Hadrian, 117-138. Sestertius (Orichalcum, 36 mm, 29.00 g, 12 h), Rome, 130-138. HADRIANVS AVG COS III P P Laureate and draped bust of Hadrian to right, seen from behind. Rev. MAVRETANIA / S C Mauretania, in short chiton, standing left in front of horse pacing to left, placing her right hand on the back of the horse and holding two javelins in her left. BMC 1763. Cohen 957. RIC 1676. Well struck on an exceptionally broad and medallic flan. Somewhat smoothed, otherwise, good very fine.
Mauretania, in modern-day Morocco and western Algeria, was one of the more remote possessions of the Roman empire, having been annexed only in 42 AD by Claudius, who established two provinces, Mauretania Caesariensis in the East and Mauretania Tingitana in the West. The personification found on this beautiful sestertius from Hadrian's travel series alludes to the dreaded Mauritanian and Numidian cavalry, light unarmored horsemen equipped with javelins, who first served Rome under the famous Numidian king, Massinissa, in the final stages of the 2nd Punic War (218-201 BC).