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AQVA TRAIANA S P Q R OPTIMO PRINCIPI S C




AQVA. TRAIANA. S. P. Q. R OPTIMO PRINCIPI. S. C.—The genius of a river reclined within a cavern, or arched vault, holding in his right hand an aquatic reed, and resting his left arm on an urn, whence there is a flow of water.—On a first and middle brass of Trajan, struck about A.U.C. 864 [A.D. 111].

The rivulet to which this coin refers, after having been long lost, from want of care, was restored by Trajan, and conducted over Mount Aventine, not only for the use of his own baths, but also to supply the wants, to promote the salubrity, and to increase the embellishments of his capital.Sextus Julius Frontinus, the Consul, who wrote a treatise on aqueducts, supllies abundant testimony of the sedulous attention bestowed by this emperor on the repair and improvement of those at Rome. "It was not (he says) the object of our Prince, merely to restore the volume of water most beneficially to the other streams; but he also was the person to perceive that the deleterious properties of the Anio Novus might be cut off." And after describing the plan by which the Emperor proposed to correct this fault, he concludesThis fortunate excellence of the water, bidding fair in quality to equal that of (aqua) Marcia, and in quantity to surpass it, supplied the place of that unseemlu and turbid stream (the New Anio), under the auspices of the "Imperator, Cæsar Nerva Trajanus Augustus," as the title informs us.—This beneficial measure is recorded on coins, as early as Trajan's sixth consulate.—Eckhel, vi. 425-26.
Capt. Smyth, R.N., in describing a specimen of this medal, in his own collection, observes that the type "is opposed to the notion of Vaillant, that a recumbent Fluvius denotes a river which receives other streams, and that wading figures mean those which are tributary. Other antiquaries presume that river to be a navigable one, where the gods have beards—yet here at a mere spring, we have a regular long beard—whilst a reverse of the Emperor Philip shews the deity of the Meander without that appendage." p. 86.

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