Article: An unnoticed portrait of Hadrian’s first heir, L. Aelius Caesar, in Rome’s Casino Aurora?

Discussion in 'Ancient Coins' started by Orange Julius, Nov 17, 2019.

  1. Orange Julius

    Orange Julius Well-Known Member

    Shea19, DonnaML, Pellinore and 10 others like this.
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  3. Bing

    Bing Illegitimi non carborundum Supporter

    My only Aelius example, and it's in realy poor condition.

    AE As
    OBVERSE: L AELIVS CAESAR - Bare head right
    REVERSE: PANNO-NIA S-C across field, TR POT COS II,
    Pannonia standing right, head left, holding vexillum in
    right hand and pulling swath of drapery across legs with
    left hand
    Struck at Rome, 137 AD
    23.5g, 30mm
    RIC 1071 (Hadrian), S 1217
  4. Mat

    Mat Ancient Coincoholic

    Cool article, thanks for posting it.

    Aelius (136 - 138 A.D.)
    AR Denarius
    O: L AELIVS CAESAR, bare head right.
    R: TR POT COS II, Felicitas standing left, caduceus in left, cornucopia in right.
    Rome Mint, 137 A.D.
    SRCV II 3973, RIC II Hadrian 430, RSC II 50, BMCRE III Hadrian 969
  5. Curtisimo

    Curtisimo the Great(ish)

    Here’s my recent example.

    Aelius: The Emperor Who Wasn’t

    Roman Empire
    Aelius as Caesar (AD 136-138)
    AR Denarius, Rome mint, struck AD 137
    Dia.: 17 mm
    Wt.: 3.24 g
    Obv.: L AELIVS CAESAR Bare head right
    Rev.: TR POT COS II Felicitas standing left holding caduceus and cornucopia
    Ref.: RIC II 430 (Hadrian) Scarce
    Ex Pars Sale 3, lot 357 (Oct. 2019), Ex Numismatik Naumann 75, lot 643 (Mar. 2019), Formerly slabbed by NGC
  6. TIF

    TIF Well that didn't last long :D Supporter

    Wow. I'd think any collector of ancient Roman coins looking at that bust would immediately think "that's Aelius". Perhaps in the absence of a prominent placard stating the (now presumed incorrect) name of the emperor, coin collectors who saw this bust simply assumed it was Aelius, so they had no reason to inform the management of Pallavicini Casino dell'Aurora about the error?

    EGYPT, Alexandria. Aelius
    137 CE
    Billon tetradrachm; 23 mm, 13.16 gm
    Obv: ΛAIΛIOCKAICAP; bare head right
    Rev: ΔHM EΞOVC VΠAT B; Homonoia standing left, holding cornucopiae and patera over garlanded altar
    Ref: Emmett 1350.2; Köln 1271; Milne 1539
    Secret Santa gift 2018; Ex Theodosius Collection
    Ex John A. Seeger Collection
    Last edited: Nov 17, 2019
  7. TIF

    TIF Well that didn't last long :D Supporter

    Maybe somewhere along the line the labeling of that bust as Marcus Aurelius rather than Aelius was purposeful. Marcus Aurelius is a much more interesting and important historical figure. Perhaps a seller of the bust was being devious?
    Theodosius and Curtisimo like this.
  8. PeteB

    PeteB Well-Known Member

    AELIUS, Caesar. 137 AD. Philippopolis, Thrace. (Æ 33; 21.34 gm)
    Obv: Λ AIΛIOC KAICAP, cuirassed bust of Aelius, r., bare head, with paludamentum seen from rear. Rev. ΦIΛIΠΠOΠO - LEITΩN, Female figure wearing polos standing l., holding patera in r. hand and poppy and two ears of corn in l. hand; on l., river-god (Hebrus) reclining. BMC__ ; SNG Cop.__; Moushmov__; Varbanov 643, rarity 9; RPC III, 753.
    zumbly, Marsyas Mike, Paul M. and 5 others like this.
  9. Alegandron

