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Triumph! Triumph! Triumph!


Restitutor
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On this glorious Saturday afternoon, I was pleasantly surprised to discover the USPS tracking service was accurate and my recent CNG win arrived safe and sound! Before showing off the coin, a bit of history...

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Since Trajan kicked the butt of the mischievous king of Dacia, Decebalus. Decebalus had been a thorn in the side of Rome ever since the days of Domitian in 86 CE. Despite losing against the imperial armies, Decebalus survived as king of Dacia during the reign of Domitian due to the emperors focus shifting to other more pressing concerns. As part of the peace treaty signed with Domitian, Decebalus promised to be a client king, and build fortifications within his kingdom to defend against Roman enemies. By 101 however, with the ascension of Trajan as emperor, the focus of Rome turned back to Decebalus with an eye toward removing this threat. How did Dacia, which was supposed to be a client kingdom, become a threat? Well, despite promising to build defenses against the enemies of Rome, the Dacian kingdom had instead fortified against Rome itself. It was clear to all that the peace treaty signed under Domitian would not be the last word on Roman-Dacian relations. Should it really be a surprise then that Trajan, a great general and warlord, would wish to remove this thorn from the side of the empire?

By 102, Trajan had decisively defeated Decebalus at the Battle of Tapae, with the help of the rain gods. One funny little bit from Dio relates a story on how prior to the battle, quote, "When Trajan in his campaign against the Dacian's had drawn near Tapae, where the barbarians were encamped, a large mushroom was brought to him on which was written in Latin characters a message to the effect that the Buri and other allies advised Trajan to turn back and keep the peace. Nevertheless he engaged the foe...". I just can't get the image out of my head of the Emperor of the Romans receiving a note, written on a mushroom, asking to not fight, and what Trajan's reaction must have been. Sometimes history is truly stranger than fiction... 

In what reads like a script out of Groundhog Day, despite being beaten for the second time, Decebalus was allowed to remain as king, but only if he promised to build defensive fortifications against the enemies of Rome. So yeah, this guy somehow loses to Rome two times in a row, and after violating the terms of the first peace deal, gets the exact same deal a second time! He must have had the greatest negotiators in history. 

By 105, it became clear to Rome that Decebalus was continuing in his deceitful ways and engaging in a proxy war against the empire, and so direct war broke out again. This time, Trajan was clearly playing for keeps. In what would become an Eighth Wonder of the Ancient World (at least to me), Trajan's famed architect, Apollodorus of Damascus, constructed a bridge across the Danube that spanned over 3,700 feet. No bridge for a thousand years would again reach that length. The ingenuity of the Romans is truly mind boggling. 

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Crossing into Dacia with upwards of 175,000 men, Trajan besieged the Dacian capital of Sarmizegetusa, with Decebalus seemingly trapped inside. Utilizing impressive siege works, and cutting the water supply, the Romans were able to capture the capital, however the wily king Decebalus escaped. However, Decebalus seems to have realized that hope was finally lost, and to quote Dio again, "Decebalus, when his capital and all his territory had been occupied and he was himself in danger of being captured, committed suicide; and his head was brought to Rome. In this way Dacia became subject to the Romans...". Not only did Trajan now find himself master of Dacia, but he was also informed of where the Dacian treasury was hidden, containing over 165,000 kilograms of gold, and 331,000 kilograms of silver. Not a bad days work! 

So, how does this epic story tie into the coin I received today? Well, after Trajans victory he naturally celebrated a Triumph. Work also began on a column in the forum to celebrate Trajans victory. Still standing today, I've had the pleasure of seeing it on numerous occasions, each time no less impressive than the last. 

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As it took some time for this column to be erected, not being complete until 117, Trajan also issued coins in the interim to help maintain the hype of his victory. One of these coins has landed in my home as of this afternoon, which I am super happy to share here!

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Trajan. AD 98-117. AR Denarius (15mm, 3.14 g, 7h). Rome mint. Struck circa mid AD 107-108. Laureate bust right, slight drapery on left shoulder / Trajan in triumphal quadriga right, holding scepter and laurel branch. RIC II 139 corr. (bust type); Woytek 273b; RSC 94. Commemorates Trajan's second Dacian triumph in AD 107. 

