Trajan 115AD Big Sestertius Ancient Roman Coin Felicitas Good Luck Cult i37192
Item: i37192 Authentic Ancient Coin of. Trajan – Roman Emperor: 98-117 A. Bronze Sestertius 33mm (23.84 grams) Rome mint: 115-116 A. Reference: RIC 672, C 352 IMPCAESNERTRAIANOOPTIMOAVGGERDACPMTRPCOSVIPP – Laureate, draped bust right. SENATVSPOPVLVQVEROMANVS – Felicitas standing left, holding caduceus and cornucopia. The cornucopia (from Latin cornu copiae) or horn of plenty is a symbol of abundance and nourishment, commonly a large horn-shaped container overflowing with produce, flowers, nuts, other edibles, or wealth in some form. Originating in classical antiquity , it has continued as a symbol in Western art , and it is particularly associated with the Thanksgiving holiday in North America. Allegorical depiction of the Roman goddess Abundantia with a cornucopia, by Rubens ca. Mythology offers multiple explanations of the origin of the cornucopia. One of the best-known involves the birth and nurturance of the infant Zeus , who had to be hidden from his devouring father Cronus. In a cave on Mount Ida on the island of Crete , baby Zeus was cared for and protected by a number of divine attendants, including the goat Amalthea (“Nourishing Goddess”), who fed him with her milk. The suckling future king of the gods had unusual abilities and strength, and in playing with his nursemaid accidentally broke off one of her horns , which then had the divine power to provide unending nourishment, as the foster mother had to the god. In another myth, the cornucopia was created when Heracles (Roman Hercules) wrestled with the river god Achelous and wrenched off one of his horns; river gods were sometimes depicted as horned. This version is represented in the Achelous and Hercules mural painting by the American Regionalist artist Thomas Hart Benton. The cornucopia became the attribute of several Greek and Roman deities , particularly those associated with the harvest, prosperity, or spiritual abundance, such as personifications of Earth (Gaia or Terra); the child Plutus , god of riches and son of the grain goddess Demeter ; the nymph Maia ; and Fortuna , the goddess of luck, who had the power to grant prosperity. In Roman Imperial cult , abstract Roman deities who fostered peace (pax Romana) and prosperity were also depicted with a cornucopia, including Abundantia , “Abundance” personified, and Annona , goddess of the grain supply to the city of Rome. Pluto , the classical ruler of the underworld in the mystery religions , was a giver of agricultural, mineral and spiritual wealth, and in art often holds a cornucopia to distinguish him from the gloomier Hades , who holds a drinking horn instead. In modern depictions, the cornucopia is typically a hollow, horn-shaped wicker basket filled with various kinds of festive fruit and vegetables. In North America, the cornucopia has come to be associated with Thanksgiving and the harvest. Cornucopia is also the name of the annual November Wine and Food celebration in Whistler , British Columbia, Canada. Two cornucopias are seen in the flag and state seal of Idaho. The Great Seal of North Carolina depicts Liberty standing and Plenty holding a cornucopia. The coat of arms of Colombia , Panama , Peru and Venezuela , and the Coat of Arms of the State of Victoria, Australia , also feature the cornucopia, symbolising prosperity. The horn of plenty is used on body art and at Halloween, as it is a symbol of fertility, fortune and abundance. Base of a statue of Louis XV of France. In ancient Roman culture , felicitas (from the Latin adjective felix , “fruitful, blessed, happy, lucky”) is a condition of divinely inspired productivity, blessedness, or happiness. Felicitas could encompass both a woman’s fertility, and a general’s luck or good fortune. The divine personification of Felicitas was cultivated as a goddess. Although felicitas may be translated as “good luck, ” and the goddess Felicitas shares some characteristics and attributes with Fortuna , the two were distinguished in Roman religion. Fortuna was unpredictable and her effects could be negative, as the existence of an altar to Mala Fortuna (“Bad Luck”) acknowledges. Felicitas, however, always had a positive significance. She appears with several epithets that focus on aspects of her divine power. Felicitas had a temple in Rome as early as the mid-2nd century BC, and during the Republican era was honored at two official festivals of Roman state religion , on July 1 in conjunction with Juno and October 9 as Fausta Felicitas. Felicitas continued to play an important role in Imperial cult , and was frequently portrayed on coins as a symbol of the wealth and prosperity of the Roman Empire. Her primary attributes are the caduceus and cornucopia. The English word “felicity” derives from felicitas. As virtue or quality. Phallic relief with the inscription “Felicitas dwells here”. In its religious sense, felix means blessed, under the protection or favour of the gods; happy. That which is felix has achieved the pax divom , a state of harmony or peace with the divine world. The word derives from Indo-European dhe(i)l, meaning happy, fruitful, productive, full of nourishment. ” Related Latin words include femina , “woman” (a person who provides nourishment or suckles); felo , “to suckle” in regard to an infant; filius , “son” (a person suckled); and probably fello, fellare , “to perform fellatio “, with an originally non-sexual meaning of “to suck. The continued magical association of sexual potency, increase, and general good fortune in productivity is indicated by the inscription Hic habitat Felicitas (“Felicitas dwells here”). On an apotropaic relief of a phallus at a bakery in Pompeii. In archaic Roman culture, felicitas was a quality expressing the close bonds between religion and agriculture. Felicitas was at issue when the suovetaurilia sacrifice conducted by Cato the Elder as censor in 184 BC was challenged as having been unproductive, perhaps for vitium , ritual error. In the following three years Rome had