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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ |Roman Coins| ▸ |The Adoptive Emperors| ▸ |Trajan||View Options:  |  |  |   

Trajan, 25 January 98 - 8 or 9 August 117 A.D.

Marcus Ulpius Traianus, a brilliant general and administrator, was adopted and proclaimed emperor by the aging Nerva in 98 A.D. Regarded as one of Rome's greatest emperors, Trajan was responsible for the annexation of Dacia, the invasion of Arabia and an extensive and lavish building program across the empire. Under Trajan, Rome reached its greatest extent. Shortly after the annexation of Mesopotamia and Armenia, Trajan was forced to withdraw from most of the new Arabian provinces. While returning to Rome to direct operations against the new threats, Trajan died at Selinus in Cilicia.Roman Dominions in the Time of Trajan


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"Trajan, having crossed the Ister by means of the bridge, conducted the war with safe prudence rather than with haste, and eventually, after a hard struggle, vanquished the Dacians. In the course of the campaign he himself performed many deeds of good generalship and bravery, and his troops ran many risks and displayed great prowess on his behalf. It was here that a certain horseman, after being carried, badly wounded, from the battle in the hope that he could be healed, when he found that he could not recover, rushed from his tent (for his injury had not yet reached his heart) and, taking his place once more in the line, perished after displaying great feats of valor." -- Roman History by Cassius Dio
SH92857. Orichalcum sestertius, Woytek 461b, BMCRE III 970, RIC II 598 (S), Cohen II 499, SRCV II -, Choice gF, excellent portrait, well centered, nice toned brass surfaces, legends and centers weak, closed crack, weight 25.570 g, maximum diameter 33.2 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 103 - 111 A.D.; obverse IMP CAES NERVAE TRAIANO AVG GER DAC P M TR P COS VI P P, laureate bust right, aegis on left shoulder; reverse S P Q R OPTIMO PRINCIPI, Trajan on horseback left, spear vertical in right hand, reins and small Victory in left hand, S C (senatus consulto) in exergue; scarce; $560.00 (€492.80)
 


Trajan, 25 January 98 - 8 or 9 August 117 A.D., Roman Provincial Egypt

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In 116, Trajan completed his invasion of Parthia by capturing the cities of Seleucia, Babylon, Ctesiphon and Susa. This was the high-water mark of the Roman Empire's eastern expansion.
RX87338. Bronze drachm, BMC Alexandria p. 48, 402; Geissen 702; Emmett 611.19; Dattari 1072; Kampmann-Ganschow 27.662; SNG Milan -, Choice VF, well centered, attractive brown patina, a little flatly struck on highest points, weight 18.113 g, maximum diameter 33.8 mm, die axis 0o, Alexandria mint, 29 Aug 115 - 28 Aug 116 A.D.; obverse AVT TPAI-AN API CEB Γ-EPM ∆AKIK ΠAP, laureate bust right, aegis on far shoulder; reverse Zeus enthroned left, long scepter vertical in right hand, thunderbolt at side in left hand, eagle at feet standing left looking back, L I-Θ (year 19) across field; ex CNG, auction 78 (14 May 2008), lot 1508 ($650 plus fees); ex Empire Coins, auction 8 (7 Dec 1987), lot 429; $420.00 (€369.60)
 


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"Trajan, having crossed the Ister by means of the bridge, conducted the war with safe prudence rather than with haste, and eventually, after a hard struggle, vanquished the Dacians. In the course of the campaign he himself performed many deeds of good generalship and bravery, and his troops ran many risks and displayed great prowess on his behalf. It was here that a certain horseman, after being carried, badly wounded, from the battle in the hope that he could be healed, when he found that he could not recover, rushed from his tent (for his injury had not yet reached his heart) and, taking his place once more in the line, perished after displaying great feats of valor." -- Roman History by Cassius Dio
RB77285. Orichalcum sestertius, Woytek 203o, BnF IV 564, RIC II 535 (S), Strack 360, Banti 215, BMCRE III -, Cayón -, aF, well centered, corrosion, pitting, weight 21.572 g, maximum diameter 32.8 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, c. 104 - 107 A.D.; obverse IMP CAES NERVAE TRAIANO AVG GER DAC P M TR P COS V P P, laureate bust left; reverse S P Q R OPTIMO PRINCIPI, Trajan on horseback galloping right, in military dress, brandishing spear at Dacian warrior who is falling on his left knee, looking back at Trajan, raising both hands, and being trampled by horse's fore-hooves, S C (senatus consulto) in exergue; from the Jyrki Muona Collection, ex Sebastian Sondermann (Sep 2008); very rare bust left; $145.00 (€127.60)
 


