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Trajanus - where are the friends of the best emperor?


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I got a "handful" of beautiful (I think) denarii of the best, very best Roman Emperor today. In the process, I noticed - what pretty detailed portraits there are of Trajan. And what beautiful backs he has to offer. Actually, I just wanted to copy the few examples into the "Alphabet" thread. 

I noticed (maybe I'm wrong) - for the fact that Trajan was one of the most optimal emperors - his coins exist in large numbers - I have the subjective impression - that he is represented here compared to other emperors and personalities rather less. I also do not know a single specialized Trajan collector (if then a collector of the adopted emperors).

I would like to show you a few of my pieces from today, which I find particularly pretty:

 

image.jpeg.aaa54778c54e93ce21586a5d86d1a3df.jpeg

Marcus Ulpius Traianus as Imperator Caesar Nerva Traianus Augustus
Denarius of the Roman Imperial Period 103/111 AD
Material: Silver
Diameter: 18mm
Weight: 3.56g
Mint: Rome
Reference: RIC II Trajan 81
Provenance: Ex Michael Kelly Collection, Ex Roma Numismatic London

Obverse:
Head of Trajan, laureate, right. The Inscription reads: IMP NERVA TRAIANVS AVG GER DACICVS Imperator Nerva Traianus Augustus, Germanicus, Dacicus (Imperator, Nerva Trajan, Augustus, conqueror of the Germans, conqueror of the Dacians).

Reverse:
Victory advancing left, holding wreath and palm. The Inscription reads: P M TR P COS V P P for Pontifex Maximus, Tribunicia Potestate, Consul Quintum, Pater Patriae (High priest, holder of tribunician power, consul for the fifth time, father of the nation).

 

image.jpeg.1962b1463111ad53adb36a3155db3b04.jpeg

Marcus Ulpius Traianus as Imperator Caesar Nerva Traianus Augustus
Denarius of the Roman Imperial Period 114/117 AD
Material: Silver
Diameter: 20mm
Weight: 3.12g
Mint: Rome
Reference: RIC II Trajan 346
Provenance: Ex Michael Kelly Collection, Ex Roma Numismatic London

Obverse:
Heroic Bust of Trajan, laureate, right, Aegis on left shoulder. The Inscription reads: IMP CAES NER TRAIAN OPTIM AVG GER DAC PARTHICO for Imperator Caesar Nerva Traianus Optimus Augustus Germanicus, Dacicus, Parthico (Imperator, Caesar, Nerva Trajan, the best Augustus, conqueror of the Germans, conqueror of the Dacians, conqueror of the Parthians).

Reverse:
Felicitas, draped, standing left, holding up caduceus in right hand and cornucopiae in left. The Inscription reads: P M TR P COS VI P P S P Q R for Pontifex Maximus, Tribunicia Potestate, Consul Sextum, Pater Patriae, Senatus Populusque Romanus (High priest, holder of tribunician power, consul for the sixth time, father of the nation. The senate and the Roman people).

 

image.jpeg.49a17a2ca45b9964f4fca12d3f058143.jpeg

Marcus Ulpius Traianus as Imperator Caesar Nerva Traianus Augustus
Denarius of the Roman Imperial Period 101/102 AD
Material: Silver
Diameter: 19mm
Weight: 3.36g
Mint: Rome
Reference: RIC II Trajan 52 var. (Aegis),BMCRE 94 var. (Aegis), RSC 228 var. (Aegis)
Provenance: Ex Michael Kelly Collection, Ex Roma Numismatic London

Obverse:
Bust of Trajan, laureate, right, Aegis on left shoulder. The Inscription reads: IMP CAES NERVA TRAIAN AVG GERM for Imperator Caesar Nerva Traianus Augustus, Germanicus (Imperator, Caesar, Nerva Trajan, Augustus, conqueror of the Germans).

Reverse:
Mars, helmeted, naked except for cloak round waist, advancing right, holding transverse spear in right hand and trophy over left shoulder. The Inscription reads: P M TR P COS IIII P P for Pontifex Maximus, Tribunicia Potestate, Consul Quartum, Pater Patriae (High priest, holder of tribunician power, consul for the fourth time, father of the nation).

