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As Aelius - Spes


AELIUS (under HADRIAN). AE As. Rome, 137 AD. Obv. AELIVS CAESAR Bare head right Rev. TR POT COS II SC Spes advancing left, holding flower and raising skirt. C. 57 (8F) Aelius Caesar, formerly known as L. Ceionius Commodus (Aelius Spartianus recounts his life in Historia Augusta) was of Etruscan origin. He became consul in AD 136, having been adopted by Hadrian in the summer of that year. His appointment came as a general surprise: according to the gossip, Hadrian chose him for his beauty, or perhaps because he considered him a suitable caretaker who would make way for his own favourite, M. Annius Verus, just fifteen years old at the time. In the opinion of Carcopino, Aelius had been adopted because he was Hadrian’s illegitimate child. A wan figure with delicate constitution, he suffered a heavy fall while making an address of thanks for Hadrian and died of a haemorrhage. The Historia Augusta (Vita Ael 7) tells us that "Hadrian had gigantic statues raised to Aelius Verus in all regions of the empire, temples too in some cities, and desired that Aelius' son Verus, who had remained within the imperial family after his father's death, be adopted as his grandson, by Antoninus Pius together with Marcus. [NAC] Ex. OldRomanCoins (Ebay), 15 Oct. 2001

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