I have been itching to get a triumphal quadriga ever since May of 2019 when I lost out on a glorious one of Vespasian (those of you who have read my posts in the past are likely familiar with me talking about that loss, probably too much, ha!), and with Trajan quickly becoming one of my most collected emperors, it felt fitting to go after this one. Although this one of Trajan isn't perfectly centered and as such some of the legend is missing, the overall detail in the quadriga is still quite striking, and at my price point is probably the best quality one I'll get (one went in a Roma auction for 10x what I paid that was perfectly centered 🤯), and I'm quite okay with that! Plus, Trajan's legends usually just say the same thing on every coin, so it's not like I'm missing out on anything new 😂

Please feel free to post your coins depicting triumphs, war, warrior gods, Trajan, or any coins you feel are relevant! 

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Cool coin and informative write-up, @Restitutor! That's a desirable reverse type. Here's a Trajan with THE warrior god of warrior gods!

[IMG]

Trajan, AD 98-117
Roman AR denarius; 2.95 gm, 20 mm
Rome, AD 114-117
Obv: IMP CAES NER TRAIANO OPTIMO AVG GER DAC, laureate and draped bust, right
Rev: P M TR P COS VI P P S P Q R, Mars walking right with spear and trophy
Refs: RIC 337; BMCRE 536-40; Cohen 270; RCV --; Woytek 520v; Strack 230; BN 819.

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Posted · Supporter

A- VERY entertaining write up on the Chuck Norris of Roman emperors!

And 2- IS TRAJAN IN A QUADRIGA!!!

Coingrats! That is a cherry, highly desirable coin of the man whom was regarded Optimus Princeps (The greatest first man/ Augustus).

Some of mine:

2136730_1630246928.l-removebg-preview.png.276bf3978c75a17b5403e776e6d79b43.pngshare6931295016206892499.png.29088bff1eff906641ecc549b6c14029.pngScreenshot_20210109-114411_PicCollage-removebg-preview.png.64dab92b140042e7b832bb2c70f00437.png2025571_1625039758.l-removebg-preview.png.5ebe1d6829576f94a1a168d2050da8e2.pngIMG_0232.PNG.83db94177a8f85adcd7186f1449a15c8.PNGScreenshot_20201208-163037_PicCollage-removebg-preview.png.3df840dcb3c81161ea0fb822889b133e.png

All of this can be said of Trajan nearly two thousand years before Chuck *except for #8, obviously, Lays weren't invented yet):

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Edited by Ryro
Pshhh, to add Chuck Norris jokes, of course!
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[IMG]
Arabia Petraea, Bostra. 
Trajan. CE 98-117. 
AR drachm (18.57 mm, 2.92 g, 8 h). 
Struck A.D. 114-116. 
Obv: AYTOKP KAIC NEP TPAIANω APICTω CЄB ΓЄPM ΔAK, laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, seen from behind / 
Rev: ΔHMAPX EΞ UPAT ς, Arabia standing left holding branch and bundle of cinnamon sticks; at feet, camel left. 
Ref: SNG ANS 1158; SNG von Aulock 6408; Sydenham, Caesarea 205. VF. 
Ex Harlan J. Berk
Ex Agora

 

[IMG]
Trajan, AD 98-117.
Æ As, 26mm, 11.0g, 6h; Rome mint.
Obv: IMP CAES NER TRAIANO OPTIMO AVG GER DAC PARTHICO P M TR P COS VI P P; Laureate and draped bust right.
Rev: SENATVS POPVLVS QVE ROMANVS (Senate and People of Rome) Victory, draped, advancing right, holding wreath in right hand and palm frond in left; S-C
Reference: RIC 675

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 @Restitutor....Wonderful looking coin!....Reverse has great detail right down to the facial features of Trajan..Really enjoyed the write up thanks...

trajtogether.jpg.46b92435a4c4a2b602c65689c2a43901.jpg

 

Trajan ar 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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Trajan Ae Sestertius 107-110 AD Obv Bust right laureate drapery on far shoulder. Rv "Dabube" bridge  depicted as a single arch with a tower at each end. Below river craft  RIC 569 Woytek 314cC 25.80 grms 33 mm Photo by W. Hansentrajans17.jpeg.c9843b4ac136b294bcd53368ee629c1b.jpeg

