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View of Trajan’s Forum


Trajan. AD 98-117. AV Aureus (20mm, 7.16 g, 6h). Rome mint. Struck AD 112-113. IMP TRAIANVS AVG GER DAC P M TR P COS VI P P, laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right / Triumphal gateway to Trajan’s Forum, with six columns, sculptural reliefs, and attic statuary consisting of a chariot drawn by six horses flanked by two figures standing to either side of trophy; FORVM TRAIAN in exergue. RIC II 257; Beckmann, Early Group I, 2 (dies a13/F1); Woytek 409f; Calicó 1031 = Biaggi 494. Residual luster, minor deposit on reverse. Good VF. Struck on a broad flan, with a detailed depiction of Trajan’s Forum.

Nearly every detail of Trajan’s Forum was intended as a celebration and aggrandizement of the emperor’s Dacian victory, so it is fitting that the forum’s entrance doubled as Trajan’s triumphal arch. In typical fashion, the arch is surmounted by a statuary group with figures of the emperor and Victory in a chariot. A large portion of the Forum survives to this day, containing multiple market stalls, indicating its function as the ancient Roman equivalent to a shopping mall.