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Trajan Annexes Arabia

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Pillar of the Community

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 Posted 09/29/2020  12:29 pm Show Profile   Bookmark this topic Add augustus1 to your friends list Get a Link to this Message
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.
ΔHMAPX #1028;ΞYΠAT #1028; (i.e. COS V)
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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2017 Posts
 Posted 09/29/2020  6:33 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Palouche to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
That's a great looking coin!...I'd never heard of a "tridrachm" before. Nice piece!
Great portrait and one of my favourite emperors.

I visited his birthplace Italica back a while 'amazing'! Well worth a visit....

Thanks for setting up the site it's really useful and very informative.. Have just tagged it.
Alas no 'achm's' here but this Denarius was my 3rd ancient purchase many years ago....Paul

Trajan ar Denarius 98-117AD 20mm/2.66gr (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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