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Home>Catalog>RomanCoins>TheAdoptiveEmperors>Trajan

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


Click for a larger photo 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 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; $270.00 (202.50)

Augustus, 16 January 27 B.C. - 19 August 14 A.D., Restitution Issue Under Trajan(?)
Click for a larger photo Augustus with Gaius and Lucius denarii with this unusual style, and some apparently from the same dies, have been attributed to in sales and auction listings an anonymous restitution under Trajan. The well-known normal restitution issues are, however, identified by modified legends. On this type the legend has not been changed from Augustus' issue. In addition, at Rome, an engraver should have know the correct form of the tools of the pontiff and augur. Perhaps these coins are ancient counterfeits or imitatives.
RS68469. Billon denarius, BMCRE I 536, and pl. 13, 18 (attributed to the reign of Augustus, Lugdunum mint), F, debased silver, dark toning, weight 2.930 g, maximum diameter 19.5 mm, die axis 315o, Rome(?) mint, Restitution issue struck under Trajan; obverse AVGVSTI F COS DESIG CAESAR AVGVSTVS DIVI F PATER PATRIAE, laureate head right, one tie over neck; reverse AVGVSTI F COS DESIG PRINC IVVENT, Adult-proportioned Caius and Lucius Caesar standing togate, shields and spears between, and holding volumina, above, simpulum to left, on left, and lituus with split base to right, on right; very rare; $225.00 (168.75) ON RESERVE

Click for a larger photo In the first century A.D., the Roman satirist Juvenal observed that his countrymen were made content with two things: bread and circus games. Games were part of religious celebrations and holidays. At one time, across the Empire, Romans celebrated more than forty different games each year. Glory was the main reward for athletes. The actual prize was usually a simple palm frond, wreath, ribbon, or basket.
SH65286. Orichalcum semis, RIC II 687, BMCRE III 1069, Cohen 349 var (no drapery), cf. SRCV II 3247 (quadrans), gVF, nice green patina, weight 3.285 g, maximum diameter 17.2 mm, die axis 225o, Rome mint, 107 - 109 AD; obverse IMP CAES NERVA TRAIAN AVG, laureate bust right, drapery on left shoulder; reverse view of table from the front and right, on the table stands game prizes: an urn containing a palm frond (on left) and a wreath (on right), S C in exergue; scarce; $200.00 (150.00)

Click for a larger photo In the first century A.D., the Roman satirist Juvenal observed that his countrymen were made content with two things: bread and circus games. Games were part of religious celebrations and holidays. At one time, across the Empire, Romans celebrated more than forty different games each year. Glory was the main reward for athletes. The actual prize was usually a simple palm frond, wreath, ribbon, or basket.
RB59932. Copper quadrans, BMCRE III 1068, RIC II 687, Cohen 349, VF, weight 2.363 g, maximum diameter 17.3 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 98 - 102 AD; obverse IMP CAES NERVA TRAIAN AVG, laureate bust right, drapery on left shoulder; reverse S C, Urn containing palm frond and wreath set on three-quarter view table; $180.00 (135.00)

Trajan, 25 January 98 - 8 or 9 August 117 A.D., Roman Provincial Egypt
Click for a larger photo In 103 A.D., Legio X Gemina moved to Vienna, where it remained until the 5th century.
RX90500. Billon tetradrachm, Kampmann-Ganschow 27.37, Milne 566; Dattari 707; Geissen 453; BMC Alexandria p. 47, 386; Curtis 329; SNG BnF 1032, F, excellent centering, well struck, weight 12.733 g, maximum diameter 24.1 mm, die axis 0o, Alexandria mint, 29 Aug 102 - 28 Aug 103 A.D.; obverse AVT KAIC NEP TRAIAN CEB ΓEPM, laureate head right; reverse eagle standing right, wings closed, L - S (year 6) across fields; $180.00 (135.00)

Roman Empire, Anonymous, Domitian to Antoninus Pius, c. 81 - 161 A.D.
Click for a larger photo 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 Trajan 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 ex; rare; $160.00 (120.00)

Click for a larger photo 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 commited suicide. On 11 August 106, the south-eastern part of Dacia (modern Romania) became a Roman province.
RB70537. Orichalcum sestertius, Woytek 203o, BnF IV 564, RIC II 535 var (draped), BMCRE III -, Cohen -,, aF, weight 23.942 g, maximum diameter 33.4 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, slight drapery on left shoulder; 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; rare with bust left; $150.00 (112.50)

Click for a larger photo 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 of an altar dedicated by the Senate in 19 BCE for the safe return of the Emperor Augustus.
RS70887. Silver denarius, RIC II 318, Cohen 154, BMCRE III 578, VF, toned, weight 3.052 g, maximum diameter 17.7 mm, die axis 225o, Rome mint, 114 - 117 A.D.; obverse IMP CAES NER TRAIAN OPTIMO AVG GERM DAC, laureate and draped bust right; reverse FORT RED P M TR P COS VI P P S P Q R, Fortuna seated left holding rudder in right hand, cornucopia in left; $150.00 (112.50)

