It's hard to be humble!

Discussion in 'Ancient Coins' started by Roman Collector, May 25, 2020.

  1. Roman Collector

    Roman Collector Supporter! Supporter

    Trajan ruled for nineteen years -- from 98 AD to 117 AD. He conquered many lands and grew the Roman Empire to its largest expanse in history. His rule was a time of great prosperity for Rome. Over the course of his reign, he accumulated many titles, none of which he ever let go to waste, so the inscriptions on his coins simply grew like kudzu ...

    kudzu.jpg

    ... requiring both obverse and reverse to contain them.

    He was one of five whom later historians would term "good emperors," and he would have agreed with them. And why not? It's hard to be humble ...



    Imagine if he had been born a Leo and not a Virgo!!! :wideyed:

    Here are some coins in my collection from late in his reign, along with translations of the loquacious titulature. Post your coins with boastful inscriptions!

    It goes without saying that he broke with tradition and put his name in the dative case (the dative of advantage, specifically), so that everyone would know that the coin they held in their hand was issued FOR him.

    Being such a humble man, he had himself depicted with a "heroic bust" -- with exposed torso, with drapery covering only the far shoulder.

    These coins of AD 107-111 bear the inscription IMP TRAINO AVG GER DAC P M TR P/COS V P P S P Q R OPTIMO PRINC, which means "The senate and people of Rome for the emperor Trajan, the revered one, victor over the Germans and Dacians, highest priest, holder of tribunician power, consul for the 5th time, father of his country, the best of leaders."

    Trajan COS V P P S P Q R OPTIMO PRINC Arabia denarius.jpg
    Trajan COS V P P S P Q R OPTIMO PRINC Victoria denarius.jpg

    This one, dating to AD 114-117, has similar titulature but for "consul for the sixth time."

    Trajan PM TRP COS VI PP SPQR Mars Denarius.jpg

    This one has the same inscription, but it also boasts of the construction of the Via Traiana -- named after himself, of course! ;)

    Trajan SPQR OPTIMO PRINCIPI VIA TRAIANA denarius.jpg

    When one defeats the Parthians in AD 115, one brags about it by taking on another title. No time for losers, right?



    This one from AD 115/116 reads IMP CAES NER TRAIANO OPTIMO AVG GERM/DAC PARTHICO P M TR POT XX COS VI P P, meaning "For the Emperor Caesar Nerva Trajan, the best, the revered, victor over the Germans, Dacians, and Parthians, highest priest, with tribunician power for the twentieth time, consul for the sixth time, father of the country."

    Trajan DAC PARTHICO P M TR POT XX COS VI P P as.jpg

    This one from Trajan's final issue, AD 117, bears the impressive collection of alphabet soup, IMP CAES NER TRAIAN OPTIM AVG GERM DAC/PARTHICO P M TR P COS VI P P S P Q R, meaning "The senate and people of Rome for the emperor Caesar Nerva Trajan, the best, the revered one, victor over the Germans, Dacians, and Parthian, highest priest, holder of tribunician power, consul for the 6th time, father of his country."

    Trajan PARTHICO PM TRP COS VI PP SPQR Providentia denarius.jpg

    Now, how's THAT for narcissism?!
     
    Last edited: May 27, 2020
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  3. Ocatarinetabellatchitchix

    Ocatarinetabellatchitchix Supporter! Supporter

    IMP CAES NER TRAIANO OPTIMO AVG GER DAC PARTHICO PM TRP COS VI PP
    ARMENIA ET MESOPOTAMIA IN POTESTATEM P R REDACTAE SC

    52+44 = 96 letters

    CE7F594E-E59F-48AD-8B07-172BA2A7EF39.jpeg
    And do not ask me why, I exchange this coin for 2 others last year :wacky:
     
  4. Alegandron

    Alegandron "ΤΩΙ ΚΡΑΤΙΣΤΩΙ..." ΜΕΓΑΣ ΑΛΕΞΑΝΔΡΟΣ, June 323 BCE Supporter

    Great write up, and I really like those coins of TRAIANUS, @Roman Collector .