 

image.jpeg.034ed54fc03012470a8350524da922db.jpeg

Marcus Ulpius Traianus as Imperator Caesar Nerva Traianus Augustus
Denarius of the Roman Imperial Period 112/114 AD
Material: Silver
Diameter: 20mm
Weight: 3.59g
Mint: Rome
Reference: RIC II Trajan 291
Provenance: Ex Michael Kelly Collection, Ex Roma Numismatic London

Obverse:
Bust of Trajan, laureate, draped, right. The Inscription reads: IMP TRAIANO AVG GER DAC P M TR P COS VI P P for Imperator Traiano Augustus, Germanicus, Dacicus, Pontifex Maximus, Tribunicia Potestate, Consul Sextum, Pater Patriae (Imperator, of Trajan, Augustus, conqueror of the Germans, conqueror of the Dacians, high priest, holder of tribunician power, consul for the sixth time, father of the nation).

Reverse:
Trajan on horseback left, holding long spear reversed in right hand and sword in left. The Inscription reads: S P Q R OPTIMO PRINCIPI for Senatus Populusque Romanus Optimo Principi (The senate and the Roman people to the best of princes).

 

image.jpeg.be1006ec36b3af032ff5c1c72eaa3e8c.jpeg

Marcus Ulpius Traianus as Imperator Caesar Nerva Traianus Augustus
Denarius of the Roman Imperial Period 114/117 AD
Material: Silver
Diameter: 20mm
Weight: 3.27g
Mint: Rome
Reference: RIC II Trajan 353 var (Aegis, not draped!), Woytek 558d var, RSC 272b
Provenance: Ex Michael Kelly Collection, Ex Roma Numismatic London

Obverse:
Bust of Trajan, laureate, right with aegis. The Inscription reads: IMP CAES NER TRAIAN OPTIM AVG GER DAC PARTHICO for Imperator Caesar Nerva Traianus Optimus Augustus Germanicus, Dacicus, Parthico (Imperator, Caesar, Nerva Trajan, the best Augustus, conqueror of the Germans, conqueror of the Dacians, conqueror of the Parthians).

Reverse:
Virtus, helmeted, in military dress, standing right, left foot set on helmet, holding vertical spear reversed in right hand and upright parazonium in left. The Inscription reads: P M TR P COS VI P P S P Q R for Pontifex Maximus, Tribunicia Potestate, Consul Sextum, Pater Patriae, Senatus Populusque Romanus (High priest, holder of tribunician power, consul for the sixth time, father of the nation. The senate and the Roman people).

 

image.jpeg.4e34a09727c52fb885f0a2f99958d56e.jpeg

Marcus Ulpius Traianus as Imperator Caesar Nerva Traianus Augustus
Denarius of the Roman Imperial Period 103/111 AD
Material: Silver
Diameter: 19mm
Weight: 3.42g
Mint: Rome
Reference: RIC II Trajan 187
Provenance: Ex Michael Kelly Collection, Ex Roma Numismatic London

Obverse:
Bust of Trajan, laureate, right with aegis. The Inscription reads: IMP TRAIANO AVG GER DAC P M TR P COS V P P for Imperator Traiano Augustus, Germanicus, Dacicus, Pontifex Maximus, Tribunicia Potestate, Consul Quintum, Pater Patriae (Imperator, of Trajan, Augustus, conqueror of the Germans, conqueror of the Dacians, high priest, holder of tribunician power, consul for the fifth time, father of the nation).

Reverse:
Pax, naked to waist, seated left on throne, holding branch in right hand and transverse sceptre in left; in front of her kneels a Dacian. The Inscription reads: S P Q R OPTIMO PRINCIPI for Senatus Populusque Romanus Optimo Principi (The senate and the Roman people to the best of princes).

 

 

Do we have anyone on the forum who specializes in Trajan? I would be interested to know. Otherwise. For the fact that he was apparently the most optimal Augustus:

show me YOUR Trajan silver pieces and bronze pieces!

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Nice coins !!

 

Here are three of mine.  I am not a Trajan collector, but from time to time an example ends up in my collection. :classic_cool:

 

normal_Trajan_05.jpg.856a65c861803077aceb630ec2c10cb0.jpg

Trajan
AR-Denar
Obv: IMP TRAIANO AVG GER DAC P M TR P, Laureate bust right, with slight drapery.
Rev: COS V P P S P Q R OPTIMO PRINC / DANVVIVS.
Danube reclining left on rocks, head right, with hand on prow of ship and reeds over arm.
AR, 3.17g, 19mm
Ref.: Woytek 277b, RIC 100

