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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 SALE |PRICE| $504.00
 


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Dacia kneeling before Rome! After his defeat in 101 A.D., King Decebalus complied with Rome for a time but then incited the tribes to pillage Roman colonies across the Danube. Trajan marched into Dacia in 105 A.D. After defeating the surrounding mountain fortresses, in 106 A.D. Trajan besieged Sarmizegetusa, the Dacian capital. With the aid of a Dacian traitor, the Romans found and destroyed water pipes supplying the city. Running out of water and food the city fell and was burned to the ground. Decebalus fled but, followed by the Roman cavalry, committed suicide rather than face capture. The Romans found Decebalus' treasure, estimated at 165,500 kg of gold and 331,000 kg of silver, in the river of Sargesia.
RB92416. Orichalcum sestertius, Woytek 250c-1, RIC II 485, BMCRE III 774, Strack I 371, SRCV II 3194 var. (same), Hunter II 270 var. (same), F/aF, nice portrait, some legend weak, bumps and scratches, porosity, weight 23.760 g, maximum diameter 33.1 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 104 - 111 A.D.; obverse IMP CAES NERVAE TRAIANO AVG GER DAC P M TR P COS V P P, laureate bust right, aegis on far shoulder; reverse S P Q R OPTIMO PRINCIPI, Roma standing slightly left, head left, wearing crested helmet and military dress, Victory in right hand, spear vertical behind in left hand; small Dacian at her feet on left, kneeling right and raising hand in supplication; S - C (senatus consulto) flanking across field; from the Errett Bishop Collection; scarce; $160.00 SALE |PRICE| $144.00
 


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Pax, regarded by the ancients as a goddess, was worshiped not only at Rome but also at Athens. Her altar could not be stained with blood. Claudius began the construction of a magnificent temple to her honor, which Vespasian finished, in the Via Sacra. The attributes of Peace are the hasta pura, the olive branch, the cornucopia, and often the caduceus. Sometimes she is represented setting fire to a pile of arms.
RB92421. Orichalcum sestertius, Woytek 58a, BMCRE III 718, Hunter II 218, RIC II 401, Strack I 317, SRCV II -, Cohen II -, F, well centered, excellent portrait, weight 24.800 g, maximum diameter 34.9 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, fall 98 - end 99 A.D.; obverse IMP CAES NERVA TRAIAN AVG GERM P M, laureate head right; reverse TR POT COS II PP, Pax seated left, olive branch in extended right hand, transverse scepter in left hand, feet on foot stool, S C (senatus consulto) in exergue; from the Errett Bishop Collection; $140.00 SALE |PRICE| $126.00
 


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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; $130.00 SALE |PRICE| $117.00
 


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; $125.00 SALE |PRICE| $113.00
 


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After defeating the surrounding mountain fortresses, in 106 A.D. Trajan captured Sarmizegetusa, the Dacian capital. Decebalus fled but, followed by the Roman cavalry, committed suicide rather than face capture. On 11 Aug 106 A.D., the south-eastern part of Dacia (modern Romania) was made the Roman province Dacia. Veterans of the legions were given land in the new province for their service in the Roman army.
RB91565. Bronze sestertius, Woytek 247bB-1, BMCRE III 933, Hunter II 264, BnF IV 302, RIC II 510, Cohen II 420, Strack 367, SRCV II -, aF, very nice portrait for the grade, well centered, attractive toning, bumps and scratches, weight 24.336 g, maximum diameter 33.3 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 106 - 107 A.D.; obverse IMP CAES NERVAE TRAIANO AVG GER DAC P M TR P COS V P P, laureate bust right, drapery on left shoulder; reverse S P Q R OPTIMO PRINCIPI, Pax seated left, nude to waist, olive branch in right, left elbow resting on throne, feet on footstool, Dacian at her feet facing her on right knee, wearing pointed cap, and extending toward her a petition held in both hands, S C (senatus consulto) in exergue; from the Maxwell Hunt Collection; $120.00 SALE |PRICE| $108.00
 


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 SALE |PRICE| $90.00
 


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In 105, Trajan left with the Imperial Roman fleet from Brundusium, in Apulia, to begin the second expedition against Dacia. In 106, he first conquered the Dacian fortresses in the Orastie Mountains, then defeated the Dacians in the Battle of Sarmizegetusa. After the Romans encircled the city and destroyed the water supply pipes, king Decebalus fled and committed suicide. On 11 August 106, the south-eastern part of Dacia (modern Romania) became a Roman province.
RB92417. Copper as, Woytek 209b, Hunter II 307, Cohen II 509, Strack I 360, SRCV II 3234, RIC II 540 var. (aegis), BnF IV 638 var. (aegis), BMCRE III 942 var. (aegis), F, centered on a tight flan, areas of corrosion, weight 10.944 g, maximum diameter 26.6 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 104 - 107 A.D.; obverse IMP CAES NERVAE TRAIANO AVG GER DAC P M TR P COS V P P, laureate bust right, aegis on left shoulder; reverse S P Q R OPTIMO PRINCIPI, Trajan in military dress on horseback right, thrusting spear at falling Dacian warrior trampled under fore-hooves, S C (senatus consulto) in exergue; from the Errett Bishop Collection; $100.00 SALE |PRICE| $90.00
 


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At the time this coin was struck, the Via Traiana was constructed at the emperor Trajan's personal expense; the road connected Benton with Brundisium (Brindisi).
RB91567. Copper as, Woytek 331bD, BMCRE III 797, BnF IV 622, RIC II 500, Strack I 399, SRCV II -, aVF, a little bit rough, bumps and corrosion, weight 11.790 g, maximum diameter 28.6 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, c. 108 - 110 A.D.; obverse IMP CAES NERVAE TRAIANO AVG GER DAC P M TR P COS V P P, laureate bust right, drapery on left shoulder; reverse S P Q R OPTIMO PRINCIPI, Fortuna standing left, rudder held by tiller in right hand, cornucopia in left hand, galley prow in background on left, S - C (senatus consulto) flanking across the field below center; from the Maxwell Hunt Collection; $90.00 SALE |PRICE| $81.00
 


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Fortuna Redux, one of the many aspects of Fortuna, was in charge of bringing people home safely, primarily from wars - redux means "coming back" or "returning." She may be one of the later aspects of Fortuna, as the earliest mention of her is on an altar dedicated by the Senate in 19 B.C. for the safe return of Emperor Augustus.
RS91568. Silver denarius, Woytek 526v, BMCRE III 578, RIC II 318, RSC II 154, Strack I 235, SRCV II 3139 var. (bust), aVF/F, toned, porous, light scratches, edge cracks, weight 2.839 g, maximum diameter 19.3 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 114 - 117 A.D.; obverse IMP CAES NER TRAIANO OPTIMO AVG GERM DAC, laureate and draped bust right; reverse P M TR P COS VI P P S P Q R, Fortuna seated left, veiled, holding rudder by tiller in right hand, cornucopia in left hand, FORT RED in exergue; from the Maxwell Hunt Collection; $80.00 SALE |PRICE| $72.00
 




  



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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 Tuesday, January 28, 2020.
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Roman Coins of Trajan