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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


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.
RP87105. Bronze AE 19, RPC III 1543 (17 spec.), SNG BnF 1468, Weber 5151; countermark: Howgego 304 (11 or 17 of this type in RIC have this countermark), VF, rough and porous, off center, area on reverse flattened by counter marking, area of corrosion on reverse, weight 2.772 g, maximum diameter 18.7 mm, die axis 180o, Parium (Kemer, Canakkale, Turkey) mint, c. 105- 114 A.D.; obverse TRAIAN AVG, laureate bust right slight drapery on far shoulder; countermark: capricorn right in an oval punch; reverse MARCIANA ET PLOTINA AVG, confronting draped busts of Plotina and Marciana; rare; $450.00 (€382.50)
 


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

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In 74 B.C., Cyrene was made a Roman province. Previously under the Ptolemies the Jewish inhabitants had enjoyed equal rights. Under, Rome they were increasingly oppressed by the now autonomous and much larger Greek population. Tensions came to a head in the insurrection of the Jews of Cyrene under Vespasian in 73 A.D. and especially during Kitos War, under Trajan, in 117. The later revolt was quelled by Marcius Turbo, but not before huge numbers of civilians had been brutally massacred by the Jewish rebels. According to Eusebius of Caesarea, the Jewish rebellion left Libya so depopulated that a few years later Hadrian had to establish new colonies there just to maintain the viability of the settlement.
RP86686. Silver hemidrachm, RPC III 3 (76 spec.); SNG Cop 203 (Caesarea); Sydenham Caesarea 178 (Caesarea), BMC Galatia p. 53, 56 (Caesarea), gVF, attractive style, toned, minor porosity, light bumps and marks, light encrustations, weight 1.618 g, maximum diameter 15.0 mm, die axis 195o, Kyrene (near Shahhat, Libya) mint, 100 A.D.; obverse AYT KAIς NEP TPAIAN ΣEB ΓEPM, laureate head right; reverse ∆HMAPX EΞ YΠAT Γ (Consul for the 3rd time), head of Zeus-Ammon right, bearded and horned; from the Jyrki Muona Collection, ex Classical Numismatic Group, auction 73 (13 Sep 2006), lot 762; very rare; $320.00 (€272.00)
 


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

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This type is from a series of semisses and quadrantes struck in Rome for use in the closed imperial mine communities of the Balkan region. Some types name the mines in the reverse legends: METALLI VLPIANI DELM (for Dalmatia), METALLI VLPIANI PANN (for Pannonia) and DARDANICI (for Dardania, Moesia).
RB86484. Bronze quadrans, Woytek 611b, Simic-Vasic 11, BMCRE III - (p. 234 note & pl. 45, 13), RIC II 704 (R2) var., BnF IV 973 var., SRCV II 3252 (all var. obv. leg.), F, nice portrait, corrosion/porosity, part of reverse legend unstruck, weight 2.813 g, maximum diameter 18.8 mm, die axis 235o, Rome mint, c. 107 - 109 A.D.(?); obverse IMP CAES TRAIAN AVG GER DAC, laureate bust right, drapery on far shoulder; reverse METALLI VLPIANI, Aequitas (or Moneta?) standing half left, scales in right hand, cornucopia in left hand; very rare; $240.00 (€204.00)
 


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A gilded 2nd century B.C. slightly over-lifesize bronze statue, Hercules of the Forum Boarium, has Hercules in a similar pose. This statue is probably the one mentioned by Pliny, which originally stood in the Temple of Hercules Victor, by the Tiber. It lacks the lion skin. Perhaps a actual lion skin was once draped on it. The sculpture is now in the Musei Capitolini, Rome. Another similar sculpture, from the 2nd Century A.D., the Hercules of the Theatre of Pompey, was discovered in 1864, carefully buried under protective tiles. It was incised FCS (fulgor conditum summanium), indicating that it had been struck by lightning, and had been carefully interred on the spot. The figure lightly supports himself on his grounded vertical club, the skin of the Nemean Lion is draped over his left forearm. This sculpture is now in the round room area of Museo Pio-Clementino, in the Vatican.Hercules_Sculptures