 

normal_Trajan_09.jpg.43746260e8eb96d1b6fc910c30c96f6d.jpg

Trajan
AR-Denar
Obv.: IMP TRAIANO AVG GER DAC P M TR P, laureate bust right, drapery on far shoulder
Rev.: COS V P P SPQR OPTIMO PRINC, Arabia standing left, holding a branch and a bundle of cinnamon sticks; at her feet, a camel walking left
Ag, 3.44g, 17.5mm
Ref.: RIC 142, RSC 89

 

normal_Trajan_08.jpg.7a39077a93a62123a2092022088a52ae.jpg

Trajan
AR-Denar
Obv.: IMP TRAIANO AVG GER DAC P M TR P, laureate head right, drapery on far shoulder
Rev.: COS V P P SPQR OPTIMO PRINC, Dacian seated left in mourning, on pile of captured arms, DAC CAP in exergue
Ag, 3.44g, 18.5mm
Ref.: RIC 098

 

Edited by shanxi
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6 minutes ago, shanxi said:

Trajan
AR-Denar
Obv: IMP TRAIANO AVG GER DAC P M TR P, Laureate bust right, with slight drapery.
Rev: COS V P P S P Q R OPTIMO PRINC / DANVVIVS.
Danube reclining left on rocks, head right, with hand on prow of ship and reeds over arm.
AR, 3.17g, 19mm
Ref.: Woytek 277b, RIC 100

Oh this design I see from time to time - and I like it very! This is what I mean... very interesting reverses. Nice example!

 

7 minutes ago, shanxi said:

Trajan
AR-Denar
Obv.: IMP TRAIANO AVG GER DAC P M TR P, laureate head right, drapery on far shoulder
Rev.: COS V P P SPQR OPTIMO PRINC, Dacian seated left in mourning, on pile of captured arms, DAC CAP in exergue
Ag, 3.44g, 18.5mm
Ref.: RIC 098

Here the same. So often you see the same design - middle a trophy, some shields, some weapons - but look at this revers. you see the captured Dacian warrior. you can see, how bad he feel. Thats great!

 

Nice examples @shanxi

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Great examples.

When I started collecting ancient coins, my main goal was to add a Trajan coin! I was under the impression Roman coins from 1st-2nd century are expensive, so I was more than happy to see that a denarius with his portrait can be affordable (although, not the ones in the league you just shared).
I was glad when I received my very first lot of ancient coins and in the bunch of "Roman bronzes" (this is how they were described), suddenly a wild denarius appeared

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Of course a modest coin but having the distinguishable Trajan portrait (+ his name readable in the obverse legend) was more than I could hope for.

 

Soon, I started adding more coins, for me all of them are special because they are from Trajan's time.

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For me, the best Trajan coins are the ones related to Dacian wars

image.png.d769c126938bb6eaf2522c97fb25d234.png

image.png.1ffefe29196a101326c6e24627d18ac5.png

image.png.c8e12aac2c30d47a521cf36cf730a532.png

 

Bronze coinage is also interesting

image.png.7a1db63d3de596b4655cd9b6c54c2e6a.png

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And also his provincial coinage must not be overlooked

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image.png.c9f80de279f862a2aa3d43ef25d722d7.png

image.png.7dfea9c81c9576fbbe690558d0204918.png

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CAPPADOCIA, Caesarea. Trajan. 98-117 AD. AR Didrachm
112-114 AD. AYTOKΡ KAIC NEΡ TΡAIANO CEB ΓEΡM ΔAK, laureate and draped bust of Trajan, r., seen from rear, globe beneath / ΔHMAΡX EX YΠATO ς, female bust (Hera ?) in chiton, holding spear in r. hand and patera in l.

RPC III, 3006;  Sydenham 196a, Metcalf Hoard 335–351 and Pl. 18–19, Metcalf Conspectus 64e, Ganschow 131d

It's a chunky 6.60 grams didrachm

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I am a big fan of Trajan 

Trajan Ae Sestertius 107-108 AD Obv Bust right laureate drapery on far shoulder. Rv Façade of hexastyle Temple of Honus with cult figure standing between the two innermost columns. RIC 575 Woytek 302nd This Coin Illustrated 25.18 grms 33 mm Photo by W. Hansen1842562643_trajans26-Copy.JPG.4db6626598fec041aa8a6d0381a5f7d5.JPG

There is not a lot known about this structure and there is an ongoing debate as to whom is being honored by this structure.  Trajan's building program was vast and this temple could be one of a number of temples started or even planned by the emperor.

