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{{good article}}{{Redirect|Traian}}{{Redirect|Marcus Ulpius Traianus|the emperor's father|Marcus Ulpius Traianus (senior)}}{{short description|Roman emperor from 98 to 117}}

full name * Marcus Ulpius Traianus(from birth to adoption)|regnal name = * Caesar Marcus Ulpius Nerva Traianus(from adoption to accession)
    image Traianus Glyptothek Munich 336.jpg| caption = Marble bust of Trajan
    8 August 117| predecessor = Nerva| successor = Hadrian| spouse 1 = Pompeia Plotina| issue = Hadrian (adoptive)Nerva–Antonine dynasty>Nerva{{ndash}}Antonine* Marcus Ulpius Trajanus Marcia (mother of Trajan)>Marcia| birth_date = 18 September 53| birth_place = Italica, Hispania Baetica, now Province of Seville, Andalusia, Spain| death_date = 8 August 117 (aged 63)Selinus (Cilicia)>Selinus, Cilicia, now GazipaÅŸa, Antalya Province, Turkey| place of burial = Rome (ashes in foot of Trajan's Column, now lost), now Trajan's Forum, Rome, Italy| religion = | alt = Trajan }}{{Nerva–Antonine dynasty|image=|caption=}}Trajan ({{IPAc-en|ˈ|t|r|eɪ|dÊ’|É™n}} {{respell|TRAY|jÉ™n}}; {{IPA-la|traːˈjaːnÊŠs|}};{{efn|Trajan's regal name had an equivalent English meaning of "Commander Caesar Nerva Trajan, son of the Divine Nerva, the Emperor".}} 18 September 53{{snds}}8{{nbsp}}August 117) was Roman emperor from 98 to 117. Officially declared by the Senate optimus princeps ("the best ruler"), Trajan is remembered as a successful soldier-emperor who presided over the greatest military expansion in Roman history, leading the empire to attain its maximum territorial extent by the time of his death. He is also known for his philanthropic rule, overseeing extensive public building programs and implementing social welfare policies, which earned him his enduring reputation as the second of the Five Good Emperors who presided over an era of peace and prosperity in the Mediterranean world.Trajan was born in Italica, close to modern Seville in present-day Spain, an Italic settlement in the Roman province of Hispania Baetica. Although misleadingly designated by some later writers as a provincial, his family came from Umbria and he was born a Roman citizen.Arnold Blumberg, Great Leaders, Great Tyrants? Contemporary Views of World Rulers who Made History, 1995, Greenwood Publishing Group, p. 315: "Trajan is frequently but misleadingly designated the first provincial emperor, because the Ulpii were from Baetica (southern Spain). The family, resident in Spain for some time, originated in Italian Tuder, not far from the Flavian home of Reate. The emperor's father, M. Ulpius Traianus, was an early adherent of Vespasian and perhaps the old family friend. This Trajan evidently married a Marcia (her name is inferred from that of their daughter Marciana) whose family owned brickyards in the vicinity of Ameria, near both Reate and Tuder. She was possibly an older sister of Marcia Furnilla, second wife of Vespasian's son Titus. Further, Ulpia, sister of the senior Trajan, was a grandmother of Hadrian. In other words, the emperor Trajan was succeeded in 117 by his cousin, member of another Italian family resident in Baetica." Trajan rose to prominence during the reign of emperor Domitian. Serving as a legatus legionis in Hispania Tarraconensis, in 89 Trajan supported Domitian against a revolt on the Rhine led by Antonius Saturninus. In September 96, Domitian was succeeded by the old and childless Nerva, who proved to be unpopular with the army. After a brief and tumultuous year in power, culminating in a revolt by members of the Praetorian Guard, he was compelled to adopt the more popular Trajan as his heir and successor. Nerva died in 98 and was succeeded by his adopted son without incident.As a civilian administrator, Trajan is best known for his extensive public building program, which reshaped the city of Rome and left numerous enduring landmarks such as Trajan's Forum, Trajan's Market and Trajan's Column. Early in his reign, he annexed the Nabataean Kingdom, creating the province of Arabia Petraea. His conquest of Dacia enriched the empire greatly, as the new province possessed many valuable gold mines.Trajan's war against the Parthian Empire ended with the sack of the capital Ctesiphon and the annexation of Armenia and Mesopotamia. His campaigns expanded the Roman Empire to its greatest territorial extent. In late 117, while sailing back to Rome, Trajan fell ill and died of a stroke in the city of Selinus. He was deified by the Senate and his ashes were laid to rest under the Column. He was succeeded by his cousin Hadrian, whom Trajan supposedly adopted on his deathbed.


    As an emperor, Trajan's reputation has endured{{snds}}he is one of the few rulers whose reputation has survived nineteen centuries. Every new emperor after him was honoured by the Senate with the wish felicior Augusto, melior Traiano (that he be "luckier than Augustus and better than Trajan"). Among medieval Christian theologians, Trajan was considered a virtuous pagan. In the Renaissance, Machiavelli, speaking on the advantages of adoptive succession over heredity, mentioned the five successive good emperors "from Nerva to Marcus"Discourses on Livy, I, 10, 4{{snds}}a trope out of which the 18th-century historian Edward Gibbon popularized the notion of the Five Good Emperors, of whom Trajan was the second.BOOK, Idiots guide to the Roman Empire, Nelson, Eric, 2002, Alpha Books, 978-0-02-864151-5, 207–209, As far as ancient literary sources are concerned, an extant continuous account of Trajan's reign does not exist. An account of the Dacian Wars, the Commentarii de bellis Dacicis, written by Trajan himself or a ghostwriter and modelled after Caesar's Commentarii de Bello Gallico, is lost with the exception of one sentence. Only fragments remain of the Getiká, a book by Trajan's personal physician Titos Statilios Kriton. The Parthiká, a 17-volume account of the Parthian Wars written by Arrian, has met a similar fate.{{sfn|Strobel|2010|p=14}} Book{{nbsp}}68 in Cassius Dio's Roman History, which survives mostly as Byzantine abridgments and epitomes, is the main source for the political history of Trajan's rule.{{sfn|Strobel|2010|p=15}} Besides this, Pliny the Younger's Panegyricus and Dio of Prusa's orations are the best surviving contemporary sources. Both are adulatory perorations, typical of the late Roman era, that describe an idealized monarch and an equally idealized view of Trajan's rule, and concern themselves more with ideology than with actual fact.{{sfn|Bennett|2001|pages=xii/xiii & 63}} The tenth volume of Pliny's letters contains his correspondence with Trajan, which deals with various aspects of imperial Roman government, but this correspondence is neither intimate nor candid: it is an exchange of official mail, in which Pliny's stance borders on the servile.Finley Hooper, Roman Realities. Wayne State University Press, 1979, {{ISBN|0-8143-1594-1}}, page 427 It is certain that much of the text of the letters that appear in this collection over Trajan's signature was written and/or edited by Trajan's Imperial secretary, his ab epistulis.Carlos F. Noreña, "The Social Economy of Pliny's Correspondence with Trajan". American Journal of Philology, 128 (2007) 239–277, page 251 Therefore, discussion of Trajan and his rule in modern historiography cannot avoid speculation, as well as recourse to non-literary sources such as archaeology and epigraphy.{{sfn|Bennett|2001|p=xiii}}

    Early life and rise to power

    File:Imperator Caesar Nerva Traianus.jpg|thumb|275px|left|Statue of Nerva, Rome, ItalyItalyFile:Trajan2.jpg|thumb|upright|(Denarius]] of Trajan, minted in Rome in 101{{ndash}}102 AD. Inscription: IMP. CAES. NERVA TRAIAN. AVG GERM.)Marcus Ulpius Traianus was born on 18 September 53{{nbsp}}AD in the Roman province of Hispania BaeticaSyme, Tacitus, 30–44; PIR Vlpivs 575 (in what is now Andalusia in modern Spain), in the city of Italica (now in the municipal area of Santiponce, in the outskirts of Seville). Although frequently designated the first provincial emperor, and dismissed by later writers such as Cassius Dio (himself of provincial origin) as "an Iberian, and neither an Italian nor even an Italiot", Trajan appears to have hailed on his father's side from the area of Tuder (modern Todi) in Umbria, at the border with Etruria, and on his mother's side from the Gens Marcia, of an Italic family of Sabine origin. Trajan's birthplace of Italica was founded as a Roman military colony of Italian settlers in 206{{nbsp}}BC, though it is unknown when the Ulpii arrived there. It is possible, but cannot be substantiated, that Trajan's ancestors married local women and lost their citizenship at some point, but they certainly recovered their status when the city became a municipium with Latin citizenship in the mid-1st century BC.{{sfn|Bennett|2001|p=1–3}}Trajan was the son of Marcia, a Roman noblewoman and sister-in-law of the second Flavian Emperor Titus,{{sfn|Strobel|2010|p=41}} and Marcus Ulpius Traianus, a prominent senator and general from the gens Ulpia. Marcus Ulpius Traianus the elder served Vespasian in the First Jewish-Roman War, commanding the Legio X Fretensis.BOOK, Goldsworthy, Adrian, In the name of Rome: The men who won the Roman Empire, 2003, Weidenfeld & Nicolson, London, 320, Trajan himself was just one of many well-known Ulpii in a line that continued long after his own death. His elder sister was Ulpia Marciana, and his niece was Salonina Matidia. The patria of the Ulpii was Italica, in Spanish Baetica.As a young man, he rose through the ranks of the Roman army, serving in some of the most contested parts of the Empire's frontier. In 76{{ndash}}77, Trajan's father was Governor of Syria (Legatus pro praetore Syriae), where Trajan himself remained as Tribunus legionis. From there, after his father's replacement, he seems to have been transferred to an unspecified Rhine province, and Pliny implies that he engaged in active combat duty during both commissions.{{sfn|Bennett|2001|p=22–23}} In about 86, Trajan's cousin P.{{nbsp}}Aelius Afer died, leaving his young children Hadrian and Paulina orphans. Trajan and a colleague of his, Publius Acilius Attianus, became co-guardians of the two children.{{sfn|Garzetti|2014|p=378}}In 91, Trajan was created ordinary Consul for the year, which was a great honour as he was in his late thirties and therefore just above the minimum legal age (32) for holding the post. This can be explained in part by the prominence of his father's career, as his father had been instrumental to the ascent of the ruling Flavian dynasty, held consular rank himself and had just been made a patrician.{{sfn|Bennett|2001|p=13}} Around this time Trajan brought Apollodorus of Damascus with him to Rome.Augustan History, Life of Hadrian 2.5–6 and also married Pompeia Plotina, a noble woman from the Roman settlement at Nîmes; the marriage ultimately remained childless.ENCYCLOPEDIA,weblink Pompei Plotina, Britannica, 26 January 2017, File:Perge - Trajan.jpg|thumb|left|Trajan wearing the civic crown and military garb such as a muscle cuirass, 2nd century AD, Antalya Archaeological Museum ]]It has been remarked by many authors (among them Trajan's late successor Julian) that Trajan was personally inclined towards homosexuality, far in excess of the usual bisexual activity that was common among upper class Roman men of the period. Although Julian's scathing comments on the matter{{sfn|Bennett|2001|p=58}} reflect a change of mores that began with the Severan dynasty,Robert H. Allen, The Classical Origins of Modern Homophobia. Jefferson: McFarland, 2006, {{ISBN|978-0-7864-2349-1}}, page 131 an earlier author, Cassius Dio, already makes reference to Trajan's marked personal preference for the male sex. Trajan's putative lovers included Hadrian, pages of the imperial household, the actor Pylades, a dancer called Apolaustus, and senator Lucius Licinius Sura.{{sfn|Bennett|2001|p=58}}As the details of Trajan's military career are obscure, it is only sure that in 89, as legate of Legio VII Gemina in Hispania Tarraconensis, he supported Domitian against an attempted coup.{{sfn|Bennett|2001|p=43}} Later, after his 91 consulate (held with Acilius Glabrio, a rare pair of consuls at the time, in that neither consul was a member of the ruling dynasty), he held some unspecified consular commission as governor on either Pannonia or Germania Superior{{snds}}possibly both. Pliny{{snds}}who seems to deliberately avoid offering details that would stress personal attachment between Trajan and the "tyrant" Domitian{{snds}}attributes to him, at the time, various (and unspecified) feats of arms.{{sfn|Bennett|2001|p=45–46}}Since Domitian's successor, Nerva, was unpopular with the army and had just been forced by his Praetorian Prefect Casperius Aelianus to execute Domitian's killers,{{sfn|Alston|2014|p=261}} he felt the need to gain the support of the military in order to avoid being ousted. He accomplished this in the summer of 97 by naming Trajan as his adoptive son and successor, allegedly solely on Trajan's outstanding military merits.{{sfn|Bennett|2001|p=45–46}} There are hints, however, in contemporary literary sources that Trajan's adoption was imposed on Nerva. Pliny implied as much when he wrote that, although an emperor could not be coerced into doing something, if this were the way in which Trajan was raised to power, then it was worth it. If this was what actually occurred, Trajan would be a usurper, and the notion of a natural continuity between Nerva's and Trajan's reigns would be an ex post fiction developed later by historians such as Tacitus.Jason König, Tim Whitmarsh, eds., Ordering Knowledge in the Roman Empire. Cambridge University Press, 2007, {{ISBN|978-0-521-85969-1}}, page 180According to the Augustan History, it was the future Emperor Hadrian who brought word to Trajan of his adoption. Hadrian was then retained on the Rhine frontier by Trajan as a military tribune, becoming privy to the circle of friends and relations with which Trajan surrounded himself{{snds}}among them the then governor of Germania Inferior, the Spaniard Lucius Licinius Sura, who became Trajan's chief personal adviser and official friend.{{sfn|Grainger|2004|p=91 & 109}} As a token of his influence, Sura would later become consul for the third time in 107. Some ancient sources also tell about his having built a bath named after him on the Aventine Hill in Rome, or having this bath built by Trajan and then named after him, in either case a signal of honour as the only exception to the established rule that a public building in the capital could be dedicated only to a member of the imperial family.Garrett G. Fagan, Bathing in Public in the Roman World. University of Michigan Press, 2002, {{ISBN|0-472-08865-3}}, pages 113/114{{sfn|Veyne|1976|p=page 686-note 399}} These baths were later expanded by the third century emperor Decius as a means of stressing his link to Trajan.Stephen L. Dyson, Rome: A Living Portrait of an Ancient City. Baltimore: JHU Press,2010,{{ISBN|978-0-8018-9253-0}}, page 338 Sura is also described as telling Hadrian in 108 about his selection as imperial heir.Barbara M. Levick, Faustina I and II: Imperial Women of the Golden Age.Oxford University Press, 2014, {{ISBN|978-0-19-537941-9}}, page 42 According to a modern historian, Sura's role as kingmaker and éminence grise was deeply resented by some senators, especially the historian Tacitus, who acknowledged Sura's military and oratory virtues but at the same time resented his rapacity and devious ways, similar to those of Vespasian's éminence grise Licinius Mucianus.Eugen Cizek, "Tacite face à Trajan", available at weblink, pages 127/128. Retrieved July 20, 2014As governor of Lower Germany during Nerva's reign, Trajan received the impressive title of Germanicus for his skillful management and rule of the volatile Imperial province.Fritz Heichelheim, Cedric Veo, Allen Ward,(1984), The History of the Roman People, pp. 353, 354 Prentice-Hall, New Jersey When Nerva died on 27 January 98, Trajan succeeded to the role of emperor without any outward incident. However, the fact that he chose not to hasten towards Rome, but instead to make a lengthy tour of inspection on the Rhine and Danube frontiers, hints to the possible fact that his power position in Rome was unsure and that he had first to assure himself of the loyalty of the armies at the front. It is noteworthy that Trajan ordered Prefect Aelianus to attend him in Germany, where he was apparently executed ("put out of the way"),{{sfn|Grainger|2004|p=111}} with his post being taken by Attius Suburanus.{{sfn|Bennett|2001|p=52}} Trajan's accession, therefore, could qualify more as a successful coup than an orderly succession.{{sfn|Alston|2014|p=262}}

