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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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Trajan constructed the Via Traiana, an extension of the Via Appia from Beneventum to Brundisium, at his own expense in 109 A.D. Strabo wrote that traveling to Beneventum from Brundisium on the Via Traiana was a good day shorter than on the old Republican road, Via Appia. While the distance was about the same, the Via Traiana climbs fewer difficult hills.
RS77047. Orichalcum dupondius, Cohen II 652, BMCRE III 998 var. (bust, notes Cohen with aegis), Hunter II 361 var. (slight dr.), RIC II 641 var. (obv. leg and slight dr.), VF, well centered, grainy and porous surfaces, weight 13.195 g, maximum diameter 26.1 mm, Rome mint, 112 - 114 A.D.; obverse IMP CAES NERVAE TRAIANO AVG GER DAC P M TR P COS VI P P, radiate bust right, aegis on far shoulder; reverse SPQR OPTIMO PRINCIPI, female personification of the Via Traiana reclining left, wheel on right knee balanced with right hand, branch cradled in left arm, left elbow resting on rocks, VIA TRAIANA over S C in exergue; an interesting historical type!; scarce; $400.00 (€352.00)
 


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 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 (€176.00)
 


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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 (€176.00)
 


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.
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; $195.00 (€171.60)
 


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; $190.00 (€167.20)
 


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In 110 A.D., the Forum of Trajan was constructed in Rome by the Syrian architect Apollodorus of Damascus.
RB73736. Orichalcum sestertius, Woytek 338a, RIC II 519, Cohen II 459, Strack I 403, BnF IV 543 var. (slight drapery), BMCRE III 810 var. (same), SRCV II 3200 var. (same), F, nice portrait, green patina, corrosion, encrustation, weight 27.445 g, maximum diameter 33.5 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, c. 109 - 110 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, Spes advancing left, raising flower in right hand, raising drapery with left hand, S - C flanking across field; $145.00 (€127.60)
 


Trajan, 25 January 98 - 8 or 9 August 117 A.D., Perinthus, Thrace

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Perinthos, later called Heraclea and Marmara Eregli today, is 90 km west of Istanbul near a small pointed headland on the north shore of the Marmara Sea. It is said to have been a Samian colony, founded about 599 B.C. It is famous chiefly for its stubborn and successful resistance to Philip II of Macedon in 340 B.C.; at that time it seems to have been more important than Byzantium itself. In 46 A.D., after the death of the Thracian king Rhoemetalces III and after an unsuccessful anti-Roman revolt, the Thracian Kingdom was annexed by Claudius as the Roman province of Thracia. Perinthus was made the capital of Roman Thracia.
RB90419. Bronze AE 23, Schönert-Geiss Perinthos 340; RPC III 694 (2 spec.); Varbanov II 68 (R3) var. (obv. legend); SGICV 960 var. (same); BMC Thrace p. 149, 19 var. (same), F, rough green patina, reverse double struck, light corrosion, cleaning marks, weight 7.809 g, maximum diameter 23.0 mm, die axis 225o, Perinthus mint, 98 - 102 A.D.; obverse AV K NE TPAIANOIΣ ΣEBA Γ, radiate head right; reverse ΠEPIN−ΘIΩN, Tyche-Fortuna standing left, kalathos on head, holding rudder by tiller in right hand, cornucopia in left; $140.00 (€123.20)
 


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When this coin was struck around 209 A.D., the Roman Empire had more than 75,000 kilometers (47,000 miles) of roads.
RB77046. Orichalcum semis, Woytek 599b; RIC II 692 corr. (quadrans); BMCRE III 1060 corr. (same); Cohen 338 corr. (same); BnF 645 var. (same, no drapery); SRCV II -, VF, well centered, green patina, weight 3.008 g, maximum diameter 17.1 mm, Rome mint, c. 109 A.D.; obverse IMP CAES NERVA TRAIAN AVG, laureate bust right, slight drapery on left shoulder; reverse she-wolf at bay right, S C in exergue; $135.00 (€118.80) ON RESERVE


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 (€114.40)
 


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The First Dacian War was fought in 101 and 102 A.D. Two legionary columns marched into the heart of Dacia, burning towns and villages. The Dacians retaliated with massive assaults, killing many Romans, but not defeating them. In 102, the Roman armies converged for a final assault and defeated the Dacian army at the Battle of Tapae. The war ended with a peace treaty, with harsh terms for the Dacian king.
RS73677. Silver denarius, Woytek 123b, RIC II 59, RSC II 241a, BMCRE III 106, BnF IV 132, Hunter II 32, Strack I 51, SRCV II -, VF, centered, toned, high-points weakly struck, weight 3.301 g, maximum diameter 18.4 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 101 - 102 A.D.; obverse IMP CAES NERVA TRAIAN AVG GERM, laureate head right, slight drapery on left shoulder; reverse P M TR P COS IIII P P, Victory standing right on prow ornamented with a snake, extending wreath in right hand, palm over left shoulder in left hand; $125.00 (€110.00)
 