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tradidrac.jpg.62d370a69a9a0e7cb6b267fb46a80971.jpg

Trajan (98 - 117 A.D.)

AR Didrachm
CAPPADOCIA, Caesarea-Eusebia
O: ΑΥΤΟΚΡ ΚΑΙС ΝЄΡ ΤΡΑΙΑΝω ΑΡΙСΤω СЄΒ ΓЄΡΜ ΔΑΚ Laureate head of Trajan to right, with slight drapery on his left shoulder.
R:ΔΗΜΑΡΧ ЄΞ ΥΠΑΤΟ Ϛ Mount Argaios with grotto containing cult stone, flanked by two pyramidal objects; at top, second grotto with flames.
6.98g
21mm
RPC III 3046. Sydenham 208-209.

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My earliest Trajan denarius has a portrait that rather resembles Nerva.

rc1630b00122lg.jpg.d486c3173b71cec694857ac85e06ea25.jpg

Trajan built a 'long-cut' road that was longer than the old Appian Way but less hilly so it actually took less time and was easier on travelers.  It was called Via Traiana.

rc1705bb3168.jpg.34fd72136e5ae75e1b323f2ca083f8f9.jpg

Trajan was adopted by Nerva but also issued a coin in honor of his biological father DIVVS PATER TRAIAN.

rc1707fd1523.jpg.a0e8af67457273abb9837aa6db98a079.jpg

My favorite bronze of Trajan is this as showing the club and lion skin of Hercules.  It rather reminds me of the type with Trajan's column which I do not have.

rc1745fd1302.jpg.8f20e77e5e78cb3c1aaaa2af30f6c624.jpg

Another as type shows fancy shields.

rc1755bb2984.jpg.19ab67b265f7c2d04dab0173c1705c74.jpg

A popular Provincial tetradrachm of Tyre shows Trajan over an eagle with reverse head of Melquarth.  

pc0200bb0443.jpg.651c77b97cc35e4722e114cbfa435742.jpg

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Wonderful examples everyone..

This was my 2nd Denarius I purchased many years ago..Now has a lovely cabinet toning..

trajtogether-removebg-preview.png.0637dc92800883d0278e15d985769b6d.png

 

Trajan, Denarius 98-117AD 20mm/2.66gr (Minted 103-111AD)

Obverse-IMPTRAIANO AVG GER DAC PMTRP laureate bust right, slight drapery on left shoulder

Reverse-COS VPPS PQR OPTIMO PRINC Aequitas standing left, holding scales and cornucopiae.

RIC II# 118

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Roman Egypt, Alexandria. Trajan, AD 98-117. Billon Tetradrachm (24mm, 12.82g, 12h). Dated RY 19 (AD 115/116). Obv: ΑΥΤ ΤΡΑΙΑΝ ΑΡΙ ϹƐΒ ΓƐΡΜ ΔΑΚΙΚ ΠAΡ; Radiate bust right, with aegis; star before. Rev: Draped bust of Zeus right, wearing taenia; L I Θ (date) across field. Ref: Köln –; Dattari (Savio) 692; K&G 27.629 var. (Zeus without taenia); RPC III 4892; Emmett 395.19. Very Fine, dark gray-brown surfaces. From the Rocky Mountain Collection of Alexandrian. Ex CNG eAuction 474 (12 Aug 2020), Lot 262.

image.jpeg.063801631ee80fb649bd8134c194eb8d.jpeg

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Naturally, my favorite coins of Trajan will be those related to his Parthian war.  This first sestertius bears the reverse legend "Rex Parthis Datus" (A King Given to Parthia) and shows a seated Trajan bestowing a crown to a kneeling Parthamaspates, while the figure of Parthia stands and watches approvingly:

image.jpeg.0d2094f1e151b89a81f4db0a33cdf57b.jpeg

And a related sestertius expands on the theme, with the type "Regnal Adsignata" (Kingdoms Assigned).  Trajan now bestows crowns on three standing kings.  The recipient kings are not named on the coin, but based on my research I believe they are intended to be Abgar VII of Edessa/Osrhoene, Attambelos (numbering uncertain) of Characene, and Parthamaspates of Parthia.  (It cannot include a king of Armenia, despite what is sometimes claimed, as Trajan had declared Armenia a Roman province after murdering the Parthian-supported king Parthamasiris.)

image.jpeg.49e1f5bff4301deb293a9394b09a9ebf.jpeg

 

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8 hours ago, Prieure de Sion said:

I got a "handful" of beautiful (I think) denarii of the best, very best Roman Emperor today. In the process, I noticed - what pretty detailed portraits there are of Trajan. And what beautiful backs he has to offer. Actually, I just wanted to copy the few examples into the "Alphabet" thread. 