Trajan, 25 January 98 - 8 or 9 August 117 A.D., Dora, Phoenicia

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Dora, on the coast eight miles north of Caesarea, was a Canaanite city. It fell to the Philistines early in the 12th century B.C. Solomon appointed the son of Abinadab as overseer of Dor (I Kings 4:11). In the Persian period Dor was a Sidonian colony. In Hellenistic times it was a Ptolemaic seaport and royal fortress, once besieged by Antiochus VII, (1 Macc. 15. 11-14). Under the Romans, Dora was a free city. See also Josh 11:2, 17:11; and Judg 1:27.
RP89041. Bronze AE 27, RPC Online III 3915 (18 spec.); De Saulcy 2; Rouvier 768; BMC Phoenicia p.117, 30; Meshorer Dora 33; Rosenberger II 26; Sofaer pl. 39, 28; Hendin 850, nice F, dark patina, weight 13.034 g, maximum diameter 27.2 mm, die axis 0o, Dora mint, 112 - 113 A.D.(?); obverse AVTOK KAIC NEP TPAIANOC CEB ΓEPM ∆AK, laureate bust right, drapery on left shoulder, star under chin; reverse ∆WP IEP ACYΛ AYTON NAYAP (Dora, Holy Asylum, Autonomous, Naval Headquarters), laureate head of Doros right, to right aphlaston, POE below (year 175) below; ex Gert Boersema Ancient Coins; $140.00 (€123.20)
 


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Bonus Eventus, the god of good outcomes, was originally worshiped by the Romans as a deity especially presiding over agriculture and successful harvests. During the Imperial era, he was associated with other types of success. The epithet Bonus, "the Good," is used with other abstract deities such as Bona Fortuna ("Good Fortune"), Bona Mens ("Good Thinking" or "Sound Mind"), and Bona Spes ("Good Hope," perhaps to be translated as "optimism"), as well as with the mysterious and multivalent Bona Dea, a goddess whose rites were celebrated by women.
RS88847. Silver denarius, Woytek 421v, BMCRE III 429, BnF IV 739, RSC II 398, RIC II 275, Strack I 184, Hunter II -, aVF, nice portrait, well centered, toned, tight flan, weight 3.269 g, maximum diameter 19.8 mm, die axis 195o, Rome mint, end 113 - 114 A.D.; obverse IMP TRAIANO AVG GERM DAC P M TR P COS VI P P, laureate draped bust right; reverse S P Q R OPTIMO PRINCIPI, Bonus Eventus standing slightly left, head left, nude, patera extended in right hand, heads of grain pointed down in left hand at side; ex Numismatik Naumann auction 72, part of lot 1047; $130.00 (€114.40)
 


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Virtus to the ancient Romans included valor, manliness, excellence, courage, character, and worth, perceived as masculine strengths (from Latin vir, "man"). Curiously, despite the masculine characteristics of virtus, the personification or deity Virtus was usually depicted as a female warrior, in armor holding a spear, parazonium, victory or a shield. Virtus and Mars can usually be distinguished since Mars is usually shown nude and Virtus is always shown clothed.
RS88850. Silver denarius, Woytek 197a, RSC II 402, BnF IV 204, Hunter II 70, BMCRE III 230, RIC II 202, Strack I 113, Choice gF, excellent portrait, well centered, light toning, flow lines, light marks, small edge cracks, weight 3.363 g, maximum diameter 19.2 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, c. 104 A.D.; obverse IMP TRAIANO AVG GER DAC PM TR P COS V P P, laureate head right; reverse S P Q R OPTIMO PRINCIPI, Virtus standing right, inverted spear in right hand, parazonium in left hand, left foot on helmet; ex Numismatik Naumann auction 72, part of lot 1047; $115.00 (€101.20)
 


Trajan, 25 January 98 - 8 or 9 August 117 A.D., Roman Provincial Egypt

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In 110, the Forum of Trajan was constructed in Rome by the Syrian architect Apollodorus of Damascus.
RX79999. Bronze drachm, Milne 621; Geissen 551; Dattari 765; Kampmann-Ganschow 27.316; BMC Alexandria p. 61, 510; Emmett 462, Fair, weight 21.827 g, maximum diameter 33.4 mm, die axis 215o, Alexandria mint, 29 Aug 110 - 28 Aug 111 A.D.; obverse AYT TPAIAN CEB ΓEPM ∆AKIK, laureate head right; reverse Trajan in slow quadriga of elephants right, laurel-branch in right hand, standard in left, L I∆ (year 14) above; ex Forum (2012); $100.00 (€88.00)
 


