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Home > Catalog > |Roman Coins| > |The Adoptive Emperors| > |Trajan| > SH32823
Trajan, 25 January 98 - 8 or 9 August 117 A.D.
"The Roman Emperor Trajan, being of an impetuous and active temperament, seemed to be filled with resentment that his realm was not unlimited, but was bounded by the Ister River [Danube]. So he was eager to span it with a bridge that he might be able to cross it and that there might be no obstacle to his going against the barbarians beyond it.." Procopius of Caesarea, Buildings (IV.6.12).

The bridge, depicted on Trajan's Column, was constructed by the master-builder, Apollodorus of Damascus, with wooden arches set on twenty masonry pillars, about 1135 meters long where the river about 800 meters wide. Each gateway was protected by a castrum. Procopius tells us that during construction the river was diverted and about half of the pillars were built on dry land. Cassius Dio tells us that Hadrian removed the wooden arches to protect Moesia from northern invasions. Since Dacia continued to be a province for about the next 150 years, the bridge must have been rebuilt. Aurelian likely demolished it when he abandoned Dacia. In 1856, when the Danube was at a record low, all twenty pillars were seen out of the water. In 1906 two were demolished to ease navigation. In 1982 archaeologists could only find the remains of twelve pillars. Both end pillars are still standing on the Serbian and Romanian shores.
SH32823. Orichalcum sestertius, SRCV II 3207, RIC II 569, Cohen II 542, Choice VF, Rome mint, weight 25.790g, maximum diameter 35.3mm, die axis 225o, 105 A.D.; obverse IMP CAES NERVAE TRAIANO AVG GER DAC P M TR P COS V P P, laureate bust right, from behind, slight drapery on left shoulder; reverse SPQR OPTIMO PRINCIPI, arched single-span bridge over river, covered walkway separated by vertical bars and middle curved line, each gateway surmounted by statuary, right one with flight of steps; boat over S C (senatus consulto) below; SOLD



Price, M.J. & B. Trell. Coins and Their Cities: Architecture on the Ancient Coins of Greece, Rome, and Palestine. (London, 1977).

Catalog current as of Tuesday, October 15, 2019.
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