    LOL, here is a coin with very little legend.

    Kinda " 'Nuff Said" type coin statement, especially with a Rhino as a subject!

    upload_2020-5-25_9-37-30.png
    Roman Imperial
    Trajan
    Egypt
    AE Dichalkon 12.9mm 1.25g
    Laureate hd L
    Rhinoceros walking left, LI-Z yr 17 CE 113-114
    Emmet 719 var. rhino right
    Ex: SteveX6 Collection

    LOL, and who IS this LIZ person from Egypt? Someone we should know about? :)
     
  5. kevin McGonigal

    kevin McGonigal Well-Known Member

    Yes, even on those huge sesterces he could not cram all that info onto them that he wanted without making the writing so small that one could not read it without magnification. I submit that this proves somebody in ancient Rome had magnifying lenses either to engrave or just read these coins.
     
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  6. Roman Collector

    Roman Collector Supporter! Supporter

    That coin is awesome in the prolixity of its legends, matched only by the boastfulness of its reverse motif!

    IMP CAES NER TRAIANO OPTIMO AVG GER DAC PARTHICO PM TRP COS VI PP
    ARMENIA ET MESOPOTAMIA IN POTESTATEM P R REDACTAE means, "By the emperor Caesar Nerva Trajan, the best, the revered, victor over the Germans, Dacians, and Parthians, highest priest, holder of tribunician power, consul for the 6th time, father of his country, Armenia and Mesopotamia under control, driven back by the Roman people"!

    THAT'S A MOUTHFUL!
     
    Last edited: May 25, 2020
  7. zumbly

    zumbly Ha'ina 'ia mai ana ka puana Supporter

    :wideyed:. Indeed, why?? I am guessing the two put together didn't have 96 letters. I hope they at least had other things going for them.

    Trajan may have been boastful, but so was Commodus, who said it in fewer words. I guess he figured that it's hard to beat "Roman Hercules Emperor."

    Commodus - As Hercules new 2575.jpg COMMODUS
    AE As. 10.7g, 24.5mm. Rome mint, AD 192. RIC 644; Cohen 193. O: L AEL AVREL COMM AVG P FEL, head of Commodus as Hercules right, wearing lion skin. R: HER-CVL/RO-MAN/AV-GV/S-C in four lines flanking club; all within laurel wreath.
    Ex Dr. Walter Neussel Collection (acquired from Dr. Busso Peus, 1958)
     
  8. ancient coin hunter

    ancient coin hunter Khnum-Hotep

  9. Andres2

    Andres2 Well-Known Member

    Trajan's successor Hadrian first copied the long legends:

    Hadrianus Salus (2).JPG

    but later only put HADRIANUS AUGUSTUS on the obverse:

    P1160214 marked S Roma (2).jpg
     
  10. Bing

    Bing Illegitimi non carborundum Supporter

    Oh lord, it's hard to be humble, When you're perfect in every way, I can't wait to look in the mirror, I get better looking each day. I guess you could say I'm a loner, A cowboy outlaw tough and proud, I could have lots of friends if I wanted, But then I wouldn't stand out from the crowd.
     
  11. Marsyas Mike

    Marsyas Mike Well-Known Member

    Interesting post. I just got a crusty lot of four middle AEs that included two Trajan dupondii, from early and late in the reign. The other two provide different emperors taking different approaches to titles. So here they are.

    Early Trajan - fairly modest legends, modest for Trajan anyway:

    Trajan - Dupond Abundantia lot May 2020 (0).jpg
    Trajan Æ Dupondius
    (98-99 A.D.)
    Rome Mint

    IMP CAES NERVA TRAIAN AVG GERM P M, radiate head right / T[R P]OT COS II SC, Abundantia holding scepter seated left on chair formed by two crossed cornucopiae.
    RIC 385
    (13.63 grams / 26 mm)

    Late Trajan - The later one has a fairly modest reverse legend, because SPQR is spelt out in full. But the boastful obverse legend is minuscule and runs practically all the way around the flan:

