TRAJAN Authentic Ancient 106AD Sestertius Roman Coin DACIA VICTORY NGC i81774
Item: i81774 Authentic Ancient Coin of. VICTORY OVER DACIA Bronze Sestertius 32mm (23.96 grams) Rome mint, struck circa 106 A. Reference: RIC 528; Cohen 454; Sear (1988) 1006; Banti 168; BMCRE 813-4. SPQR OPTIMO PRINCIPI S-C, Victory standing right, holding stylus and fastening shield inscribed VIC DAC onto a palm tree. Roman Dacia (also Dacia Traiana and Dacia Felix) was a province of the Roman Empire from 106 to 274-275 AD. Its territory consisted of eastern and south-eastern Transylvania, the Banat, and Oltenia (regions of modern Romania). It was from the very beginning organized as an imperial province and remained so throughout the Roman occupation. Historians’ estimates of the population of Roman Dacia range from 650,000 to 1,200,000. The conquest of Dacia was completed by Emperor Trajan (98-117) after two major campaigns against Decebalus’s Dacian kingdom. The Romans did not occupy the entirety of the old Dacian kingdom, as the greater part of Moldavia, together with Maramure and Criana, was ruled by Free Dacians even after the Roman conquest. In 119, the Roman province was divided into two departments: Dacia Superior (Upper Dacia) and Dacia Inferior (Lower Dacia) (later named Dacia Malvensis). In 124 (or around 158), Dacia Superior was divided into two provinces: Dacia Apulensis and Dacia Porolissensis. During the Marcomannic Wars the military and judicial administration was unified under the command of one governor, with another two senators (the legati legionis) as his subordinates; the province was called tres Daciæ (Three Dacias) or simply Dacia. The Roman authorities undertook in Dacia a massive and organized colonization. New mines were opened and ore extraction intensified, while agriculture, stock breeding, and commerce flourished in the province. Dacia began to supply grain not only to the military personnel stationed in the province but also to the rest of the Balkan area. It became a highly urban province, with 11 or 12 cities known, 8 of which held the highest rank of colonia , though the number of cities was fewer than in the region’s other provinces. All the cities developed from old military camps. Ulpia Traiana Sarmizegetusa , the seat of the imperial procurator (finance officer) for all the three subdivisions was the financial, religious, and legislative center of the province. Apulum, where the military governor of the three subdivisions had his headquarters, was not simply the greatest city within the province, but one of the biggest across the whole Danubian frontier. There were military and political threats from the beginning of Roman Dacia’s existence. Free Dacians who bordered the province were the first adversary, who, after allying themselves with the Sarmatians, hammered the province during the reign of Marcus Aurelius. Following a calmer period covering the reigns of Commodus through to Caracalla (180-217 AD), the province was once again beset by invaders, this time the Carpi, a Dacian tribe in league with the newly arrived Goths, who in time became a serious difficulty for the empire. Finding it increasingly difficult to retain Dacia, the emperors were forced to abandon the province by the 270s, becoming the first of Rome’s long-term possessions to be abandoned. Dacia was devastated by the Germanic tribes (Goths, Taifali, Bastarns) together with the Carpi in 248-250, by the Carpi and Goths in 258 and 263, the Goths and Heruli in 267 and 269. Ancient sources implied that Dacia was virtually lost during the reign of Gallienus (253-268), but they also report that it was Aurelian (270-275) who relinquished Dacia Traiana. He evacuated his troops and civilian administration from Dacia, and founded Dacia Aureliana with its capital at Serdica in Lower Moesia. The fate of the Romanized population of the former province of Dacia Traiana has become subject of spirited controversy. One theory holds that the Latin language spoken in ancient Dacia, where Romania was to be formed in the future, gradually turned into Romanian; in parallel, a new people-the Romanians-were formed from the Daco-Romans (the Romanized population of Dacia Traiana). The opposing theory argues that the Romanians descended from the Romanized population of the Roman provinces of the Balkan Peninsula. Legio quinta Macedonica (Fifth Macedonian Legion) was a Roman legion. It was probably originally levied by consul Gaius Vibius Pansa Caetronianus and Octavian in 43 BC, and it was stationed in Moesia at least until 5th century. Its symbol was the bull, but the eagle was used as well. The cognomen Macedonica comes from the fact that the legion was stationed in Macedonia for a significant period of its existence. 