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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ Roman Coins ▸ The Adoptive Emperors ▸ TrajanView 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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This is an extremely rare heroic bust variety of a scarce type. There is only one auction record on Coin Archives for this variety: NAC Auction 59 (4 Apr 2011), lot 968 (a beautiful near EF example). It sold for $48,717 including fees.
SH73454. Orichalcum sestertius, Woytek 203q+2 (same obv die), RIC II 535 (S, no belt), BMCRE III 838 var (no belt), BnF IV 565 var (no belt), VF, well centered, high relief bust, Tiber patina, porous, areas of corrosion, weight 25.631 g, maximum diameter 34.6 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 left, full chest exposed, with drapery on left shoulder, military belt (balteus) across chest; reverse S P Q R OPTIMO PRINCIPI, Trajan in military dress on horseback right, thrusting spear at Dacian warrior trampled and falling under fore-hooves, S C in exergue; extremely rare variety; $5000.00 (€4350.00)
 


Divus Trajan, Commemorative Issued by Trajan Decius, 250 - 251 A.D.

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RIC notes that the commencement of the divi series of antoniniani may be attributed with certainty by their weight to Trajan Decius and issue may have continued into the reign of Trebonianus Gallus.
RS72388. Silver antoninianus, RIC IV Decius 85b (R), RSC II Trajan 666, SRCV III 9740, Hunter III -, F, toned, weight 4.575 g, maximum diameter 22.6 mm, die axis 45o, Mediolanum (Milan, Italy) mint, 250 - 251 A.D.; obverse DIVO TRAIANO, radiate bust right, slight drapery on left shoulder; reverse CONSECRATIO, eagle standing half right, wings open, head turned back left; scarce; $280.00 (€243.60)
 


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Personification of the siege of Sarmizegetusa! 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 river-god on the reverse is usually described as Tiber, however, the reverse likely personifies the impact of the Roman destruction of the Dacian's water supply. Dacia's own water supply has betrayed her, knocked her to the ground, and is choking her.
SH63939. Orichalcum sestertius, RIC II 556, BMCRE III 793 note, Cohen II 526, aF, weight 20.524 g, maximum diameter 32.9 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 103 - 111 A.D.; obverse IMP CAES NERVA TRAIANO AVG GER DAC P M TR P COS V P P, laureate bust right, slight drapery on far shoulder; reverse S P Q R OPTIMO PRINCIPI S C, River-god, cloak billowing behind, leaning left with right knee on supine Dacia, forcing her to the ground, choking her with his right hand, reeds in left; very scarce; $240.00 (€208.80)
 


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. The reverse may depict a local statue of Artemis Tauropolos.
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; $220.00 (€191.40)
 


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. The reverse may depict a local statue of Artemis Tauropolos.
GB90406. 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 -, gF, centered, some porosity, weight 5.099 g, maximum diameter 20.4 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; $200.00 (€174.00)
 


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They look similar, but there is a significant physical difference between angels and Victory. Angels are all male. Victory (Nike) is female.
SL73455. Silver denarius, RIC II 60, Cohen II 242, BMCRE III 121, SRCV II 3147, NGC Ch XF, strike 5/5, surface 3/5, deposits (2410838-004), weight 3.31 g, maximum diameter 16.9 mm, die axis 225o, Rome mint, 101 - 102 A.D.; obverse IMP CAES NERVA TRAIAN AVG GERM, laureate bust right, slight drapery on left shoulder; reverse P·M·TR·P·COS·IIII·P·P, Victory walking left, wreath in extended right hand, palm frond in left; $200.00 (€174.00)
 


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Trajan's father was deified during his son's reign, in 115 A.D.
RS75303. Silver denarius, RIC II 252 (S), RSC II 140, BMCRE III 500, Strack I 212, SRCV II 3323, Hunter II 169 var (no drapery), aVF.F, well centered, toned. reverse die wear, weight 3.279 g, maximum diameter 18.5 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 115 A.D.; obverse IMP TRAIANVS AVG GER DAC P M TR P COS VI P P, laureate bust right, drapery on far shoulder; reverse DIVVS PATER TRAIAN, Trajan's father seated left on curule chair, holding patera and scepter; $160.00 (€139.20)
 