Trajan, 25 January 98 - 8 or 9 August 117 A.D., Beroea, Cyrrhestica, Syria

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English-speakers refer to the city as Aleppo. The original ancient name, Halab, has survived as the current Arabic name. It was also known in antiquity as Khalpe, Khalibon, and to the Greeks and Romans as Beroea. During the Crusades, and again during the French Mandate of 1923-1946, it was Alep. Aleppo represents the Italianised version of this. Aleppo has scarcely been touched by archaeologists, since the modern city occupies its ancient site. Much of the city and its heritage has been damaged or destroyed in the Syrian Civil War.
RP91513. Bronze AE 26, RPC III 3433 (2 spec.); SNG München 449?; Butcher 10; BMC Galatia p. 131, 10; Mionnet 137; SNG Cop 39 var. (E below), F, dark patina with highlighting red earthen deposits, well centered on a tight flan, weight 13.032 g, maximum diameter 25.8 mm, die axis 0o, Cyrrhestica, Beroea (Aleppo, Syria) mint, 25 Jan 98 - 8 or 9 Aug 117 A.D.; obverse AYTOKP KAIC NEP TPAIANOC APICT CEB ΓEPM ∆AK ΠAPΘ, laureate head right; reverse BEPOI/AIWN in two lines, H below, all within laurel wreath; from the Maxwell Hunt Collection; $80.00 (€70.40)
 


Trajan, 25 January 98 - 8 or 9 August 117 A.D., Struck at Rome for use in Syria

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This type is typically attributed to Antioch, but recent metallurgical tests suggest it was struck by the Rome mint for use in Syria.

In 115, Trajan was in Antioch for his war against Parthia, when the city was struck by an earthquake. He was forced to take shelter in the circus for several days. He and his successor restored the city.
RB91688. Orichalcum as, Woytek 937x (4 spec.), McAlee 507, RIC II 648, BMCRE III 1090 var. (bust), SRCV II 3243 var. (same); c/m: Howgego 378 (Antioch), aF, centered, roughly cleaned, partial green patina, brassy high points, scratches, weight 8.318 g, maximum diameter 24.4 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, c. 115 - 116 A.D.; obverse IMP CAES NER TRAIANO OPTIMO AVG GERM, radiate heroic bust right, slight drapery on left shoulder (chest and back); countermark: laurel branch with four leaves in a rectangular punch; reverse DAC PARTHICO P M TR POT XX COS VI P P, large S C in wreath; from the Maxwell Hunt Collection; very rare; $80.00 (€70.40)
 


Trajan, 25 January 98 - 8 or 9 August 117 A.D., Amphipolis, Macedonia

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Amphipolis was home to an imperial cult, worshiping the living emperor, and to a cult dedicated to Artemis Tauropolos. The obverse depicts Trajan as a military victor and probably copies an imperial statue. Artemis' most distinctive attributes were her bow and arrows but she was also called the torch-bearing goddess. This reverse likely depicts a local statue of Artemis Tauropolos. Artemis was honored at Amphipolis with torch-races called Lampadephoria.
GB90707. Bronze AE 20, Lindgren II 978 (same dies), Varbanov 7179 (R7), AMNG III 79, Hunterian I 37, Moushmov 6068, SNG ANS -, SNG Cop -, SNG Tüb -, BMC Macedonia -, F, weight 6.620 g, maximum diameter 20.2 mm, die axis 180o, Amphipolis mint, 25 Jan 98 - 8/9 Aug 117 A.D.; obverse KAICAP TPAIANOC, emperor on horseback galloping right, brandishing spear to strike a prostrate foe below; reverse AMΦIΠOΛEITWN, Artemis Tauropolos standing left, kalathos on head, long torch before her in right hand, small branch in left hand downward at side, grounded shield behind; rare; $75.00 (€66.00)
 




  



