Cistophorus of Hadrian, Emperor of Rome from Halicarnassus Artist: Unknown
Mint: Halicarnassus (Caria)
Ruler: Hadrian, Emperor of Rome, A.D. 76–138, ruled 117–38



This cistophorus of Hadrian is unique; its attribution to Halicarnassus depends upon its mate, 2001.155.2, which also portrays Zeus A(s)kraios, always shown in a grove of trees populated by birds. The coin, like all of Hadrian’s cistophori, is overstruck (i.e., an earlier coin was used as a blank). The undertype was a coin of M. Antonius produced in 38 B.C.; IMP COS DESIG IT appears under Hadrian’s neck, and the snakes of the original reverse show through.




10.66 g, 6:00, 28 mm

Credit Line

Gift of Ben Lee Damsky

Accession Number



2nd century


Note: This electronic record was created from historic documentation that does not necessarily reflect the Yale University Art Gallery’s complete or current knowledge about the object. Review and updating of records is ongoing.


Obverse Description

Obverse Description: HADRIANVS AVGVSTVS P P Head r.

Reverse Description

Reverse Description: COS III Zeus A(s)kraios standing facing head r. flanked by trees on either side; in each tree, a bird..


Numismatik Lanz 138, Munich, November 26, 2007, Lot 667; Ben Lee Damsky, 2007–2010; Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven, Conn.
  • Lisa R. Brody and Gail Hoffman, eds., Roman in the Provinces: Art on the Periphery of Empire (Chestnut Hill, Mass.: McMullen Museum of Art, 2014), 249, plate 20.
Object copyright
Additional information

Object/Work type

cistophori, coins, money, mythology

Technical metadata and APIs


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