Trajan, 98-117. Sestertius (Orichalcum, 34 mm, 20.94 g, 7 h), Rome, 116-117. IMP CAES N[ER TRAIANO OPTIMO AVG GER DAC PARTHICO P M TR [P COS VI P P Laureate and draped bust of Trajan to right. Rev. ARMENIA ET MESOPOTAMIA IN POTESTATEM P R REDACTAE / S - C Trajan, laureate and in military attire, standing right, holding reversed spear in his right hand and parazonium in his left; before, Armenia seated left, head turned to right; to left and right, Tigris and Euphrates reclining right and left, each holding reed and leaning on inverted urn from which water flows. BMC 1035. Cohen 39. RIC 642. Woytek 590v. An unusually attractive example of this historically important issue with a fine olive green patina. Very fine.
This sestertius celebrates Trajan's victories of the years 114-116, in the course of which the emperor moved into Armenia, where Parthamsiris, a Parthian-backed pretender to the Armenian throne, was killed under suspicious circumstances. Following the conquest of Armenia, the Romans then moved into Mesopotamia and captured the Parthian capital of Ktesiphon before advancing to the Persian Gulf - the easternmost point any Roman general had reached up until this point. However, increased Parthain resistance and a a large-scale revolt by Jewish communities in Kyrenaika, Egypt, Cyprus and Mesopotamia drained Roman power and Trajan retreated to Cilicia in 117, where he died, exhausted, shortly thereafter.