    Trajan - Dupond Felicitas lot May 2020 (0).jpg

    Trajan Æ Dupondius
    (114-117 A.D.)
    Rome Mint

    IMP CAES NER TRAIANO OPTIMO AVG GER DAC PM [TRP COS] VI PP, radiate draped bust right / SENATVS POPVLVSQVE ROMANVS SC Felicitas standing left, holding caduceus and cornucopiae.
    RIC 674; Cohen 353.
    (13.57 grams / 26 mm)

    I am reading Marguerite Yourcenar's Memoirs of Hadrian and she has Hadrian mention in passing how much Trajan loved accumulating titles. Andres2's coins above illustrates Hadrian's approach to titles.

    Early Hadrian. The two Trajan dupondii above came with an early Hadrian as, with longer titles - not that they are readable on this particular scruffy example:

    Hadrian - As 3 standards lot May 2020 (0).jpg
    Hadrian Æ As
    (118 A.D.)
    Rome Mint

    [IMP CAES DIVI TRA PARTH F DIVI] NER NEP TRAIANO HADRIANO AVG, laureate,
    draped, cuirassed bust right /PONT M[AX TR P]OT COS II SC aquila between two standards
    RIC 546A; C1182.
    (12.04 grams / 27 x 25 mm)

    Mid-Vespasian. Finally, the earliest coin in the lot was this as of Vespasian, with modest titles befitting a modest guy:

    Vespasian - As Victory on prow lot May 2020 (0).jpg
    Vespasian Æ As
    (76 A.D.)
    Rome Mint

    IMP CAESAR VESP AVG COS VII, laureate head right / VICTORIA - AVGVST S-C,
    Victory standing right on prow holding wreath and palm.
    RIC II 897 (ex-RIC I 584).
    (11.44 grams / 25 mm)
     
  12. Orfew

    Orfew Draco dormiens nunquam titillandus Supporter

  13. Ryro

    Ryro You'll never be lovelier than you are now... Supporter

    T-Rage! My kinda guy. He'd drink ya under the table at night and lead you to kill hoards or barbarians in the morning!
    20190326_095209_11A3BD10-D14F-49BC-AC90-934B17A5DFC2-406-0000006AC71CBFB9.png
    Trajan
    A.D. 98-117. AE semis (20.9 mm, 4.79 g). Struck for circulation in the East. Rome A.D. IMP CAES NER TRAIANO OPTIMO AVG GERM, radiate head right, draped left shoulder / DAC PARTHICO P M TR POT XX COS VI P P, SC, legend around and within oak wreath. RIC 677; cf. BMCRE 1100 (Rome). Nearly VF Scarce.
     
  14. Bing

    Bing Illegitimi non carborundum Supporter

  15. Alegandron

    Alegandron "ΤΩΙ ΚΡΑΤΙΣΤΩΙ..." ΜΕΓΑΣ ΑΛΕΞΑΝΔΡΟΣ, June 323 BCE Supporter

    This one has a "Yakkathon" legend:

    upload_2020-5-25_11-49-14.png
    Arabia Petraea, Bostra.
    Trajan. CE 98-117.
    AR drachm (18.57 mm, 2.92 g, 8 h).
    Struck CE 112.
    AYTOKP KAIC NEP TPAIANω APICTω CЄB ΓЄPM ΔAK, laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, seen from behind /
    ΔHMAPX EΞ UPATO ς, (ς = "six times consul" = A.D. 112) Camel walking left.
    SNG ANS 1158; SNG von Aulock 6408; Sydenham, Caesarea 205.
    Ex Harlan J. Berk
    Ex: Agora

    AYTOKP KAIC NЄP TPAINω APICTω CЄB ΓЄPM ΔAK
    AUTOCRAIS NER TRAIANW ARISTW SEB GERM DAC

    ΔHMAPX ЄΞ YΠATO ς (= "six times consul" = A.D. 112)
    DHMARCE XUPATOS
     
    Last edited: May 25, 2020
  16. Agricantus

    Agricantus Allium aflatunense

    Yes! Number 3!