1st century BC: Creation and deployment in Macedonia. The Legio V was one of the original twenty-eight legions raised by Octavian. There are two fifth legions recorded: the V Gallica and the V Urbana. It is possible that these both were early names for the V Macedonica. The legion probably participated in the Battle of Actium (31 BC). It later moved to Macedonia, where it stayed from 30 BC to AD 6, gaining its cognomen, before moving to Oescus (Moesia). 1st century: The Great Jewish Revolt. In 62, some vexillationes of the Fifth fought under Lucius Caesennius Paetus in Armenia against the Parthian Empire. After the defeat of the Battle of Rhandeia, the whole V Macedonica , together with III Gallica , VI Ferrata , and X Fretensis under the command of Gnaeus Domitius Corbulo, was sent to the east to fight in the victorious war against the Parthians. The Fifth was probably still in the East when the Great Jewish Revolt in Iudaea Province began in 66. Nero gave the V Macedonica , the X Fretensis and the XV Apollinaris to Titus Flavius Vespasianus to counter the revolt. In 67, in Galilee, the city of Sepphoris surrendered peacefully to the Roman army, and later the V Macedonica conquered Mount Gerizim, the chief sanctuary of the Samaritans. In the Year of the Four Emperors, 68, the legion stayed inactive in Emmaus, where several tombstones of soldiers of the V Macedonica remain. In 96, the later emperor Hadrian served the legion as tribunus militum. 2nd century: In Dacia, protecting Danube frontier. In 101, the legion moved to Dacia, to fight in Emperor Trajan’s campaign against the king Decebalus. The legate of the V Macedonica was future emperor Hadrian. After the war ended in 106, the legion remained in Troesmis (modern Iglita), near the Danube Delta since 107. A centurion of the legion, Calventius Viator, rose to prominence under Hadrian. He was eventually promoted to commander of the emperors horse guards, the equites singulares Augusti. The northern frontier was a hot border of the Empire; when emperor Marcus Aurelius had to fight against the Marcomanni, the Sarmatians, and the Quadi, the V Macedonica was involved in these fights. At the beginning of the reign of Commodus, the V Macedonica and the XIII Gemina defeated once again the Sarmatians, under the later usurpers Pescennius Niger and Clodius Albinus. The Fifth later supported Septimius Severus, in his fight for the purple. In 185 or 187, the legion was awarded of the title Pia Constans (“Faithful and reliable”) or Pia Fidelis (“Faithful and loyal”), after defeating a mercenary army in Dacia. Later centuries: Honors and evolution. While staying in Potaissa for most of the 3rd century, V Macedonica fought several times, earning honors. Valerian gave the Fifth the name III Pia III Fidelis ; his son, Gallienus gave the legion the title VII Pia VII Fidelis , with the 4th, 5th and 6th titles awarded probably when the legion was used as a mobile cavalry unit against usurpers Ingenuus and Regalianus (260, Moesia). A vexillatio fought against Victorinus (Gaul, 269-271). It guarded the province in later centuries, becoming a comitatensis unit under the Magister Militum per Orientis. It probably became part of the Byzantine army. The cavalry unit created by Gallienus was definitively detached by Diocletian, and become part of his comitatus. This unit was sent to Mesopotamia, where it successfully fought against the Sassanid Empire in 296, and then to Memphis, where it had to stay until its entering in the Byzantine army. Legio tertia decima Gemina (Thirteenth Twin Legion) was one of the most prominent Roman legions. It was one of Julius Caesar’s key units in Gaul and in the civil war, and was the legion with which he famously crossed the Rubicon on January 10, 49 BC. The legion appears to have still been in existence in the fifth century. Its symbol was the lion. Under the late Republic. Legio XIII was levied by Julius Caesar in 57 BC, before marching against the Belgae, in one of his early interventions in intra-Gallic conflicts. During the Gallic wars (58-51 BC), Legio XIII was present at the Battle against the Nervians, the siege of Gergovia, and while not specifically mentioned in the sources, it is reasonable to assume that Legio XIII was also present for the Battle of Alesia. After the end of the Gallic wars, the Roman