Trajan, AR Tridrachm, 98-99, Cappadocia-Caesarea

Discussion in 'Ancient Coins' started by robinjojo, Sep 21, 2020.

  1. robinjojo

    robinjojo Supporter! Supporter

    Here's an interesting coin that arrived through the mail slot today.

    It is a tridarchm of Trajan, Cappadocia-Caesarea, with Zeus on the reverse.

    It is the first coin of this fairly unusual denomination that I have owned, and the reverse is most intriguing.

    Here's what Beast Coins has to say about it:

    "This remarkable silver tridrachm type belonging to the opening phase of Trajan's reign has been the subject of considerable scholarly debate. Traditionally, it was assigned to Caesarea in Cappadocia (BMC and Sydenham) but in 1977 D. R. Walker reattributed it to an unidentified mint in Provincia Asia on the basis of its absence from any of the finds of Caesarean coinage. This reassignment was accepted by Metcalf in his 1996 publication on the silver coinage of Cappadocia from which the type was excluded. However, the reverse design has a distinctly oriental flavor and a further reattribution may be necessary at some future date.

    Update from Richard McAlee on April 2, 2008: This type has now been reattributed to Syria-Phoenicia as far as area of circulation, but it was actually minted in Rome for use in Syria-Phoenicia. See the chapter on Trajan's coins in my new book, "The Coins of Roman Antioch".


    The coin posted here is a pleasing example, fairly well centered, but lightly cleaned.

    Roman Empire, 98-99 AD
    Trajan
    Tridrachm
    Cappadocia-Caesarea (possibly minted in Rome - see note above)
    Obverse: Laureate head of Trajan right.
    Reverse: Zeus facing right, with thunderbolt in left hand, and mappa or short scepter in right, DHMARX EX-UPAT B in legend.
    9.9 grams
    21 mm, 6 h.
    BMC Cappadocia p. 52 and 46; Sydenham (The Coinage of Caesarea in Cappadocia) 173; cf. Metcalf (The Silver Coinage of Cappadocia, Vespasian-Commodus) p. 148; cf. Walker (The Metrology of the Roman Silver Coinage, part 2), p. 99.
    Very scarce.
    .
    D-Camera  Trajan, AR Tridrachm, 98-99, Cappadocia-Caesarea, 9.9 grams, 9-21-20.jpg
     
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  3. JayAg47

    JayAg47 Well-Known Member

    The portrait of Zeus makes him look like some sort of medieval king!
     
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  4. robinjojo

    robinjojo Supporter! Supporter

    Yes! A definite air of the oriental potentate, with his jeweled turban.
     
  5. Mat

    Mat Ancient Coincoholic

    Never seen that reverse before, very cool, has a Parthian look to Zeus. Congrats
     
  6. DonnaML

    DonnaML Supporter! Supporter

    I've never seen Zeus portrayed anything like that before either. Is that a jeweled turban, or some sort of crown? Whatever it is, Zeus does look more like an Eastern potentate than a Greek god. So I find it interesting that the coin was apparently minted in Rome. One wonders where it was designed. The obverse, on the other hand, looks like a typical portrait of Trajan.
     
    Last edited: Sep 21, 2020
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  7. Al Kowsky

    Al Kowsky Supporter! Supporter

    robinjojo, It looks like you scored a fascinating rarity :D! Your coin type is clearly illustrated in McAlee's book on page 207, #477/2. On page 194 of his book he illustrates 16 different types, (drachms, didrachms, & tridrachms) that were struck in Rome for use in Arabia. Many of those coins have been found in Judaean hoards indicating the Jews probably used them also. The figure of Baal-Zeus on your coin is wearing a kalathos, a woven basket that looks like a top hat. They were used for collecting fruits & grain for harvest. There is a lot of confusion :confused: & different opinions among "experts" attributing many of Trajan's coinage meant for Eastern provincial circulation. The Trajan Tet in my collection is a good example of this :smuggrin:.

    4629440-004, AK Collection.jpg
    There are many different varieties of this coin type & the "experts" can't make up their minds if they were struck in Antioch or Tyre :rolleyes:. The coin looks like a Tyre Mint product to me, but who am I :oldman:.....
     
  8. ominus1

    ominus1 Well-Known Member

  9. DonnaML

    DonnaML Supporter! Supporter

    I assume that's Melqart/Hercules on the reverse? I have a similar coin (RPC 3526, McAlee 452, Prieur 1482) attributed to Tyre.

    Version 2 Trajan-Melqart Tyre, Phoenicia 100 AD jpg.jpg
     
  10. ernstk

    ernstk Active Member

    Al your coin is nice and genuine. I got one exactly this type from CNG which was from Mike preur.
     
  11. ernstk

    ernstk Active Member

    is this yours? The style of melqart is not very good. It's a bit strange compared to the ones I have seen in auctions
     
  12. DonnaML

    DonnaML Supporter! Supporter

    I didn't ask for your opinion. Did you write a book on Roman Provincial coins, too?
     
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  13. ernstk

    ernstk Active Member

    My specialty is Sasanian and Parthian coins but I have a side collection of Roman provincial and quite few of them all coming from CNG and Mike prieur col so I just state my observation compared to Mike prieur coins I own
     
  14. DonnaML

    DonnaML Supporter! Supporter

    I bought the coin through VCoins from a very reputable dealer in California who's been around for a long time and has a special interest in Roman provincial coins. There's no reason to doubt that it's genuine.
     
  15. ernstk

    ernstk Active Member

    You might be right and I hope I am wrong but the style to my eyes look different and I wouldn't buy something like this
     
  16. ominus1

    ominus1 Well-Known Member

    ...who is it you're conversing with??...i see no one other than you..oh..it must be a troll i've already blocked..:)
     
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  17. IMP Shogun

    IMP Shogun Active Member

    Optimus princeps, is Latin for handsome fella:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    TRAJAN, As, TR POT COS III PP, Mars standing right, RIC 410
     
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  18. DonnaML

    DonnaML Supporter! Supporter

    Well, it just goes to show that you don't know everything, and just because you haven't seen a particular style before doesn't mean that there's anything wrong with it.. The style of Melqart on my coin looks almost exactly the same as on the illustrative coin for this type (RPC 3526) at https://rpc.ashmus.ox.ac.uk/coins/3/3526, as well as the example at https://www.acsearch.info/image.html?id=3342389 . I'm not discussing it with you further, and I strongly suggest that you refrain in the future from commenting on coins I post.
     
    Last edited: Sep 21, 2020
  19. DonnaML

    DonnaML Supporter! Supporter

    Indeed. A lot of people blocked him after a prior episode.
     
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  20. robinjojo

    robinjojo Supporter! Supporter

    Whoever designed the reverse had a splendid imagination, combining a Greek god and an eastern king. The consensus, it appears, is that the image is one of Zeus, especially with the association of the thunderbolt clasped in his left hand.

    This is an utterly interesting coin and along with the other examples shown in this tread, demonstrates the diversity of reverse designs deployed by Trajan during his reign.
     
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  21. robinjojo

    robinjojo Supporter! Supporter

    Thank you for the additional information. It looks like I'll be creating more than one label for this coin.
     
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