Numismatica Ars Classica, Zurich   |   Auction 95   |   6 October 2016
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Lot 236





Estimate: 2'500 CHF   |   Starting price: 2'000 CHF Price realized: 3'250 CHF
The Roman Empire
Plotina, wife of Trajan
Denarius 112-114, AR 3.51 g. PLOTINA AVG – IMP TRAIANI Diademed and draped bust r. Rev. CAES AVG GERMA DAC COS VI P P Vesta, draped and veiled, seated l., holding palladium and short sceptre. C 3. BMC Trajan 526. RIC Trajan 730. CBN Trajan 679. Woytek 705.11 (this coin).
Very rare. Old cabinet tone, minor scratch on reverse, otherwise good very fine
Ex MMAG List 217, November/December 1961, 28; SKA Bern 1, 1983, 330 and Peus 366, 2000, 1358 sales. It is impossible to assess the influence Plotina had on her husband, Trajan, for she is scarcely mentioned in the ancient sources. If we are to believe Dio Cassius (68.5.5) and the far later Historia Augusta, she was a modest woman who, if anything, was a restraining force who insisted on high moral standards. Both relate a story that when Plotina entered the imperial palace for the first time as the wife of an emperor, she turned to those gathered at the steps and declared “I enter here such a woman as I would wish to be when I leave.” Despite her apparent moral rigor, she is chiefly remembered for her undying support for her husband’s eventual successor, Hadrian. The Historia Augusta describes how Trajan was not particularly fond of Hadrian, but that Plotina insisted on his marriage to Sabina, the daughter of Trajan’s niece Matidia.

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