Roman Empire, Trajan - Hercules Gaditanus

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Struck at the end of the succssful campaign against the Dacians in AD 102, in which Trajan reduced their leader Decebalus to the status of client king, for which victory he celebrated a triumph, the obverse legend of this extremely rare aureus notes the new title of Dacicus Maximus which he was awarded upon his return to Rome.

The reverse of this coin is believed to depict a statue of Hercules Gaditanus. Trajan had been born in the Spanish city of Italica in Baetica, an area where this cult of Hercules Gaditanus was especially popular. The emperor apparently viewed him as his patron, and between 100 and 115 produced a number of coins bearing his image, of which this is one. The statue itself was situated near the great altar of Hercules in the Forum Boarium, the Ara Maxima Herculis Invicti.

Trajan AV Aureus. Rome, AD 102. IMP CAES TRAIANVS AVG GERM DACICVS, laureate bust right with aegis on far shoulder / P M TR P COS IIII P P, statue of Hercules holding club and lion’s skin standing facing on low plinth. RIC -; Woytek 99e; BMC -; Calicó 1055. 7.03g, 19mm, 6h.

Very Fine. Extremely Rare.