I noticed (maybe I'm wrong) - for the fact that Trajan was one of the most optimal emperors - his coins exist in large numbers - I have the subjective impression - that he is represented here compared to other emperors and personalities rather less. I also do not know a single specialized Trajan collector (if then a collector of the adopted emperors).

I would like to show you a few of my pieces from today, which I find particularly pretty:

 

image.jpeg.aaa54778c54e93ce21586a5d86d1a3df.jpeg

Marcus Ulpius Traianus as Imperator Caesar Nerva Traianus Augustus
Denarius of the Roman Imperial Period 103/111 AD
Material: Silver
Diameter: 18mm
Weight: 3.56g
Mint: Rome
Reference: RIC II Trajan 81
Provenance: Ex Michael Kelly Collection, Ex Roma Numismatic London

Obverse:
Head of Trajan, laureate, right. The Inscription reads: IMP NERVA TRAIANVS AVG GER DACICVS Imperator Nerva Traianus Augustus, Germanicus, Dacicus (Imperator, Nerva Trajan, Augustus, conqueror of the Germans, conqueror of the Dacians).

Reverse:
Victory advancing left, holding wreath and palm. The Inscription reads: P M TR P COS V P P for Pontifex Maximus, Tribunicia Potestate, Consul Quintum, Pater Patriae (High priest, holder of tribunician power, consul for the fifth time, father of the nation).

 

image.jpeg.1962b1463111ad53adb36a3155db3b04.jpeg

Marcus Ulpius Traianus as Imperator Caesar Nerva Traianus Augustus
Denarius of the Roman Imperial Period 114/117 AD
Material: Silver
Diameter: 20mm
Weight: 3.12g
Mint: Rome
Reference: RIC II Trajan 346
Provenance: Ex Michael Kelly Collection, Ex Roma Numismatic London

Obverse:
Heroic Bust of Trajan, laureate, right, Aegis on left shoulder. The Inscription reads: IMP CAES NER TRAIAN OPTIM AVG GER DAC PARTHICO for Imperator Caesar Nerva Traianus Optimus Augustus Germanicus, Dacicus, Parthico (Imperator, Caesar, Nerva Trajan, the best Augustus, conqueror of the Germans, conqueror of the Dacians, conqueror of the Parthians).

Reverse:
Felicitas, draped, standing left, holding up caduceus in right hand and cornucopiae in left. The Inscription reads: P M TR P COS VI P P S P Q R for Pontifex Maximus, Tribunicia Potestate, Consul Sextum, Pater Patriae, Senatus Populusque Romanus (High priest, holder of tribunician power, consul for the sixth time, father of the nation. The senate and the Roman people).

 

image.jpeg.49a17a2ca45b9964f4fca12d3f058143.jpeg

Marcus Ulpius Traianus as Imperator Caesar Nerva Traianus Augustus
Denarius of the Roman Imperial Period 101/102 AD
Material: Silver
Diameter: 19mm
Weight: 3.36g
Mint: Rome
Reference: RIC II Trajan 52 var. (Aegis),BMCRE 94 var. (Aegis), RSC 228 var. (Aegis)
Provenance: Ex Michael Kelly Collection, Ex Roma Numismatic London

Obverse:
Bust of Trajan, laureate, right, Aegis on left shoulder. The Inscription reads: IMP CAES NERVA TRAIAN AVG GERM for Imperator Caesar Nerva Traianus Augustus, Germanicus (Imperator, Caesar, Nerva Trajan, Augustus, conqueror of the Germans).

Reverse:
Mars, helmeted, naked except for cloak round waist, advancing right, holding transverse spear in right hand and trophy over left shoulder. The Inscription reads: P M TR P COS IIII P P for Pontifex Maximus, Tribunicia Potestate, Consul Quartum, Pater Patriae (High priest, holder of tribunician power, consul for the fourth time, father of the nation).

