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

A.D. 128–32


This is a cistophorus of Hadrian, a three-denarius piece struck probably during Hadrian’s second trip through the province of Asia in A.D. 129–30. The coinage is distinctive for its celebration of local deities and monuments. The figure portrayed here is Telesphorus, son of the healing god Asklepios, who had a cult center in Pergamum, where individuals sought cures for their ailments. The cistophori of Hadrian are all overstruck (i.e., struck on earlier coins); on this example, the outline of Augustus’s head can be seen on the reverse, and traces of the original reverse legend can be seen along Hadrian’s neck on the obverse.




10.71 g, 6:00, 29 mm

Credit Line

Ruth Elizabeth White Fund

Accession Number



2nd century A.D.


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 Bust of Hadrian laureate, draped, and cuirassed r.

Reverse Description

Reverse Description: COS - III Statue of Telesphorus facing, arms folded in front of him.


Numismatica Ars Classica, Zurich, June 26, 2003, Cat. N, lot 1969; Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven, Conn.
Object copyright
Additional information

Object/Work type

cistophori, coins, money

Technical metadata and APIs


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