly a century with no satisfactory conclusion having yet been reached.  The variety of the iconography, both the obverse images of Sabina and the selection of reverse images, several different legends and the use of most coin denominations, all contribute to an enormous chronological dilemma.  This paper discusses these problems with many illustrations of Sabina’s coins. It attempts to provide reasons for the different combinations of image and legend and to suggest a possible chronology for Sabina’s coins, which in turn could shed some light on Sabina’s relationship with her husband.

Advertisements