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Abundantia, her Greek name is Euthenia, stands for abundance or plenty. Abundantia resembles Annona. But Annona was limited to the grain supply for the current year, whereas Abundantia was a prodigal distributor of all kinds of things. Her attributes are stalks of grain and the cornucopia. Clothed in a long robe, and wearing a veil, she can be seated or standing and is sometimes shown emptying a cornucopia.
RB73702. Orichalcum dupondius, RIC II 386, Hunter II 213, BMCRE III 723, Cohen 618 var (COS II P P), cf. SRCV II 3225 (COS IIII, 101 A.D.), VF, attractive brown tone, nice portrait, well centered on a slightly crowded flan, some marks and corrosion, weight 11.800 g, maximum diameter 27.8 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 98 - 99 A.D.; obverse IMP NERVA CAES TRAIAN AVG GERM P M, radiate head right; reverse TR POT COS II, Abundantia seated left on chair formed from two crossed cornucopias, scepter in right hand, left elbow resting on back of chair, S C in exergue; ex Forum (2006); $150.00 (€130.50)
 


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Trajan was a brilliant soldier and administrator. He restored the Senate to its full status, started a welfare program to feed and care for poor children, directed an extensive building program across the empire, annexed Dacia and invaded Arabia. Under Trajan, Rome reached its greatest extent. And he managed to do all this without a deficit or increasing taxes.
RB72487. Orichalcum sestertius, Woytek 58c, BnF IV 61, RIC II 401 var (no aegis), BMCRE III 718 var (obv leg, no aegis), Cohen II 611, cf. SRCV II 3214 (COS III, etc.), F, nice dark green patina, weight 25.951 g, maximum diameter 34.3 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, fall 98 - end 99 A.D.; obverse IMP CAES NERVA TRAIA-N AVG GERM P M, laureate head right; reverse TR POT - COS II P P, Pax seated left, olive branch extended in right hand, short scepter transverse in left, S C in exergue; $140.00 (€121.80)
 


Roman Empire, Anonymous, Domitian to Antoninus Pius, c. 81 - 161 A.D.

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RIC identifies this type as common but it appears to be rare with the dove facing left.

Quadrantes, like quinarii, were issued only occasionally, perhaps exclusively for imperial distributions. Suetonius reported that, from the roof of the Basilica Julia "Caligula threw coins among the people." Perhaps this small coin was thrown to the crowd by the emperor himself at a similar event.
RB63623. Bronze quadrans, RIC II p. 218, 25, VF, weight 1.847 g, maximum diameter 14.4 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, c. 81 - 161 A.D.; obverse diademed and draped bust of Venus right; reverse dove standing left, S C in exergue; rare; $130.00 (€113.10)
 


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The extraordinarily long obverse legend recognizes Trajan as the conqueror of Germania, Dacia, and Parthia.
RB59845. Orichalcum dupondius, Woytek 586v, RIC II 676, BMCRE III 1052, BnF IV 926, Cohen II 356, Hunter II 388, Strack 469, SRCV II 3219, aVF, nice green patina, weight 11.67 g, maximum diameter 25.8 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, Feb 116 - 9 Aug 117 A.D.; obverse IMP CAES NER TRAIANO OPTIMO AVG GER DAC PARTHICO P M TR P COS VI P P, radiate and draped bust right; reverse SENATVS POPVLVSQVE ROMANVS, Trajan advancing right, head left, between two trophies of captured arms, S C in exergue; $120.00 (€104.40)
 


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In 116, Trajan completed his invasion of Parthia by capturing the cities of Seleucia, Babylon, Ctesiphon and Susa, marking the high-water mark of the Roman Empire's eastern expansion. Trajan removed Osroes I as king of Parthia, and appointed his son Parthamaspates in his place. Parthamaspates Romanized his name to Parthicus.
RB90458. Orichalcum sestertius, Woytek 534v2, RIC II 672, BMCRE III 1023, Cohen II 352, Banti 106, aVF, light and dark green patina, some corrosion, weight 25.757 g, maximum diameter 35.2 mm, die axis 225o, Rome mint, 114 - early 116 A.D.; obverse IMP CAES NER TRAIANO OPTIMO AVG GER DAC P M TR P COS VI P P, laureate and draped bust right; reverse SENATVS POPVLVSQVE ROMANVS, Felicitas standing left, caduceus in right, cornucopia in left, S - C flanking across field; ex Heritage Auction 231419, lot 61111; $110.00 (€95.70)
 


Trajan, 25 January 98 - 8 or 9 August 117 A.D., Gabala, Seleucis & Pieria, Syria

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This year is unpublished for the types in references held by Forum, but several examples have been sold at auction and are on Coin Archives. The most recent is the references CNG auction in 2011.

