RPC III, 4798


Image of specimen #3


Coin type
Volume III
Number 4798
Province Egypt
Region Egypt
City Alexandria
Reign Trajan
Person (obv.) Trajan (Augustus)
Person (rev.) Trajan (Augustus)
Issue L IZ = year 17
Dating AD 113/14
Obverse inscription ΑΥΤ ΤΡΑΙΑΝ ϹΕΒ ΓΕΡΜ ΔΑΚΙΚ
Nominative Imperator Traianus Augustus Germanicus Dacicus
Obverse design half-length nude bust of Trajan, wreath with ears of corn right, with drapery on left shoulder
Reverse inscription L ΙΖ
Reverse design Emperor (Trajan) standing in quadriga, right, laureate-headed, wearing toga, crowned with wreath by small figure and holding eagle-tipped sceptre and branch; behind, column surmounted by figure, raising hand and holding club (?)
Metal copper-based alloy
Average diameter 34 mm
Specimens 4 (0 in the core collections)
Note The bust variety is not very clear on any specimen. The column seems to depict a figure that seems to be holding a club, suggesting a statue of Heracles, as B. Woytek has pointed out (Woytek, forthcoming), rather than Trajan’s column. A Dem 1085 is described as ‘L’empereur dans un quadrige, couronné par la Victoire; au fond, une colonne surmontée de la statue de l’empereur’. The design is easily confused with the ‘Helios in quadriga’ coins, especially when they are worn. There are 3 coins in A with the Helios design; Christiansen, RCA 1, p. 190 curiously refers to them as ‘replacing Feuardent II no. 1085’. The first reference (and identification of the design as Trajan’s column) that we have come across is the description of the coin in the Borgia collection in Velletri, catalogued by G. Zoëga, Numi Imperatorii, Prostantes In Museo Borgiano Velitris (Rome, 1787), where the figure is described as (pp. 87-8; plate 5) ‘simulacrum imperatoris paludatum, d. hastam tenens, s. globum’; while in a footnote he identified it as Trajan’s column. The coin is now in the Vatican (Aegyptus 226) ex Borgia; it is very worn and the details unclear, but it is struck from different dies. The details look a little different on the Künker coin, but it has been somewhat tooled so the details cannot be regarded as very reliable. (D758 with Emperor in quadriga r. was attributed to this year by Dattari, but the coin illustrated in the rubbing in DS shows a coin with Emperor in elephant quadriga without a legible date, and its obverse suggests it may be earlier. So it is not clear if Dattari really did originally have a coin with a horse quadriga dated to LIZ.) The small figure does not have any wings, so cannot be Victory: B. Woytek suggests the slave who accompanied the triumphator: see now B. Woytek, 'Hominem te memento!“ Der mahnende Sklave im römischen Triumph und seine Ikonographie', Tyche 30 (2015), pp. 193-209. The design (without the column) is repeated in year 20: 4937.
Correction Corrected coin-type (post publication)

Specimens of this coin type

Number Number Museum Bibliography
1 1     A: Dem 1085
2 2     Vat: 226
3 3     ✸ Künker 182 (2011) lot 645
4 4     Alexandria: 3931