2nd Century Rome (14th Caesar): Trajan silver Denarius, c.98-117AD, NGC CHAU*



Roman Denarius – Trajan, 98-117 A.D. NGC Choice About Uncirculated*, Strike: 5/5 Surface: 5/5. A superb example mostly brilliant with cascading blue, red and green toning intermingled in the devices. Well centered and well struck, this premium quality specimen is destined for a world-class collection of Roman denarii. Struck at the Rome mint circa AD 100. The obverse features a laureate head of Trajan facing right. The reverse shows Pax standing and facing left, holding an olive branch and cornucopia. This reverse looks to be RIC II 38, but we cannot positively identify the exact style.

Trajan (Imperator Caesar Nerva Taianus Divi Nervae filius Augustus, 18 September 54 — 8 August 117 AD) was Emperor of Rome from 98 to 117 AD. He was officially declared to be the optimus princeps (“the best ruler”) by the Roman Senate. Honored as an incredibly successful soldier-emperor who oversaw the greatest military expansion in the history of Rome, Trajan led the empire to realize its maximum territorial reach by the time of his passing. Additionally, he is known for presiding over extensive public building programs, his philanthropic rule, as well as implementing far-reaching social welfare policies. Therefore he is considered the second of the Five Good Emperors who ruled during a time of peace and prosperity in the Mediterranean world.

He was born in the city of Italica in the province of Hispania Baetica. His non-patrician family was of Italian and probably Iberian ancestry. It was during the time of the rule of emperor Domitian that Trajan rose to importance. While serving as a legatus legionis, a title awarded to legion commanders, in 89 Trajan supported Domitian against a revolt led by Antonius Saturninus in the Rhine region. September 96 saw Domitian succeeded by Marcus Cocceius Nerva, an elderly and childless senator who came to be unpopular with the army. Nerva was forced to adopt the more admired Trajan as his heir and successor after a revolt by the Praetorian Guard. It was on 27 January 98 that Nerva died and was succeeded by Trajan without incident. Trajan suffered a stroke in late 117 while sailing back to Rome from battle. He died in the city of Selinus. Deified by the Senate, his successor was his adopted son Hadrian.