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Vibia Sabina (83-137AD)

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Vibia Sabina


Wife of Hadrian
Died 137 AD

Vibia Sabina was the daughter of Matidia and grandniece of Emperor Trajan (98-117AD). At the prompting of Trajan’s wife Plotina, the marriage of Sabina to Hadrian took place in 100 AD without the full support of Trajan himself. The families of Trajan and Hadrian were already linked in the past since Trajan’s father was the brother of Hadrian’s grandfather.

Nevertheless, Sabina was a supportive wife to Hadrian. She accompanied her husband on most of his journeys throughout the empire. Still, her marriage to Hadrian was miserable, perhaps due to his homosexual affair with Antinous.

1 sabina

There was a hint of an affair between Sabina, the court biographer, and historian Suetonius. Hadrian dismissed Suetonius and was reported to have said that he would have sent Sabina away had he been a private citizen. Not much else is known about Sabina. She died before Hadrian in 136 or 137 AD. Hadrian consecrated Sabina and produced a very limited posthumous issue of coinage in her memory.

Monetary System

Viba Sabina As Plaited Coil Hair

 Æ  Bronze As (Plaited Coil Hair)

Two portrait styles were employed on her coinage. The first early design shows her hair in a style similar to her mother’s portraits of a  Plaited Coil. Later, the much more common hair style appears to have changed displaying what one might call a pony-tail or queue.

Vibia Sabina Denerius Queue

AR Denarius (Hair in a Queue)

Mints: Rome

Obverse Legends:



Sabina Plaited Coil Hair Style Aureus Denarius Sesterius Dupondius As - r

Traditional Plaited Coil Hair Style

AU Aureus (7.30 grams)
AU Quinarius
AR Cistoporus
AR Denarius
AR Quinarius
AE Sestertius
AE Dupondius

Sabina Que Aurea Denarius Sesterius Dupondius As

Hair in Queue

AU Aureus (7.29 grams)
AU Quinarius
AR Cistoporus
AR Denarius (3.42 grams)
AR Quinarius
AE Sestertius
AE Dupondius

Sabina Dupondius Head left with Hadrian
AE Dupondius (scarce Head Left)
AE Dupondius (Rare with Hadrian)
AE As (scarce Head Left)

Posthumous Coinage

Diva Sabins Denominations Aureus Denarius Sestertius


AU Aureus
AR Denarius
AE Sestertius


Sabins with Hadrian Ar Tetradrachm of Tarsus


AR Tetradrachm (Tarsus) with Hadrian

Sabins with Hadrian AE Tetradrachm of Egypt


AR Tetradrachm (Egypt)
AR Tetradrachm (Egypt) with Hadrian


Sabina AR Fourree Denarius RIC 2486

AR Denarius Fourree

 The Monetary History of the World
© Martin A. Armstrong