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Thank God Jupiter Was There!

During Trajan's easterm campaign, he was wintering in Antioch when a violent earthquake occurred. According to Cassius Dio in the Epitome of Bookk LXVIII:
"There had been many great storms and portentous winds, but no one expected so many evils to result from them. First there came a sudden and loud bellowing roar, and this was followed by a tremendous quaking. The whole earth upheaved, and buildings leaped into the air; some were carried aloft only to collapse and be broken in pieces, while others were tossed this way and that as if on the tide of the sea. The wreckage spread out over a great area even into the open country. The crash of grinding and breaking timbers, tiles and stones was most frightful; and an inconceivable amount of dust arose, so that it was impossible for one to see anything or to speak or hear a word. As for the people, many even those who were outside the houses were hurt, being snatched up and tossed violently about and then dashed to the earth as if falling from a cliff; some were maimed and others were killed. Even trees in some cases leaped into the air, roots and all. The number of those who were trapped in the houses and perished was uncountable; for multitudes were killed by the very force of the falling debris, and great numbers were suffocated in the ruins. Those who lay with part of their body buried under the stones or timbers suffered terribly, being able neither to live any longer nor to find an immediate death... Trajan made his way out through a window of the room in which he was staying. Some being, of greater than human stature, had come and led him forth, so that he escaped with only a few slight injuries; and as the shocks extended over several days, he lived out of doors in the hippodrome"
The "being, of greater than human stature" was obviously interpreted as Jupiter. Thus Jupiter wreaked havoc on Antioch while at the same time protecting Trajan. The Roman spin doctors turned what could have been an ill omen into a positive event. This coin commemorates this event. Jupiter holds his hand out over Trajan shielding him from the falling debris.

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