Gold Coin Roman Emperor Trajan

Economic crisis? Not for roman coins….

On 16th of September 2009, the collectors were invited to participate at the auction organized by Classical Numismatic Group.

The offer was very attractive but a particular coin draw attention.

A gold aureus, minted by the roman emperor Trajan (98-117), was specially admired… and bid.

The aureus:

Gold, 7,28 g, å, ? mm.

Obv. IMP TRAIANUS AUG GERM DAC P M TR P COS VI PP (Imperator Traianus Augustus Germanicus Pontifex Maximus, Tribunicia Potestatis Consul VI Pater Patriae).

Laurated, cuirased and draped bust to right.

Rv.in exergue, FORUM TRAIAN. The triumphal entrance of the Forum Traiani represented as a hexastyle building façade, surmounted by the statue of a facing chariot drawn by six horses between three figures on either side. Each arch below has a statue.

This coin was minted in Rome, between 112 and 115, and the standard reference for this coin is RIC II 257.

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Estimated at 7500 us$, the coin went higher, reaching 9500 $, without taxes.

Trajan was considered one of the best emperors that Rome ever had. After him, the way of saluting the new emperor was “to be happier than Augustus and better than Trajan”.

He was born in Hispania, now Spain and adopted in 97 by the emperor Nerva, as he was the best general of the empire.

His reign started in 98, but unlike other emperors he started not with a triumphant parade in Rome but with a military campaign in Germany, to consolidate the empire’s borders. Only after defeating the German populations, he went to Rome.

In 101, he started a new campaign, against Dacia (now Romania). In two bloody wars, 101-102 and 105-106, Trajan conquered this region and made it a roman province. It was the first and last time, after Augustus, when a region was conquered outside the natural borders of the empire, the Rhine and the Danube Rivers. In 106, the Roman Empire was at his greatest power.

From Dacia, Trajan looted a large quantity of silver and gold. The ancients say that the quantity was so great- 165 tons of gold and 330 tons pf silver- that the emperor given 100 days of free games, erased all the public taxes and all the debts. The precious metals were so abundant that silver and gold lost a part of their value.

Moreover, Trajan started building a monument that will remember his name forever, monument made with the money earned in the war.

In the center of Rome, he erected a Forum- or a square, the largest ever saw. Caesar and Augustus made also a Forum in Rome, but the new one was awesome.

The entrance was made between a triumphant entry, as shown on the coin. After that, a magnificent ancient mall appeared in front, followed by a huge library. In center of the library, the most magnificent monument of all, Trajan Column, commemorates the wars with the dacian, showing scene of the war.

All these monuments, The Column, the Statues, The Entrance and so on, were commemorated by a series of coin struck after 112, year when Trajan received the title Optimus Princeps- the best prince- from the Roman Senate.

Stefan Vasilita

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