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    Danube Or Tiber Bridge?

    Trajan (AD 98-117). Orichalcum sestertius (33mm, 25.40 gm, 6h). Choice XF. Rome, AD 107-110. IMP CAES NERVAE TRAIANO AVG GER DAC P M TR P COS V P P, laureate head of Trajan right, slight drapery on far shoulder / S P Q R OPTIMO PRINCIPI, arched, two-tiered bridge across river (Danube or Tiber?); monumental arches at each end, the tops surmounted by statuary,  boat sailing left on waves below; S C in exergue. RIC 569. BMCRE 849. Cohen 582. Hill 209.  Woytek 314b. RCTV 3207. A pleasing example of this handsome architectural type, with a reddish-brown patina.

    From the Northern California Collection; acquired from Freeman & Sear, 2004.

    Trajan's massive military campaign against Dacia involved construction of a celebrated bridge across the Danube in AD 104. The structure was designed by the famous architect Apollodorus of Damascus and carried out in record time by legionary engineers and workmen. It can be clearly seen on Trajan's Column; however, the appearance of the bridge differs markedly from the one depicted here. Hill, in "The Monuments of Ancient Rome as Coin Types," pages 105-106, posits that Trajan's sestertius depicts the Pons Sublicius  across the Tiber in Rome. One of the city's oldest bridges, it was frequently damaged by floods and Trajan may have undertaken a renovation and reconstruction around this time, although none is officially recorded. It is also not inconceivable that the coin is intended to evoke both the Danube bridge and Trajan's putative rebuilding of the Pons Sublicius. 


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    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    August, 2017
    3rd Thursday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 4
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