Click for a larger photo 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.
RB63728. Orichalcum sestertius, RIC II 658, BMCRE III 1019, aF, weight 23.403 g, maximum diameter 33.8 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 115 - 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 IMPERATOR VIIII / S C in exergue, Trajan seated right on platform, placed on left, accompanied by two officers and addressing five soldiers; rare; $140.00 (105.00)

Click for a larger photo In 107 A.D. Trajan received an ambassador from India.
RB59845. Orichalcum dupondius, RIC II 676, BMCRE III 1052, Cohen 356, aVF, nice green patina, weight 11.67 g, maximum diameter 25.8 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 107 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 S C, Trajan advancing right, between two trophies; $140.00 (105.00)

Trajan, 25 January 98 - 8 or 9 August 117 A.D., Nakrasa, Lydia
Click for a larger photo
SH58872. Bronze AE 20, SNG Cop 298, SNGvA 3035, BMC Lydia p. 167, 16, VF, weight 3.651 g, maximum diameter 20.2 mm, die axis 0o, Nakrasa mint, obverse AY NEP TPAIANON C E ΓEP, laureate head right; reverse NAKPACITΩN, facing cult statue of Artemis within tetrastyle temple, bow in right, drawing arrow from quiver with left; very rare; $125.00 (93.75)

Trajan, 25 January 98 - 8 or 9 August 117 A.D., Roman Provincial Egypt
Click for a larger photo 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); $95.00 (71.25)

Click for a larger photo 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 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; $90.00 (67.50)

Roman Empire, Anonymous, Domitian to Antoninus Pius, c. 81 - 161 A.D.
Click for a larger photo The affectionate dove, the bird of love, was sacred to the goddess Venus (Aphrodite). Doves were said to draw her heavenly chariot, and the Syrian Aphrodite Ashtarte was said to have been hatched from an egg nursed by doves. The phrase attributed to Jesus, "Be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves" (Matthew 10.16), was no random metaphor but a traditional Syrian invocation.
RB65624. Bronze quadrans, RIC II p. 218, 24; Vagi 196; Cohen 10, F, weight 2.565 g, maximum diameter 15.3 mm, die axis 0o, Rome mint, c. 81 - 161 A.D.; obverse diademed and draped bust of Venus right; reverse dove standing right, S - C flanking across field; $80.00 (60.00)

Click for a larger photo 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 Trajan himself at a similar event.
RB70909. Copper quadrans, Woytek 603b; RIC II 699, BMCRE III 1071, Cohen 343, SRCV II 3249, Choice VF, full circles centering, green patina, weight 2.369 g, maximum diameter 15.4 mm, die axis 225o, Rome mint, c. 98 - 106 A.D.; obverse IMP CAES TRAIAN AVG GERM, laureate bust of Hercules right, Nemean lion's skin tied around neck; reverse club, handle upward, S - C flanking across field; scarce; $80.00 (60.00)

Roman Empire, Domitian to Antoninus Pius, c. 81 - 161 A.D.
Click for a larger photo The affectionate dove, the bird of love, was sacred to the goddess Venus (Aphrodite). Doves were said to draw her heavenly chariot, and the Syrian Aphrodite Ashtarte was said to have been hatched from an egg nursed by doves. The phrase attributed to Jesus, "Be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves" (Matthew 10.16), was no random metaphor but a traditional Syrian invocation.
RB66974. Bronze quadrans, RIC II p. 218, 24; Vagi 196; Cohen 10, F, rough, weight 2.136 g, maximum diameter 14.2 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, c. 81 - 161 A.D.; obverse diademed and draped bust of Venus right; reverse dove standing right, S - C flanking across field; $75.00 (56.25)

Trajan, 25 January 98 - 8 or 9 August 117 A.D., Laodikeia ad Mare, Syria
Click for a larger photo In 114, Trajan defeated the Parthians and overran Armenia and northern Mesopotamia. In 115, he captured the Parthian capital Ctesiphon.
RP59685. Bronze AE 27, SNG Cop 345; BMC Galatia p. 253, 42, aVF, weight 10.37 g, maximum diameter 27.1 mm, die axis 0o, Laodicea ad Mare mint, 114 - 115 A.D.; obverse AYTOKP NER TRAIANOC APICT KAIC CEB ΓEP ∆AK, laureate head right; reverse IOYΛIEWNTWN KAI ΛAO∆IKEWN BΞP, turreted bust of Tyche right, IOY below chin; $65.00 (48.75)

Click for a larger photo Most references erroneously identify identify this type as a quadrans.
RB70914. Orichalcum semis, Woytek 599d; RIC II 692 corr. (quadrans); BMCRE III 1060 corr. (same); Cohen 338 corr. (same); SRCV II -, gVF, nice green patina, well centered spot of corrosion on rev, weight 2.274 g, maximum diameter 15.6 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, c. 109 A.D.; obverse IMP CAES NERVA TRAIAN AVG, laureate bust right seen from half-front, drapery on left shoulder; reverse she-wolf right, S C in exergue; $60.00 (45.00)