been plagued by a number of ill omens and prodigies (prodigia) , such as severe storms, pestilence, and “showers of blood, ” which had required a series of expiations (supplicationes). The speech Cato gave to justify himself is known as the Oratio de lustri sui felicitate , “Speech on the Felicitas of his Lustrum “, and survives only as a possible quotation by a later source. Cato says that a lustrum should be found to have produced felicitas “if the crops had filled up the storehouses, if the vintage had been abundant, if the olive oil had flowed deliberately from the groves”, regardless of whatever else might have occurred. The efficacy of a ritual might be thus expressed as its felicitas. The ability to promote felicitas became proof of one’s excellence and divine favor. Felicitas was simultaneously a divine gift, a quality that resided within an individual, and a contagious capacity for generating productive conditions outside oneself: it was a form of ” charismatic authority”. Cicero lists felicitas as one of the four virtues of the exemplary general, along with knowledge of military science (scientia rei militaris) , virtus (both “valor” and “virtue”), and auctoritas , authority. Virtus was a regular complement to felicitas , which was not thought to attach to those who were unworthy. Cicero attributed felicitas particularly to Pompeius Magnus (“Pompey the Great”) , and distinguished this felicitas even from the divine good luck enjoyed by successful generals such as Fabius Maximus , Marcellus , Scipio the Younger and Marius. The sayings (sententiae) of Publilius Syrus are often attached to divine qualities, including Felicitas: “The people’s Felicitas is powerful when she is merciful” (potens misericors publica est Felicitas). Epithets of Felicitas include. Augusta , the goddess in her association with the emperor and Imperial cult. Fausta (“Favored, Fortunate”), a state divinity cultivated on October 9 in conjunction with Venus Victrix and the Genius Populi Romani (” Genius ” of the Roman People, also known as the Genius Publicus). Publica , the “public” Felicitas; that is, the aspect of the divine force that was concerned with the res publica or commonwealth, or with the Roman People (Populus Romanus). Temporum , the Felicitas “of the times”, a title which emphasize the felicitas being experienced in current circumstances. The cult of Felicitas is first recorded in the mid-2nd century BC, when a temple was dedicated to her by Lucius Licinius Lucullus , grandfather of the famous Lucullus , using booty from his military campaigns in Spain in 151150 BC. Predecessor to a noted connoisseur of art, Lucullus obtained and dedicated several statues looted by Mummius from Greece , including works by Praxiteles : the Thespiades, a statue group of the Muses brought from Thespiae , and a Venus. This Temple of Felicitas was among several that had a secondary function as art museums, and was recommended by Cicero along with the Fortuna Huiusce Diei Temple of for those who enjoyed viewing art but lacked the means to amass private collections. The temple was located in the Velabrum in the Vicus Tuscus of the Campus Martius , along a route associated with triumphs : the axle of Julius Caesar’s triumphal chariot in 46 BC is supposed to have broken in front of it. The temple was destroyed by a fire during the reign of Claudius , though the Muses were rescued. It was not rebuilt at this site. Sulla identified himself so closely with the quality of felicitcas that he adopted the agnomen (nickname) Felix. His domination as dictator resulted from civil war and unprecedented military violence within the city of Rome itself, but he legitimated his authority by claiming that the mere fact of his victory was proof he was felix and enjoyed the divine favor of the gods. Republican precedent was to regard a victory as belonging to the Roman people as a whole, as represented by the triumphal procession at which the honored general submitted public offerings at the Temple of Jupiter Optimus Maximus at the Capitol , and Sulla thus established an important theological element for the later authority of the emperor. Although he established no new temple for Felicitas, he celebrated games (ludi circenses) in her honor. On July 1 and October 9, Felicitas received a sacrifice in Capitolio, on the Capitoline Hill , on the latter date as Fausta Felicitas in conjunction with the Genius Publicus (“Public Genius “) and Venus Victrix. These observances probably took place at an altar or small shrine (aedicula) , not a separate temple precinct. The Acts of the Arval Brothers (1st century AD) prescribe a cow as the sacrifice for Felicitas. Pompey established a shrine for Felicitas at his new theater and temple complex , which used the steps to the Temple of Venus Victrix as seating. Felicitas was cultivated with Honor and Virtue, and she may have shared her shrine there with Victory , as she did in the Imperial era as Felicitas Caesaris (Caesar’s Felicitas) at Ameria. Pompey’s collocation of deities may have been intended to parallel the Capitoline grouping. A fourth cult site for Felicitas in Rome had been planned by Caesar, and possibly begun before his death. Work on the temple was finished by Lepidus on the site of the Curia Hostilia , which had been restored by Sulla, destroyed by fire in 52 BC, and demolished by Caesar in 44 BC. This temple seems not to have existed by the time of Hadrian. Its site probably lies under the church of Santi Luca e Martina. V It has been suggested that an Ionic capital and a tufa wall uncovered at the site are the only known remains of the temple. Felicitas was a watchword used by Julius Caesar’s troops at the Battle of Thapsus , the names of deities and divine personifications being often recorded for this purpose in the late Republic. Felicitas Iulia (“Julian Felicitas”) was the name of a colony in Roman Spain that was refounded under Caesar and known also as Olisipo , present-day Lisbon , Portugal. During the Republic, only divine personifications known to