RS86635. Silver denarius, Woytek 100a, RIC II 49, RSC II 234, BMCRE III 86, BnF IV 108, Hunter II 41, Strack I 40, SRCV II -, Choice VF, well centered, toned, light marks, weight 3.393 g, maximum diameter 18.3 mm, die axis 0o, Rome mint, 101 - Oct 102 A.D.; obverse IMP CAES NERVA TRAIAN AVG GERM, laureate head right; reverse P M TR P COS IIII P P, statue of Hercules standing facing on low base, nude except for lion skin draped over head, shoulders and left arm, club downward in right hand, apples of Hesperides in his left hand; $240.00 (€204.00)
 


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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; very rare bust left; $215.00 (€182.75)
 


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

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In 115 A.D., while Trajan was in Antioch, during his war against Parthia, the city was convulsed by a huge earthquake. The emperor was forced to take shelter in the circus for several days. Trajan and his successor restored the city, but the population was reduced to less than 400,000 inhabitants and many sections of the city were abandoned.
RY85366. Bronze chalkous, half-quadrans, RPC online III 3682; McAlee 527; Woytek 939f; BMCRE III 1075A corr. (no cuirass), Choice VF, highlighting desert patina, weight 1.098 g, maximum diameter 12.2 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 116 A.D.; obverse no legend, laureate and draped bust right, from behind; reverse large S C in wreath; ex Roma Numismatics e-sale 35, lot 470; very rare; $160.00 (€136.00)
 


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 Tub -, 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; $130.00 (€110.50)
 


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 Tub -, 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; $125.00 (€106.25)
 


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

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In 115 A.D., while Trajan was in Antioch, during his war against Parthia, the city was convulsed by a huge earthquake. The emperor was forced to take shelter in the circus for several days. Trajan and his successor restored the city, but the population was reduced to less than 400,000 inhabitants and many sections of the city were abandoned.
RY84893. Bronze as, McAlee 487(k); Dura 1643; cf. BMC Galatia p. 184, 270 (A); SNG Cop 203 (IΓ), gVF, green patina, tight flan, adjustment marks, bumps and scratches, light corrosion, earthen deposits, weight 14.746 g, maximum diameter 25.9 mm, die axis 0o, Antioch (Antakya, Turkey) mint, 102 - 114 A.D.; obverse AVTOKP KAIC NEP TPAIA-NOC CEB ΓEPM ∆AK, laureate head right; reverse large S C, AI below, all within laurel wreath with eight bunches of leaves; ex Roma Numismatics e-sale 28, lot 256; scarce; $115.00 (€97.75)
 


Lot of 5 Trajan Quadrantes and/or Semisses with Wolf Reverses

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LT77401. Bronze Lot, 5 Trajan Quadrantes and/or Semisses, nice F+, Rome mint, 25 Jan 98 - 8/9 Aug 117 A.D.; obverse laureate bust right; reverse she-wolf left (one specimen she-wolf right); no tags or flips, the actual coins in the photographs; $110.00 (€93.50)
 


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

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Only the 3rd specimen of this type known to Forum. RIC III lists seven similar eagle / cornucopia provincial quadrans(?) types with Latin legends, each type differentiated by legend and other minor variations. The mint and even the province where these types were struck are unknown. RPC III does not mention the wreath on the reverse but it is present on all the two specimens of this type.
RP87084. Bronze quadrans, RPC III 6541 (2 spec.; 1. Kovacs coll.; 2. CNG e-auction 224, 16 Dec 2009, lot 498, ex Wagner coll.); otherwise unpublished, F, tight flan, struck with worn cracked dies, edge crack, rough, weight 3.833 g, maximum diameter 16.9 mm, die axis 15o, uncertain provincial mint, 102 - 8/9 Aug 117 A.D.; obverse eagle standing facing, wings open, head left, tail left, standing on thunderbolt, IMP upward on left, TRA downward on right, [CAE] (? in exergue); reverse cornucopia, AVG upward on left, DAC downward on right, all within wreath; extremely rare; $80.00 (€68.00)
 







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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 Wednesday, April 25, 2018.
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Roman Coins of Trajan