    Roman Emperor

    File:Büste des Kaisers Trajan.JPG|thumb|Bust of Trajan in 108{{nbsp}}AD, in the Museum of Art HistoryMuseum of Art HistoryOn his entry to Rome, Trajan granted the plebs a direct gift of money. The traditional donative to the troops, however, was reduced by half.{{sfn|Alston|2014|p=200 & 206}} There remained the issue of the strained relations between the emperor and the Senate, especially after the supposed bloodiness that had marked Domitian's reign and his dealings with the Curia. By feigning reluctance to hold power, Trajan was able to start building a consensus around him in the Senate.{{sfn|Rees|2012|p=198}} His belated ceremonial entry into Rome in 99 was notably understated, something on which Pliny the Younger elaborated.Peter V. Jones, Keith C. Sidwell, eds., The World of Rome: An Introduction to Roman Culture. Cambridge University Press, 1997, {{ISBN|0-521-38421-4}}, page 254 and 231By not openly supporting Domitian's preference for equestrian officers,{{sfn|Jones|2002|p=178}} Trajan appeared to conform to the idea (developed by Pliny) that an emperor derived his legitimacy from his adherence to traditional hierarchies and senatorial morals.Anastasia Serghidou, Fear of slaves, fear of enslavement in the ancient Mediterranean. Presses Univ. Franche-Comté, 2007, {{ISBN|978-2-84867-169-7}}, page 314 Therefore, he could point to the allegedly republican character of his rule.Sam Wilkinson, Republicanism during the Early Roman Empire. New York: Continuum, 2012, {{ISBN|978-1-4411-2052-6}}, page 131 In a speech at the inauguration of his third consulship, on 1{{nbsp}}January 100, Trajan exhorted the Senate to share the care-taking of the Empire with him{{snds}}an event later celebrated on a coin.{{sfn|Rees|2012|p=121}}{{sfn|Veyne|2005|p=402}} In reality, Trajan did not share power in any meaningful way with the Senate, something that Pliny admits candidly: "[E]verything depends on the whims of a single man who, on behalf of the common welfare, has taken upon himself all functions and all tasks".Letters III, 20, 12,{{sfn|Veyne|2005|p=38, footnote}} One of the most significant trends of his reign was his encroachment on the Senate's sphere of authority, such as his decision to make the senatorial provinces of Achaea and Bithynia into imperial ones in order to deal with the inordinate spending on public works by local magnatesKathleen Kuiper, ed., Ancient Rome: From Romulus and Remus to the Visigoth Invasion. New York: Rosen Publishing Group, 2010, {{ISBN|978-1-61530-207-9}}, page 128 and the general mismanagement of provincial affairs by various proconsuls appointed by the Senate.M.S. Gsell, "Étude sur le rôle politique du Sénat Romain à l'époque de Trajan", Mélanges d'archéologie et d'histoire, 1887, V.7.7, available at weblink. Accessed January 20, 2015In the formula developed by Pliny, however, Trajan was a "good" emperor in that, by himself, he approved or blamed the same things that the Senate would have approved or blamed.{{sfn|Veyne|2005|p=37}} If in reality Trajan was an autocrat, his deferential behavior towards his peers qualified him to be viewed as a virtuous monarch.Ryan K. Balot, ed., A Companion to Greek and Roman Political Thought.John Wiley & Sons, 2012, The whole idea was that Trajan wielded autocratic power through moderatio instead of contumacia{{snds}}moderation instead of insolence.Roger Rees, ed., Latin Panegyric, Oxford University Press, 2012, {{ISBN|978-0-19-957671-5}}, page 137 In short, according to the ethics for autocracy developed by most political writers of the Imperial Roman Age, Trajan was a good ruler in that he ruled less by fear, and more by acting as a role model, for, according to Pliny, "men learn better from examples".Carlos F. Noreña, "The Ethics of Autocracy in the Roman World". IN Ryan K. Balot, ed., A Companion to Greek and Roman Political Thought. Malden, MA: Blackwell, 2009, {{ISBN|978-1-4051-5143-6}}, page 277Eventually, Trajan's popularity among his peers was such that the Roman Senate bestowed upon him the honorific of optimus, meaning "the best",Bernard W. Henderson, "Five Roman Emperors" (1927).F. A. Lepper, "Trajan's Parthian War" (1948). which appears on coins from 105 on.Edward Togo Salmon,A History of the Roman World from 30 B.C. to A.D. 138. London: Routledge, 2004, {{ISBN|0-415-04504-5}}, page 274 This title had mostly to do with Trajan's role as benefactor, such as in the case of him returning confiscated property.Elizabeth Forbis, Municipal Virtues in the Roman Empire: The Evidence of Italian Honorary Inscriptions. Stuttgart: Teubner, 1996, {{ISBN|3-519-07628-4}}, pages 23/24That Trajan's ideal role was a conservative one becomes evident from Pliny's works as well as from the orations of Dio of Prusa{{snds}}in particular his four Orations on Kingship, composed early during Trajan's reign. Dio, as a Greek notable and intellectual with friends in high places, and possibly an official friend to the emperor (amicus caesaris), saw Trajan as a defender of the status quo.Christopher J. Fuhrmann, Policing the Roman Empire: Soldiers, Administration, and Public Order.Oxford University Press, 2012, {{ISBN|978-0-19-973784-0}}, page 175{{sfn|Veyne|2005|p=241}} In his third kingship oration, Dio describes an ideal king ruling by means of "friendship"{{snds}}that is, through patronage and a network of local notables who act as mediators between the ruled and the ruler.Joshua Rice, Paul and Patronage: The Dynamics of Power in 1 Corinthians. Eugene, OR: Wipf & Stock, 2013, {{ISBN|978-1-62032-557-5}}, pages 84 sqq. Dio's notion of being "friend" to Trajan (or any other Roman emperor), however, was that of an informal arrangement, that involved no formal entry of such "friends" into the Roman administration.Simon Swain, ed., Dio Chrysostom: Politics, Letters, and Philosophy. Oxford University Press, 2002, {{ISBN|0-19-925521-0}}, page 90

