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Research Coins: Electronic Auction

 
143231
143, Lot: 231. Estimate $300.
Sold for $277. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.

Trajan. AD 98-117. Æ Sestertius (33mm, 25.01 g). Rome mint. Struck circa AD 116-117. Laureate and draped bust right / REGNA AD[SI]GN-ATA, , Trajan, in miltary outfit, seated left on camp bench set on daïs, extending hand to three barbarian kings, the foremost of whom extends his hands to Trajan; two military figures, one holding baton and sceptre, standing behind Trajan. RIC II 666; Cohen 325. Fine, green patina. Scarce reverse.



Parthian interference in Armenia prompted Trajan to declare war against Osroes I in 114. He quickly re-established Roman control of Armenia and, turning south, forced the submission of Osrhoene, and in 116 took Mesopotamia by defeating Osroes I. Who the specific kings are here remains a matter of conjecture. In addition to the paucity of the sources referring to these events, Armenia was converted to a Roman province and Mesopotamia's puppet-king, Parthamaspates, is specifically commemorated by its own issue. It is possible that Trajan, in order to secure the loyalty of the territories he conquered, handed back to the existing kings their kingdoms after first swearing loyalty to Rome. Through this ceremony then, Trajan was technically "assigning" new kingdoms.