The castrum on the reverse was built in Apulum, at the order of Emperor Trajan. The site belongs to the category of doublegates, guarded by rectangular towers and it has numerous analogies in the Roman Empire and in Dacia.
After the southern part of Dacia became a province of the Roman Empire (from 106 to 275 AD), the capital of the district was established there where the present town of Alba Iulia rises above the ruins of the ancient Apulum. In Roman Dacia all the cities developed from old military camps. Apulum was not simply the greatest city within the province, but one of the biggest across the whole Danubian frontier.
It began as one of Trajan’s legionary bases. The town evolved rapidly into a municipium during Marcus Aurelius’s reign, and the emperor Commodus elevated it to a colonia. Apulum was the seat of the XIII Gemina Legion of the Imperial Roman army. This was one of Julius Caesar’s key units and the legion with which he famously crossed the Rubicon in 49 BC. Its symbol was the lion. In 271, the legion was relocated when the Dacia province was evacuated.
Laureate head of Trajan right
IMP CAES NERVA TRAIAN AVG GERM P M
Apulum Castrum at Alba Iulia
ALBA IVLIA AP VL·VM
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