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In Roman mythology, Aequitas was the minor goddess of fair trade and honest merchants. Aequitas was also the personification of the virtues equity and fairness of the emperor (Aequitas Augusti). The scales, a natural emblem of equity, express righteousness. The cornucopia signifies the prosperity which results from Aequitas and Aequitas Augusti.
RS77080. Silver denarius, RIC II 118, RSC II 85, BMCRE III 281, BnF IV 257, Woytek 278b, aVF, centered on a tight flan, die wear, weight 3.199 g, maximum diameter 17.3 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, c. 108 - 109 A.D.; obverse IMP TRAIANO AVG GER DAC P M TR P, laureate head right, slight drapery on far shoulder; reverse COS V P P S P Q R OPTIMO PRINC, Aequitas standing left, scales in right hand, cornucopia in left hand; $125.00 (€110.00)
 


Trajan, 25 January 98 - 8 or 9 August 117 A.D., Ascalon, Philistia

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Askalon lies on the shore of the Mediterranean, ten miles north of Gaza and about 40 miles south of Joppa. Herod the Great ruled all of Palestine, except Askalon, which remained a free city. Today, a national park at Ashqelon, Israel includes ruins of Canaanite, Greek, Roman, Byzantine and Crusader walls and buildings. Ascalon's era of autonomy, used to date this coin, began in 104 B.C.
BB75616. Bronze AE 22, Sofaer Collection 105; Rosenberger 138; Yashin 151, BMC Palestine p. 124, 145; SNG ANS -; SNG Cop -, F, porous, weight 9.954 g, maximum diameter 22.1 mm, die axis 0o, Askalon (Ashqelon, Israel) mint, 111 - 112 A.D.; obverse CEBACTOS (or similar), laureate head right; reverse ACKAΛO, Tyche-Astarte standing left on galley, standard vertical before in right hand, aphlaston cradled in left arm, altar in left field, dove over EIC (year 215) lower right; rare; $120.00 (€105.60)
 


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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.
RB73669. Copper as, Woytek 252b, RIC II 486, BMCRE III 925, Strack 371, Cohen II 387 var. (bust), BnF IV 605 var. (aegis), Hunter II 273 var. (same), SRCV II -, F, perfect centering, glossy dark green patina, corrosion, some pitting, weight 10.799 g, maximum diameter 28.3 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, slight drapery on far shoulder; reverse S P Q R OPTIMO PRINCIPI, Roma standing left, wearing crested helmet and military dress, Victory in right, spear vertical behind in left; small Dacian at her feet on left, kneeling right and raising hand in supplication; S - C flanking across field; ex Richard L. Horst; scarce; $100.00 (€88.00)
 


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 (€74.80)
 


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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.
RB73729. Copper as, Woytek 61a, RIC II 402, Cohen II 617, BMCRE III 727, BnF IV 69, Hunter II 220, cf. SRCV II 3242 (COS III), VF, corrosion, smoothing, weight 9.964 g, maximum diameter 27.1 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, autumn 98 - Oct(?) 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 two lines in right hand, palm frond in left hand; $70.00 (€61.60)
 


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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. This coin may also commemorate that victory.
RB73630. Bronze as, Woytek 475v, RIC II 593, BMCRE III 1002, BnF IV 725, Cohen II 434, Strack I 431, Hunter II -, SRCV II -, F, rough, weight 10.336 g, maximum diameter 27.6 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 112 - 114 A.D.; obverse IMP CAES NERVAE TRAIANO AVG GER DAC P M TR P COS VI P P, laureate, draped and cuirassed bust right, from behind; reverse S P Q R OPTIMO PRINCIPI, Victory advancing right, raising wreath in extended right hand, palm frond in left hand over left shoulder, S - C flanking low across field; $60.00 (€52.80)
 


Trajan, 25 January 98 - 8 or 9 August 117 A.D., Sepphoris, Galilee

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Sepphoris, also known as Tzipori, Diocaesaraea, Saffuriya, and in Crusader times as La Sephorie, is a village and an archaeological site located in the central Galilee region of Israel, 6 kilometers (3.7 mi) north-northwest of Nazareth. It lies 286 m above sea level and overlooks the Beit Netofa Valley. In late Christian tradition it was believed to be the birthplace of Mary, mother of Jesus. Since Sepphoris was only five miles north of Nazareth, Jesus and Joseph may have found work in Antipas' rebuilding projects. Sepphoris was built on a hill and visible for miles. This may be the city that Jesus spoke of when he said, "A city set on a hill cannot be hidden."
JD76623. Bronze AE 23, BMC Palestine p. 1, 5; Rosenberger 44; Sofaer 2; SNG ANS 1088; SNG Cop 3, aF, weight 7.397 g, maximum diameter 23.1 mm, die axis 0o, Sepphoris (Diocaesarea) mint, 98 - 117 A.D.; obverse TPAIANOΣ AYTOKPATΩP E∆ΩKEN, laureate head right; reverse ΣEΠ−ΦΩ/PH−NΩN, eight-branched palm bearing two bunches of dates; $40.00 (€35.20)
 







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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).
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.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 Friday, February 12, 2016.
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Roman Coins of Trajan