Hadrian obtained the ceremony of deification not only for Trajan but also for Plotina. Grateful towards both the father and the mother by whom he had been adopted, and resolved to hand down the record of the event to posterity, he caused their effigies, with the astral tokens of consecration, to be represented on one of his coins, accompanied by the inscription DIVIS PARENTIBVS (To his parent deities).
This remarkable type depicts a youthful portrait of Hadrian with sideburns rather than the full beard normally depicted on his portraiture. The reverse displays a very artistic depiction of the portraits of the Emperor’s adoptive parents, Trajan and the Empress Plotina. The reverse description “DIVIS PARENTIBVS” leaves little to interpretation as a deification issue of the emperors late adoptive parents. Both parents are depicted with stars above their portraits as a symbol of their deification. This tradition dates back to the reign of the emperor Augustus. Early in the reign of Augustus when Halley’s comet passed over Rome, Augustus claimed it to be the spirit of Julius Caesar entering the heavens. The tradition of placing a star or comet on deification issues became somewhat regular occurrence as it appears on issues of August deification issue for Julius Caesar and Caligula issues deifying Augustus among others. Halley’s comet over the years has been associated with several historical events, including the battle of Hastings. Some theologians even believe the appearance of Halley’s comet may explain the biblical story of the “Star of Bethlehem”.
Bare-head of Hadrian right
HADRIANVS AVG COS III P P
Confronted portraits of Trajan, draped and Plotina, diademed and draped; a star above each head
DIVIS PAREN-TI BVS
A perfect choice for Numismatists, Historians, Military Veterans, Collectors.