    The Correctores: Greek/Roman relations

    As a senatorial Emperor, Trajan was inclined to choose his local base of political support from among the members of the ruling urban oligarchies. In the West, that meant local senatorial families like his own. In the East, that meant the families of Greek notables. The Greeks, though, had their own memories of independence{{snds}}and a commonly acknowledged sense of cultural superiority{{snds}}and, instead of seeing themselves as Roman, disdained Roman rule.{{sfn|Veyne|2005|p=195–196}} What the Greek oligarchies wanted from Rome was, above all, to be left in peace, to be allowed to exert their right to self-government (i.e., to be excluded from the provincial government, as was Italy) and to concentrate on their local interests.{{sfn|Veyne|2005|p=229}} This was something the Romans were not disposed to do as from their perspective the Greek notables were shunning their responsibilities in regard to the management of Imperial affairs{{snds}}primarily in failing to keep the common people under control, thus creating the need for the Roman governor to intervene.{{sfn|Veyne|2005|p=229–230}}An excellent example of this Greek alienation was the personal role played by Dio of Prusa in his relationship with Trajan. Dio is described by Philostratus as Trajan's close friend, and Trajan as supposedly engaging publicly in conversations with Dio.Giovanni Salmeri, "Dio, Rome, and the Civic Life of Asia Minor" IN Simon Swain, ed., Dio Chrysostom: Politics, Letters, and Philosophy. Oxford U. Press, 2002, {{ISBN|0-19-925521-0}}, page 91 Nevertheless, as a Greek local magnate with a taste for costly building projects and pretensions of being an important political agent for Rome,Simon Goldhill, Being Greek Under Rome: Cultural Identity, the Second Sophistic and the Development of Empire. Cambridge University Press, 2007, {{ISBN|0-521-66317-2}}, page 293 Dio of Prusa was actually a target for one of Trajan's authoritarian innovations: the appointing of imperial correctores to audit the civic financesBradley Hudson McLean, An Introduction to Greek Epigraphy of the Hellenistic and Roman Periods from Alexander the Great Down to the Reign of Constantine (323 B.C.{{nsndns}}A.D. 337). University of Michigan Press, 2002, p.{{nbsp}}334 of the technically free Greek cities.A. G. Leventis, Hellenistic and Roman Sparta. London: Routledge, 2004, {{ISBN|0-203-48218-2}}, p.{{nbsp}}138 The main goal was to curb the overenthusiastic spending on public works that served to channel ancient rivalries between neighboring cities. As Pliny wrote to Trajan, this had as its most visible consequence a trail of unfinished or ill-kept public utilities.Pliny, Letters, 10.70.2Competition among Greek cities and their ruling oligarchies was mainly for marks of preeminence, especially for titles bestowed by the Roman emperor. Such titles were ordered in a ranking system that determined how the cities were to be outwardly treated by Rome.David S. Potter, ed. A Companion to the Roman Empire. Malden, MA: Wiley, 2010, {{ISBN|978-0-631-22644-4}}, p.{{nbsp}}246 The usual form that such rivalries took was that of grandiose building plans, giving the cities the opportunity to vie with each other over "extravagant, needless{{nbsp}}... structures that would make a show".Ramsey Macmullen, Enemies of the Roman Order. London, Routledge, 1992, {{ISBN|0-415-08621-3}}, page 185. A side effect of such extravagant spending was that junior and thus less wealthy members of the local oligarchies felt disinclined to present themselves to fill posts as local magistrates, positions that involved ever-increasing personal expense.Graham Anderson, Second Sophistic: A Cultural Phenomenon in the Roman Empire. London, Routledge, 2005, Google e-book, available at weblink. Retrieved December 15, 2014Roman authorities liked to play the Greek cities against one anotherPotter, 246{{snds}}something of which Dio of Prusa was fully aware:}}These same Roman authorities had also an interest in assuring the cities' solvency and therefore ready collection of Imperial taxes.Hildegard Temporini, Wolfgang Haase, eds., Politische Geschichte: Provinzen und Randvoelker – Griescher Balkanraum: Kleinasien. Berlin; de Gruyter, 1980, {{ISBN|3-11-008015-X}}, pp.{{nbsp}}668{{nsndns}}669 Last but not least, inordinate spending on civic buildings was not only a means to achieve local superiority, but also a means for the local Greek elites to maintain a separate cultural identity{{snds}}something expressed in the contemporary rise of the Second Sophistic; this "cultural patriotism" acted as a kind of substitute for the loss of political independence,Paul Veyne, "L'identité grecque devant Rome et l'empereur", Revue des Études Grecques, 1999, V.122-2, page 515. Available at weblink. Retrieved December 20, 2014 and as such was shunned by Roman authorities.Jesper Majbom Madsen, Roger David Rees, eds. Roman rule in Greek and Latin Writing: Double Vision. Leiden: Brill, 2014, {{ISBN|978-90-04-27738-0}}, p.{{nbsp}}36 As Trajan himself wrote to Pliny: "These poor Greeks all love a gymnasium{{nbsp}}... they will have to content with one that suits their real needs".Quoted by Hooper, Roman Realities, 429The first known corrector was charged with a commission "to deal with the situation of the free cities", as it was felt that the old method of ad hoc intervention by the Emperor and/or the proconsuls had not been enough to curb the pretensions of the Greek notables.JC Carrière ,"À propos de la Politique de Plutarque "{{snds}}Dialogues d'histoire ancienne, V.3, no.3, 1977. Available at weblink Retrieved December 13, 2014 It is noteworthy that an embassy from Dio's city of Prusa was not favorably received by Trajan,Fergus Millar, Rome, the Greek World, and the East: Government, society, and culture in the Roman Empire. Univ of North Carolina Press, 2004, {{ISBN|0-8078-2852-1}}, page 31 and that this had to do with Dio's chief objective, which was to elevate Prusa to the status of a free city, an "independent" city-state exempt from paying taxes to Rome.Jesper Majbom Madsen, Eager to be Roman: Greek Response to Roman Rule in Pontus and Bithynia. London: Bloombury, 2009, {{ISBN|978-0-7156-3753-1}}, page 116 Eventually, Dio gained for Prusa the right to become the head of the assize-district, conventus (meaning that Prusans did not have to travel to be judged by the Roman governor), but eleutheria (freedom, in the sense of full political autonomy) was denied.Simon Swain, ed., Dio Chrysostom: Politics, Letters, and Philosophy. Oxford University Press, 2002, {{ISBN|0-19-925521-0}}, p.{{nbsp}}68File:Ostia Museum 2013-03-08, Traianus.jpg|thumb|left|Statue of Trajan, Luna marble and Proconessian marble, 2nd century AD, from Ostia AnticaOstia AnticaEventually, it fell to Pliny, as imperial governor of Bithynia in 110{{nbsp}}AD, to deal with the consequences of the financial mess wrought by Dio and his fellow civic officials.Paraskevi Martzavou, Nikolaos Papazarkadas, eds., Epigraphical Approaches to the Post-Classical Polis: Fourth Century BC to Second Century AD . Oxford University Press, 2013, {{ISBN|978-0-19-965214-3}}, p.{{nbsp}}115 "It's well established that [the cities' finances] are in a state of disorder", Pliny once wrote to Trajan, plans for unnecessary works made in collusion with local contractors being identified as one of the main problems.Temporini & Haase, Politische Geschichte, 669 One of the compensatory measures proposed by Pliny expressed a thoroughly Roman conservative position: as the cities' financial solvency depended on the councilmen's purses, it was necessary to have more councilmen on the local city councils. According to Pliny, the best way to achieve this was to lower the minimum age for holding a seat on the council, making it possible for more sons of the established oligarchical families to join and thus contribute to civic spending; this was seen as preferable to enrolling non-noble wealthy upstarts.{{sfn|de Ste. Croix|1989|p=530}}Such an increase in the number of council members was granted to Dio's city of Prusa, to the dismay of existing councilmen who felt their status lowered.Jesper Majbom Madsen, Eager to be Roman, 117 A similar situation existed in Claudiopolis, where a public bath was built with the proceeds from the entrance fees paid by "supernumerary" members of the Council, enrolled with Trajan's permission.Sviatoslav Dmitriev, City Government in Hellenistic and Roman Asia Minor. Oxford University Press, 2005, {{ISBN|978-0-19-517042-9}}, page 155 Also, according to the Digest, it was decreed by Trajan that when a city magistrate promised to achieve a particular public building, it was incumbent on his heirs to complete the building.Fergus Millar, Rome, the Greek World, and the East: Government, society, and culture in the Roman Empire. University of North Carolina Press, 2004, {{ISBN|0-8078-5520-0}}, pages 37/38Trajan ingratiated himself with the Greek intellectual elite by recalling to Rome many (including Dio) who had been exiled by Domitian,Yun Lee Too, Niall Livingstone, eds. Pedagogy and Power: Rhetorics of Classical Learning.Cambridge University Press, 2007, {{ISBN|978-0-521-59435-6}}, p.{{nbsp}}202; Leonard L. Thompson, The Book of Revelation, Oxford University Press, 1997, {{ISBN|0-19-511580-5}}, p.{{nbsp}}112. and by returning (in a process begun by Nerva) a great deal of private property that Domitian had confiscated. He also had good dealings with Plutarch, who, as a notable of Delphi, seems to have been favored by the decisions taken on behalf of his home-place by one of Trajan's legates, who had arbitrated a boundary dispute between Delphi and its neighboring cities.Lukas De Blois, ed., The Statesman in Plutarch's Works: Proceedings of the Sixth International Congerence of the International Plutarch Society Nijmegen/Castle Hernen, May 1–5, 2002. Leiden: Brill, 2004, {{ISBN|90-04-13795-5}}, page 28. However, it was clear to Trajan that Greek intellectuals and notables were to be regarded as tools for local administration, and not be allowed to fancy themselves in a privileged position.Giuseppe Zecchini, "Plutarch as Political Theorist and Trajan" in Philip A. Stadter, L.{{nbsp}}Van der Stockt, eds.,Sage and Emperor: Plutarch, Greek Intellectuals, and Roman Power in the Time of Trajan (98–117 A.D.). Leuven University Press, 2002, {{ISBN|90-5867-239-5}}, page 196 As Pliny said in one of his letters at the time, it was official policy that Greek civic elites be treated according to their status as notionally free but not put on an equal footing with their Roman rulers.Benjamin Isaac, The Invention of Racism in Classical Antiquity. Princeton University Press, 2013, {{ISBN|0-691-11691-1}}, page 399 When the city of Apamea complained of an audit of its accounts by Pliny, alleging its "free" status as a Roman colony, Trajan replied by writing that it was by his own wish that such inspections had been ordered. Concern about independent local political activity is seen in Trajan's decision to forbid Nicomedia from having a corps of firemen ("If people assemble for a common purpose{{nbsp}}... they soon turn it into a political society", Trajan wrote to Pliny) as well as in his and Pliny's fears about excessive civic generosities by local notables such as distribution of money or gifts.Benjamin Isaac, 487; Albino Garzetti, From Tiberius to the Antonines, 348 For the same reason, judging from Pliny's letters it can also be assumed that Trajan and his aides were as much bored as they were alarmed by the claims of Dio and other Greek notables to political influence based on what they saw as their "special connection" to their Roman overlords.{{sfn|Veyne|2005|p=240}} A revealing case-history, told by Pliny, tells of Dio of Prusa placing a statue of Trajan in a building complex where Dio's wife and son were buried - therefore incurring a charge of treason for placing the Emperor's statue near a grave. Trajan, however, dropped the charge.Simon Swain, Hellenism and Empire: Language, Classicism, and Power in the Greek World, AD 50-250. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1996, {{ISBN|0-19-814772-4}}, page 237Nevertheless, while the office of corrector was intended as a tool to curb any hint of independent political activity among local notables in the Greek cities,Thérèse Renoirte (Sœur), Les "Conseils politiques" de Plutarque. Une lettre ouverte aux Grecs à l'époque de Trajan. Review by Robert Flacelière, L'antiquité classique, 1952, available at weblink . Retrieved December 12, 2014 the correctores themselves were all men of the highest social standing entrusted with an exceptional commission. The post seems to have been conceived partly as a reward for senators who had chosen to make a career solely on the Emperor's behalf. Therefore, in reality the post was conceived as a means for "taming" both Greek notables and Roman senators.E. Guerber, "Les correctores dans la partie hellénophone de l'empire Romain du règne de Trajan à l'avènement de Dioclétien : étude prosopographique" Anatolia Antiqua, V.5, no. 5, 1997; available at weblink. Retrieved December 12, 2014 It must be added that, although Trajan was wary of the civic oligarchies in the Greek cities, he also admitted into the Senate a number of prominent Eastern notables already slated for promotion during Domitian's reign by reserving for them one of the twenty posts open each year for minor magistrates (the vigintiviri).Brian Jones, The Emperor Domitian, Routledge, 2002, {{ISBN|0-203-03625-5}}, p.{{nbsp}}171 Such must be the case of the Galatian notable and "leading member of the Greek community" (according to one inscription) Gaius Julius Severus, who was a descendant of several Hellenistic dynasts and client kings.Brian Jones, The Emperor Domitian, 172; Petit, Pax Romana, 52; Martin Goodman, The Roman World 44 BC–AD 180. Abingdon: Routledge, 2013, {{ISBN|978-0-415-55978-2}}, page 120 Severus was the grandfather of the prominent general Gaius Julius Quadratus Bassus, consul in 105.Pergamum inscription (Smallwood NH 214), reproduced in Brian Campbell, The Roman Army, 31 BC – AD 337: A Sourcebook. London: Routledge, 2006, {{ISBN|0-415-07172-0}}, page 63 Other prominent Eastern senators included Gaius Julius Alexander Berenicianus, a descendant of Herod the Great, suffect consul in 116.Junghwa Choi, Jewish Leadership in Roman Palestine from 70 C.E. to 135 C.E. . Leiden: Brill, 2013, {{ISBN|978-90-04-24516-7}}, page 162 Trajan created at least fourteen new senators from the Greek-speaking half of the Empire, an unprecedented recruitment number that opens to question the issue of the "traditionally Roman" character of his reign, as well as the "Hellenism" of his successor Hadrian.Pierre Lambrechts, "Trajan et le récrutement du Sénat", L'antiquité classique, 1936, 5-1, pages 105–114. Available at weblink. Retrieved January 4, 2015 But then Trajan's new Eastern senators were mostly very powerful and very wealthy men with more than local influenceStanley E. Hoffer, The Anxieties of Pliny, the Younger. Oxford University Press, 1999, {{ISBN|0-7885-0565-3}}, page 121 and much interconnected by marriage, so that many of them were not altogether "new" to the Senate.{{sfn|de Ste. Croix|1989|p=119}} On the local level, among the lower section of the Eastern propertied,{{sfn|de Ste. Croix|1989|p=466}} the alienation of most Greek notables and intellectuals towards Roman rule, and the fact that the Romans were seen by most such Greek notables as aliens, persisted well after Trajan's reign.Hildegard Temporini, ed., Aufstieg und Niedergang der Römischen Welt: Geschichte und Kultur Roms im Spiegel der Neueren Forschung. Principat, Part 2, Volume 2 .Leiden: De Gruyter, 1975, {{ISBN|3-11-004971-6}}, pages 367/368 One of Trajan's senatorial creations from the East, the Athenian Gaius Julius Antiochus Epiphanes Philopappos, a member of the Royal House of Commagene, left behind him a funeral monument on the Mouseion Hill that was later disparagingly described by Pausanias as "a monument built to a Syrian man".K. W. Arafat, Pausanias' Greece: Ancient Artists and Roman Rulers. Cambridge University Press, 2004, {{ISBN|0-521-55340-7}}, page 192