senate refused Caesar his second consulship, ordered him to give up his commands, and demanded he return to Rome to face prosecution. Forced to choose either the end of his political career, or civil war, Caesar brought Legio XIII across the Rubicon river and into Italy. The legion remained faithful to Caesar during the resulting civil war between Caesar and the conservative Optimates faction of the senate, whose legions were commanded by Pompey. Legio XIII was active throughout the entire war, fighting at Dyrrhachium (48 BC) and Pharsalus (48 BC). After the decisive victory over Pompey at Pharsalus, the legion was to be disbanded, and the legionaries “pensioned off” with the traditional land grants; however, the legion was recalled for the Battle of Thapsus (46 BC) and the final Battle of Munda (45 BC). After Munda, Caesar disbanded the legion, retired his veterans, and gave them farmland in Italy. Augustus reconstituted the legion once again in 41 BC to deal with rebellion of Sextus Pompeius (son of Pompey) in Sicily. Legio XIII acquired the cognomen Gemina (“twin”, a common appellation for legions constituted from portions of others) after being reinforced with veteran legionaries from other legions following the war against Mark Antony and the Battle of Actium. Augustus then sent the legion to Burnum (modern Knin), in Illyricum, a Roman province in the Adriatic Sea. In 16 BC, the legion was transferred to Emona (now Ljubljana) in Pannonia, where they dealt with local rebellions. After the disaster of the Battle of the Teutoburg Forest in 9 AD, the legion was sent as reinforcements to Augusta Vindelicorum (Augsburg), and then to Vindonissa, Raetia, to prevent further attacks from the Germanic tribes. Emperor Claudius sent them back to Pannonia around 45; the legion camped at Poetovio (modern Ptuj, Slovenia). In the year of the four emperors (69), XIII Gemina supported first Otho and then Vespasian against Vitellius, fighting in the two Battles of Bedriacum. Under Trajan the Legion took part in both Dacian wars (101-102, 105-106), and it was transferred by Trajan in 106 to the newly conquered province of Dacia (in Apulum, modern Alba Iulia, Romania) to garrison it. Vexillationes of the XIII Gemina fought under Emperor Gallienus in northern Italy. The emperor issued a legionary antoninianus celebrating the legion, and showing the legion’s lion (259-260). Another vexillatio was present in the army of the emperor of the Gallic Empire Victorinus: this emperor, in fact, issued a gold coin celebrating the legion and its emblem. In 271, the legion was relocated when the Dacia province was evacuated, and restationed in Dacia Aureliana. In the 5th century, according to the Notitia Dignitatum , a legio tertiadecima gemina was in Babylon in Egypt, a strategic fortress on the Nile at the traditional border between Lower Egypt and Middle Egypt, under the command of the Comes limitis Aegypti. A fictionalized account of the actions of Legio XIII Gemina during the struggle between Julius Caesar and the Optimates faction under Pompey can be seen in the joint HBO/BBC/RAI television production Rome , most notably two of its soldiers: Tribune Lucius Vorenus and Legionary Titus Pullo, named after real-life Centurions Lucius Vorenus and Titus Pullo of the XI Legion. On June 15, 2008, the 4th Romanian Territorial Corps became the 4th Infantry Division (Romania) “Gemina”. 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 August 9, 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 gens Ulpia. 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 76-77, 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 Dacia-an 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. March-May 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. World-renowned expert numismatist, enthusiast, author and dealer in authentic ancient Greek, ancient Roman, ancient Byzantine, world coins & more. Ilya Zlobin is an independent individual who has a passion for coin collecting, research and understanding the importance of the historical context and significance all coins and objects represent. Send me a message about this and I can update your invoice should you want this method. Getting your order to you, quickly and securely is a top priority and is taken seriously here. Great care is taken in packaging and mailing every item securely and quickly. 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- Certification Number: 2099475-007
- Certification: NGC
- Grade: Ch VF
- Ruler: Trajan
- Denomination: Sestertius