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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


Marciana, Sister of Trajan, Mother of Matidia, Augusta 105 - c. 113 A.D.

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Marciana, the eldest sister of the emperor Trajan, and mother of Matidia, was an accomplished woman. She lost her husband before her brother became emperor, and lived as a widow with Trajan's wife, Plotina, to whom she was united by the tenderest and most uninterrupted friendship. She an Plotina were awarded the title Augusta at the same time in 105. Marciana died c. 112 - 114 and received the honors of consecretation.
SH79820. Silver denarius, BMCRE III Trajan 650, RIC II Trajan 743, BnF IV Trajan 758, Cohen II 4, Woytek 719, VF, excellent portrait, toned, centered on a tight flan, weight 3.115 g, maximum diameter 19.4 mm, die axis 90o, Rome mint, struck under her brother Trajan, c. 112 - 114 A.D.; obverse DIVA AVGVSTA - MARCIANA, draped bust right, wearing stephane and elaborate hairstyle; reverse CONSECRATIO, eagle, with spread wings, standing left, head right; to date, after nearly two decades in business, this is the only coin of Marciana handled by Forum; very rare; $1620.00 (€1441.80)
 


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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.
RB77047. 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; $380.00 (€338.20)
 


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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 in exergue; very rare bust left; $300.00 (€267.00)
 


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Annona was the goddess of harvest and her main attribute is grain. This reverse suggests the arrival of grain by sea from the provinces (especially from Africa) and its distribution to the people. By the Code De Naviculariis, the mariners appointed to carry grain from Egypt could be executed if they did not keep the proper course; and if they did not sail in the proper season, the master of the vessel would be banished.
RB77262. Orichalcum sestertius, Woytek 323bD, Banti 118, RIC II 492, BMCRE III 782, Cohen II 469, SRCV II 3195 var. (no drapery), VF, well centered, green patina, areas of corrosion, encrustations, weight 24.470 g, maximum diameter 34.0 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 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, Annona standing left, grain in right, cornucopia in left hand, modius filled with stalks of grain at feet on left, ship's stern decorated with garland right, S - C flanking across field; $280.00 (€249.20)
 


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 (€173.55)
 


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; $180.00 (€160.20)
 


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

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LT77401. Bronze Lot, Lot of 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); the actual coins in the photographs; $155.00 (€137.95)
 


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 (€124.60)
 


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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; $130.00 (€115.70)
 


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 (€106.80)
 


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; $100.00 (€89.00)
 


Trajan, 25 January 98 - 8 or 9 August 117 A.D., Laerte, Cilicia

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Laertes, on the coast of Cilicia east of Coracesium, struck coins from the reigns of Trajan to Saloninus.
RP78023. Bronze AE 19, RPC III 2748/47 (Lycia-Pamphylia); SNG Levante 371; SNG BnF 589; SNGvA 5690; SNG Cop 156; BMC Lycaonia p. 91, 3 and pl. XV, 5, gF, well centered, green patina, corrosion, scratches, weight 4.461 g, maximum diameter 18.9 mm, die axis 0o, Laerte mint, 25 Jan 98 - 8/9 Aug 117 A.D.; obverse AYTOKPATWP TPAIANOC, laureate head right; reverse ΛAEPTITWN, Demeter seated left, holding stalks of grain and poppy-head in left hand, long grounded torch vertical behind in left hand; from the Butte College Foundation, ex Lindgren; $80.00 (€71.20)
 


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

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English-speakers refer to the city as Aleppo. The original ancient name, Halab, has survived as the current Arabic name. It was also known in antiquity as Khalpe, Khalibon, and to the Greeks and Romans as Beroea. During the Crusades, and again during the French Mandate of 1923-1946, it was Alep. Aleppo represents the Italianised version of this. Aleppo has scarcely been touched by archaeologists, since the modern city occupies its ancient site. Much of the city and its heritage has been damaged or destroyed in the Syrian Civil War.
RY78041. Bronze AE 24, RPC III 3433 (2 spec.); SNG München 449?; Butcher 10; BMC Galatia p. 131, 10; Mionnet 137; SNG Cop 39 var. (E below), aF/F, black patina with red earthen highlighting, small edge spit, areas of corrosion, weight 10.361 g, maximum diameter 24.4 mm, die axis 0o, Cyrrhestica, Beroea (Aleppo, Syria) mint, 25 Jan 98 - 8 or 9 Aug 117 A.D.; obverse AYTOKP KAIC NEP TPAIANOC APICT CEB ΓEPM ∆AK ΠAPΘ, laureate head right; reverse BEPOI/AIWN in two lines, H below, all within laurel wreath; from the Butte College Foundation, ex Lindgren ; $36.00 (€32.04)
 


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; $10.50 (€9.35) ON RESERVE







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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 Tuesday, September 27, 2016.
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Roman Coins of Trajan