 

image.jpeg.034ed54fc03012470a8350524da922db.jpeg

Marcus Ulpius Traianus as Imperator Caesar Nerva Traianus Augustus
Denarius of the Roman Imperial Period 112/114 AD
Material: Silver
Diameter: 20mm
Weight: 3.59g
Mint: Rome
Reference: RIC II Trajan 291
Provenance: Ex Michael Kelly Collection, Ex Roma Numismatic London

Obverse:
Bust of Trajan, laureate, draped, right. The Inscription reads: IMP TRAIANO AVG GER DAC P M TR P COS VI P P for Imperator Traiano Augustus, Germanicus, Dacicus, Pontifex Maximus, Tribunicia Potestate, Consul Sextum, Pater Patriae (Imperator, of Trajan, Augustus, conqueror of the Germans, conqueror of the Dacians, high priest, holder of tribunician power, consul for the sixth time, father of the nation).

Reverse:
Trajan on horseback left, holding long spear reversed in right hand and sword in left. The Inscription reads: S P Q R OPTIMO PRINCIPI for Senatus Populusque Romanus Optimo Principi (The senate and the Roman people to the best of princes).

 

image.jpeg.be1006ec36b3af032ff5c1c72eaa3e8c.jpeg

Marcus Ulpius Traianus as Imperator Caesar Nerva Traianus Augustus
Denarius of the Roman Imperial Period 114/117 AD
Material: Silver
Diameter: 20mm
Weight: 3.27g
Mint: Rome
Reference: RIC II Trajan 353 var (Aegis, not draped!), Woytek 558d var, RSC 272b
Provenance: Ex Michael Kelly Collection, Ex Roma Numismatic London

Obverse:
Bust of Trajan, laureate, right with aegis. The Inscription reads: IMP CAES NER TRAIAN OPTIM AVG GER DAC PARTHICO for Imperator Caesar Nerva Traianus Optimus Augustus Germanicus, Dacicus, Parthico (Imperator, Caesar, Nerva Trajan, the best Augustus, conqueror of the Germans, conqueror of the Dacians, conqueror of the Parthians).

Reverse:
Virtus, helmeted, in military dress, standing right, left foot set on helmet, holding vertical spear reversed in right hand and upright parazonium in left. The Inscription reads: P M TR P COS VI P P S P Q R for Pontifex Maximus, Tribunicia Potestate, Consul Sextum, Pater Patriae, Senatus Populusque Romanus (High priest, holder of tribunician power, consul for the sixth time, father of the nation. The senate and the Roman people).

 

image.jpeg.4e34a09727c52fb885f0a2f99958d56e.jpeg

Marcus Ulpius Traianus as Imperator Caesar Nerva Traianus Augustus
Denarius of the Roman Imperial Period 103/111 AD
Material: Silver
Diameter: 19mm
Weight: 3.42g
Mint: Rome
Reference: RIC II Trajan 187
Provenance: Ex Michael Kelly Collection, Ex Roma Numismatic London

Obverse:
Bust of Trajan, laureate, right with aegis. The Inscription reads: IMP TRAIANO AVG GER DAC P M TR P COS V P P for Imperator Traiano Augustus, Germanicus, Dacicus, Pontifex Maximus, Tribunicia Potestate, Consul Quintum, Pater Patriae (Imperator, of Trajan, Augustus, conqueror of the Germans, conqueror of the Dacians, high priest, holder of tribunician power, consul for the fifth time, father of the nation).

Reverse:
Pax, naked to waist, seated left on throne, holding branch in right hand and transverse sceptre in left; in front of her kneels a Dacian. The Inscription reads: S P Q R OPTIMO PRINCIPI for Senatus Populusque Romanus Optimo Principi (The senate and the Roman people to the best of princes).

 

 

Do we have anyone on the forum who specializes in Trajan? I would be interested to know. Otherwise. For the fact that he was apparently the most optimal Augustus:

show me YOUR Trajan silver pieces and bronze pieces!

Impressive group 🤩!

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Of my few Trajan coins, this is the one I like best – despite its boring reverse legend:

632362886_RomTrajandenariusVictoria.png.514e4199d3230ec8e39821c11a6cb9fd.png

Trajan, Roman Empire, denarius, 101/102 AD, Rome mint. Obv: IMP CAESAR NERVA TRAIAN AUG GERM, laureate head of Trajan right. Rev: PM TRP COS IIII PP, Victory standing facing, holding wreath and palm branch. 18mm, 3.04g. Ref: RIC II Trajan 58.

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16 hours ago, Al Kowsky said:

1844156454_McAlee463TrajanTyre.jpg.301bb80df542640bf035111445d63d44.jpg

Tyre - Phoenicia. Trajan, AD 98-117 (Dated Year 18, AD 113-4). AR Tetradrachm: 14.18 gm, 26 mm. Prieur 1518.

