Aligning Trajan with the sun-god, Sol
Lot 258
Trajan, 98-117. Aureus (Gold, 19 mm, 7.11 g, 8 h), Rome, autumn 116-August 117. IMP CAES NER TRAIAN OPTIM AVG GERM DAC Laureate, draped and cuirassed bust of Trajan to right, seen from behind. Rev. PARTHICO P M TR P COS VI P P S P Q R• Radiate and draped bust of Sol to right. BMC 621. Calicó 1038a. CBN 880. Cohen 187 corr. (GERM not GER). RIC 329f. Woytek 572f. Boldly struck and with a lovely rendering of Sol. Tiny bump on the edge, otherwise, nearly extremely fine.

The alignment of Roman rulers with the sun god Sol-Helios can be traced back to Hellenistic models, and the radiate crown of the god evolved into one of the most important imperial symbols of power, notably used to mark double pieces such as biniones, antoniniani, and dupondii in Roman coinage. In the 3rd century, Aurelian (270-275) was to introduce the cult of Sol Invictus, the invincible Sun, which, despite the rise of Christianity, would remain popular among the pagan elite and soldiers well into the 4th and 5th centuries, continuing to exert its influence even as the Roman Empire underwent monumental religious changes.
5000 CHF
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