Roman Empire

Trajan, Emperor AD 98-117

RIC 208; Woytek 202f; BN 241; BMC 245; Calico 1107a, Superb Extremely Fine

Rome, ca. AD 103-111. IMP TRAIANO AVG GER DAC P M TR P COS V P P, laureate, draped and cuirassed bust of Trajan right. Reverse: S P Q R OPTIMO PRINCIPI, emperor on horseback charging right, spearing enemy falling before him.

Ex Roma XIII (23 March 2017), 807; NAC 21 (17 May 2001), 433

M. Ulpius Trajanus (Trajan) was adopted by the elderly Nerva in order to gain the support of the army and stability for his regime. When Nerva died, Trajan succeeded without incident and reigned as a just Emperor, respectful of the Senate and having an interest in the welfare of the lower classes of Rome and Italy. For these reasons and the stark contrast of his reign with that of Domitian caused the Senate to award him the honorific title Optimus Princeps (“Best Ruler”) Under Trajan the Roman Empire reached its greatest territorial extent through his famous conquest of Dacia over the course of two wars (AD 101-102 and 105-106), the annexation of the Nabatean kingdom as Provincia Arabia in AD 106, and a great Parthian campaign (AD 115-117) that created the province of Mesopotamia. Unfortunately, the years of ceaseless campaigning had had a deleterious effect on the Emperor’s health and while returning to Rome in AD 117 he fell ill and died.