    Conquest of Dacia

    File:Trajan's Column Panorama.jpeg|thumb|upright|Trajan's ColumnTrajan's ColumnTrajan is known particularly for his conquests in the Near East, but initially for the two wars against Dacia{{snds}}the reduction to client kingdom (101{{ndash}}102), followed by actual incorporation into the Empire of the trans-Danube border group of Dacia{{snds}}an area that had troubled Roman thought for over a decade with the unstable peace negotiated by Domitian's ministers with the powerful Dacian king Decebalus.WEB, July 21, 2007,weblink De Imperatoribus Romanis, An Online Encyclopedia of Roman Emperors, Battle of Sarmizegetusa (Sarmizegetuza), A.D. 105. During Trajan's reign one of the most important Roman successes was the victory over the Dacians. The first important confrontation between the Romans and the Dacians had taken place in the year 87 and was initiated by Domitian. The praetorian prefect Cornelius Fuscus led five or six legions across the Danube on a bridge of ships and advanced towards Banat (in Romania). The Romans were surprised by a Dacian attack at Tapae (near the village of Bucova, in Romania). Legion V Alaude was crushed and Cornelius Fuscus was killed. The victorious Dacian general was called Decebalus (the brave one)., According to the provisions of this treaty, Decebalus was acknowledged as rex amicus, that is, client king; nevertheless, in exchange for accepting client status, he received a generous stipend from Rome, as well as being supplied with technical experts.{{sfn|Schmitz|2005|p=9}} The treaty seems to have allowed Roman troops the right of passage through the Dacian kingdom in order to attack the Marcomanni, Quadi and Sarmatians. However, senatorial opinion never forgave Domitian for paying what was seen as "tribute" to a Barbarian king.Marcel Emerit. "Les derniers travaux des historiens roumains sur la Dacie". In: Revue des Études Anciennes. Tome 41, 1939, n°1. pp. 57–64. available at weblink. Retrieved February 23, 2016 In addition, unlike the Germanic tribes, the Dacian kingdom was an organized state capable of developing alliances of its own,{{sfn|Luttwak|1979|p=100}} thus making it a strategic threat and giving Trajan a strong motive to attack it.{{sfn|Schmitz|2005|p=13}}In May of 101, Trajan launched his first campaign into the Dacian kingdom,WEB,weblink De Imperatoribus Romanis, An Online Encyclopedia of Roman Emperors, November 8, 2007, Because the Dacians represented an obstacle against Roman expansion in the east, in the year 101 the emperor Trajan decided to begin a new campaign against them. The first war began on 25 March 101 and the Roman troops, consisting of four principal legions (X Gemina, XI Claudia, II Traiana Fortis, and XXX Ulpia Victrix), defeated the Dacians., crossing to the northern bank of the Danube and defeating the Dacian army at Tapae (see Second Battle of Tapae), near the Iron Gates of Transylvania. It was not a decisive victory, however.{{sfn|Le Roux|1998|p=73}} Trajan's troops were mauled in the encounter, and he put off further campaigning for the year in order to regroup and reinforce his army.WEB, Battle of Sarmizegetusa (Sarmizegetuza), A.D. 105: De Imperatoribus Romanis,weblink An Online Encyclopedia of Roman Emperors, November 8, 2007, Although the Dacians had been defeated, the emperor postponed the final siege for the conquering of Sarmizegetuza because his armies needed reorganization. Trajan imposed on the Dacians very hard peace conditions: Decebalus had to renounce claim to part of his kingdom, including the Banat, Tara Hategului, Oltenia, and Muntenia in the area south-west of Transylvania. He had also to surrender all the Roman deserters and all his war machines. At Rome, Trajan was received as a winner and he took the name of Dacicus, a title that appears on his coinage of this period. At the beginning of the year 103 A.D., there were minted coins with the inscription: IMP NERVA TRAIANVS AVG GER DACICVS., The following winter, King Decebalus took the initiative by launching a counter-attack across the Danube further downstream, supported by Sarmatian cavalry,José Maria Blázquez, Las res gestae de Trajano militar: las guerras dácicas. Aquila Legionis, 6 (2005) 19 forcing Trajan to come to the aid of the troops in his rearguard. The Dacians and their allies were repulsed after two battles in Moesia, at Nicopolis ad Istrum and Adamclisi.Ioan Glodariu, LA ZONE DE SARMIZEGETUSA REGIA ET LES GUERRES DE TRAJAN. Studia Antiqua et Archaeologica, VII, Iasi, 2000. Available at VII, Iasi,2000).pdf.Retrieved July 2, 2014 Trajan's army then advanced further into Dacian territory, and, a year later, forced Decebalus to submit. He had to renounce claim to some regions of his kingdom, return all Roman runaways (most of them technical experts), and surrender all his war machines.{{sfn|Bennett|2001|p=94–95}} Trajan returned to Rome in triumph and was granted the title Dacicus.{{sfn|Bennett|2001|p=96}}The peace of 102 had returned Decebalus to the condition of more or less harmless client king; however, he soon began to rearm, to again harbor Roman runaways, and to pressure his Western neighbors, the Iazyges Sarmatians, into allying themselves with him. By trying to develop an anti-Roman bloc, Decebalus eventually left Trajan without the alternative of treating Dacia as a protectorate, rather than an outright conquest.Christol & Nony, 171 In 104 Decebalus devised a failed attempt on Trajan's life by means of some Roman deserters, and held prisoner Trajan's legate Longinus, who eventually poisoned himself while in custody. Finally, in 105, Decebalus undertook an invasion of Roman-occupied territory north of the Danube.{{sfn|Dando-Collins|2012|p=not numbered}}WEB, Battle of Sarmizegetusa (Sarmizegetuza), A.D. 105: De Imperatoribus Romanis,weblink An Online Encyclopedia of Roman Emperors, November 8, 2007, However, during the years 103–105, Decebalus did not respect the peace conditions imposed by Trajan and the emperor then decided to destroy completely the Dacian kingdom and to conquer Sarmizegetuza., Prior to the campaign, Trajan had raised two entirely new legions: II Traiana{{snds}}which, however, may have been posted in the East, at the Syrian port of Laodicea{{snds}}and XXX Ulpia Victrix, which was posted to Brigetio, in Pannonia.{{sfn|Dando-Collins|2012|p=not numbered}}In the absence of literary references, however, the positioning of the new legions is conjectural: some scholars think that Legio II Traiana Fortis was originally stationed on the Lower Danube and participated in the Second Dacian War, being only later deployed to the East:cf. Ritterling, E., 1925. RE XII. Col. 1485. Syme, R., 1971. Danubian Papers, Bucharest. Page 106. Strobel, K., 1984. "Untersuchungen zu den Dakerkriegen Trajans. Studien zur Geschichte des mittleren und unteren Donauraumes in der Hohen Kaiserzeit", Antiquitas I 33. Bonn. Page 98. Strobel, K., 2010. Kaiser Traian. Eine Epoche der Weltgeschichte, Verlag Friedrich Pustet. Regensburg. Page 254–255, 265, 299, 364. Urloiu, R-L., AGAIN ON LEGIO II TRAIANA FORTIS,. History and Civilization. EUBSR 2013 International Conference, Volume 2. By 105, the concentration of Roman troops assembled in the middle and lower Danube amounted to fourteen legions (up from nine in 101){{snds}}about half of the entire Roman army.{{sfn|Mattern|1999|p=93}} Even after the Dacian wars, the Danube frontier would permanently replace the Rhine as the main military axis of the Roman Empire.{{sfn|Le Roux|1998|p=74}} Including auxiliaries, the number of Roman troops engaged on both campaigns was between 150,000 and 175,000, while Decebalus could dispose of up to 200,000.{{sfn|Le Roux|1998|p=73}}Following the design of Apollodorus of Damascus, Trajan ordered the building of a massive bridge over the Danube, over which the Roman army was able to cross the river swiftly and in numbers, as well as to send in reinforcements, even in winter when the river was not frozen enough to bear the passage of a party of soldiers.N. J. E. Austin & N. B. Rankov, Exploratio: Military & Political Intelligence in the Roman World from the Second Punic War to the Battle of Adrianople. London: Routledge, 2002, page 177 Trajan also reformed the infrastructure of the Iron Gates region of the Danube. He commissioned either the creation or enlargement of the road along the Iron Gates, carved into the side of the gorge.Wiseman, James 1997 "Beyond the Danube's Iron Gates." Archaeology 50(2): 24–9. Additionally, Trajan commissioned a canal to be built around the rapids of the Iron Gates. Evidence of this comes from a marble slab discovered near Caput Bovis, the site of a Roman fort. The slab, dated to the year 101, commemorates the building of at least one canal that went from the Kasajna tributary to at least Ducis Pratum, whose embankments were still visible until recently. However, the placement of the slab at Caput Bovis suggests that the canal extended to this point or that there was a second canal downriver of the Kasajna-Ducis Pratum one.Šašel, Jaroslav. 1973 "Trajan's Canal at the Iron Gate." The Journal of Roman Studies. 63:80–85.File:CVT APX Amphitheater Traiansstatue.jpg|thumb|left|Statue of Trajan, posing in military garb, in front of the Amphitheater of Colonia Ulpia Traiana in the Xanten Archaeological ParkXanten Archaeological ParkThese costly projects completed,Their military function fulfilled, most of them fell into disrepair or were wrecked on purpose after Trajan's reign: cf. Alan Bowman, Peter Garnsey, Averil Cameron, eds., The Cambridge Ancient History: Volume 12, The Crisis of Empire, AD 193–337,2005, {{ISBN|0-521-30199-8}}, page 238 in 105 Trajan again took to the field. In a fierce campaign which seems to have consisted mostly of static warfare, the Dacians, devoid of maneuvering room, kept to their network of fortresses, which the Romans sought systematically to storm{{sfn|Găzdac|2010|p=49}} (see also Second Dacian War). The Romans gradually tightened their grip around Decebalus' stronghold in Sarmizegetusa Regia,{{sfn|Le Roux|1998|p=74}} which they finally took and destroyed. Decebalus fled, but, when cornered by Roman cavalry, committed suicide. His severed head, brought to Trajan by the cavalryman Tiberius Claudius Maximus,Anton J. L. van Hooff, From Autothanasia to Suicide: Self-killing in Classical Antiquity. London: Routledge, 2002, {{ISBN|0-415-04055-8}}, page 277, note 41 was later exhibited in Rome on the steps leading up to the Capitol and thrown on the Gemonian stairs.Harriet I. Flower, The Art of Forgetting: Disgrace & Oblivion in Roman Political Culture.University of North Carolina Press, 2006, {{ISBN|978-0-8078-3063-5}}, page 253Trajan built a new city, Colonia Ulpia Traiana Augusta Dacica Sarmizegetusa, on another site (north of the hill citadel holding the previous Dacian capital),Martin Goodman, The Roman World 44 BC–AD 180, 253 although bearing the same full name, Sarmizegetusa. This capital city was conceived as a purely civilian administrative center and was provided the usual Romanized administrative apparatus (decurions, aediles, etc.).Jennifer Trimble, Women and Visual Replication in Roman Imperial Art and Culture. Cambridge U. Press, 2011, {{ISBN|978-0-521-82515-3}}, page 288 Urban life in Roman Dacia seems to have been restricted to Roman colonists, mostly military veterans;Ioana A. Oltean, Dacia: Landscape, Colonization and Romanization. Abingdon: Routledge, 2007, {{ISBN|0-203-94583-2}}, page 222 there is no extant evidence for the existence in the province of peregrine cities. Native Dacians continued to live in scattered rural settlements, according to their own ways.{{sfn|Le Roux|1998|p=268}} In another arrangement with no parallels in any other Roman province, the existing quasi-urban Dacian settlements disappeared after the Roman conquest.Carbó García, Juan Ramón. " Dacia Capta: particularidades de un proceso de conquista y romanización." Habis, 41, 275-292 (2010). A number of unorganized urban settlements (vici) developed around military encampments in Dacia proper - the most important being Apulum - but were only acknowledged as cities proper well after Trajan's reign.Meléndez, Javier Bermejo, Santiago Robles Esparcia, and Juan M. Campos Carrasco. "Trajano fundador. El último impulso colonizador del imperio." Onoba. Revista de Arqueología y Antigüedad 1 (2013).The main regional effort of urbanization was concentrated by Trajan at the rearguard, in Moesia, where he created the new cities of Nicopolis ad Istrum and Marcianopolis. A vicus was also created around the Tropaeum Traianum.{{sfn|Sartre|1994|p=269}} The garrison city of Oescus received the status of Roman colony after its legionary garrison was redeployed.{{sfn|Sartre|1994|p=269}} The fact that these former Danubian outposts had ceased to be frontier bases and were now in the deep rear acted as an inducement to their urbanization and development.{{sfn|Luttwak|1979|p=101 & 104}}Not all of Dacia was permanently occupied. What was permanently included in the province, after the post-Trajanic evacuation of some land across the lower Danube,{{sfn|Luttwak|1979|p=101}} were the lands extending from the Danube to the inner arch of the Carpathian Mountains, including Transylvania, the Metaliferi Mountains and Oltenia. The Roman province eventually took the form of an "excrescence" North of the Danube, with ill-defined limits, stretching from the Danube northwards to the Carpathians,{{sfn|Le Roux|1998|p=74}} and was intended perhaps as a basis for further expansion in Eastern Europe{{snds}}which the Romans conceived to be much more "flattened", and closer to the ocean, than it actually was.{{sfn|Mattern|1999|p=61}} Defense of the province was entrusted to a single legion, the XIII Gemina, stationed at Apulum, which functioned as an advanced guard that could, in case of need, strike either west or east at the Sarmatians living at the borders.{{sfn|Luttwak|1979|p=101 & 104}} Therefore, the indefensible character of the province did not appear to be a problem for Trajan, as the province was conceived more as a sally-base for further attacks.Frank Vermeulen, Kathy Sas, Wouter Dhaeze, eds. Archaeology in Confrontation: Aspects of Roman Military Presence in the Northwest : Studies in Honour of Prof. Em. Hugo Thoen. Ghent: Academia Press, 2004, {{ISBN|90-382-0578-3}}, page 218 Even in the absence of further Roman expansion, the value of the province depended on Roman overall strength: while Rome was strong, the Dacian salient was an instrument of military and diplomatic control over the Danubian lands; when Rome was weak, as during the Crisis of the Third Century, the province became a liability and was eventually abandoned.{{sfn|Luttwak|1979|p=104}}Trajan resettled Dacia with Romans and annexed it as a province of the Roman Empire. Aside from their enormous booty (over half a million slaves, according to John Lydus),Moses I. Finley, ed., Classical Slavery, London: Routledge, 2014, {{ISBN|0-7146-3320-8}}, page 122 Trajan's Dacian campaigns benefited the Empire's finances through the acquisition of Dacia's gold mines, managed by an imperial procurator of equestrian rank (procurator aurariarum).{{sfn|Le Roux|1998|p=241}} On the other hand, commercial agricultural exploitation on the villa model, based on the centralized management of a huge landed estate by a single owner (fundus) was poorly developed.{{sfn|Le Roux|1998|p=202 & 242}} Therefore, use of slave labor in the province itself seems to have been relatively undeveloped, and epigraphic evidence points to work in the gold mines being conducted by means of labor contracts (locatio conductio rei) and seasonal wage-earning.Steven A. Epstein, Wage Labor and Guilds in Medieval Europe. UNC Press, 1991, {{ISBN|0-8078-1939-5}}, page 26; Paul du Plessis, Studying Roman Law. Bloomsbury Publishing, 2014, page 82 The victory was commemorated by the construction both of the 102 cenotaph generally known as the Tropaeum Traiani in Moesia, as well of the much later (113) Trajan's Column in Rome, the latter depicting in stone carved bas-reliefs the Dacian Wars' most important moments.{{sfn|Bennett|2001|p=102 & 90}}

    Annexation of Nabataea

    In 106, Rabbel II Soter, one of Rome's client kings, died. This event might have prompted the annexation of the Nabataean kingdom, but the manner and the formal reasons for the annexation are unclear. Some epigraphic evidence suggests a military operation, with forces from Syria and Egypt. What is known is that by 107, Roman legions were stationed in the area around Petra and Bostra, as is shown by a papyrus found in Egypt. The furthest south the Romans occupied (or, better, garrisoned, adopting a policy of having garrisons at key points in the desert){{sfn|Sartre|1994|p=46}} was Hegra, over {{convert|300|km|mi}} south-west of Petra.{{sfn|Bennett|2001|p=177}} The empire gained what became the province of Arabia Petraea (modern southern Jordan and north west Saudi Arabia).{{sfn|Bennett|2001|p=172–182}} As Nabataea was the last client kingdom in Asia west of the Euphrates, the annexation meant that the entire Roman East had been provincialized, completing a trend towards direct rule that had begun under the Flavians.{{sfn|Sartre|1994|p=46}}

