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    Trajan Deified

    Divus Trajan (died AD 117). AV aureus (19mm, 7.05 gm, 6h). Rome, under Hadrian, AD 117-118. DIVO TRAIANO PART H • AVG PATRI, laureate, draped  and cuirassed bust of Trajan right / No legend, Phoenix standing right on laurel branch. RIC 28 (Hadrian). BMCRE 49. Calicó 982a (R1). Hill 88. RCTV 3880. Rare! NGC Choice VF 5/5 - 4/5.

    From The Lexington Collection.

    While laying siege to the Mesopotamian desert fortress of Hatra in AD 116, Trajan was stricken with heat stroke. As his health deteriorated, he undertook the long journey back to Rome while trying to make arrangements for the consolidation of his vast Eastern conquests. Bloody uprisings by the Parthians and Jews continued to vex him, but he made no arrangements for the succession until his worsening illness forced the Imperial cortege to stop at Selinus in Cilicia. On his death bed, Trajan allegedly relayed orders through his wife Plotina that his protege Hadrian be officially adopted and named Caesar, or heir apparent. Rumors circulated that Trajan was already dead and that Plotina had stage-managed Hadrian's succession herself. In any case, upon the announcement of Trajan's death on August 9, AD 117, Hadrian immediately took command and requested that the Senate deify his predecessor, which it did without demure. Despite his enormous popularity, Trajan's deification coinage is rather limited and remains quite rare. This elegant aureus uses the imagery of the Phoenix, seen for the first time on a Roman coin, to symbolize Trajan's rebirth as a god and to depict the regeneration and continuity of the dynasty in the person of Hadrian.


    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    April, 2014
    10th-16th Thursday-Wednesday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 6
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
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