Trajan annexes Arabia

Discussion in 'Ancient Coins' started by Valentinian, Sep 29, 2020.

  1. Valentinian

    Valentinian Supporter! Supporter

    Trajan (98-117) issued many types that make reference to historical events, including his bloodless annexation of Arabia in 106. I have a web site on Trajan's historical types:

    I just added this tetradrachm to it:

    Trajan as COS V, c. 110-114
    25-23 mm. 10.65 grams.
    This denomination is often called a "tridrachm" for its low weight compared to other tetradrachms, but PRC says the silver alloy is distinctly better such that the total silver in it makes it a tetradrachm.
    Laureate head right, drapery on far shoulder.
    Arabia standing left holding out branch and holding up bunch of cinnamon sticks, camel to left at feet (The rear legs are not depicted, but all four legs are shown on some aurei with this type.)
    McAlee page 194 "type C, light tetradrachm" notes it may have been struck at Tyre for use in Arabia or the dies may have been cut in Tyre for use in Arabia.
    RPC III 4051/4058, Arabia, plate 179. "Probably made in Rome and Antioch (or at least the dies were made there) c. 110-114." "Silver content equal to the Syrian tetradrachms."
    SNG ANS VI 1153, plate 39, attributed to the city of Bostra, capitol of Roman Arabia. W. Metcalf, in "The Tell Kalak Hoard and Trajan's Arabian mint," ANSMN 20 (1975), noted they are found in Israel and should not be attributed to Cappadocia as had been previously thought. There are drachms with the same reverse type, however with portrait in the style of Antioch tetradrachms (not illustrated here).

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  3. Parthicus

    Parthicus Well-Known Member

    I have a denarius and an as of Trajan with reverses depicting Arabia with her camel and cinnamon:
    Trajan Arabia denarius.jpg
    Trajan Arabia.jpg
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  4. ominus1

    ominus1 Supporter! Supporter

    ..i can't..i sold mine to JAZ..:((he desevered it:))
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  5. Roman Collector

    Roman Collector Supporter! Supporter

    Nice one, @Valentinian !

    Arabia with her canes and camel:

    Trajan, AD 98-117.
    Roman AR denarius, 3.35 g, 18.3 mm, 7 h.
    Rome, AD 103-111.
    Obv: IMP TRAIANO AVG GER DAC P M TR P, laureate bust, right, with drapery on left shoulder.
    Rev: COS V P P S P Q R OPTIMO PRINC, Arabia, draped, standing left, holding branch in right hand over camel walking left before her and a bundle of canes (?) in left hand.
    Refs: RIC 142; BMCRE 297-299; Cohen 89; Sear --; ERIC II 400.
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  6. eparch

    eparch Well-Known Member

    There would appear to be two different silver denominations from the
    Bostra mint. These two are the same design, but very different weights.

    Trajan AR Tetradrachm of Bostra, Arabia. AD 112-114.

    ΑΥΤΟΚΡ ΚΑΙС ΝΕΡ ΤΡΑΙΑΝΟС СΕΒ ΓΕΡΜ ΔΑΚ, laureate head right, with drapery on left shoulder

    ΔΗΜΑΡΧ ΕΞ ΥΠΑΤΟ Ϛ, distyle temple, with eagle in pediment, on podium of four steps; cult image of Artemis of Perge within.

    RPC III 4069; Metcalf 3.

    14.41g, 31mm, 12h.


    Trajan AR Tridrachm of Bostra, Arabia. AD 112-114.

    ΑΥΤΟΚΡ ΚΑΙC ΝЄΡ ΤΡΑΙΑΝΟC CЄΒ ΓЄΡΜ ΔΑΚ, laureate bust right, drapery on far shoulder
    ΔΗΜΑΡΧ ΕΞ ΥΠΑΤΟ ς, distyle temple with eagle in pediment; cult image of Artemis of Perge within.

    SNG ANS 1160;

    W.E. Metcalf, "The Tell Kalak Hoard and Trajan's Arabian mint," ANSMN 20 (1975),

    3. 8.55g, 23mm, 7h.
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  7. DonnaML

    DonnaML Well-Known Member

    This coin has long been thought to be a product of the Arabia Bostra mint, but more recent scholarship suggests that it was actually minted in Rome for use in the Middle East:

    Trajan AR Drachm, 115-Feb. 116 AD, Arabia Bostra (or Rome*) Mint. Obv. Laureate, draped and cuirassed bust of Trajan right, with paludamentum, seen from rear, AYTOKP KAIC NЄP TPAIANѠ APICTѠ CƐB ΓƐPM ΔAK [equivalent of IMP CAES NER TRAIANO OPTIMO AVG GERM DAC] / Rev. Bactrian (two-humped) camel, walking left, ΔHMAPX ЄΞ YΠATO ς [equivalent of TR P COS VI (sixth consulship)]. RPC [Roman Provincial Coinage] Vol. III 4076 (2015); RPC Online at, SNG ANS VI 1158; Sydenham 205 [E. Sydenham, The Coinage of Caesarea in Cappadocia (1933)]. 19 mm., 3.10 g. Purchased from Kenneth W. Dorney. (Coin is double die match to Roma Numismatics Auction, May 21, 2013, Lot 767 []; image of that coin is reproduced as Plate 14, No. 7 in Woytek & Butcher article cited in note below.)