have had a temple or public altar were featured on coins, among them Felicitas. On the only extant Republican coin type, Felicitas appears as a bust and wearing a diadem. Felicitas Temporum represented by a pair of cornucopiae on a denarius (193-194 AD) issued under Pescennius Niger. A calendar from Cumae records that a supplicatio was celebrated on April 16 for the Felicitas of the Empire, in honor of the day Augustus was first acclaimed imperator. In extant Roman coinage, Felicitas appears with a caduceus only during the Imperial period. The earliest known example is Felicitas Publica on a dupondius issued under Galba. Felicitas Temporum (“Prosperity of the Times”), reflecting a Golden Age ideology, was among the innovative virtues that began to appear during the reigns of Trajan and Antoninus Pius. Septimius Severus , whose reign followed the exceedingly brief tenure of Pertinax and unsatisfactory conditions under Commodus , used coinage to express his efforts toward restoring the Pax Romana , with themes such as Felicitas Temporum and Felicitas Saeculi, “Prosperity of the Age” (saeculum) , prevalent in the years 200 to 202. Some Imperial coins use these phrases with images of women and children in the emperor’s family. When the Empire came under Christian rule, the personified virtues that had been cultivated as deities could be treated as abstract concepts. Felicitas Perpetua Saeculi (“Perpetual Blessedness of the Age”) appears on a coin issued under Constantine , the first emperor to convert to Christianity. In Roman mythology , Felicitas (meaning “good luck” or “fortune”) was the goddess or personification of good luck and success. The word felicitas , “luck”, is also the source of the word and name felicity. She played an important role in Rome’s state religion during the empire , and was frequently portrayed on coins. She became a prominent symbol of the wealth and prosperity of the Roman Empire. Felicitas was unknown before the mid-2nd century BC, when a temple was dedicated to her in the Velabrum in the Campus Martius by Lucius Licinius Lucullus , using booty from his 151150 BC campaign in Spain. The temple was destroyed by a fire during the reign of Claudius and was never rebuilt. Another temple in Rome was planned by Julius Caesar and was erected after his death by Marcus Aemilius Lepidus on the site of the Curia Hostilia , which had been restored by Lucius Cornelius Sulla but demolished by Caesar in 44 BC. This temple no longer existed by the time of Hadrian , and its site probably lies under the church of Santi Martina e Luca. Marcus Ulpius Nerva Traianus , commonly known as Trajan (18 September, 53 8 August, 117), was a Roman Emperor who reigned from AD 98 until his death in AD 117. Born Marcus Ulpius Traianus into a non- patrician family in the Hispania Baetica province (modern day Spain), Trajan rose to prominence during the reign of emperor Domitian , serving as a general in the Roman army along the German frontier , and successfully crushing the revolt of Antonius Saturninus in 89. On September 18, 96, Domitian was succeeded by Marcus Cocceius Nerva , an old and childless senator who proved to be unpopular with the army. After a brief and tumultuous year in power, a revolt by members of the Praetorian Guard compelled him to adopt the more popular Trajan as his heir and successor. Nerva died on January 27, 98, and was succeeded by his adopted son without incident. As a civilian administrator, Trajan is best known for his extensive public building program, which reshaped the city of Rome and left multiple enduring landmarks such as Trajan’s Forum , Trajan’s Market and Trajan’s Column. It was as a military commander however that Trajan celebrated his greatest triumphs. In 101, he launched a punitive expedition into the kingdom of Dacia against king Decebalus , defeating the Dacian army near Tapae in 102, and finally conquering Dacia completely in 106. In 107, Trajan pushed further east and annexed the Nabataean kingdom , establishing the province of Arabia Petraea. After a period of relative peace within the Empire, he launched his final campaign in 113 against Parthia , advancing as far as the city of Susa in 116, and expanding the Roman Empire to its greatest extent. During this campaign Trajan was struck by illness, and late in 117, while sailing back to Rome, he died of a stroke on. In the city of Selinus. He was deified by the Senate and his ashes were laid to rest under Trajan’s Column. He was succeeded by his adopted son (not having a biological heir) Publius Aelius Hadrianus commonly known as Hadrian. As an emperor, Trajan’s reputation has endured – he is one of the few rulers whose reputation has survived the scrutiny of nineteen centuries of history. Every new emperor after him was honoured by the Senate with the prayer felicior Augusto, melior Traiano , meaning “may he be luckier than Augustus and better than Trajan”. Among medieval Christian theologians, Trajan was considered a virtuous pagan , while the 18th century historian Edward Gibbon popularized the notion of the Five Good Emperors , of which Trajan was the second. Early life and rise to power. Trajan was born on September 18, 53 in the Roman province of Hispania Baetica (in what is now Andalusia in modern Spain), a province that was thoroughly Romanized and called southern Hispania, in the city of Italica , where the Italian families were paramount. Of Italian stock himself, Trajan is frequently but misleadingly designated the first provincial emperor. Trajan was the son of Marcia and Marcus Ulpius Traianus , a prominent senator and general from the famous Ulpia gens. Trajan himself was just one of many well-known Ulpii in a line that continued long after his own death. His elder sister was Ulpia Marciana and his niece was Salonina Matidia. The patria of the Ulpii was Italica , in Spanish Baetica, where their ancestors had settled late in the third century B. This indicates that the Italian origin was paramount, yet it has recently been cogently argued that the family’s ancestry