    I am undecided who takes first prize: Hercvl Roman or L'état, c'est moi

    As to long titles. Most of the European monarchs would need a coin the size of a cart wheel for their titles. Take Charles V as an example.

    edit: forgot to post the coin

    C9883704-8ADD-4105-A192-2FCDCC4FB136.jpeg
     
  17. Sulla80

    Sulla80 one coin at a time Supporter

    A sestertius offers abundant space for titles. This a relatively sparse legend compared with the coin of @Ocatarinetabellatchitchix. Yet even this mid-career legend, with many titles still to add, looks a bit crowded and needed to continue on the reverse: Trajan, Emperor (leader of the military), Caesar, Revered, Conqueror of Germania and Dacia, Highest priest of the Roman Religion, Tribune of the Roman people, in his 5th consular year, Father of the Country, (see page 2) the Best of Princes...and Ceres with modius reminding us of his great generosity. The humility does show - especially in his willingness to recognize the authority of the Senate on the reverse of his coin. At 34mm this is slightly smaller than a cart wheel, and 27.85g:
    Trajan Sestertius .jpg
    Trajan, AD 98-117, Æ Sestertius, Rome mint, struck circa AD 106-107
    Obv: IMP CAES NERVAE TRAIANO AVG GER DAC P M TR P COS V P P, laureate, draped bust right
    Rev: S P Q R OPTIMO PRINCIPI, S C across field, Ceres standing left, holding long, vertical torch in left hand and two grain ears in right over modius at her feet
    Ref: RIC II 479 (draped)
     
  18. ominus1

    ominus1 Well-Known Member

    ..this is the 1st Trajan coin i got back in 2005.it wasn't in the best shape(tho i must admit seeing the pics of it again, it looks purdy dang good now!) and i got another one soon afterward...its been MIA for a while and i must find it....thanks for reminding me RC, now i must redirect my obcessive/compulsive behavior...:D:watching::wideyed::woot::peeking::vomit::depressed::bigtears: trajan denari  arabian and victory reverses 005.JPG trajan denari  arabian and victory reverses 007.JPG
     
    Last edited: May 25, 2020
  19. Spaniard

    Spaniard Well-Known Member

    Some great coins in this thread.....My favourite Emperor 'Spanish ya know':smuggrin:
    One of my first Roman coins...
    had black.jpg
    Trajan ar Denarius 98-117AD 20mm/2.96gr (Minted 103-111AD)
    Obverse-IMPTRAIANO AVG GER DAC PMTRP laureate bust right, slight drapery on left shoulder
    Reverse-COS VPPS PQR OPTIMO PRINC Aequitas standing left, holding scales and cornucopiae.
    RIC II# 118
     
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  20. ominus1

    ominus1 Well-Known Member

    ..yup, he was Iberian(Spanish, as we know it, didn't exist yet, but i know wot you're sayin':)) i've read/heard tell, he was a lil self concious of his accent/Latin usage and maybe that's why he went overboard on words/deeds on coins...(man, i gotta get back to lQQkin':watching: for my first coin..after this short break..:D)
     
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  21. Gary R. Wilson

    Gary R. Wilson ODERINT, DUM METUANT — CALIGULA

    I guess Hadrian felt compelled to try to match Trajan concerning length of legend. Here's one minted soon after becoming emperor.



    Hadrian_Orichalcum_Sestertius-removebg-preview 3.png

    Hadrian (Augustus)
    Coin: Brass Sestertius
    IMP CAES DIVI TRA PARTH F DIVI NER NEP TRAIANO HADRIANO AVG - Laureate, draped and cuirassed bust right.
    PONT MAX TR POT COS S C FORT RED - Fortuna, draped, seated left on low seat, holding rudder on ground in right hand and cornucopiae in left
    Exergue: FORTRED
    SC



    Mint: Rome (117 AD)
    Wt./Size/Axis: 24.86g / 33mm / 6h
    References:
    RIC II Hadrian 541a
    Cohen 756
    Provenances:
    Marcantica
    Acquisition/Sale: Marcantica VCoins $0.00 05/19
    Notes: May 19, 19 - The Gary R. Wilson Collection
     
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