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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)
 


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

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Plotina was Trajan's wife, married to him before he became emperor. She was renowned for her virtue and simplicity. Marciana was Trajan's eldest sister and the mother of Matidia. She was an accomplished woman who lost her husband before her brother's succession. Matidia lived as a widow with Plotina and they were united by the tenderest and most uninterrupted friendship. Both were awarded the title Augusta at the same time in 105. Marciana died c. 112 - 114. Plotina died in 129 A.D.
RP93845. Bronze AE 17, RPC III 1543 (17 spec.), SNG BnF 1468, Weber 5151; countermark: Howgego 304, F, dark green patina, light earthen deposits, weight 2.763 g, maximum diameter 17.5 mm, die axis 180o, Parium (Kemer, Canakkale, Turkey) mint, c. 105 - 114 A.D.; obverse TRAIAN AVG, laureate head right; countermark: Capricorn right in an oval punch; reverse MARCIANA AVG PLOTINA, confronting draped busts of Plotina, on left, and Marciana, on right; rare; $160.00 (€140.80)
 


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Felicitas was the goddess or personification of happiness, good fortune, and success. She played an important role in Rome's state religion during the empire and was frequently portrayed on coins. She became a prominent symbol of the wealth and prosperity of the Roman Empire.
RS88845. Silver denarius, Woytek 422v, BMCRE III 424, Hunter II 141, BnF IV 668, RIC II 271, RSC II 404b, Strack I 186, SRCV II -, VF, excellent portrait, light toning, some light marks and scratches, weight 3.315 g, maximum diameter 19.8 mm, die axis 195o, Rome mint, 112 - 114 A.D.; obverse IMP TRAIANO AVG GER DAC P M TR P COS VI P P, laureate and draped bust right; reverse S P Q R OPTIMO PRINCIPI, Felicitas (happiness) standing slightly left, head left, caduceus (symbol of peace) in right hand, cornucopia (symbol of abundance) in left hand; ex Numismatik Naumann auction 72, part of lot 1047; $150.00 (€132.00)
 


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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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In 113, Trajan's Column near the Colosseum in Rome was completed to commemorate the Emperor's victory over the Dacians in the Second Dacian War.
RS88848. Silver denarius, Woytek 419v1, BMCRE III 461, RIC II 294, RSC II 577a, Hunter II 157, Strack 195, SRCV II 3170, F, flow lines, tight flan, reverse slightly off center, small flaw below ear, die wear, small edge cracks, weight 3.213 g, maximum diameter 19.5 mm, die axis 210o, Rome mint, c. spring 113 - summer 114 A.D.; obverse IMP TRAIANO AVG GER DAC P M TR P COS VI P P, laureate and draped bust right, from behind; reverse S P Q R OPTIMO PRINCIPI, three standards, vexillum topped with a wreath on left, aquila (legionary eagle cohort standard) in center, standard topped with a hand on right; ex Numismatik Naumann auction 72, part of lot 1047; scarce; $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); $110.00 (€96.80)
 




  



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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 Sunday, October 13, 2019.
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Roman Coins of Trajan