The local civic era began in 47 B.C. The Actian Era began in autumn 31 B.C. The dual dates on this coin only overlap for some months in autumn - winter 112 A.D.
RP69627. Bronze AE 23, CNG e-auction 261, lot 220; cf. BMC Galatia p. 244, 4 - 5 (obv legend, dated BNP, etc.); SNG Cop -, aF, weight 6.241 g, maximum diameter 22.7 mm, die axis 0o, Gabala (Jableh, Syria) mint, c. autumn - winter 112 A.D.; obverse AYT NEP KAI TPAIA CEB ΓEPM, laureate bust right, wearing aegis; reverse ΓABAΛEΩN, Astarte seated left, kalathos on head, stalks of grain and poppy in right hand, scepter vertical behind in left, sphinx seated left on far side of chair, HNP (year 158 of the civic era) left, ΓMP (year 143 of Actian Era) inner right; from the Butte College Foundation, ex Lindgren; very rare date; $85.00 (€73.95)
 


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The extraordinarily long obverse legend recognizes Trajan as the conqueror of Germania, Dacia, and Parthia.
RB74028. Orichalcum dupondius, Woytek 586v, RIC II 676, BMCRE III 1052, BnF IV 926, Cohen II 356, Hunter II 388, Strack 469, SRCV II 3219, aVF, weight 11.027 g, maximum diameter 27.2 mm, die axis 225o, Rome mint, Feb 116 - 9 Aug 117 A.D.; obverse IMP CAES NER TRAIANO OPTIMO AVG GER DAC PARTHICO P M TR P COS VI P P, radiate and draped bust right; reverse SENATVS POPVLVSQVE ROMANVS, Trajan advancing right, head left, between two trophies of captured arms, S C in exergue; ex Morton & Eden auction 59 (13 - 14 Nov 2012), part of lot 954; ex Kenneth Edwin Day Collection; $80.00 (€69.60)
 


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

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The sistrum was a type of timbrel, or rattle, made of brass. It was oval, and its circumference perforated with several holes opposite each other, through which were inserted horizontally small metallic rods. Shaken in cadence it emitted a harsh sound. Isis is sometimes depicted holding a sistrum and it was carried by her priests.
RX58096. Bronze dichalkon, Dattari 1114, Kampmann-Ganschow 27.308, SRCV II 3319, Emmett 720, Geissen -, Milne -, SNG Cop -, BMC Alexandria -, SNG Milan -, SNG Hunterian -, VF, weight 1.576 g, maximum diameter 13.6 mm, die axis 0o, Alexandria mint, 29 Aug 109 - 28 Aug 110 A.D.; obverse no legend, laureate head right; reverse sistrum, L - IΓ (year 13) flanking in lower fields; very rare (Emmett R5); $75.00 (€65.25)
 


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Herakles' fourth labor was to capture the giant fear-inspiring Erymanthian Boar that lived on Mount Erymanthos in the primitive highlands of Arcadia. The centaur Chiron advised Herakles to drive the boar into thick snow. Herakles caught the boar and carried it back to Eurystheus, who was frightened, hid and begged Herakles to get rid of the beast. Three days later, Eurystheus, still trembling with fear, sent Herakles to clean the Augean stables.
RB65623. Copper quadrans, RIC II 702 var, BMCRE III 1062 var, Cohen II 341 var, SRCV II 3248 var (all refs Hercules is diademed, not laureate), VF, green patina with some edge flaking, weight 1.454 g, maximum diameter 16.1 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, c. 101 A.D.; obverse IMP CAES TRAIAN AVG GERM, laureate bust Hercules right, Nemean lion skin tied around his neck; reverse Erymanthian Boar walking right, S C in exergue; scarce; $70.00 (€60.90)
 


