The legend on the obverse of this coin is telling of the emperor Trajan’s rule. He is named as Nerva Trajan, denoting his adoption by his predecessor, Nerva, for the purpose of dynastic succession. The security and stabilization that Nerva had brought to the empire provided a foundation on which Trajan built the greatest expansion in Roman history. Trajan also carried on diplomatic relations with the senate, and was granted the title Optimus (“the best”) as a result of this and his generous benefactions -- he was careful to not repeat Domitian’s mistake of being a monarch, but rather a “first among equals.” The legend further conveys Trajan’s achievements: he is called conqueror of the Germans, Dacians, and Parthians, all long and difficult enemies of Rome. The reverse is equally illuminating, for these three kingdoms are shown offering homage to Trajan. It is misleading, however. Despite being probably the most admired emperor in history, Trajan overextended the empire, and after his unexpected death, his successor Hadrian was forced to abandon much of his additions to the empire. KHK.