    Period of peace: public buildings and festivities

    File:RC174-Tabula Traiana.JPG|thumb|Tabula Traiana near Trajan's Bridge in Đerdap National Park, SerbiaSerbiaFor the next seven years, Trajan ruled as a civilian emperor, to the same acclaim as before. It was during this time that he corresponded with Pliny the Younger on the subject of how to deal with the Christians of Pontus, telling Pliny to continue to persecute Christians but not to accept anonymous denunciations in the interests of justice as well as of "the spirit of the age". Non-citizens who admitted to being Christians and refused to recant, however, were to be executed "for obstinacy". Citizens were sent to Rome for trial.Stephen Benko, Pagan Rome and the Early Christians. Bloomington: Indiana U. Press, 1986, {{ISBN|0-253-20385-6}}, pages 6/7Trajan built several new buildings, monuments and roads in Italia and his native Hispania. His magnificent complex in Rome raised to commemorate his victories in Dacia (and largely financed from that campaign's loot){{snds}}consisting of a forum, Trajan's Column, and Trajan's Market, still stands in Rome today. He was also a prolific builder of triumphal arches, many of which survive, and a builder of roads such as the Via Traiana - the extension of the Via Appia from Beneventum to BrundisiumMartin Klonnek,Chronologie des Römischen Reiches 2: 2. Jh. - Jahr 100 bis 199. Berlin: epubli, 2014, {{ISBN|978-3-7375-0702-8}}, page 109 - and Via Traiana Nova, a mostly military road between Damascus and Aila, whose building was connected to the founding of the province of Arabia (see see annexation of Nabataea) .Dikla Rivlin Katz, Noah Hacham, Geoffrey Herman, Lilach Sagiv, A Question of Identity: Social, Political, and Historical Aspects of Identity Dynamics in Jewish and Other Contexts.Berlin: Walter de Griyter, 2019 {{ISBN|978-3-11-061248-6}}, page 304One of Trajan's notable acts during this period was the hosting of a three-month gladiatorial festival in the great Colosseum in Rome (the precise date is unknown). Combining chariot racing, beast fights and close-quarters gladiatorial bloodshed, this gory spectacle reputedly left 11,000 dead (mostly slaves and criminals, not to mention the thousands of ferocious beasts killed alongside them) and attracted a total of five million spectators over the course of the festival. The care bestowed by Trajan on the managing of such public spectacles led the orator Fronto to state approvingly that Trajan had paid equal attention to entertainments as well as to serious issues. Fronto concluded that "neglect of serious matters can cause greater damage, but neglect of amusements greater discontent".Quoted by Andrea Giardina, ed. The Romans. University of Chicago Press, 1993, {{ISBN|0-226-29049-2}}, page 272 As Fronto added, amusements were a means to assure the general acquiescence of the populace, while the more "serious" issue of the corn dole aimed ultimately only at individuals.Z. Yavetz, "The Urban Plebs in the Days of the Flavians, Nerva and Trajan". IN Opposition et Resistances a L'empire D'auguste a Trajan. Geneva: Droz, 1987, {{ISBN|978-2-600-04425-7}}, page 181

    Devaluation of the currency

    In 107 Trajan devalued the Roman currency. He decreased the silver purity of the denarius from 93.5% to 89%{{snds}}the actual silver weight dropping from 3.04{{nbsp}}grams to 2.88{{nbsp}}grams.WEB,weblink Tulane University "Roman Currency of the Principate",, December 5, 2011, This devaluation, coupled with the massive amount of gold and silver carried off after Trajan's Dacian Wars, allowed the emperor to mint a larger quantity of denarii than his predecessors. Also, Trajan withdrew from circulation silver denarii minted before the previous devaluation achieved by Nero, something that allows for thinking that Trajan's devaluation had to do with political ends, such as allowing for increased civil and military spending.{{sfn|Petit|1976|p=188}}

    The alimenta

    Another important act was his formalisation of the alimenta, a welfare program that helped orphans and poor children throughout Italy. It provided general funds, as well as food and subsidized education. The program was supported initially out of Dacian War booty, and then later by a combination of estate taxes and philanthropy.WEB,weblink Alimenta,, April 25, 2014, dead,weblink" title="">weblink February 10, 2014, In general terms, the scheme functioned by means of mortgages on Italian farms (fundi), through which registered landowners received a lump sum from the imperial treasure, being in return expected to pay yearly a given proportion of the loan to the maintenance of an alimentary fund.John Rich, Andrew Wallace-Hadrill, eds., City and Country in the Ancient World. London: Routledge, 2003, {{ISBN|0-203-41870-0}}, page 158Although the system is well documented in literary sources and contemporary epigraphy, its precise aims are controversial and have generated considerable dispute among modern scholars, especially about its actual aims and scope as a piece of welfare policy. It is usually assumed that the program was intended to bolster citizen numbers in Italy, following the provisions of Augustus' moral legislation (Lex Julia) favoring procreation on moral grounds{{snds}}something openly acknowledged by Pliny.Judith Evans Grubbs, Tim Parkin, eds., The Oxford Handbook of Childhood and Education in the Classical World, Oxford University Press, 2014, {{ISBN|978-0-19-978154-6}}, page 344 Nevertheless, this reproductive aim was anachronistic, based as it was on a view of the Roman Empire as centered on Rome and Italy, with a purely Italian manpower base, both increasingly no longer the case.{{sfn|Veyne|1976|p=654}} This outdated stance was confirmed by Pliny when he wrote that the recipients of the alimenta were supposed to people "the barracks and the tribes" as future soldiers and electors{{snd}}two roles ill-fitted to the contemporary reality of an empire stretching across the entire Mediterranean and ruled by an autocrat.{{sfn|Veyne|1976|p=769}} The fact that the scheme was restricted to Italy suggests that it might have been conceived as a form of political privilege accorded to the original heartland of the empire.José María Blanch Nougués, Régimen jurídico de las fundaciones en derecho romano. Madrid: Dykinson, 2007, {{ISBN|978-84-9772-985-7}}, page 151 According to the French historian Paul Petit, the alimenta should be seen as part of a set of measures aimed towards the economic recovery of Italy.{{sfn|Petit|1976|p=76}} Finley thinks that the scheme's chief aim was the artificial bolstering of the political weight of Italy, as seen, for example, in the stricture{{snd}}heartily praised by Pliny{{snd}}laid down by Trajan that ordered all senators, even when from the provinces, to have at least a third of their landed estates in Italian territory, as it was "unseemly [...] that [they] should treat Rome and Italy not as their native land, but as a mere inn or lodging house".{{sfn|Finley|1999|p=119}}"Interesting and unique" as the scheme was, it remained small.{{sfn|Finley|1999|p=40}} The fact that it was subsidized by means of interest payments on loans made by landowners{{snds}}mostly large ones, assumed to be more reliable debtorsRichard Duncan-Jones, The Economy of the Roman Empire: Quantitative Studies. Cambridge University Press: 1982, {{ISBN|0-521-24970-8}}, page 297{{snds}}actually benefited a very low percentage of potential welfare recipients (Paul Veyne has assumed that, in the city of Veleia, only one child out of ten was an actual beneficiary){{snds}}thus the idea, put forth by Moses I. Finley, that the grandiose aims amounted to at most a form of random charity, an additional imperial benevolence.{{sfn|Finley|1999|p=201–203}} Reliance solely on loans to great landowners (in Veleia, only some 17{{nbsp}}square kilometers were mortgaged)Luuk de Ligt, S.{{nbsp}}J. Northwood, eds., People, Land, and Politics: Demographic Developments and the Transformation of Roman Italy 300 BC{{ndash}}AD 14, Leiden: Brill, 2008, {{ISBN|978-90-04-17118-3}}, page 95 restricted funding sources even further. It seems that the mortgage scheme was simply a way of making local notables participate, albeit in a lesser role, in imperial benevolence.Julián González, ed. Trajano Emperador De Roma: Atti Del Congresso. Siviglia 1998, 14–17 Settembre. Rome : L'ERMA di BRETSCHNEIDER, 2000, {{ISBN|88-8265-111-8}}, page 297 It is possible that the scheme was, to some extent, a forced loan, something that tied unwilling landowners to the imperial treasure in order to make them supply some funds to civic expenses.Susan R. Holman, The Hungry Are Dying : Beggars and Bishops in Roman Cappadocia. Oxford University Press, 2001, {{ISBN|0-19-513912-7}}, page 117 The same notion of exploiting private{{snds}}and supposedly more efficient{{snds}}management of a landed estate as a means to obtain public revenue was also employed by other similar and lesser schemes. The senator Pliny had endowed his city of Comum a perpetual right to an annual charge (vectigal) of thirty thousand sestertii on one of his estates in perpetuity even after his death (Pliny's heirs or any subsequent purchaser of the estate being liable), with the rent thus obtained contributing to the maintenance of Pliny's semi-private charitable foundation.Duncan-Jones, 298/299 With such a scheme, Pliny probably hoped to engender enthusiasm among fellow landowners for such philanthropic ventures. Trajan did likewise, but since "willingness is a slippery commodity", Finley suspects that, in order to ensure Italian landowners' acceptance of the burden of borrowing from the alimenta fund, some "moral" pressure was exerted.{{sfn|Finley|1999|p=203}}In short, the scheme was so limited in scope that it could not have fulfilled a coherent economic or demographic purpose{{snds}}it was the usual Ancient charity, directed, not towards the poor, but to the community (in this case, the Italian cities) as a whole.{{sfn|Finley|1999|p=39}} The fact that the alimenta was begun during and after the Dacian Wars and twice came on the heels of a distribution of money to the population of Rome (congiaria) following Dacian triumphs, points towards a purely charitable motive.Suzanne Dixon, ed., Childhood, Class and Kin in the Roman World. London: Routledge, 2005, {{ISBN|0-415-23578-2}}, page 26 The fact that the alimenta was restricted to Italy highlights the ideology behind it: to reaffirm the notion of the Roman Empire as an Italian overlordship.{{sfn|Veyne|1976|p=654}} Given its limited scope, the plan was, nevertheless, very successful in that it lasted for a century and a half: the last known official in charge of it is attested during the reign of Aurelian.Pat Southern, The Roman Empire from Severus to Constantine. London: Routledge, 2015, {{ISBN|978-0-415-73807-1}}, page 181