was local, with Trajan senior actually a Traius who was adopted into the family of the Ulpii. As a young man, he rose through the ranks of the Roman army , serving in some of the most contentious parts of the Empire’s frontier. In 7677, Trajan’s father was Governor of Syria (Legatus pro praetore Syriae), where Trajan himself remained as Tribunus legionis. Trajan was nominated as Consul and brought Apollodorus of Damascus with him to Rome around 91. Along the Rhine River , he took part in the Emperor Domitian’s wars while under Domitian’s successor, Nerva , who was unpopular with the army and needed to do something to gain their support. He accomplished this by naming Trajan as his adoptive son and successor in the summer of 97. According to the Augustan History , it was the future Emperor Hadrian who brought word to Trajan of his adoption. When Nerva died on January 27, 98, the highly respected Trajan succeeded without incident. The new Roman emperor was greeted by the people of Rome with great enthusiasm, which he justified by governing well and without the bloodiness that had marked Domitian’s reign. His popularity was such that the Roman Senate eventually bestowed upon Trajan the honorific of optimus , meaning “the best”. Dio Cassius , sometimes known as Dio, reveals that Trajan drank heartily and was involved with boys. I know, of course, that he was devoted to boys and to wine, but if he had ever committed or endured any base or wicked deed as the result of this, he would have incurred censure; as it was, however, he drank all the wine he wanted, yet remained sober, and in his relation with boys he harmed no one. ” This sensibility was one that influenced his governing on at least one occasion, leading him to favour the king of Edessa out of appreciation for his handsome son: “On this occasion, however, Abgarus , induced partly by the persuasions of his son Arbandes, who was handsome and in the pride of youth and therefore in favour with Trajan, and partly by his fear of the latter’s presence, he met him on the road, made his apologies and obtained pardon, for he had a powerful intercessor in the boy. It was as a military commander that Trajan is best known to history, particularly for his conquests in the Near East , but initially for the two wars against Dacia the reduction to client kingdom (101-102), followed by actual incorporation to the Empire of the trans-Danube border kingdom of Daciaan area that had troubled Roman thought for over a decade with the unfavourable (and to some, shameful) peace negotiated by Domitian’s ministers In the first war c. MarchMay 101, he launched a vicious attack into the kingdom of Dacia with four legions, crossing to the northern bank of the Danube River on a stone bridge he had built, and defeating the Dacian army near or in a mountain pass called Tapae (see Second Battle of Tapae). Trajan’s troops were mauled in the encounter, however and he put off further campaigning for the year to heal troops, reinforce, and regroup. During the following winter, King Decebalus launched a counter-attack across the Danube further downstream, but this was repulsed. Trajan’s army advanced further into Dacian territory and forced King Decebalus to submit to him a year later, after Trajan took the Dacian capital/fortress of Sarmizegethusa. The Emperor Domitian had campaigned against Dacia from 86 to 87 without securing a decisive outcome, and Decebalus had brazenly flouted the terms of the peace (89 AD) which had been agreed on conclusion of this campaign. The victory was celebrated by the Tropaeum Traiani. Decebalus though, after being left to his own devices, in 105 undertook an invasion against Roman territory by attempting to stir up some of the tribes north of the river against her. Trajan took to the field again and after building with the design of Apollodorus of Damascus his massive bridge over the Danube , he conquered Dacia completely in 106. Sarmizegethusa was destroyed, Decebalus committed suicide , and his severed head was exhibited in Rome on the steps leading up to the Capitol. Trajan built a new city, “Colonia Ulpia Traiana Augusta Dacica Sarmizegetusa”, on another site than the previous Dacian Capital, although bearing the same full name, Sarmizegetusa. He resettled Dacia with Romans and annexed it as a province of the Roman Empire. Trajan’s Dacian campaigns benefited the Empire’s finances through the acquisition of Dacia’s gold mines. The victory is celebrated by Trajan’s Column. Expansion in the East. At about the same time Rabbel II Soter , one of Rome’s client kings, died. This event might have prompted the annexation of the Nabataean kingdom , although the manner and the formal reasons for the annexation are unclear. Some epigraphic evidence suggests a military operation, with forces from Syria and Egypt. What is clear, however, is that by 107, Roman legions were stationed in the area around Petra and Bostra , as is shown by a papyrus found in Egypt. The empire gained what became the province of Arabia Petraea (modern southern Jordan and north west Saudi Arabia). The next seven years, Trajan ruled as a civilian emperor, to the same acclaim as before. It was during this time that he corresponded with Pliny the Younger on the subject of how to deal with the Christians of Pontus , telling Pliny to leave them alone unless they were openly practicing the religion. He built several new buildings, monuments and roads in Italia and his native Hispania. His magnificent complex in Rome raised to commemorate his victories in Dacia (and largely financed from that campaign’s loot)consisting of a forum , Trajan’s Column , and Trajan’s Market still stands in Rome today. He was also a prolific builder of triumphal arches , many of which survive, and rebuilder of roads (Via Traiana and Via Traiana Nova). One notable act of Trajan was the hosting of a three-month gladiatorial festival in the great Colosseum in Rome (the precise date of this festival is unknown). Combining chariot racing, beast fights and close-quarters gladiatorial