After a bit of a hiatus, I managed to finish another Owner's Comments
(Note: I am trying to keep up, as I try *not* to add any more new coins until I post Comments for all the current ones!)
This time, the essay is about my ancient bronze featuring Empress Plotina, wife to Emperor Hadrian. This coin is part of Page 6 = GOLDEN AGE I.
This coin graded as XF, Strike = 4/5, Surface = 4/5, which is a very respectable grade for this issue. It was struck in Gordus-Julia around 112-117 AD. I have seen about a dozen or so examples illustrated, and I would say that this specimen could be among the finest. It has a very nice observe portrait, replete with imperial pompadour (about which I also provide some further commentary in my essay!)
As I detail in my Owner's Comments, Plotina was a fascinating Empress. She should be considered a "good" Empress, complementing her "good" Emperor. As an indication of her virtue, she refused to be called Augusta when Trajan first became Augustus. Instead, she chose to earn the honor. She was also highly intelligent, in particular, I was fascinated by her devotion to the Epicurean "Garden" school of philosophy. In her old age, she even kept active correspondence with her husbands successor, Hadrian, regarding who should be leading the school. As an excerpt, here is my final paragraph on my Owner's Comments...
Through her actions, Plotina played a critical role in sustaining Rome’s Golden Age. In 117 AD, she convinced her dying husband to officially name Hadrian as successor. Evidently, Trajan was too weak to execute the appropriate documents, so Plotina signed the will in his stead. An alternative, highly unlikely viewpoint is that Plotina forged the will to place Hadrian on Rome’s throne. Either way, Plotina, who did not bear Trajan any children, secured the Empire another good Emperor.