    War against Parthia

    File:Trajan RIC 325 - 650918.jpg|thumb|300px|(Aureus]] issued by Trajan to celebrate the conquest of Parthia. Inscription: IMP. CAES. NER. TRAIAN. OPTIM. AVG. GER. DAC. PARTHICO / P. M., TR. P., CO[N]S. VI, P. P., S.P.Q.R. - PARTHIA CAPTA)(File:Roman Empire Trajan 117AD.png|thumb|The extent of the Roman Empire under Trajan (117)Bennett, J. Trajan: Optimus Princeps. 1997. Fig. 1)(File:Asia Minor in the 2nd century AD - general map - Roman provinces under Trajan - bleached - English legend.jpg|thumb|Anatolia, western Caucasus and northern Levant under Trajan)In 113, Trajan embarked on his last campaign, provoked by Parthia's decision to put an unacceptable king on the throne of Armenia, a kingdom over which the two great empires had shared hegemony since the time of Nero some fifty years earlier. It's noteworthy, however, that Trajan, already in Syria early in 113, consistently refused to accept diplomatic approaches from the Parthians in order to settle the Armenian imbroglio peacefully.Brian Campbell, "War and Diplomacy: Rome & Parthia 31 BC - AD 235". IN John Rich, Graham Shipley, eds.War and Society in the Roman World. London: Routledge, 1993, {{ISBN|0-203-07554-4}}, page 234As the surviving literary accounts of Trajan's Parthian War are fragmentary and scattered,R. P. Longden, "Notes on the Parthian Campaigns of Trajan". The Journal of Roman Studies, Vol. 21 (1931), pp. 1–35. Available at weblink. Retrieved August 18, 2019 it is difficult to assign them a proper context, something that has led to a long-running controversy about its precise happenings and ultimate aims. Many modern historians consider that Trajan's decision to wage war against Parthia might have had economic motives: after Trajan's annexation of Arabia, he built a new road, Via Traiana Nova, that went from Bostra to Aila on the Red Sea.{{sfn|Sidebotham|1986|p=154}} That meant that Charax on the Persian Gulf was the sole remaining western terminus of the Indian trade route outside direct Roman control,Christol & Nony, Rome, 171 and such control was important in order to lower import prices and to limit the supposed drain of precious metals created by the deficit in Roman trade with the Far East.{{sfn|Young|2001|p=181}}That Charax traded with the Roman Empire, there can be no doubt, as its actual connections with merchants from Palmyra during the period are well documented in a contemporary Palmyrene epigraph, which tells of various Palmyrene citizens honoured for holding office in Charax.Daniel T. Potts, ed., Araby the Blest: Studies in Arabian Archaeology. Copenhagen: Museum Tusculanum Press, 1988, {{ISBN|87-7289-051-7}}, page 142 Also, Charax's rulers domains at the time possibly included the Bahrain islands (where a Palmyrene citizen held office, shortly after Trajan's death, as satrap{{sfn|Veyne|2005|p=279}}{{snds}}but then, the appointment was made by a Parthian king of CharaxJulian Reade, ed.,The Indian Ocean In Antiquity. London: Routledge, 2013, {{ISBN|0-7103-0435-8}}, page 279) something which offered the possibility of extending Roman hegemony into the Persian Gulf itself.Potts, 143 The rationale behind Trajan's campaign, in this case, was one of breaking down a system of Far Eastern trade through small Semitic ("Arab") cities under Parthia's control and to put it under Roman control instead.George Fadlo Hourani, Arab Seafaring in the Indian Ocean in Ancient and Early Medieval Times. Princeton University Press, 1995, {{ISBN|0-691-00170-7}}, page 15In his Dacian conquests, Trajan had already resorted to Syrian auxiliary units, whose veterans, along with Syrian traders, had an important role in the subsequent colonization of Dacia.{{sfn|Găzdac|2010|p=59}} He had recruited Palmyrene units into his army, including a camel unit,Pat Southern, Empress Zenobia: Palmyra's Rebel Queen. London: Bloomsbury Publishing, 2008, {{ISBN|978-1-84725-034-6}}, page 25 therefore apparently procuring Palmyrene support to his ultimate goal of annexing Charax. It has even been ventured that, when earlier in his campaign Trajan annexed Armenia, he was bound to annex the whole of Mesopotamia lest the Parthians interrupt the flux of trade from the Persian Gulf and/or foment trouble at the Roman frontier on the Danube.Freya Stark, Rome on the Euphrates: The Story of a Frontier.London: I.{{nbsp}}B. Tauris, 2012, {{ISBN|978-1-84885-314-0}}, page 211Other historians reject these motives, as the supposed Parthian "control" over the maritime Far Eastern trade route was, at best, conjectural and based on a selective reading of Chinese sources{{snds}}trade by land through Parthia seems to have been unhampered by Parthian authorities and left solely to the devices of private enterprise.{{sfn|Young|2001|p=176 sqq}} Commercial activity in second century Mesopotamia seems to have been a general phenomenon, shared by many peoples within and without the Roman Empire, with no sign of a concerted Imperial policy towards it.{{sfn|Finley|1999|p=158}} As in the case of the alimenta, scholars like Moses Finley and Paul Veyne have considered the whole idea of a foreign trade "policy" behind Trajan's war anachronistic: according to them, the sole Roman concern with the Far Eastern luxuries trade{{snds}}besides collecting toll taxes and customsPaul Erdkamp, The Grain Market in the Roman Empire: A Social, Political and Economic Study. Cambridge University Press, 2005, {{ISBN|978-0-521-83878-8}}, page 5{{snds}}was moral and involved frowning upon the "softness" of luxuries, but no economic policy.{{sfn|Finley|1999|p=132}}{{sfn|Veyne|2001|p=163/215}} In the absence of conclusive evidence, trade between Rome and India might have been far more balanced, in terms of quantities of precious metals exchanged: one of our sources for the notion of the Roman gold drain{{snds}}Pliny's the Younger's uncle Pliny the Elder{{snds}}had earlier described the Gangetic Plains as one of the gold sources for the Roman Empire.{{sfn|Veyne|2001|p=181}} Accordingly, in his controversial book on the Ancient economy, Finley considers Trajan's "badly miscalculated and expensive assault on Parthia" to be an example of the many Roman "commercial wars" that had in common the fact of existing only in the books of modern historians.{{sfn|Finley|1999|p=158}}File:Trajan, the Palladium, and Rome's destiny, Colosseum.jpg|thumb|left|Trajan, "the Palladium", white marble statue at the ColosseumColosseumThe alternative view is to see the campaign as triggered by the lure of territorial annexation and prestige,{{sfn|Finley|1999|p=158}} the sole motive ascribed by Cassius Dio.{{sfn|Bennett|2001|p=188}} As far as territorial conquest involved tax-collecting,Michael Alexander Speidel: "Bellicosissimus Princeps". In: Annette Nünnerich-Asmus ed., Traian. Ein Kaiser der Superlative am Beginn einer Umbruchzeit? Mainz 2002, pages 23/40. especially of the 25% tax levied on all goods entering the Roman Empire, the tetarte, one can say that Trajan's Parthian War had an "economic" motive.{{sfn|Sidebotham|1986|p=144}} Also, there was the propaganda value of an Eastern conquest that would emulate, in Roman fashion, those of Alexander the Great.Nathanael John Andrade, "Imitation Greeks": Being Syrian in the Greco-Roman World (175 BCE – 275 CE). Doctoral Thesis, University of Michigan, 2009, page 192. Available at weblink. Retrieved June 11, 2014 The fact that emissaries from the Kushan Empire might have attended to the commemorative ceremonies for the Dacian War may have kindled in some Greco-Roman intellectuals like Plutarch{{snds}}who wrote about only 70,000 Roman soldiers being necessary to a conquest of India{{snds}}as well as in Trajan's closer associates, speculative dreams about the booty to be obtained by reproducing Macedonian Eastern conquests.Raoul McLaughlin, Rome and the Distant East: Trade Routes to the Ancient Lands of Arabia, India and China. London: Continuum, 2010, {{ISBN|978-1-84725-235-7}}, page 130 There could also be Trajan's idea to use an ambitious blueprint of conquests as a way to emphasize quasi-divine status, such as with his cultivated association, in coins and monuments, to Hercules.Olivier Hekster, "Propagating power: Hercules as an example for second-century emperors". Herakles and Hercules. Exploring a Graeco-Roman Divinity (2005): 205-21.Available at weblink Retrieved August 18, 2019 Also, it is possible that the attachment of Trajan to an expansionist policy was supported by a powerful circle of conservative senators from Hispania committed to a policy of imperial expansion, first among them being the all-powerful Licinius Sura.{{sfn|Des Boscs-Plateaux|2005|p=304 & 311}} Alternatively, one can explain the campaign by the fact that, for the Romans, their empire was in principle unlimited, and that Trajan only took advantage of an opportunity to make idea and reality coincide.Dexter Hoyos, ed., A Companion to Roman Imperialism. Leiden: Brill, 2012, {{ISBN|978-90-04-23593-9}}, page 262Finally, there are other modern historians who think that Trajan's original aims were purely military and quite modest: to assure a more defensible Eastern frontier for the Roman Empire, crossing Northern Mesopotamia along the course of the Khabur River in order to offer cover to a Roman Armenia.{{sfn|Luttwak|1979|p=108}} This interpretation is backed by the fact that all subsequent Roman wars against Parthia would aim at establishing a Roman presence deep into Parthia itself.David Kennedy & Derrick Riley, Rome's Desert Frontiers. London: B.T. Datsford Limited, 2004, {{ISBN|0-7134-6262-0}}, pages 31/32The campaign was carefully planned in advance: ten legions were concentrated in the Eastern theater; since 111, the correspondence of Pliny the Younger witnesses to the fact that provincial authorities in Bithynia had to organize supplies for passing troops, and local city councils and their individual members had to shoulder part of the increased expenses by supplying troops themselves.Fergus Millar, The Roman Near East, 31 B.C. – A.D. 337. Harvard University Press, 1993, {{ISBN|0-674-77886-3}}, page 103 The intended campaign, therefore, was immensely costly from its very beginning.M.Christol & D. Nony, Rome et son Empire. Paris: Hachette, 2003, {{ISBN|2-01-145542-1}}, page 171Trajan marched first on Armenia, deposed the Parthian-appointed king, Parthamasiris (who was afterwards murdered while kept in the custody of Roman troops in an unclear incident, later described by Fronto as a breach of Roman good faithJohn Rich, Graham Shipley, eds., War and Society in the Roman World. London: Routledge, 1993, {{ISBN|0-415-06644-1}}, page 235), and annexed it to the Roman Empire as a province, receiving in passing the acknowledgement of Roman hegemony by various tribes in the Caucasus and on the Eastern coast of the Black Sea{{snds}}a process that kept him busy until the end of 114.{{sfn|Bennett|2001|p=194–195}} At the same time, a Roman column under the legate Lusius Quietus{{snds}}an outstanding cavalry generalHermann Bengtson, Römische Geschichte: Republik und Kaiserzeit bis 284 n. Chr. Munich: Beck, 2001, {{ISBN|3-406-02505-6}}, page 289 who had signaled himself during the Dacian Wars by commanding a unit from his native MauretaniaAlfred S. Bradford, With Arrow, Sword, and Spear: A History of Warfare in the Ancient World. Westport, CT: Greenwood, 2001, {{ISBN|0-275-95259-2}}, page 232{{snds}}crossed the Araxes river from Armenia into Media Atropatene and the land of the Mardians (present-day Ghilan).{{sfn|Choisnel|2004|p=164}} It is possible that Quietus' campaign had as its goal the extending of the newer, more defensible Roman border eastwards towards the Caspian Sea and northwards to the foothills of the Caucasus.S.J. De Laet, review of Lepper, Trajan's Parthian War. L'Antiquité Classique, 18-2, 1949, pages 487–489 This newer, more "rational" frontier, depended, however, on an increased, permanent Roman presence east of the Euphrates.Richard Stoneman, Palmyra and Its Empire: Zenobia's Revolt Against Rome. Ann Arbor: 1994, University of Michigan Press, {{ISBN|0-472-08315-5}}, page 89The chronology of subsequent events is uncertain, but it is generally believed that early in 115 Trajan launched a Mesopotamian campaign, marching down towards the Taurus mountains in order to consolidate territory between the Tigris and Euphrates rivers. He placed permanent garrisons along the way to secure the territory.BOOK, Sheldon, Rose Mary, Rome's Wars in Parthia: Blood in the Sand, 2010, Vallentine Mitchell, London, 133, While Trajan moved from west to east, Lusius Quietus moved with his army from the Caspian Sea towards the west, both armies performing a successful pincer movement,{{sfn|Bennett|2001|p=195}} whose apparent result was to establish a Roman presence into the Parthian Empire proper, with Trajan taking the northern Mesopotamian cities of Nisibis and Batnae and organizing a province of Mesopotamia, including the Kingdom of Osrhoene{{snds}}where King Abgaros{{nbsp}}VII submitted to Trajan publiclyMaurice Sartre, The Middle East Under Rome. Harvard University Press, 2005, {{ISBN|0-674-01683-1}}, page 146. According to Cassius Dio, the deal between Trajan and Abgaros was sealed by the king's son offering himself as Trajan's paramour—Bennett, 199{{snds}}as a Roman protectorate.{{sfn|Bennett|2001|p=199}} This process seems to have been completed at the beginning of 116, when coins were issued announcing that Armenia and Mesopotamia had been put under the authority of the Roman people.Bennett, Trajan, 196; Christol & Nony, Rome,171 The area between the Khabur River and the mountains around Singara seems to have been considered as the new frontier, and as such received a road surrounded by fortresses.{{sfn|Petit|1976|p=44}}File:Trajan Sestertius 116 833039.jpg|thumb|400px|Sestertius during 116 to commemorate Trajan's Parthian victories. Obverse: bust of Trajan, with laurel crown; caption: IMP. CAES. NERV. TRAIANO OPTIMO AVG. GER. DAC. PARTHICO P. M., TR. P., COS VI, P. P.; Reverse: Trajan standing between prostrate allegories of Armenia (crowned with a tiara) and the Rivers Tigris & Euphrates; caption: ARMENIA ET MESOPOTAMIA IN POTESTATEM P. R. REDACTAE (put under the authority of the Roman People) - S. C. (Senatus Consultus, issued by the Senate).]]File:Roman Emperor Traianus Ankara.JPG|thumb|Bronze bust of Trajan in his later years, Museum of Anatolian Civilizations, AnkaraAnkaraAfter wintering in Antioch during 115/116 {{snds}}and, according to literary sources, barely escaping from a violent earthquake that claimed the life of one of the consuls, M.{{nbsp}}Pedo VirgilianusFergus Millar, The Roman Near East, 31 B.C. – A.D. 337. Harvard University Press, 1993, {{ISBN|0-674-77886-3}}, page 101{{sfn|Birley|2013|p=71}}{{snds}}Trajan again took to the field in 116, with a view to the conquest of the whole of Mesopotamia, an overambitious goal that eventually backfired on the results of his entire campaign. According to some modern historians, the aim of the campaign of 116 was to achieve a "preemptive demonstration" aiming not toward the conquest of Parthia, but for tighter Roman control over the Eastern trade route. However, the overall scarcity of manpower for the Roman military establishment meant that the campaign was doomed from the start.Patrick Le Roux, IN Ségolène Demougin, ed., H.-G. Pflaum, un historien du XXe siècle: actes du colloque international, Paris les 21, 22 et 23 octobre 2004. Geneva: Droz, 2006, {{ISBN|2-600-01099-8}}, pages 182/183 It is noteworthy that no new legions were raised by Trajan before the Parthian campaign, maybe because the sources of new citizen recruits were already over-exploited.{{sfn|Petit|1976|p=45}}As far as the sources allow a description of this campaign, it seems that one Roman division crossed the Tigris into Adiabene, sweeping south and capturing Adenystrae; a second followed the river south, capturing Babylon; Trajan himself sailed down the Euphrates from Dura-Europos{{snds}}where a triumphal arch was erected in his honour{{snds}}through Ozogardana, where he erected a "tribunal" still to be seen at the time of Julian the Apostate's campaigns in the same area. Having come to the narrow strip of land between the Euphrates and the Tigris, he then dragged his fleet overland into the Tigris, capturing Seleucia and finally the Parthian capital of Ctesiphon.{{sfn|Bennett|2001|p=197/199}}{{sfn|Birley|2013|p=72}}He continued southward to the Persian Gulf, when, after escaping with his fleet a tidal bore on the Tigris,Longden, "Notes on the Parthian Campaigns", 8 he received the submission of Athambelus, the ruler of Charax. He declared Babylon a new province of the Empire and had his statue erected on the shore of the Persian Gulf,T. Olajos, "Le monument du triomphe de Trajan en Parthie. Quelques renseignements inobservés (Jean d'Ephèse, Anthologie Grecque XVI 72)". Acta Antiqua Academiae Scientiarum Hungaricae, 1981, vol. 29, no1-4, pp. 379–383. The statue was torn down by Sassanids in 571/572 after which he sent the Senate a laurelled letter declaring the war to be at a close and bemoaning that he was too old to go on any further and repeat the conquests of Alexander the Great.{{sfn|Bennett|2001|p=199}} Since Charax was a de facto independent kingdom whose connections to Palmyra were described above, Trajan's bid for the Persian Gulf may have coincided with Palmyrene interests in the region.{{sfn|Edwell|2007|p=21}} Another hypothesis is that the rulers of Charax had expansionist designs on Parthian Babylon, giving them a rationale for alliance with Trajan.E. J. Keall, Parthian Nippur and Vologases' Southern Strategy: A Hypothesis. Journal of the American Oriental Society Vol. 95, No. 4 (Oct. – Dec. 1975), pp. 620–632 The Parthian summer capital of Susa was apparently also occupied by the Romans.George Rawlinson, Parthia. New York: Cosimo, 2007, {{ISBN|978-1-60206-136-1}}, page 310According to late literary sources (not backed by numismatic or inscriptional evidence) a province of Assyria was also proclaimed,Christopher S. Mackay, Ancient Rome: A Military and Political History.Cambridge University Press, 2004, {{ISBN|0-521-80918-5}}, page 227 apparently covering the territory of Adiabene.Various authors have discussed the existence of the province and its location: André Maricq (La province d'Assyrie créée par Trajan. A propos de la guerre parthique de Trajan. In: Maricq: Classica et orientalia, Paris 1965, pages 103/111) identifies Assyria with Southern Mesopotamia; Chris S. Lightfood ("Trajan's Parthian War and the Fourth-Century Perspective", Journal of Roman Studies 80, 1990, pages 115–126), doubts the actual existence of the province; Maria G. Angeli Bertinelli ("I Romani oltre l'Eufrate nel II secolo d. C. - le provincie di Assiria, di Mesopotamia e di Osroene", In Aufstieg und Niedergang der römischen Welt, Bd. 9.1, Berlin 1976, pages 3/45) puts Assyria between Mesopotamia and Adiabene; Lepper (1948, page 146) considers Assyria and Adiabene to be the same province. Some measures seem to have been considered regarding the fiscal administration of Indian trade{{snds}}or simply about the payment of customs (portoria) on goods traded on the Euphrates and Tigris.{{sfn|Luttwak|1979|p=110}}{{sfn|Edwell|2007|p=21}} It is possible that it was this "streamlining" of the administration of the newly conquered lands according to the standard pattern of Roman provincial administration in tax collecting, requisitions and the handling of local potentates' prerogatives, that triggered later resistance against Trajan.Janos Harmatta and others, eds., History of Civilizations of Central Asia: The development of sedentary and nomadic civilizations, 700 B.C. to A.D. 250. Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass Publ., 1999, {{ISBN|81-208-1408-8}}, page 135According to some modern historians, Trajan might have busied himself during his stay on the Persian Gulf with ordering raids on the Parthian coasts,Pirouz Mojtahed-Zadeh, Security and Territoriality in the Persian Gulf: A Maritime Political Geography, London: Routledge, 2013, {{ISBN|0-7007-1098-1}}, page 120 as well as probing into extending Roman suzerainty over the mountaineer tribes holding the passes across the Zagros Mountains into the Iranian Plateau eastward, as well as establishing some sort of direct contact between Rome and the Kushan Empire.{{sfn|Choisnel|2004|p=164/165}} No attempt was made to expand into the Iranian Plateau itself, where the Roman army, with its relative weakness in cavalry, would have been at a disadvantage.Axel Kristinsson, Expansions: Competition and Conquest in Europe Since the Bronze Age. Reykjavík: ReykjavíkurAkademían, 2010, {{ISBN|978-9979-9922-1-9}}, page 129File:TrajanCoinAhinposhBuddhistMonasteryAfghanistan.jpg|thumb|A coin of Trajan, found together with coins of the Kushan ruler Kanishka, at the Ahin Posh Buddhist Monastery, (Afghanistan]]. Caption: IMP. CAES. NER. TRAIANO OPTIMO AVG. GER. DAC.)Trajan left the Persian Gulf for Babylon{{snds}}where he intended to offer sacrifice to Alexander in the house where he had died in 323{{nbsp}}BCBennett, Trajan, 199{{snds}} But a revolt led by Sanatruces, a nephew of the Parthian king Osroes I who had retained a cavalry force, possibly strengthened by the addition of Saka archers,Kaveh Farrokh, Shadows in the Desert: Ancient Persia at War. Oxford: Osprey, 2007, {{ISBN|978-1-84603-108-3}}, page 162 imperiled Roman positions in Mesopotamia and Armenia. Trajan sought to deal with this by forsaking direct Roman rule in Parthia proper, at least partially.{{sfn|Bennett|2001|p=200}}(File:Europe-In-117AD.png|thumb|The Roman Empire under Trajan, 117 AD)Trajan sent two armies towards Northern Mesopotamia: the first, under Lusius Quietus, recovered Nisibis and Edessa from the rebels, probably having King Abgarus deposed and killed in the process,{{sfn|Bennett|2001|p=200}} with Quietus probably earning the right to receive the honors of a senator of praetorian rank (adlectus inter praetorios).The Cambridge Ancient History: The Imperial peace, A.D. 70-192, 1965 ed., page 249 The second army, however, under Appius Maximus Santra (probably a governor of Macedonia) was defeated and Santra killed.Julián González, ed., Trajano Emperador De Roma, 216 Later in 116, Trajan, with the assistance of Quietus and two other legates, Marcus Erucius Clarus and Tiberius Julius Alexander Julianus,The last two were made consuls (suffecti) for the year 117González, 216 defeated a Parthian army in a battle where Sanatruces was killed (possibly with the assistance of Osroes' son and Sanatruces' cousin, Parthamaspates, whom Trajan wooed successfully).E. Yarshater, ed., The Cambridge History of Iran, Volume 3(1). Cambridge University Press, 1983, {{ISBN|0-521-20092-X}}, page 91 After re-taking and burning Seleucia, Trajan then formally deposed the Osroes, putting Parthamaspates on the throne as client ruler. This event was commemorated in a coin so as to be presented as the reduction of Parthia to client kingdom status: REX PARTHIS DATUS, "a king is given to the Parthians".{{sfn|Mommsen|1999|p=289}} That done, Trajan retreated north in order to retain what he could of the new provinces of Armenia{{snds}}where he had already accepted an armistice in exchange for surrendering part of the territory to Sanatruces' son Vologeses{{sfn|Bennett|2001|p= 203}}{{snds}}and Mesopotamia. It was at this point that Trajan's health started to fail him. The fortress city of Hatra, on the Tigris in his rear, continued to hold out against repeated Roman assaults. He was personally present at the siege, and it is possible that he suffered a heat stroke while in the blazing heat.{{sfn|Bennett|2001|p=200}}File:Traianus Glyptothek Munich 72.jpg|thumb|Bust of Trajan, Glyptothek, MunichMunichShortly afterwards, the Jews inside the Eastern Roman Empire, in Egypt, Cyprus and Cyrene{{snds}}this last province being probably the original trouble hotspot{{snds}}rose up in what probably was an outburst of religious rebellion against the local pagans, this widespread rebellion being afterwards named the Kitos War.James J. Bloom, The Jewish Revolts Against Rome, A.D. 66–135: A Military Analysis. McFarland, 2010, page 191 Another rebellion flared up among the Jewish communities of Northern Mesopotamia, probably part of a general reaction against Roman occupation.Bloom, 194 Trajan was forced to withdraw his army in order to put down the revolts. He saw this withdrawal as simply a temporary setback, but he was destined never to command an army in the field again, turning his Eastern armies over to Lusius Quietus, who meanwhile (early 117) had been made governor of Judaea and might have had to deal earlier with some kind of Jewish unrest in the province.A precise description of events in Judea at the time being impossible, due to the non-historical character of the Jewish (rabbinic) sources, and the silence of the non-Jewish ones: William David Davies, Louis Finkelstein, Steven T. Katz, eds., The Cambridge History of Judaism: Volume 4, The Late Roman–Rabbinic Period.Cambridge U. Press, 2006, {{ISBN|978-0-521-77248-8}}, page 100 Quietus discharged his commissions successfully, so much that the war was afterward named after him{{snds}}Kitus being a corruption of Quietus.Bloom, 190 Whether or not the Kitos War theater included Judea proper, or only the Jewish Eastern diaspora, remains doubtful in the absence of clear epigraphic and archaeological evidence. What is certain is that there was an increased Roman military presence in Judea at the time.Christer Bruun, "the Spurious 'Expeditio Ivdaeae' under Trajan". Zeitschrift für Papyrologie und Epigraphik 93 (1992) 99–106Quietus was promised a consulateHe was already consul in absentia: Tanja Gawlich, Der Aufstand der jüdischen Diaspora unter Traian. GRIN Verlag, 2007, {{ISBN|978-3-640-32753-9}}, page 11 in the following year (118) for his victories, but he was killed before this could occur, during the bloody purge that opened Hadrian's reign, in which Quietus and three other former consuls were sentenced to death after being tried on a vague charge of conspiracy by the (secret) court of the Praetorian Prefect Attianus.Margret Fell, ed., Erziehung, Bildung, Recht. Berlim: Dunker & Hunblot, 1994, {{ISBN|3-428-08069-6}}, page 448 It has been theorized that Quietus and his colleagues were executed on Hadrian's direct orders, for fear of their popular standing with the army and their close connections to Trajan.{{sfn|Bennett|2001|p=203}}Histoire des Juifs, Troisième période, I – Chapitre III – Soulèvement des Judéens sous Trajan et AdrienIn contrast, the next prominent Roman figure in charge of the repression of the Jewish revolt, the equestrian Quintus Marcius Turbo, who had dealt with the rebel leader from Cyrene, Loukuas,Bloom, 195/196 retained Hadrian's trust, eventually becoming his Praetorian Prefect. As all four consulars were senators of the highest standing and as such generally regarded as able to take imperial power (capaces imperii), Hadrian seems to have decided on a preemptive strike against these prospective rivals.Gabriele Marasco, ed., Political Autobiographies and Memoirs in Antiquity: A Brill Companion. Leiden: Brill, 2011, {{ISBN|978-90-04-18299-8}}, page 377