bloodshed, this gory spectacle reputedly left 11,000 dead (mostly slaves and criminals, not to mention the thousands of ferocious beasts killed alongside them) and attracted a total of five million spectators over the course of the festival. Another important act was his formalisation of the Alimenta , a welfare program that helped orphans and poor children throughout Italy. It provided general funds, as well as food and subsidized education. Although the system is well documented in literary sources and contemporary epigraphy, its precise aims are controversial and have generated considerable dispute between modern scholars: usually, it’s assumed that the programme intended to bolster citzen numbers in Italy. However, the fact that it was subsidized by means of interest payments on loans made by landowners restricted it to a small percentage of potential welfare recipients (Paul Veyne has assumed that, in the city of Veleia , only one child out of ten was an actual beneficiary) – therefore, the idea, advanced by Moses I. Finley , that the whole scheme was at most a form of random charity, a mere imperial benevolence. Maximum extent of the Empire. The extent of the Roman Empire under Trajan (117). In 113, he embarked on his last campaign, provoked by Parthia’s decision to put an unacceptable king on the throne of Armenia , a kingdom over which the two great empires had shared hegemony since the time of Nero some fifty years earlier. Some modern historians also attribute Trajan’s decision to wage war on Parthia to economic motives: to control, after the annexation of Arabia, Mesopotamia and the coast of the Persian Gulf, and with it the sole remaining receiving-end of the Indian trade outside Roman control – an attribution of motive other historians find absurd, as seeing a commercial motive in a campaign triggered by the lure of territorial annexation and prestige – by the way, the only motive for Trajan’s actions ascribed by Dio Cassius in his description of the events. Other modern historians, however, think that Trajan’s original aim was quite modest: to assure a more defensible Eastern frontier for the Roman Empire, crossing across Northern Mesopotamia along the course of the river Khabur in order to offer cover to a Roman Armenia. Trajan marched first on Armenia, deposed the Parthian-appointed king (who was afterwards murdered while kept in the custody of Roman troops in an unclear incident) and annexed it to the Roman Empire as a province, receiving in passing the acknowledgement of Roman hegemony by various tribes in the Caucasus and on the Eastern coast of the Black Sea – a process that kept him busy until the end of 114. The cronology of subsequent events is uncertain, but it’s generally believed that early in 115 Trajan turned south into the core Parthian hegemony, taking the Northern Mesopotamian cities of Nisibis and Batnae and organizing a province of Mesopotamia in the beginning of 116, when coins were issued announcing that Armenia and Mesopotamia had been put under the authority of the Roman people. In early 116, however, Trajan began to toy with the conquest of the whole of Mesopotamia, an overambitious goal that eventually backfired on the results of his entire campaign: One Roman division crossed the Tigris into Adiabene , sweeping South and capturing Adenystrae ; a second followed the river South, capturing Babylon ; while Trajan himself sailed down the Euphrates , then dragged his fleet overland into the Tigris, capturing Seleucia and finally the Parthian capital of Ctesiphon. He continued southward to the Persian Gulf , receiving the submission of Athambelus, the ruler of Charax , whence he declared Babylon a new province of the Empire, sent the Senate a laurelled letter declaring the war to be at a close and lamented that he was too old to follow in the steps of Alexander the Great and reach the distant India itself. A province of Assyria was also proclaimed, apparently covering the territory of Adiabene, as well as some measures seem to have been considered about the fiscal administration of the Indian trade. However, as Trajan left the Persian Gulf for Babylon – where he intended to offer sacrifice to Alexander in the house where he had died in 323 B. A sudden outburst of Parthian resistance, led by a nephew of the Parthian king, Sanatrukes, imperilled Roman positions in Mesopotamia and Armenia, something Trajan sought to deal with by forsaking direct Roman rule in Parthia proper, at least partially: later in 116, after defeating a Parthian army in a battle where Sanatrukes was killed and re-taking Seleucia, he formally deposed the Parthian king Osroes I and put his own puppet ruler Parthamaspates on the throne. That done, he retreated North in order to retain what he could of the new provinces of Armenia and Mesopotamia. Bust of Trajan, Glyptothek , Munich. It was at this point that Trajan’s health started to fail him. The fortress city of Hatra , on the Tigris in his rear, continued to hold out against repeated Roman assaults. He was personally present at the siege and it is possible that he suffered a heat stroke while in the blazing heat. Shortly afterwards, the Jews inside the Eastern Roman Empire rose up in rebellion once more, as did the people of Mesopotamia. Trajan was forced to withdraw his army in order to put down the revolts. Trajan saw it as simply a temporary setback, but he was destined never to command an army in the field again, turning his Eastern armies over to the high ranking legate and governor of Judaea, Lusius Quietus , who in early 116 had been in charge of the Roman division who had recovered Nisibis and Edessa from the rebels; Quietus was promised for this a consulate in the following year – when he was actually put to death by Hadrian , who had no use for a man so committed to Trajan’s aggressive policies. Early in 117, Trajan grew ill and set out to sail back to Italy. His health declined throughout the spring and summer of 117, something publicy acknowledged by the fact that a bronze bust displayed at