Friday, February 17, 2006

My Top 20: Coin No.18: Trajan AD 98-117

EMPEROR MARCUS ULPINIUS TRAJANUS (to give him his full title).
How to read the inscriptions around the rim of a Roman coin, taking this one as an example.
AUGUSTUS (AVG) The distinctive Imperial title, reserved only for the Emperor
GERMANICUS (GERM) Title awarded him for his victories in Germany
PONTIFEX MAXIMUS (PM) Chief of the Pontifices (High Priests)
IMPERATOR (IMP) Another name for Emperor
CAESAR A family name that had been adopted by previous Emperors
NERVA In memory of his adoptive father
TRAJAN Marcus Ulpinius Traianus (NOTE no J or U in the Latin Alphabet

Marcus: Forename or Prae-nomen by which his friends or even his slaves would address him
Ulpinius:Important middle name or ‘nomen’ which referred the the‘Gens’or ‘Clan from which he came
Trajanus: Cognomen which specified the branch of the Ulpius clan to which he belonged

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