    Alegandron "ΤΩΙ ΚΡΑΤΙΣΤΩΙ..." ΜΕΓΑΣ ΑΛΕΞΑΝΔΡΟΣ, June 323 BCE Supporter

    My only Aelius:

    RI Aelius Caesar 138 CE AE As 26mm Rome mint Fortuna-Spes cornucopia and rudder.jpg
    RI Aelius Caesar 138 CE AE As 26mm Rome mint Fortuna-Spes cornucopia and rudder
    zumbly, Marsyas Mike, Bing and 3 others like this.
  10. Clavdivs

    Clavdivs Supporter! Supporter

    Mine is a very rough sestertius...

    Aelius Caesar2 MERGE2.jpg

    AELIUS (136-138). Sestertius. Rome.
    Bare headed and draped bust right.
    Rev: TR POT COS II / S-C.
    Fortuna standing right, holding rudder and cornucopia, Spes standing left, holding flower.
    30MM . 22.32GM
  11. Marsyas Mike

    Marsyas Mike Well-Known Member

    Terrific article - thanks for sharing it. I wouldn't be surprised if there are other Imperial busts tucked away in Italian palaces and villas misidentified in cobwebby nooks. These "heads" were avidly collected for centuries and I'd imagine often over-optimistically labeled - Aurelius, Hannibal, Scipio, etc. rater than "unidentified guy with a beard."

    I wish I had an Aelius coin to share, but I don't.
  12. Pellinore

    Pellinore Supporter! Supporter

    Very interesting. Aelius is high on my list, too. Preferably an Alexandrian coin.
  13. lordmarcovan

    lordmarcovan Eclectic & odd Moderator

    I had an as. Likely had some smoothing done.

    I like his portraiture.

  14. Valentinian

    Valentinian Supporter! Supporter

    I agree. Looking at coins are how most ancient busts are attributed anyway. Collectors who look at coins obsessively are the ones to ask (We don't know anyone like that, do we?)


    Aelius. Sestertius. 30 mm.
    TR POT COS II (137)
    Sear II 3981. RIC (Hadrian) 1059.
    Last edited: Feb 20, 2020
  15. Roman Collector

    Roman Collector Supporter! Supporter

    Here's a humble sestertius of the man!

    Aelius, Caesar AD 136-138.
    Roman orichalcum sestertius, 27.19 g, 30.6 mm, 7 h.
    Rome, AD 137.
    Obv: L AELIVS CAESAR, bare head, right.
    Rev: TR POT COS II, Spes advancing left, holding flower and raising skirt.
    Refs: RIC 1055; BMCRE 1914; Cohen 56; RCV 3986; UCR 825.
  16. DonnaML

    DonnaML Supporter! Supporter

    I'm glad this thread was revived so I had a chance to read the article -- fascinating.

    My one Aelius Caesar coin: Aelius Caesar AR Denarius, 137 AD. Obv. AELIVS CAESAR, bare head right / Rev. TR POT COS II, Felicitas standing left, holding caduceus and cornucopiae. RSC II 50, RIC II Hadrian 430 (1926 ed.). 18 mm., 2.70 g.

    Aelius Caesar denarius jpg version.jpg

    (Interesting that all three of the Aelius denarii posted in this thread are of this type.)
    Last edited: Feb 20, 2020
  17. lordmarcovan

    lordmarcovan Eclectic & odd Moderator

    Nice one!
    DonnaML likes this.
  18. H8_modern

    H8_modern Attracted to small round-ish art

    That is interesting. I had to look to see what I have and it is the same too.

  19. DonnaML

    DonnaML Supporter! Supporter

    4 for 4! A small sample size, I know, but I still think it's quite a coincidence, given that there are more than 25 different types of Aelius Caesar denarii -- not as many as actual emperors, of course, but enough to make it rather odd that all of us seem to have the same one.
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