It is interesting how much the image of the Danube bridge posted above by @Restitutoris based on interpretations from this coin. One can see how on the image seen above that the structure holding up the deck of the bridges is fairly close to that seen on the coin. However there has been a fairly long scholarly debate a to whether or not the bridge seen on the coin is the famous Danube Bridge. One big problem is that all other buildings seen on the coins of Trajan can be identified as structures built in Rome. However despite his massive building program there is no reference linking Trajan with a bridge within Rome. While it is true that absence of evidence does not necessarily prove a point, it can be noted that in Woytek "Die Reichspragung Des Kaisers Traianus (98-117) this reverse is linked with other coins celebrating Trajan's success in Dacia. If correct this reverse would be seen as a part of a larger message celebrating Trajan's success over the Dacians

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Posted · Administrator
15 hours ago, kapphnwn said:

Trajan Ae Sestertius 107-110 AD Obv Bust right laureate drapery on far shoulder. Rv "Dabube" bridge  depicted as a single arch with a tower at each end. Below river craft  RIC 569 Woytek 314cC 25.80 grms 33 mm Photo by W. Hansentrajans17.jpeg.c9843b4ac136b294bcd53368ee629c1b.jpeg

It is interesting how much the image of the Danube bridge posted above by @Restitutoris based on interpretations from this coin. One can see how on the image seen above that the structure holding up the deck of the bridges is fairly close to that seen on the coin. However there has been a fairly long scholarly debate a to whether or not the bridge seen on the coin is the famous Danube Bridge. One big problem is that all other buildings seen on the coins of Trajan can be identified as structures built in Rome. However despite his massive building program there is no reference linking Trajan with a bridge within Rome. While it is true that absence of evidence does not necessarily prove a point, it can be noted that in Woytek "Die Reichspragung Des Kaisers Traianus (98-117) this reverse is linked with other coins celebrating Trajan's success in Dacia. If correct this reverse would be seen as a part of a larger message celebrating Trajan's success over the Dacians

8190552.jpg.7107ab5a4dcb258d5b1ca681619b30a4.jpg

How interesting! I had always assumed it was the Danube bridge as well, the thought had never occurred to me there would be debate. I suppose the simplest question would be: are there any other famous bridges we know were built under Trajan? I can't imagine there would be another bridge of such importance to Trajan as the Danube bridge, that he would mint coins to celebrate, but that we haven't heard about otherwise from any other source. Beautiful coin as well 🙂 

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15 hours ago, singig said:

Congratulations @Restitutor !!  hard to find this rare reverse , I'm watching one on ebay(at 560$) for some years  , I don't think I will have the chance to buy it soon.

CNG has mesured 15mm , is this the real diameter ?

Unfortunately I don't have extremely precise measuring tools, but from my standard ruler and then compared to my other denarii I don't doubt the 15mm. It is quite the small coin! Probably will be handling this one far less than my others haha. 

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The king Decebalus (fact - some historians doubt this was his name, "decebalus" or "dacebalus" being in fact a title meaning "king" in the Dacian language, now lost) is one of the national heroes in my country. Along with Trajan of course.

I read a lot about the Dacian wars starting with Domitian's war and I am not sure what was the real situation there - however, this period in history had a major influence in creating the Romanian people, living in the area that was the kingdom of Decebal.

.... and it brought us many interesting coins celebrating these events. Here are some of mine - as this is a major theme in my collection.

2 denarii with Dacian soldiers (one possibly depicting a Dacian woman) - there is another design I want for these types, but I am happy I managed to add these

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A denarius with Victory holding a shield inscripted DACICA

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... and who can forget the coins with Trajan's column, the majestic monument built to celebrate the victory

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Unrelated, but a coin that was prophetic - here is a recent acquisition, that FedEx is struggling to deliver to me (perhaps they will make it until Christmas) - an early Trajan as, from 98-99. It was not on my radar, but I liked the portrait, I like coins with Victory and the price was still low, so I decided to grab it. The new emperor was, in the end, glorious, but I don't think anybody expected the level of glory he reached.