    Trajan - Drachm, Arabia Bostra, Camel reverse - jpg version.jpg

    * See Bernhard E. Woytek and Kevin Butcher, The Camel Drachms of Trajan in Context: Old Problems and a New Overstrike, The Numismatic Chronicle Vol. 175 (2015), pp. 117-136 (
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  8. Bing

    Bing Illegitimi non carborundum Supporter

  9. Finn235

    Finn235 Well-Known Member

    I knew that the type came in drachms, but I had never seen it as a tetradrachm! Gotta love those big Imperial-era silvers.

    My favorite Trajan is the type, as a denarius Trajan Arabia denarius.jpg

    And let's not forget the king whose lack of a legitimate heir made all of this possible...
    Nabataea Rabbel II and Gamilath.jpg
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  10. Alegandron

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


    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


    ΔHMAPX ЄΞ YΠATO ς (= "six times consul" = A.D. 112)
  11. Marsyas Mike

    Marsyas Mike Well-Known Member

    Some great coins in the thread.

    I have a couple of the Arabia drachms that aren't too terrible, but this is my newest, so I'll share it - a really horrible Sestertius with Arabia and the camel, barely visible around the pits. A $5 each lot buy from eBay, which may be $4.45 too much, but I am indefensibly fond of it.

    Trajan - Sest. Arabia Camel lot Sep 2020 (0).jpg

    Trajan Æ Sestertius
    (103-111/112-114 A.D.)
    Rome Mint

    [IMP CAES NERVAE TRAIANO AVG GER DAC PM TRP COS V (VI) PP], laureate bust r., slight drapery on left shoulder /SPQR OPTIMO PRINCIPI, S-C, ARAB [ADQ (ADQVIS)] in ex, Arabia standing holding branch and cinnamon sticks, camel standing left.
    (21.42 grams / 31 x 28 mm)

    Attribution Notes:
    Four possibilities, Arabia type with slightly draped bust:

  12. 7Calbrey

    7Calbrey Well-Known Member

    Here's a Sestertius, before I go to sleep.

    TrajSester O   ROME.JPG TrajSest R       Arabia.JPG
  13. singig

    singig Well-Known Member

    Trajan, AR tetradrachm of Antioch, Syria. AD 111-112. 24mm / 14g
    AYTOKR KAIC NER TRAIANOC CEB GERM DAK, laureate bust right / DHMARX EX IS YPAT S, Eagle standing facing on club, wings spread, head left, palm branch right. SNG Lewis 1770, Sear GIC 1077, Vagi 1271; Sear (1988) 1040.

    Trajan Denarius. RIC 142
    IMP TRAIANO AVG GER DAC PM TRP, laureate bust right, drapery on far shoulder /
    COS V PP SPQR OPTIMO PRINC, Arabia standing left, holding a branch and a bundle of canes, camel at feet

    Trajan AE Sestertius. 103-111 AD. RIC 465 or 610
    IMP CAES NERVAE TRAIANO AVG GER DAC PM TRP COS ?? P P, laureate bust right/
    SPQR OPTIMO PRINCIPI, S-C across fields, ARAB ADQ in ex, Arabia standing facing, head left, holding with branch and bundle of cinnamon sticks; camel at foot left.
  14. Terence Cheesman

    Terence Cheesman Well-Known Member

    Trajan Ar Denarius RIC 142 v Woytek 285c Obv Bust right laureate aegis on far shoulder. Rv. Arabia standing left. 110 B.C. 3.41 grms 18 mm Photo by W. Hansen trajand35.jpeg
  15. Orielensis

    Orielensis Supporter! Supporter

    I've got a badly marred example of the common denarius type showing Arabia with her camel and cinnamon sticks. It's nothing special per se, but it was the first denarius I ever bought:

    Rom – Trajan, Denar, Arabia und Kamel.png
    Trajan, Roman Empire, denarius, 103–111 AD, Rome mint. Obv: [IMP TRAI]ANO AVG GER DAC P M TR P; bust of Trajan, laureate, r. Rev: CO[S V P P S P Q ]R OPTIMO PRINC, Arabia standing l., holding branch in r. hand and a bundle of cinnamon sticks in l., camel at feet to l. 17mm, 3.07g. Ref: RIC II Trajan 142 (denarius).
  16. Edessa

    Edessa Well-Known Member

    Trajan, AD 98-117. Æ Sestertius (31mm, 24.80g, 7h). Rome mint, AD 103-111. Obv: IMP C[AES NER]VAE TRAIANO AVG GER DAC P M TR P COS V P P; Bust right with laurel wreath and light drapery on left shoulder. Rev: S P Q R [OPTI]MO PRINCIPI; Arabia standing facing, head left, holding branch with bundle of cinnamon sticks to left, forepart of camel standing left; S-C across fields, ARAB•ADQVIS in exergue. Ref: RIC 466; C. 32; Strack 409.

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