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Research Coins: Feature Auction

Sale: CNG 64, Lot: 1052. Estimate $3000. 
Closing Date: Wednesday, 24 September 2003. 
Sold For $3100. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.

TRAJAN. 98-117 AD. Æ Sestertius (24.36 gm). Struck 115-116 AD. Laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, seen from behind / Trajan seated right on platform, accompanied by two officers, addressing group of soldiers. RIC II 655 var. (not cuirassed); Banti 81; Cohen 176 var. (same). Good VF, red-brown and green patina, light smoothing in fields. ($3000)

Ex Lanz 106 (26-27 November 2001), lot 382.

Rome reached the height of her military might under Trajan, who expanded the Empire's borders to their greatest extent. First he dealt with the Dacians under their king Decebalus in two major campaigns (101 and 105 AD), eventually defeating them and absorbing the entire kingdom as the Roman province of Dacia. With the conquest of Dacia occurred an interval of relative peace, until in 114 trouble began with the Parthians on the eastern frontier. The Parthians had placed their own nominee in Armenia as king, thereby upsetting the balance of power that existed in the East, with Armenia acting as a buffer-state between Rome and Parthia. Trajan responded with military force; he annexed Armenia as another Roman province and then extended operations into Mesopotamia. By 116, he had conquered the whole of Mesopotamia, including the Parthian capital of Ctesiphon. The Romans believed that the great days of the past had returned and the army felt unwavering loyalty towards their commander. The reverse of this coin depicts Trajan's acclamation by the troops as imperator for the eighth time, which occurred with the fall of the city of Singara in 115 during the campaigns on the eastern frontier.