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And although it's certainly not ancient, here is what I got a few days ago from a friend. I used to collect banknotes, but since I started with ancient coins all my budget is allocated for them. This one was missing from my collection (there is a series of 9 similar banknotes, with different dates and watermarks). This one completed the series.

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5000 lei December 1945. The 2 portraits are Trajan and Decebalus.

 

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This could be a depiction of a triumphal possession on a coin. 

Gordian III Ae 32 mm Antioch in Pisidia Obv Bust right laureate draped and cuirassed Rv. Gordian driving a quadriga left being crowned by Victory. To left soldier facing right saluting him. in the background two other soldiers advancing left carrying palm fronds. Kryzanowska X/34 25.31 grms 32 mm  Photo by CNG THIS USED TO BE MY COIN  As the coin was minted in Antioch in Pisidia and should most likely have depicted a scene which occurred prior to Gordian joining the army to conduct a campaign against Persia. Sources do describe that before he reached the army, the Romans had defeated the Persians at the Battle of Resaena (243 AD) and that he had staged a triumph. Whether this event was staged at Rome or at Antioch ( or even somewhere else) is unclear. However the reverse of this coin MIGHT be a depiction of a triumphal procession.

 

 

 

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Posted · Supporter

Great looking addition @Restitutor, lovely details. And interesting write up too, thanks! The Romans were true masters of engineering. The remains of some of the pillars are still visible today! 

2 minutes ago, Alegandron said:

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RR Manlius Torquatus L. Corn Sulla 82 BCE AR den 17mm 3.7g Mil mint w Sulla. Roma - Sulla triumpl quadriga vict wreath Cr 367-3 Syd 759 S 286

 

Wishlist stuff, great coin @Alegandron

 

22 hours ago, Restitutor said:

Please feel free to post your coins depicting triumphs, war, warrior gods, Trajan, or any coins you feel are relevant!

I feel this coin of Trajan is appropriate. In hand the I O M is better visible by the way. 

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Revival of the QUINARIUS in 101 BCE to celebrate the Triumph of Marius' VICTORY over the Teutones, Cimbri, and Ambrones.

 

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RR Fundanius AR Quinarius 101 BCe Marius triumph Jupiter E control Victory captive carnyx Q Sear 205 Craw 326-2

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Posted (edited)

Great thread! I think I have the same type as yours, @Restitutor, although yours is in much nicer condition, especially the reverse:

Trajan AR Denarius, AD 107-108, Rome Mint. Obv. Laureate bust right, slight drapery on far shoulder, IMP TRAIANO AVG GER DAC P M TR P / Emperor standing in triumphal quadriga to right (decorated with image of Trajan standing left erecting trophy to right), holding branch with right hand extended and eagle-tipped scepter with left hand, COS V P P S P Q R OPTIMO PRINC. RIC II 139 corr. (bust type); BMCRE III Trajan 349 at p. 78; RSC II 94; Sear RCV II 3131. Purchased Jan. 6, 2022 at Roma Numismatics E-Sale 93, Lot 974 . 19 mm., 3.03 g., 6h.

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Another triumphant Trajan:

Trajan, AE Drachm, Year 15 (111/112 AD), Alexandria, Egypt Mint. Obv. Laureate bust right, nude and with aegis on left shoulder, ΑΥΤ ΤΡΑΙΑΝ ϹЄΒ ΓЄΡΜ ΔΑΚΙΚ / Rev. Emperor (Trajan), laureate and togate, standing in elephant quadriga, right. holding eagle-tipped sceptre and branch; first three elephants with trunks turned down at end and fourth elephant with trunk turned up; in exergue, L IƐ (Year 15). RPC [Roman Provincial Coinage] Vol. III 4605.4 (2015); RPC Online at https://rpc.ashmus.ox.ac.uk/coins/3/4605.4 ; Emmett 462.15 [Emmett, Keith, Alexandrian Coins (Lodi, WI, 2001)]; Dattari (Savio) 769 [Savio, A. ed., Catalogo completo della collezione Dattari Numi Augg. Alexandrini (Trieste, 2007)]; BMC 16 Alexandria 512 [Poole, Reginald Stuart, A Catalog of the Greek Coins in the British Museum, Vol. 16, Alexandria (London, 1892)]; Milne 669 at p. 19 [Milne, J.G., Catalogue of Alexandrian Coins (Oxford 1933, reprint with supplement by Colin M. Kraay, 1971)]. 33.5 mm., 21.26 g. Purchased from Odysseus- Numismatique, Montpellier, France, June 2021.