    Death and succession

    File:Bridge Alcantara.JPG|thumb|The Alcántara Bridge, Spain, widely hailed as a masterpiece of Roman engineeringRoman engineeringFile:London Tower Trajan.jpg|thumb|Statue of Trajan at Tower HillTower HillEarly in 117, Trajan grew ill and set out to sail back to Italy. His health declined throughout the spring and summer of 117, something publicly acknowledged by the fact that a bronze bust displayed at the time in the public baths of Ancyra showed him clearly aged and emaciated.{{sfn|Bennett|2001|p=201}} After reaching Selinus (modern Gazipaşa) in Cilicia, which was afterwards called Trajanopolis, he suddenly died from edema on August 8. Some say that Trajan had adopted Hadrian as his successor, but others that it was his wife Pompeia Plotina who assured the succession to Hadrian by keeping his death secret and afterwards hiring someone to impersonate Trajan by speaking with a tired voice behind a curtain, well after Trajan had died. Dio, who tells this narrative, offers his father{{snds}}the then governor of Cilicia Apronianus{{snds}}as a source, and therefore his narrative is possibly grounded on contemporary rumor. It may also originate in Roman displeasure at an empress meddling in political affairs.Francesca Santoro L'Hoir, Tragedy, Rhetoric, and the Historiography of Tacitus' Annales.University of Michigan Press, 2006, {{ISBN|0-472-11519-7}}, page 263Hadrian held an ambiguous position during Trajan's reign. After commanding Legio I Minervia during the Dacian Wars, he had been relieved from front-line duties at the decisive stage of the Second Dacian War, being sent to govern the newly created province of Pannonia Inferior. He had pursued a senatorial career without particular distinction and had not been officially adopted by Trajan (although he received from him decorations and other marks of distinction that made him hope for the succession).{{sfn|Birley|2013|p=52}}{{sfn|Birley|2013|pp=50 & 52}} He received no post after his 108 consulate,{{sfn|Des Boscs-Plateaux|2005|p=306}} and no further honours other than being made Archon eponymos for Athens in 111/112.{{sfn|Birley|2013|p=64}} He probably did not take part in the Parthian War. Literary sources relate that Trajan had considered others, such as the jurist Lucius Neratius Priscus, as heir.{{sfn|Birley|2013|p=50}} However, Hadrian, who was eventually entrusted with the governorship of Syria at the time of Trajan's death, was Trajan's cousin and was married to Trajan's grandniece,Christopher S. Mackay, Ancient Rome: A Military and Political History. Cambridge University Press, 2004, {{ISBN|0-521-80918-5}}, page 229 which all made him as good as heir designate.{{sfn|Petit|1976|p=53}} In addition Hadrian was born in Hispania and seems to have been well connected with the powerful group of Spanish senators influential at Trajan's court through his ties to Plotina and the Prefect Attianus.{{sfn|Des Boscs-Plateaux|2005|p=307}} The fact that during Hadrian's reign he did not pursue Trajan's senatorial policy may account for the "crass hostility" shown him by literary sources.{{sfn|Garzetti|2014|p=379}}Aware that the Parthian campaign was an enormous setback, and that it revealed that the Roman Empire had no means for an ambitious program of conquests, Hadrian's first act as emperor was to abandon{{snds}}outwardly out of his own free willAccording to Historia Augusta, Hadrian declared that he was following the precedent set by Cato the Elder towards the Macedonians, who "were to be set free because they could not be protected" – something Birley sees as an unconvincing precedent{{sfn|Birley|2013|p=78}}{{snds}}the distant and indefensible Mesopotamia and to restore Armenia, as well as Osrhoene, to the Parthian hegemony under Roman suzerainty.{{sfn|Luttwak|1979|p=110}} However, all the other territories conquered by Trajan were retained. Roman friendship ties with Charax (also known by the name of Mesene) were also retained (although it is debated whether this had to do more with trade concessions than with common Roman policy of exploiting dissensions amid the Empire's neighbors).{{sfn|Young|2001|p=132}}D. S. Potter, The Inscriptions on the Bronze Herakles from Mesene: Vologeses IV's War with Rome and the Date of Tacitus' "Annales". Zeitschrift für Papyrologie und Epigraphik Bd. 88, (1991), pp. 277–290 Trajan's ashes were laid to rest underneath Trajan's column, the monument commemorating his success.ENCYCLOPEDIA,weblink Trajan, Hammond, Mason, Encyclopedia Britannica, 21 June 2019,

    Building activities

    Trajan was a prolific builder in Rome and the provinces, and many of his buildings were erected by the gifted architect Apollodorus of Damascus. Notable structures include the Baths of Trajan, Trajan's Forum, Trajan's Column, Trajan's Bridge, Alcántara Bridge, Porto di Traiano of Portus, the road and canal around the Iron Gates (see conquest of Dacia), and possibly the Alconétar Bridge. Some historians also attribute the construction of the Babylon fortress in Egypt to Trajan;BOOK, Butler, A. J., Babylon of Egypt: A study in the history of Old Cairo,weblink 1914, Clarendon Press, Oxford, 5, the remains of the fort is what is now known as the Church of Mar Girgis and its surrounding buildings. In order to build his forum and the adjacent brick market that also held his name Trajan had vast areas of the surrounding Capitoline and Quirinal hills leveled.Fritz Heichelheim, Cedric Veo, Allen Ward,(1984) History of the Roman People, p. 382, Prentice-Hall, Englewood Cliffs, New JerseyJOURNAL, Packer, James, Trajan's GLORIOUS FORUM, Archaeology, January–February 1998, 51, 1, 32,