the time in the public baths of Ancyra showed him clearly aged and edemaciated. By the time he had reached Selinus in Cilicia which was afterwards called Trajanopolis, he suddenly died from edema on August 9. Some say that he had adopted Hadrian as his successor, but others that it was his wife Pompeia Plotina who hired someone to impersonate him after he had died. Hadrian , upon becoming ruler, recognized the abandonment of Mesopotamia and restored Armenia – as well as Osroene – to the Parthian hegemony under Roman suzerainty – a telling sign the Roman Empire lacked the means for pursuing Trajan’s overambitious goals. However, all the other territories conquered by Trajan were retained. Trajan’s ashes were laid to rest underneath Trajan’s column, the monument commemorating his success. The Alcántara Bridge , widely hailed as a masterpiece of Roman engineering. Trajan was a prolific builder in Rome and the provinces, and many of his buildings were erected by the gifted architect Apollodorus of Damascus. Notable structures include Trajan’s Column , Trajan’s Forum , Trajan’s Bridge , Alcántara Bridge , and possibly the Alconétar Bridge. In order to build his forum and the adjacent brick market that also held his name Trajan had vast areas of the surrounding hillsides leveled. Unlike many lauded rulers in history, Trajan’s reputation has survived undiminished for nearly nineteen centuries. Ancient sources on Trajan’s personality and accomplishments are unanimously positive. Pliny the younger, for example, celebrates Trajan in his panegyric as a wise and just emperor and a moral man. Dio Cassius admits Trajan had vices like heavy drinking and sexual involvement with boys, but added that he always remained dignified and fair. The Christianisation of Rome resulted in further embellishment of his legend: it was commonly said in medieval times that Pope Gregory I , through divine intercession, resurrected Trajan from the dead and baptized him into the Christian faith. An account of this features in the Golden Legend. Theologians, such as Thomas Aquinas , discussed Trajan as an example of a virtuous pagan. In the Divine Comedy , Dante , following this legend, sees the spirit of Trajan in the Heaven of Jupiter with other historical and mythological persons noted for their justice. He also features in Piers Plowman. An episode, referred to as the justice of Trajan was reflected in several art works. In the 18th Century King Charles III of Spain comminsioned Anton Raphael Mengs to paint The Triumph of Trajan on the ceiling of the banqueting-hall of the Royal Palace of Madrid – considered among the best work of this artist. “Traian” is used as a male first name in present-day Romania – among others, that of the country’s incumbent president, Traian Bsescu. The caduceus from Greek “herald’s staff” is the staff carried by Hermes in Greek mythology. The same staff was also borne by heralds in general, for example by Iris , the messenger of Hera. It is a short staff entwined by two serpents , sometimes surmounted by wings. In Roman iconography it was often depicted being carried in the left hand of Mercury , the messenger of the gods, guide of the dead and protector of merchants, shepherds, gamblers, liars, and thieves. As a symbolic object it represents Hermes (or the Roman Mercury), and by extension trades, occupations or undertakings associated with the god. In later Antiquity the caduceus provided the basis for the astrological symbol representing the planet Mercury. Thus, through its use in astrology and alchemy , it has come to denote the elemental metal of the same name. This association is ancient, and consistent from the Classical period to modern times. The caduceus is also used as a symbol representing printing, again by extension of the attributes of Mercury (in this case associated with writing and eloquence). The caduceus is sometimes mistakenly used as a symbol of medicine and/or medical practice , especially in North America , because of widespread confusion with the traditional medical symbol, the rod of Asclepius , which has only a single snake and no wings. The term kerukeion denoted any herald’s staff, not necessarily associated with Hermes in particular. Lewis Richard Farnell (1909) in his study of the cult of Hermes assumed that the two snakes had simply developed out of ornaments of the shepherd’s crook used by heralds as their staff. This view has been rejected by later authors pointing to parallel iconography in the Ancient Near East. It has been argued that the staff or wand entwined by two snakes was itself representing a god in the pre-anthropomorphic era. Like the herm or priapus , it would thus be a predecessor of the anthropomorphic Hermes of the classical era. William Hayes Ward (1910) discovered that symbols similar to the classical caduceus sometimes appeared on Mesopotamian cylinder seals. He suggested the symbol originated some time between 3000 and 4000 BCE, and that it might have been the source of the Greek caduceus. Ward’s research into his own work, published in 1916, in which he suggested that the prototype of Hermes was an “Oriental deity of Babylonian extraction” represented in his earliest form as a snake god. From this perspective, the caduceus was originally representative of Hermes himself, in his early form as the Underworld god Ningishzida , “messenger” of the “Earth Mother”. The caduceus is mentioned in passing by Walter Burkert. As “really the image of copulating snakes taken over from Ancient Near Eastern tradition”. In Egyptian iconography, the Djed pillar is depicted as containing a snake in a frieze of the Dendera Temple complex. The rod of Moses and the brazen serpent are frequently compared to the caduceus, especially as Moses is acting as a messenger of God to the Pharaoh at the point in the narrative where he changes his staff into a serpent. The Homeric hymn to Hermes relates how Hermes offered his lyre fashioned from a tortoise shell as compensation for the cattle he stole from his half brother Apollo. Apollo in