Al, this is a phenomenal example! 🤩 I have had one of these on my want list for some time now, and seeing yours has made me even more impatient to acquire one soon! 🙇‍♂️

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The problem with Trajan for me is that his reign was so smooth. He had an excellent starting situation, inheriting the Flavian Empire that was economically strong and administratively sound. He was selected with the backing of all the major power blocs in society. He didn't face any significant incursions from enemies during his reign and had freedom to execute the Dacian plan that Domitian had laid the groundwork for. He wasn't a victim of any controversies, he had no particular policies that betrayed any strong personality traits (beyond perhaps his Liberality and Justice), he had no relationships that were fascinating such as Hadrian and Antinious or Constantine and Crispus. He died of natural causes, just as things in Parthia were getting out of control, and a great emperor in Hadrian succeeded him. Unfortunately for Hadrian, he inherited the controversy of managing the Parthian situation.

Trajan's reign being stable means it also lacks political events that find their way into coinage, nor does there seem many mysteries to unpack or a reform of the coinage itself.

Furthermore I can't think of a situation in Trajanic coinage where a coin serves as significant historical evidence for something or another. Perhaps I am wrong and someone can provide some examples beyond "I built this" or "I won a war".

It's hard to find a person and their reign like that fascinating, and I suspect that's the reason that, despite the excellent historical and aesthetic quality of his coinage, he doesn't have many specialists. 

Trajan is also very popular, so you don't get many nerd points for obsessing over him haha

Edited by Steppenfool
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47 minutes ago, Steppenfool said:

Trajan is also very popular, so you don't get many nerd points for obsessing over him haha

You should rethink your view - because Trajan is (almost) the opposite of what the general public thinks they know about him.

The judgement about him is strongly coloured by the ranks of the sensory aristocracy. Probably because he particularly flattered them or he was particularly good with the Senate. His good judgement is solely due to a few eulogies - which were repeated over and over again until the 20th century - until everyone believed that he was THE optimal ruler.

But he was anything but a boring nerd.

He stalked young men wherever he could. In comparison, Hadrian was an "orphan". He drank like a fish and was a real drunkard. 

His military actions were often hara-kiri. His good officers saved difficult situations one time or another and saved the commander from impending fiascos. Trajan also had no problem - if the situation was hopeless - abandoning his officers along with his soldiers. 

His war against the pathians was disastrous, consumed a lot of money and brought the empire to its financial and material limits. After his death, Hadrian had his hands full with sorting out and, above all, consolidating the disaster that Trajan had left behind.

Whoever thinks that the Roman Empire began to show the first cracks under Marcus Aurelius or Commodus, at the latest since the Severans - the truth is - the "downfall" of the Roman Empire began with Trajan. He over (!) extended the empire - with his expansion, Trajan had brought the empire into a situation in which it was never capable of securing the empire financially, materially and in terms of the number of soldiers needed. In fact, Trajan laid the foundation for its downfall.

Trajan is only boring if you read and hear the generally accepted opinion. There is a very good Trajan biography that sheds light on the "dark" side of Trajan's reign. Very interesting. You then see Trajan with completely different eyes.

 

This is a very good biography:

https://www.amazon.de/Kaiser-Traian-Epoche-Weltgeschichte-Biografien/dp/3791729071/ref=sr_1_18?__mk_de_DE=ÅMÅŽÕÑ&crid=3DSF3UOBDPE9N&keywords=trajan&qid=1665689637&qu=eyJxc2MiOiIzLjIxIiwicXNhIjoiMi44NiIsInFzcCI6IjIuODQifQ%3D%3D&sprefix=trajan%2Caps%2C99&sr=8-18 

But I think it is only in German aviable? Dont know...

 

Edited by Prieure de Sion
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@Steppenfool, @Prieure de Sion

I think the trouth is in the middle. The fact is that the political problems were often created by the manner Traianus and Hadrianus also made the political organisation of the empire. The fact is also that history study is much more critical than before and the opinion over this 2 imperatores is changing

 

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1 hour ago, Prieure de Sion said:

You should rethink your view - because Trajan is (almost) the opposite of what the general public thinks they know about him.

The judgement about him is strongly coloured by the ranks of the sensory aristocracy. Probably because he particularly flattered them or he was particularly good with the Senate. His good judgement is solely due to a few eulogies - which were repeated over and over again until the 20th century - until everyone believed that he was THE optimal ruler.