    Trajan's legacy

    Ancient sources on Trajan's personality and accomplishments are unanimously positive. Pliny the Younger, for example, celebrates Trajan in his panegyric as a wise and just emperor and a moral man. Cassius Dio added that he always remained dignified and fair.Dio Cassius, Epitome of Book 6; 21.2–3 A Third Century Emperor, Decius, even received from the Senate the name Trajan as a decoration.Eric M. Thienes, "Remembering Trajan in Fourth-Century Rome: Memory and Identity in Spatial, Artistic, and Textual Narratives". Ph.D Thesis, University of Missouri, 2015, page 70. Available at weblink . Retrieved March 28, 2017 After the setbacks of the third century, Trajan, together with Augustus, became in the Later Roman Empire the paragon of the most positive traits of the Imperial order.Karl Strobel, Das Imperium Romanum im "3. Jahrhundert": Modell einer historischen Krise? Zur Frage mentaler Strukturen breiterer Bevölkerungsschichten in der Zeit von Marc Aurel bis zum Ausgang des 3. Jh.n.Chr. Stuttgart: Franz Steiner Verlag, 1993, {{ISBN|3-515-05662-9}}, page 319Some theologians such as Thomas Aquinas discussed Trajan as an example of a virtuous pagan. In the Divine Comedy, Dante, following this legend, sees the spirit of Trajan in the Heaven of Jupiter with other historical and mythological persons noted for their justice. Also, a mural of Trajan stopping to provide justice for a poor widow is present in the first terrace of Purgatory as a lesson to those who are purged for being proud.Dante 1998, p. 593. David H. Higgins in his notes to Purgatorio X l. 75 says: "Pope Gregory the Great (d. 604) was held to have swayed the justice of God by prayer ('his great victory'), releasing Trajan's soul from Hell, who, resuscitated, was converted to Christianity. Dante accepted this, as Aquinas before him, and places Trajan in Paradise (Paradiso XX.44-8)."I noticed that the inner bank of the curve...Was of white marble, and so decoratedWith carvings that not only PolycletusBut nature herself would there be put to shame...There was recorded the high gloryOf that ruler of Rome whose worthMoved Gregory to his great victory;I mean by this the Emperor Trajan;And at his bridle a poor widowWhose attitude bespoke tears and grief...The wretched woman, in the midst of all this,Seemed to be saying: 'Lord, avenge my son,Who is dead, so that my heart is broken..'So he said: 'Now be comforted, for I mustCarry out my duty before I go on:Justice requires it and pity holds me back.'Dante, The Divine Comedy, Purgatorio X, ll. 32 f. and 73 f.Dante 1998, pp. 239–40In the 18th-century King Charles III of Spain commissioned Anton Raphael Mengs to paint The Triumph of Trajan on the ceiling of the banquet hall of the Royal Palace of Madrid{{snds}}considered among the best works of this artist.Europe, 1450 to 1789: Encyclopedia of the Early Modern World. Ed. Jonathan Dewald. Vol. 4. New York, NY:Charles Scribner's Sons, 2004. p94-96.It was only during the Enlightenment that this legacy began to be contested, when Edward Gibbon expressed doubts about the militarized character of Trajan's reign in contrast to the "moderate" practices of his immediate successors.Robert Mankin, "Edward Gibbon: Historian in Space", A Companion to Enlightenment Historiography, Leiden: Brill, 2013, page 34 Mommsen adopted a divided stance towards Trajan, at some point of his posthumously published lectures even speaking about his "vainglory" (Scheinglorie).{{sfn|Mommsen|1999|p=488}} Mommsen also speaks of Trajan's "insatiable, unlimited lust for conquest".Römische Kaisergeschichte. Munich: 1992, page 389. Although Mommsen had no liking for Trajan's successor Hadrian{{snds}}"a repellent manner, and a venomous, envious and malicious nature"{{snds}}he admitted that Hadrian, in renouncing Trajan's conquests, was "doing what the situation clearly required".{{sfn|Mommsen|1999|p=290}}It was exactly this military character of Trajan's reign that attracted his early twentieth-century biographer, the Italian Fascist historian Roberto Paribeni, who in his 1927 two-volume biography Optimus Princeps described Trajan's reign as the acme of the Roman principate, which he saw as Italy's patrimony.A. G. G. Gibson, ed. Robert Graves and the Classical Tradition. Oxford University Press, 2015, {{ISBN|978-0-19-873805-3}}, pages 257/258 Following in Paribeni's footsteps, the German historian Alfred Heuss saw in Trajan "the accomplished human embodiment of the imperial title" (die ideale Verkörperung des humanen Kaiserbegriffs).BOOK, Römische Geschichte, Heuß, Alfred, Westermann, 1976, Braunschweig, 344ff, 4, Trajan's first English-language biography by Julian Bennett is also a positive one in that it assumes that Trajan was an active policy-maker concerned with the management of the empire as a whole{{snds}}something his reviewer Lendon considers an anachronistic outlook that sees in the Roman emperor a kind of modern administrator.J.E. Lendon, "Three Emperors and the Roman Imperial Regime", The Classical Journal 94 (1998) pp. 87–93During the 1980s, the Romanian historian Eugen Cizek took a more nuanced view as he described the changes in the personal ideology of Trajan's reign, stressing the fact that it became ever more autocratic and militarized, especially after 112 and towards the Parthian War (as "only an universal monarch, a kosmocrator, could dictate his law to the East").Richard Jean-Claude, "Eugen Cizek, L'époque de Trajan. Circonstances politiques et problèmes idéologiques [compte rendu]. Bulletin de l'Association Guillaume Budé, Année 1985, Volume 44, Numéro 4 pp. 425–426. Available at weblink. Retrieved December 13, 2015. The biography by the German historian Karl Strobel stresses the continuity between Domitian's and Trajan's reigns, saying that Trajan's rule followed the same autocratic and sacred character as Domitian's, culminating in a failed Parthian adventure intended as the crown of his personal achievement.Jens Gering, Rezension zu: Karl Strobel, Kaiser Traian{{snds}}Eine Epoche der Weltgeschichte,Frankfurter elektronische Rundschau zur Altertumskunde 15 (2011), weblink. Retrieved December{{nbsp}}15, 2015. It is in modern French historiography that Trajan's reputation becomes most markedly deflated: Paul Petit writes about Trajan's portraits as a "lowbrow boor with a taste for booze and boys".Petit, Histoire Générale de L'Empire Romain, 1: Le Haut Empire (27 av. J.C.- 161 apr. J.C.). Paris: Seuil, 1974, {{ISBN|978-2-02-004969-6}}, page 166 For Paul Veyne, what is to be retained from Trajan's "stylish" qualities was that he was the last Roman emperor to think of the empire as a purely Italian and Rome-centered hegemony of conquest. In contrast, his successor Hadrian would stress the notion of the empire as ecumenical and of the Emperor as universal benefactor and not kosmocrator.{{sfn|Veyne|1976|p=654/655}}

    See also





    Sources and further reading

    • BOOK, Dante, Alighieri, Charles H., Sisson, 1998, 1st pub. 1993, The Divine Comedy, Oxford, Oxford University Press, 978-0-19-283502-4,
    • BOOK, Alston, Richard, Aspects of Roman History 31BC-AD117, Abingdon, Routledge, 2014, 978-0-415-61120-6, harv,
    • Ancel, R. Manning. "Soldiers." Military Heritage. December 2001. Volume 3, No. 3: 12, 14, 16, 20 (Trajan, Emperor of Rome).
    • BOOK, Bennett, Julian, Trajan. Optimus Princeps, Bloomington, Indiana University Press, 2001, 978-0-253-21435-5, harv,
    • BOOK, Birley, Anthony R., Hadrian: The Restless Emperor, Abingdon, Routledge, 2013, 978-0-415-16544-0, harv, registration,weblink
    • BOOK, Des Boscs-Plateaux, Françoise, Un parti hispanique à Rome?: ascension des élites hispaniques et pouvoir politique d'Auguste à Hadrien, 27 av. J.-C.-138 ap. J.-C, Madrid, Casa de Velázquez, 2005, 978-84-95555-80-9, harv, fr,
    • Bowersock, G.W. Roman Arabia, Harvard University Press, 1983
    • BOOK, Choisnel, Emmanuel, Les Parthes et la Route de la Soie, Paris, L'Harmattan, 2004, 978-2-7475-7037-4, harv, fr,
    • BOOK, Christol, M., Nony, N., Rome et son Empire, Paris, Hachette, 2003, 978-2-01-145542-0, harv, fr,
    • {{fr icon}} Cizek, Eugen. L'époque de Trajan: circonstances politiques et problèmes idéologiques. Bucharest, Editura ȘtiinÈ›ifică È™i Enciclopedică, 1983, {{ISBN|978-2-251-32852-2}}
    • BOOK, Dando-Collins, Stephen, Legions of Rome: The definitive history of every Roman legion, London, Quercus, 2012, 978-1-84916-230-2, harv,
    • BOOK, Edwell, Peter, Between Rome and Persia: The Middle Euphrates, Mesopotamia and Palmyra Under Roman Control, Abingdon, Routledge, 2007, 978-0-203-93833-1, harv,
    • BOOK, Finley, M.I., The Ancient Economy, Berkeley, University of California Press, 1999, 978-0-520-21946-5, harv,
    • Fuller, J.F.C. A Military History of the Western World. Three Volumes. New York: Da Capo Press, Inc., 1987 and 1988.
      • v. 1. From the late times to the Battle of Lepanto; {{ISBN|0-306-80304-6}}. 255, 266, 269, 270, 273 (Trajan, Roman Emperor).
    • BOOK, Garzetti, Albino, From Tiberius to the Antonines: A History of the Roman Empire AD 14-192, Abingdon, Routledge, 2014, 978-1-138-01920-1, harv,
    • BOOK, Găzdac, Cristian, Monetary Circulation in Dacia and the Provinces from the Middle and Lower Danube from Trajan to Constantine I (AD 106–337), Cluj-Napoca, Mega, 2010, 978-606-543-040-2, harv,
    • BOOK, Grainger, John D., Nerva and the Roman Succession Crisis of AD 96–99, Abingdon, Routledge, 2004, 978-0-415-34958-1, harv,
    • Isaac, B. The Limits of Empire, The Roman Army in the East, Revised Edition, Oxford University Press, 1990 {{ISBN|0-19-814891-7}} {{OCLC|20091873}}
    • Kennedy, D. The Roman Army in Jordan, Revised Edition, Council for British Research in the Levant, 2004. {{ISBN|0-9539102-1-0}} {{OCLC|59267318}}
    • ENCYCLOPEDIA, TRAJAN, Kettenhofen, Erich,weblink Encyclopaedia Iranica, 2004, harv,
    • BOOK, Jones, Brian, The Emperor Domitian, London, Routledge, 2002, 978-0-203-03625-9, harv,
    • Lepper, F.A. Trajan's Parthian War. London: Oxford University Press, 1948. {{OCLC|2898605}} Also available online.
    • BOOK, Luttwak, Edward N., The Grand Strategy of the Roman Empire: From the First Century A.D. to the Third, Baltimore, Johns Hopkins University Press, 1979, 978-0-8018-2158-5, harv,
    • BOOK, Mattern, Susan P., Rome and the Enemy: Imperial Strategy in the Principate, Berkeley, University of California Press, 1999, 978-0-520-21166-7, harv,
    • BOOK, Mommsen, Theodor, A History of Rome Under the Emperors, London, Routledge, 1999, 978-0-203-97908-2, harv,
    • {{fr icon}} Minaud, Gérard, Les vies de 12 femmes d'empereur romain{{snds}}Devoirs, Intrigues & Voluptés , Paris, L'Harmattan, 2012, ch. 6, La vie de Plotine, femme de Trajan, p.{{nbsp}}147–168. {{ISBN|978-2-336-00291-0}}.
    • BOOK, Petit, Paul, Pax Romana, Berkeley, University of California Press, 1976, 978-0-520-02171-6, harv,
    • BOOK, Rees, Roger, Latin Panegyric, Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2012, 978-0-19-957671-5, harv,
    • BOOK, Le Roux, Patrick, Le Haut-Empire Romain en Occident, d'Auguste aux Sévères, Paris, Seuil, 1998, 978-2-02-025932-3, harv, fr,
    • BOOK, de Ste. Croix, G.E.M., The Class Struggle in the Ancient Greek World, London, Duckworth, 1989, 978-0-8014-9597-7, harv,
    • BOOK, Sartre, Maurice, Maurice Sartre, El Oriente romano, Parte 3, Madrid, AKAL, 1994, 978-84-460-0412-7, harv, es,
    • BOOK, Schmitz, Michael, The Dacian Threat, 101–106 AD, Armidale, Australia, Caeros Pty, 2005, 978-0-9758445-0-2, harv,
    • BOOK, Sidebotham, Steven E., Roman Economic Policy in the Erythra Thalassa: 30 B.C. – A.D. 217, Leiden, Brill, 1986, 978-90-04-07644-0, harv,
    • BOOK, Strobel, Karl, Kaiser Traian: Eine Epoche der Weltgeschichte, Regensburg, F. Pustet, 2010, 978-3-7917-2172-9, harv, de,
    • BOOK, Veyne, Paul, Le Pain et le Cirque, Paris, Seuil, 1976, 978-2-02-004507-0, harv, fr,
    • BOOK, Veyne, Paul, La Société Romaine, Paris, Seuil, 2001, 978-2-02-052360-8, harv, fr,
    • BOOK, Veyne, Paul, L'Empire Gréco-Romain, Paris, Seuil, 2005, 978-2-02-057798-4, harv, fr,
    • BOOK, Young, Gary K., Rome's Eastern Trade: International Commerce and Imperial Policy 31 BC – AD 305, Abingdon, Routledge, 2001, 978-0-203-47093-0, harv,
    • Wildfeuer, C.R.H. Trajan, Lion of Rome: the Untold Story of Rome's Greatest Emperor, Aquifer Publishing, 2009. {{ISBN|0-9818460-6-8}} {{OCLC|496004778}} Historical fiction.

    Primary sources

    Secondary material

    • WEB, Benario, Herbert W., Trajan (A.D. 98–117), De Imperatoribus Romanis, 2000,weblink September 24, 2007,

    External links

    {{Commons|Trajan}}{{Roman Emperors}}{{authority control}}

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