Description

    Parthian Campaign Commemorated

    Trajan (AD 98-117). AV aureus (19mm, 7.22 gm, 6h). NGC XF 5/5 - 3/5. Rome, AD 116. IMP CAES NER TRAIAN OPTIM AVG GER DAC PARTHICO, laureate, draped and cuirassed bust of Trajan right / P M TR P COS VI · P  P · S · P · Q · R, Parthia (facing right) and Parthian captive (facing left) seated on ground in attitude of mourning, bow case to either side, at base of military trophy consisting of a post to which are affixed a conical helmet, cuirass, two oval shields, cloak greaves, and a wheel; PARTHIA CAPTA in exergue. RIC 324. BMCRE 603. Woytek 560f. Cohen 184. Calicó 1035a (S3). Minor pockmark and discoloration on cheek, otherwise a crisp and pleasing aureus commemorating Trajan's final campaign against Parthia.

    This and the following aureus commemorate the final great campaign of Trajan's career, his invasion and (temporary) annexation of the Parthian Empire. This massive offensive carried Roman arms all the way to the Persian Gulf and led to Trajan being compared to the Macedonian conqueror Alexander the Great. But the campaign proved to be over-ambitious, and his health collapsed under the exertion of dealing with its aftermath. Trajan died in Cilicia on August 9, AD 117, after naming the as his successor the capable Hadrian, who immediately abandoned the Parthian gains.


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