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In 99 A.D., Trajan returned to Rome after inspecting the Roman legions along the Rhine and Danube frontiers. In Rome, he received emissaries from the Kushan empire.
RB73006. Copper as, Woytek 61a, RIC II 402, Cohen II 617, BMCRE III 727, cf. SRCV II 3242 (COS III), aVF, excellent portrait, nice green patina, weight 11.955 g, maximum diameter 28.6 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 98 - 99 A.D.; obverse IMP CAES NERVA TRAIAN AVG GERM P M, laureate head right; reverse TR POT COS II P P S C, Victory flying left, shield inscribed S P Q R in right, palm frond in left; $70.00 (€60.90)
 


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Salus was the Roman goddess of health. She was Hygieia to the Greeks, who believed her to be the daughter of Aesculapius, the god of medicine and healing, and Epione, the goddess of soothing of pain. Her father Asclepius learned the secrets of keeping death at bay after observing one serpent bringing another healing herbs. Woman seeking fertility, the sick, and the injured slept in his temples in chambers where non-poisonous snakes were left to crawl on the floor and provide healing.
SH72494. Copper as, Woytek 337aD, Cohen II 488, RIC II 515 var (slight drapery), BMCRE III 934 var (same), BnF IV 623 var (same), SRCV II 3232 var (same), aVF, a little rough, weight 9.475 g, maximum diameter 26.7 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 107 A.D.; obverse IMP CAES NERVAE TRAIANO AVG GER DAC P M TR P COS V P P, laureate head right; reverse S P Q R OPTIMO PRINCIPI, Salus seated left on throne, from patera in right, feeding snake arising from altar before her, S C in exergue; ex Morton & Eden auction 59 (13 - 14 Nov 2012), part of lot 883; ex Seaver Collection; scarce; $60.00 (€52.20)
 


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In 108 A.D., "doctor's offices" opened in Rome replacing "house calls."
RS74166. Silver denarius, RIC II 129, RSC II 76, BnF IV 470, BMCRE III 337, SRCV II 3130, F, weight 3.386 g, maximum diameter 19.2 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, c. 108 A.D.; obverse IMP TRAIANO AVG GER DAC P M TR P, laureate bust right, slight drapery on far shoulder and back; reverse COS V P P S P Q R OPTIMO PRINC, Victory walking left over a pile of shields, raising wreath in extended right, palm frond upwards in left; $50.00 (€43.50)
 


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

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Attaea appears to be known only from its coinage. Its site is unknown but presumed to be in Mysia based on coin finds.
GB69778. Bronze AE 18, SNG Cop 32; Von Fritze AMNG IV 372; BMC Mysia p. 15, 5; SNGvA 1073; SNG BnF -, F, weight 2.792 g, maximum diameter 17.7 mm, die axis 45o, Attaea mint, obverse AY NEPBAC TPAIANOC, laureate head right; reverse ATTAIATΩN, draped, youthful bust of the Senate right, wearing taenia; from the Butte College Foundation, ex Lindgren; rare; $30.00 (€26.10)







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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-A. Bibliothèque Nationale, Catalogue des Monnaies de l’Empire Romain, IV Trajan (98-117 après J.-C.). (Paris, 2008).
Banti, A. and L. Simonetti. Corpus Nummorum Romanorum. (Florence, 1972-1979).
Calicó, E.X. The Roman Avrei, Vol. I: From the Republic to Pertinax, 196 BC - 193 AD. (Barcelona, 2003).
Cohen, H. Description historique des monnaies frappées sous l’Empire Romain, Vol. 2: Nerva to Antoninus Pius. (Paris, 1883).
Hill, P.V. The Dating and Arrangement of the Undated Coins of Rome, A.D. 98-148. (London, 1970).
Mattingly, H. & R.A.G. 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.S. Roman Imperial Coins in the Hunter Coin Cabinet. II. Trajan to Commodus (London, 1971).
Seaby, H.A. & R. Loosley. Roman Silver Coins, Vol. II: Tiberius to Commodus. (London, 1979).
Sear, D.R. Roman Coins and Their Values, Vol. II: The Accession of Nerva to the Overthrow of the Severan Dynasty AD 96 - AD 235. (London, 2002).
Strack, P.L. Untersuchungen zur römischen Reichsprägung des zweiten Jahrhunderts, Teil 1: Die Reichsprägung zur Zeit des Traian. (Stuttgart, 1931).
Toynbee, J.M.C. 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 Wednesday, September 02, 2015.
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Roman Coins of Trajan