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Trajan's column:

COMBINED Trajan - Trajans column denarius (obv 3 rev 4).jpg

Trajan & Mars:

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Trajan & captive Dacian/Dacia

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New Trajan Dacia combined 2.jpg

Trajan crossing into Dacia:

Trajan AR Denarius, AD 107 [Sear RCV II], Rome Mint. Obv. Laureate bust right, slight drapery on far shoulder, IMP TRAIANO AVG GER DAC P M TR P / Rev. Danuvius (the Danube), naked to waist, reclining with left elbow on rocks amidst reeds, looking right, cloak billowing out in circle behind head, right hand resting on ship behind him with prow in shape of bird’s head (swan?), COS V P P S P Q R OPTIMO PRINC; in exergue, DANVVIVS. RIC II Trajan 100, RSC II 136 (ill. p. 88), Sear RCV II 3138 (ill. p. 102), BMCRE III 395. 19 mm., 3.05 g. Purchased from Silbury Coins, UK, Jan. 2022.*

New combined Trajan Danube.jpg

*According to Foss at p. 100 [Clive Foss, Roman Historical Coins (Seaby, London, 1990)], this coin (Foss, Trajan No. 22), together with two other types (RIC II 542-544 and RIC 556-569), commemorate the preparations for the second Dacian war in AD 106, including “crossing into Dacia by a bridge and with the aid of the god of the Danube who helped to overcome Dacia.”
 

Edited by DonnaML
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 Trajan dupondius with Dacia seated next to military trophy...

 

4s4EwDz96gYdsa5Fi7Qzpw8LpJo3C2.jpg.42eda2d7837fb9881a05ec938c49f1bc.jpg

Trajan sestertius with emperor spearing fallen Dacian

 

8t2ReNM5Ya68c9zE7XwaNix2o4TyXF.jpg.141e152c1bdb87da2f1b4effb15d5d8b.jpg

 

same scene with dupondius....

 

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Sestertius of Trajan addressing his troops

 

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On 6/18/2022 at 4:51 PM, Restitutor said:

Trajan. AD 98-117. AR Denarius (15mm, 3.14 g, 7h)

 

I forgot to ask, @Restitutor: is that diameter a typo? 15 mm. would be remarkably low for a denarius. My example of the same type is 19 mm., and the lowest number I usually see for denarii is about 17 mm.

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Posted · Administrator
On 6/20/2022 at 3:35 AM, DonnaML said:

I forgot to ask, @Restitutor: is that diameter a typo? 15 mm. would be remarkably low for a denarius. My example of the same type is 19 mm., and the lowest number I usually see for denarii is about 17 mm.

Please excuse the terrible photo quality I just snapped this quickly. Unfortunately I don't have a good measurement tool for coins, so I'm trusting the 15mm that CNG provided. Here is the coin next to another denarius, CNG measured it at 20.5mm for reference:

image.jpeg.53788a71753eeed376ba0c1330482f58.jpeg

It is definitely the smallest denarius I have in my collection by a noticeable margin; that's about as much as I can say definitively! 

Editing to add: I just took this comparison shot against a denarius I got from Leu, and Leu measured it at 18mm. The Trajan coin appears to be the same size if not a tad larger. I am definitely thinking now that the CNG measurement was off. I don't see how the coin on the right can be 15mm when the left one is 18mm. Another terrible photo incoming (crazy to think the coin below to the right is the same one as the one in my original post, oh lighting....)

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I wonder if the value of my coin just increased by 20% if it's actually 18mm vs 15mm 😂

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Don’t trust them 🙂  , your coin has at least 18 mm , if you see the obverse legend as circle its diameter should have at least 16 mm.

This is an example of the same type , the photo with ruler was found on OCRE I just added the measurements.

 

trj5.jpg

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