return gave Hermes the caduceus as a gesture of friendship. The association with the serpent thus connects Hermes to Apollo , as later the serpent was associated with Asclepius , the “son of Apollo”. The association of Apollo with the serpent is a continuation of the older Indo-European dragon -slayer motif. Wilhelm Heinrich Roscher (1913) pointed out that the serpent as an attribute of both Hermes and Asclepius is a variant of the “pre-historic semi-chthonic serpent hero known at Delphi as Python “, who in classical mythology is slain by Apollo. One Greek myth of origin of the caduceus is part of the story of Tiresias , who found two snakes copulating and killed the female with his staff. Tiresias was immediately turned into a woman, and so remained until he was able to repeat the act with the male snake seven years later. This staff later came into the possession of the god Hermes, along with its transformative powers. Another myth suggests that Hermes (or Mercury) saw two serpents entwined in mortal combat. Separating them with his wand he brought about peace between them, and as a result the wand with two serpents came to be seen as a sign of peace. In Rome, Livy refers to the caduceator who negotiated peace arrangements under the diplomatic protection of the caduceus he carried. In some vase paintings ancient depictions of the Greek kerukeion are somewhat different from the commonly seen modern representation. These representations feature the two snakes atop the staff (or rod), crossed to create a circle with the heads of the snakes resembling horns. This old graphic form, with an additional crossbar to the staff, seems to have provided the basis for the graphical sign of Mercury used in Greek astrology from Late Antiquity. Use in alchemy and occultism. As the symbol of both the planet and the metal named for Mercury, the caduceus became an important symbol in alchemy. The crucified serpent was also revived as an alchemical symbol for fixatio , and John Donne (Sermons 10:190) uses “crucified Serpent” as a title of Jesus Christ. A simplified variant of the caduceus is to be found in dictionaries, indicating a commercial term entirely in keeping with the association of Hermes with commerce. In this form the staff is often depicted with two winglets attached and the snakes are omitted (or reduced to a small ring in the middle). Misuse as symbol of medicine. It is relatively common, especially in the United States, to find the caduceus, with its two snakes and wings, used as a symbol of medicine instead of the correct rod of Asclepius, with only a single snake. This usage is erroneous, popularised largely as a result of the adoption of the caduceus as its insignia by the US Army medical corps in 1902 at the insistence of a single officer though there are conflicting claims as to whether this was Capt. The rod of Asclepius is the dominant symbol for professional healthcare associations in the United States. One survey found that 62% of professional healthcare associations used the rod of Asclepius as their symbol. The same survey found that 76% of commercial healthcare organizations used the Caduceus symbol. The initial errors leading to its adoption and the continuing confusion it generates are well known to medical historians. The long-standing and abundantly attested historical associations of the caduceus with commerce, theft, deception, and death are considered by many to be inappropriate in a symbol used by those engaged in the healing arts. This has occasioned significant criticism of the use of the caduceus in a medical context. The sestertius , or sesterce , pl. Sestertii was an ancient Roman coin. During the Roman Republic it was a small, silver coin issued only on rare occasions. During the Roman Empire it was a large brass coin. Helmed Roma head right, IIS behind Dioscuri riding right, ROMA in linear frame below. The name sestertius (originally semis-tertius) means “2 ½”, the coin’s original value in asses , and is a combination of semis “half” and tertius “third”, that is, “the third half” (0 ½ being the first half and 1 ½ the second half) or “half the third” (two units plus half the third unit, or half way between the second unit and the third). Parallel constructions exist in Danish with halvanden (1 ½), halvtredje (2 ½) and halvfjerde (3 ½). The form sesterce , derived from French , was once used in preference to the Latin form, but is now considered old-fashioned. It is abbreviated as (originally IIS). Example of a detailed portrait of Hadrian 117 to 138. The sestertius was introduced c. 211 BC as a small silver coin valued at one-quarter of a denarius (and thus one hundredth of an aureus). A silver denarius was supposed to weigh about 4.5 grams, valued at ten grams, with the silver sestertius valued at two and one-half grams. In practice, the coins were usually underweight. When the denarius was retariffed to sixteen asses (due to the gradual reduction in the size of bronze denominations), the sestertius was accordingly revalued to four asses, still equal to one quarter of a denarius. It was produced sporadically, far less often than the denarius, through 44 BC. Hostilian under Trajan Decius 250 AD. In or about 23 BC, with the coinage reform of Augustus , the denomination of sestertius was introduced as the large brass denomination. Augustus tariffed the value of the sestertius as 1/100 Aureus. The sestertius was produced as the largest brass denomination until the late 3rd century AD. Most were struck in the mint of Rome but from AD 64 during the reign of Nero (AD 5468) and Vespasian (AD 6979), the mint of Lyon (Lugdunum), supplemented production. Lyon sestertii can be recognised by a small globe, or legend stop, beneath the bust. The brass sestertius typically weighs in the region of 25 to 28 grammes, is around 3234 mm in diameter and about 4 mm thick. The distinction between bronze and brass was important to the Romans. Their name for brass was orichalcum , a word sometimes also spelled aurichalcum (echoing the word for a gold