Sabina, wife of Hadrian, Rome mint, struck ca. 128 AD.,
Dupondius (ø 25-27 mm / 12,47 g), brass ("orichalcum", yellow material), axes about coin alignment ↑↓ (ca. 170°),
Obv.: SABINA AVGVSTA - HADR[IANI] AVG P P , diademed and draped bust of Sabina right, hair coiled and piled high on back of head behind metal tiara.
Rev.: S C (in exergue) , Ceres seated left on basket, holding two grain ears and torch.
RIC II, p. 476, 1023 (Hadrian) (scarce) ; BMC 540, 1900 (Hadrian) ; cf. Cohen 70 (Dupondius) .
While Sabina’s mother, Matidia, may have been quite fond of Hadrian, the same cannot be said of his wife Sabina. Their marriage in 100 essentially guaranteed Hadrian as successor to Trajan, but it did not bring with it domestic bliss. Hadrian was a flagrant adulterer, both with married women and handsome youths such as his favourite companion, the Bithynian youth Antinoüs. Hadrian, however, would not tolerate such behaviour from his wife; in 121 or 122 he dismissed his praetorian prefect Septicius Clarus and the historian Suetonius, both court officials with whom Sabina had developed close relationships. After an unpleasant thirty-six year marriage, Sabina died in 136 or 137. It was widely rumoured that her husband, knowing that his death was not far off, either her poisoned or forced her to commit suicide.