Trajan. AD 98-117. Æ Sestertius. Danube river bridge.

Trajan. AD 98-117. Æ Sestertius. Danube river bridge.

Trajan. AD 98-117. Æ Sestertius 36 mm. 29.1 gm. Rome mint. Struck circa AD 107-110. IMP CAES NERVAE TRAIANO AVG GER DAC P M TR P COS V P P, laureate bust right, slight drapery. Rev: S P Q R OPTIMO PRINCIPI, arched, single-span bridge with seven posts across Danube River; single-bay arches at either end, surmounted by statues; boat sailing left in river below; S C in exergue. RIC II 569; Woytek 314b; Strack 385; Banti 262; BMCRE 847; BN 315 var. (six posts). Well centred on a medallic flan. Constructed between AD 103 and 105 as preparation for Trajan’s second conquest of Dacia, the Danube river bridge represents a remarkable feat of civil engineering, which was unrivalled for over a thousand years. Located between the present day cities of Kladovo in Serbia, and Turnu Severin in Romania, the bridge crossed the 800m (2600 ft) wide Danube river with a total span of 1.1 km (3500 ft). With a total of 20 concrete piers, spaced approximately 50m (160 ft) apart, as the foundation, the wooden deck of the bridge was raised 45m (150 ft) above the river. The width of the bridge has been estimated to range from 10 to 15m (32 to 50 ft). The two outermost pillars are still visible on the banks of the river today.

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