coin, aureus), meaning’gold-copper’, because of its shiny, gold-like appearance when the coins were newly struck (see, for example Pliny the Elder in his Natural History Book 34.4). Orichalcum was considered, by weight, to be worth about double that of bronze. This is why the half-sestertius, the dupondius , was around the same size and weight as the bronze as, but was worth two asses. Sestertii continued to be struck until the late 3rd century, although there was a marked deterioration in the quality of the metal used and the striking even though portraiture remained strong. Later emperors increasingly relied on melting down older sestertii, a process which led to the zinc component being gradually lost as it burned off in the high temperatures needed to melt copper (Zinc melts at 419 °C, Copper at 1085 °C). The shortfall was made up with bronze and even lead. Later sestertii tend to be darker in appearance as a result and are made from more crudely prepared blanks (see the Hostilian coin on this page). The gradual impact of inflation caused by debasement of the silver currency meant that the purchasing power of the sestertius and smaller denominations like the dupondius and as was steadily reduced. In the 1st century AD, everyday small change was dominated by the dupondius and as, but in the 2nd century, as inflation bit, the sestertius became the dominant small change. In the 3rd century silver coinage contained less and less silver, and more and more copper or bronze. By the 260s and 270s the main unit was the double-denarius, the antoninianus , but by then these small coins were almost all bronze. Although these coins were theoretically worth eight sestertii, the average sestertius was worth far more in plain terms of the metal they contained. Some of the last sestertii were struck by Aurelian (270275 AD). During the end of its issue, when sestertii were reduced in size and quality, the double sestertius was issued first by Trajan Decius (249251 AD) and later in large quantity by the ruler of a breakaway regime in the West called Postumus (259268 AD), who often used worn old sestertii to overstrike his image and legends on. The double sestertius was distinguished from the sestertius by the radiate crown worn by the emperor, a device used to distinguish the dupondius from the as and the antoninianus from the denarius. Eventually, the inevitable happened. Many sestertii were withdrawn by the state and by forgers, to melt down to make the debased antoninianus, which made inflation worse. In the coinage reforms of the 4th century, the sestertius played no part and passed into history. Sestertius of Hadrian , dupondius of Antoninus Pius , and as of Marcus Aurelius. As a unit of account. The sestertius was also used as a standard unit of account, represented on inscriptions with the monogram HS. Large values were recorded in terms of sestertium milia , thousands of sestertii, with the milia often omitted and implied. The hyper-wealthy general and politician of the late Roman Republic, Crassus (who fought in the war to defeat Spartacus), was said by Pliny the Elder to have had’estates worth 200 million sesterces’. A loaf of bread cost roughly half a sestertius, and a sextarius (0.5 liter) of wine anywhere from less than half to more than 1 sestertius. One modius (6.67 kg) of wheat in 79 AD Pompeii cost 7 sestertii, of rye 3 sestertii, a bucket 2 sestertii, a tunic 15 sestertii, a donkey 500 sestertii. A writing tablet from Londinium (Roman London), dated to c. 75125 AD, records the sale of a Gallic slave girl called Fortunata for 600 denarii, equal to 2,400 sestertii, to a man called Vegetus. It is difficult to make any comparisons with modern coinage or prices, but for most of the 1st century AD the ordinary legionary was paid 900 sestertii per annum, rising to 1,200 under Domitian (81-96 AD), the equivalent of 3.3 sestertii per day. Half of this was deducted for living costs, leaving the soldier (if he was lucky enough actually to get paid) with about 1.65 sestertii per day. A sestertius of Nero , struck at Rome in 64 AD. The reverse depicts the emperor on horseback with a companion. The legend reads DECVRSIO,’a military exercise’. Sestertii are highly valued by numismatists , since their large size gave caelatores (engravers) a large area in which to produce detailed portraits and reverse types. The most celebrated are those produced for Nero (54-68 AD) between the years 64 and 68 AD, created by some of the most accomplished coin engravers in history. The brutally realistic portraits of this emperor, and the elegant reverse designs, greatly impressed and influenced the artists of the Renaissance. The series issued by Hadrian (117-138 AD), recording his travels around the Roman Empire, brilliantly depicts the Empire at its height, and included the first representation on a coin of the figure of Britannia ; it was revived by Charles II , and was a feature of United Kingdom coinage until the 2008 redesign. What is a certificate of authenticity and what guarantees do you give that the item is authentic? You will be quite happy with what you get with the COA; a professional presentation of the coin, with all of the relevant information and a picture of the coin you saw in the listing. Is there a number I can call you with questions about my order? When should I leave feedback? Once you receive your order, please leave a positive. Please don’t leave any negative feedbacks, as it happens many times that people rush to leave feedback before letting sufficient time for the order to arrive. The matter of fact is that any issues can be resolved, as reputation is most important to me. My goal is to provide superior products and quality of service. The item “Trajan 115AD Big Sestertius Ancient Roman Coin Felicitas Good Luck Cult i37192″ is in sale since Wednesday, January 29, 2014. This item is in the category “Coins & Paper Money\Coins\ Ancient\Roman\ Imperial (27 BC-476 AD)”. The seller is “highrating_lowprice” and is located in Rego Park, New York. This item can be shipped worldwide.