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The Alimenta Italiae

587439. Sold For $12500

Trajan. AD 98-117. AV Aureus (20mm, 7.17 g, 6h). Rome mint. Struck AD 111. IMP TRAIANO AVG GER DAC P M TR P, laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right / COS • V • P • P • S • P • Q R OPTIMO PRINC, ALIM • ITAL in exergue, Trajan, togate, standing left, holding volumen in left hand, extending right hand to young boy and girl standing right. RIC II 93 corr. (bust type); Woytek 345f; Calicó 984; BMCRE 378; Biaggi 462-3. Nicely centered, with light reddish tone over residual luster, a few minor marks, tiny reverse die break. Good VF. Pleasing portrait in high relief.

Desirous to favor the Italian people after the ravages of the civil wars, Trajan was especially nurturing toward the youth, many of whom were destitute and impoverished. At the expense of the state, these children were raised and, in some cases, adopted by the emperor himself. It was these acts to which the reverse of this type alludes, with the concept of ALIMenta ITALiae, the nourishment and resources provided to Italy, represented by the personification of Abundantia (or Annona) along with the emperor.