Trajan, 25 January 98 - 8 or 9 August 117 A.D., Roman Provincial Egypt
Click for a larger photo This crown is sometimes erroneously identified in dealer listings as a hemhem crown, an entirely different Egyptian crown.
RX66496. Bronze dichalkon, Emmett 710 (R4), otherwise apparently unpublished for year 17; cf. Dattari 1097 (year 16), VF, obverse off center, nice patina with earthen highlighting, weight 0.986 g, maximum diameter 12.3 mm, die axis 0o, Alexandria mint, 29 Aug 113 - 28 Aug 114 A.D.; obverse no legend, laureate head right; reverse no legend, headdress of Isis (feathers, disk and horns), LI - Z (year 17) flanking feathers; very rare; $50.00 (37.50)

Click for a larger photo In 99 A.D., Richimerus I fought a battle with a combined army of Romans and Gauls at Basana near Aachen, Germany.
RB69670. Copper as, Woytek MIR 61c, BMCRE III 727 var (Aegis variant noted), RIC II 402 var (no Aegis) Cohen 617 var (same), cf. SRCV 3242 (COS III), F+, weight 10.903 g, maximum diameter 25.2 mm, die axis 225o, Rome mint, 98 - 99 A.D.; obverse IMP CAES NERVA TRAIAN AVG GERM P M, laureate bust right, wearing aegis; reverse TR POT COS II P P, Victory flying left.shield inscribed S P Q R in right, palm frond in left, S - C flanking across field; from the Butte College Foundation, ex Lindgren; $50.00 (37.50)

Trajan, 25 January 98 - 8 or 9 August 117 A.D., Roman Provincial Egypt
Click for a larger photo The Hemhem crown, also known as the triple Atef crown, was symbol of Pharaonic power and authority credited with magical abilities that would protect Egypt from any enemy. It originated during the 18th dynasty was first seen in an image of the pharaoh Akhenaten in a tomb at Amarna. A Hemhem crown is worn Tutankhamen on the back of the gilded throne discovered in his tomb. No examples of this type of crown are known to have survived.
RX66494. Bronze dichalkon, Kampmann-Ganschow 27.574, Geissen 643, SRCV II 3320, BMC Alexandria 561, Milne 710, aVF, weight 1.845 g, maximum diameter 13.9 mm, die axis 0o, Alexandria mint, 29 Aug 113 - 28 Aug 114 A.D.; obverse no legend, laureate head right; reverse no legend, Hemhem crown, L I-Z (year 17) in lower field flanking ram horns; $45.00 (33.75)

Antioch, Roman Syria, 77 - 78 A.D.
Click for a larger photo In 76 - 77, Trajan's father, M. Ulpius Traianus, was Governor of Syria (Legatus pro praetore Syriae). Trajan was also in Syria as Tribunus legionis.
RP62981. Bronze trichalkon, McAlee 118, RPC I 2020, SNG Cop 112, BMC Galatia 97, Fine, weight 5.394 g, maximum diameter 20.3 mm, die axis 0o, Antioch mint, 77 - 78 A.D.; obverse ANTIOXEΩN, turreted and veiled bust of Tyche right; reverse burning, garlanded altar, ET RKP (Caesarean Era year 126 ) in ex; scarce; $40.00 (30.00)

Click for a larger photo In 115, Jews in Egypt and Cyrene revolted (Kitos War) against Rome. The revolt spread to Cyprus, Judea, and Mesopotamia. Alexandria was devastated by fighting between Greeks and Jews. Marcus Rutilius Lupus, the governor, sent Legio XXII Deiotariana to protect the inhabitants of Memphis. Lusius Quietus, governor of Judea, conducted a brutal campaign to restore peace there. In 116, Quintus Marcius Turbo sailed to Alexandria and ended the rebellion by defeating the Jewish rebels in several pitched battles.
RB69668. Bronze dupondius, RIC II 674, Cohen 353, BMCRE III 1027, BnF IV 850, F, weight 13.266 g, maximum diameter 27.2 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 114 - 117 A.D.; obverse IMP CAES NER TRAIANO OPTIMO AVG GER DAC P M TR P COS VI P P, radiate draped bust right; reverse SENATVS POPVLVSQVE ROMANVS S C, Felicitas standing left, caduceus in right, cornucopia in left; from the Butte College Foundation, ex Lindgren; $40.00 (30.00)

Click for a larger photo 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.
BB90139. Copper quadrans, RIC II 702, BMCRE III 1062, Cohen 341, SRCV II 3248, F, weight 2.305 g, maximum diameter 15.9 mm, die axis 225o, Rome mint, 98 - c. 106 A.D.; obverse IMP CAES TRAIAN AVG GERM, diademed bust of Hercules right, Nemean lion skin tied around his neck; reverse Erymanthian Boar walking right, S C in exergue; ex Rusty Romans; $30.00 (22.50)


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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



Catalog current as of Friday, August 01, 2014.
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Roman Coins of Trajan