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|OBVERSE| LEGENDS|

BONEVENTLIBO
DIVOTRAIANO
DIVOTRAIANOPARTHAVGPATRI
DIVVSTRAIANVSPATERAVGVSTVS
IMPCAESNERTRAIANOOPTIMOAVGGERDAC
IMPCAESNERTRAIANOPTIMAVGGERDACPARTHICOPMTRPCOSVIPP
IMPCAESNERTRAIANOPTIMAVGGERDACPMTRPCOSVIPP
IMPCAESNERTRAIANOPTIMAVGGERMDAC
IMPCAESNERTRAIANOPTIMAVGPMTRPCOSVI
IMPCAESNERVAETRAIANOAVGGERDACPMTRPCOSVPP
IMPCAESNERVAETRAIANOAVGGERDACPMTRPCOSVIPP
IMPCAESNERVATRAIANAVGGERM
IMPCAESNERVATRAIANAVGGERMDACICVSPM
IMPCAESNERVATRAIANAVGGERMPM
IMPCAESNERVATRAIANAVGGERMPMTRPPP
IMPCAESNERVATRAIANOGERM
IMPCAESNERTRAIANAVG
IMPCAESNERTRAIANOOPTIMOAVGGERDAC
IMPCAESNERTRAIANOOPTIMOAVGGERDACPARTHICOPMTRPCOSVIPP
IMPCAESNERTRAIANOOPTIMOAVGGERM
IMPCAESTRAIANAVGGERDACPPREST
IMPCAESTRAIANAVGGERM
IMPNERVATRAIANAVGGERMPM
IMPNERVACAESTRAIANAVGGERMPM
IMPNERVACAESTRAIANAVGGERMPMTRPPP
IMPNERVATRAIANVSAVGGERDACICVS
IMPTRAIANOAVGGERDACPMTRP
IMPTRAIANOAVGGERDACPARTHICO
IMPTRAIANOAVGGERDACPMTRPCOSVPP
IMPTRAIANOAVGGERDACPMTRPCOSVDESVI
IMPTRAIANOAVGGERDACPMTRPCOSVIPP
IMPTRAIANOPTIMAVGGERMDAC
IMPTRAIANOOPTIMOAVGGERDACPMTRP
IMPTRAIANOPIOFELAVGPP
IMPTRAIANVSAVGGERDACPMTRPCOSVIPP
IMPTRAIANVSAVGGERMDACICVS


REFERENCES|

Besombes, P. Bibliothèque Nationale, Catalogue des Monnaies de l'Empire Romain, IV Trajan (98-117 après J.-C.). (Paris, 2008).
Banti, A. & L. Simonetti. Corpus Nummorum Romanorum. (Florence, 1972-1979).
Calicó, E. The Roman Avrei, Vol. I: From the Republic to Pertinax, 196 BC - 193 AD. (Barcelona, 2003).
Cayón, J. Los Sestercios del Imperio Romano, Vol. I: De Pompeyo Magno a Matidia (Del 81 a.C. al 117 d.C.). (Madrid, 1984).
Cohen, H. Description historique des monnaies frappées sous l'Empire Romain, Vol. 2: Nerva to Antoninus Pius. (Paris, 1883).
Hill, P. The Dating and Arrangement of the Undated Coins of Rome, A.D. 98-148. (London, 1970).
Mattingly, H. & R. Carson. Coins of the Roman Empire in the British Museum, Vol. 3: Nerva to Hadrian. (London, 1936).
Mattingly H. & E. Sydenham. The Roman Imperial Coinage, Vol. II: Vespasian to Hadrian. (London, 1926).
McAlee, R. The Coins of Roman Antioch. (Lancaster, PA, 2007).
Robinson, A. Roman Imperial Coins in the Hunter Coin Cabinet. II. Trajan to Commodus (London, 1971).
Seaby, H. & R. Loosley. Roman Silver Coins, Vol. II: Tiberius to Commodus. (London, 1979).
Sear, D. Roman Coins and Their Values, Vol. II: The Accession of Nerva to the Overthrow of the Severan Dynasty AD 96 - AD 235. (London, 2002).
Simic, V. & M. Vasic. "La monaie des mines romaines de I'llyrie" in RN 1977.
Strack, P. Untersuchungen zur römischen Reichsprägung des zweiten Jahrhunderts, Teil 1: Die Reichsprägung zur Zeit des Traian. (Stuttgart, 1931).
Toynbee, J. Roman medallions. ANSNS 5. (New York, 1944).
Vagi, D. Coinage and History of the Roman Empire. (Sidney, 1999).
Woytek, B. Die Reichsprägung des kaisers Traianus (98-117). MIR 14. (Vienna, 2010).

Catalog current as of Friday, November 22, 2019.
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Roman Coins of Trajan