But he was anything but a boring nerd.

He stalked young men wherever he could. In comparison, Hadrian was an "orphan". He drank like a fish and was a real drunkard. 

His military actions were often hara-kiri. His good officers saved difficult situations one time or another and saved the commander from impending fiascos. Trajan also had no problem - if the situation was hopeless - abandoning his officers along with his soldiers. 

His war against the pathians was disastrous, consumed a lot of money and brought the empire to its financial and material limits. After his death, Hadrian had his hands full with sorting out and, above all, consolidating the disaster that Trajan had left behind.

Whoever thinks that the Roman Empire began to show the first cracks under Marcus Aurelius or Commodus, at the latest since the Severans - the truth is - the "downfall" of the Roman Empire began with Trajan. He over (!) extended the empire - with his expansion, Trajan had brought the empire into a situation in which it was never capable of securing the empire financially, materially and in terms of the number of soldiers needed. In fact, Trajan laid the foundation for its downfall.

Trajan is only boring if you read and hear the generally accepted opinion. There is a very good Trajan biography that sheds light on the "dark" side of Trajan's reign. Very interesting. You then see Trajan with completely different eyes.

 

 

 

I don't disagree with anything you've said, it is all true. However, I just don't think it's very interesting compared to other emperors. Lusting after young boys and enjoying a drink isn't all that compelling to me when discussing an Emperor of Rome.

I do agree with the Persian expedition being grossly overrated and alluded to the fact that poor Hadrian had to sort it out and Hadrian's reputation suffered because of it. The succession crisis created by Trajan probably produced one of my favourite coins, the Hadrian "ADOPTIO" issue that sheds light on the fact that the succession wasn't very clear initially.

I also agree that Trajan was fiscally irresponsible with the treasure he acquired from the conquered Dacians. However this cannot be said to be to the detriment of Trajan, because conquest had always powered the Roman economy, and big spending often followed. So much so that whenever an emperor leaves behind a healthy treasury, such as Tiberius or Antoninus Pius, it is made special note of in the sources. Thankfully, whatever the state of the finances upon Trajan's death, Hadrian had enough spare to fortify the empire and forgive taxes.

All in all, Trajan's story lacks a bit of spark and uniqueness for me compared to other emperors, and as someone who loves coins with a historio-political implication, I find it difficult to be interested in him. This is not to say that his coins aren't beautiful or stylistic. 

As for the biography, I unfortunately cannot read German.

My "nerd" comment was not that Trajan was a nerd. But that he's quite famous so it's not as cool to be knowledgeable about him.  🙂

Edited by Steppenfool
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4 hours ago, Restitutor said:

Al, this is a phenomenal example! 🤩 I have had one of these on my want list for some time now, and seeing yours has made me even more impatient to acquire one soon! 🙇‍♂️

I felt lucky to get this one 😏, despite the cost ($528.00). NGC graded it Ch XF, 5/5, 4/5. Mint state examples are untouchable 😖. The coin pictured below was the finest portrait coin of Trajan that I sold at auction almost 5 years ago. It fetched $480.00 despite the scratches on the obverse. I regret selling that coin ☹️.

1512552615_TrajanTetMcAlee440.jpg.0290d0d8dc7aceb14b4c4c6974b55e11.jpg

 

 

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as all the denarii I have for the Optimo Principi are already showed here, i put only one AR Drachme from the koinon of Lycia.

 

image.png.fb29651e69f3b296ded8d2ab78e3911d.pngimage.png.6eb7236dd9fa1bc8cdfd0887f60fcb8e.png

obverse AUT KAIS NER TRAIA NOS SEB GERM  

reverse DHMEX UPAT B

17 mm, 3;31 gr, 6 h

SNGvonAulock4267,RPC2676.

minted year 2 : 98/99 

on the obverse, we have the classical titles of Traianus AUTokrator KAISar NERbaV TRAIANOS SEBastoV GERManikoV

on the reverse the date DHMarcikhV ExousiaV / UPAToV B : Tribunicia Potestas – Consul 2

For some information about the Trajanic mint : see W.Metcalf,The Oxford Handbook of Greek and Roman Coinage, Oxford, 2012, p 406/407.

 

image.jpeg.d788454d405ca46e9972cff8bd36d0ad.jpegimage.jpeg.3ace6c3a5092f6428531bd99b8becef8.jpeg

 

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