Trajan (/ˈtreɪdʒən/; Latin: Imperator Caesar
Nerva Trajanus Divi
Nervae filius Augustus; 18 September
53 – 8 August 117 AD) was
Roman emperor from 98 to
117 AD. Officially declared by the Senate optimus princeps ("the
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
Five Good Emperors who presided over an era of peace and
prosperity in the Mediterranean world.
Born in the city of
Italica (close to modern Sevilla) in the province
Hispania Baetica, Trajan's non-patrician family was of Italian and
Trajan rose to prominence during the reign of emperor
Domitian. Serving as a legatus legionis in
Hispania Tarraconensis, in
Domitian against a revolt on the
Rhine led by
Antonius Saturninus. In September 96,
Domitian was succeeded by Marcus
Cocceius Nerva, an old and childless senator 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,
compelled to adopt the more popular
Trajan as his heir and successor.
He died on 27 January 98 and was succeeded by his adopted son
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
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 Trajan's Column. He was
succeeded by his adopted son Hadrian.
2 Early life and rise to power
3 Roman Emperor
3.1 The Correctores: Greek/Roman relations
3.2 Conquest of Dacia
3.3 Annexation of Nabataea
3.4 Period of peace: public buildings and festivities
3.5 Devaluation of the currency
3.6 The alimenta
3.7 War against Parthia
4 Death and succession
5 Building activities
6 Trajan's legacy
8 References and further reading
8.1 Primary sources
8.2 Secondary material
9 External links
As an emperor, Trajan's reputation has endured – 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
Marcus" – a trope out of which the 18th-century
Edward Gibbon popularized the notion of the Five Good
Emperors, of whom
Trajan was the second.
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. Book 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. 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. 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. It is certain that much of 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. 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.
Early life and rise to power
Denarius of Trajan, minted in
Rome in 101–102 AD
Marcus Ulpius Traianus was born on 18 September 53 AD in the
Roman province of
Hispania Baetica (in what is now
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",
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
Italica was founded as a Roman military colony of
Italian settlers in 206 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
Trajan was the son of Marcia, a Roman noblewoman and sister-in-law of
the second Flavian Emperor Titus, 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.
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,
where their ancestors had settled late in the 3rd century BC.
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
76–77, Trajan's father was Governor of Syria (
Legatus pro praetore
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. In about
86, Trajan's cousin P. Aelius Afer died, leaving his young
Hadrian and Paulina orphans.
Trajan and a colleague of his,
Publius Acilius Attianus, became co-guardians of the two children.
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. Around
Apollodorus of Damascus
Apollodorus of Damascus with him to Rome.
and also married Pompeia Plotina, a noble woman from the Roman
settlement at Nîmes; the marriage ultimately remained childless.
Trajan wearing the civic crown and military garb such as a muscle
cuirass, 2nd century AD, Antalya Archaeological Museum
It has been remarked by later 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 reflect a change of mores that
began with the Severan dynasty, 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,
Licinius Sura, and Nerva.
As the details of Trajan's military career are obscure, it is only
sure that in 89, as legate of
Legio VII Gemina
Legio VII Gemina in Hispania
Tarraconensis, he supported
Domitian against an attempted coup.
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 – possibly both. Pliny – who seems to
deliberately avoid offering details that would stress personal
Trajan and the "tyrant"
Domitian – attributes to him, at the time, various (and
unspecified) feats of arms.
Since Domitian's successor, Nerva, was unpopular with the army and had
just been forced by his
Casperius Aelianus to
execute Domitian's killers, 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. 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.
According 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 – among them the then governor
of Germania Inferior, the Spaniard Lucius
Licinius Sura, who would
become Trajan's chief personal adviser and official friend. 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
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. These baths were later expanded by the third
Decius as a means of stressing his link to Trajan.
Sura is also described as telling
Hadrian in 108 about his selection
as imperial heir. 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
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
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
Trajan ordered Prefect Aelianus to attend him in
Germany, where he was apparently executed ("put out of the way"),
with his post being taken by Attius Suburanus. Trajan's accession,
therefore, could qualify more as a successful coup than an orderly
Trajan in 108 AD, in the
Museum of Art History
Museum of Art History in Vienna,
On his entry to Rome,
Trajan granted the plebs a direct gift of money.
The traditional donative to the troops, however, was reduced by
half. 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. His belated ceremonial entry
Rome in 99 was notably low-key, something on which Pliny the
By not openly supporting Domitian's preference for equestrian
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. Therefore, he could
point to the allegedly republican character of his rule. In a
speech at the inauguration of his third consulship, on 1 January
Trajan exhorted the Senate to share the care-taking of the Empire
with him – an event later celebrated on a coin. In
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". 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
Bythinia into imperial ones in
order to deal with the inordinate spending on public works by local
magnates and the general mismanagement of provincial affairs by
various proconsuls appointed by the Senate.
In 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. If in reality
Trajan was an autocrat, his deferential behavior towards his peers
qualified him to be viewed as a virtuous monarch. The whole idea
Trajan wielded autocratic power through moderatio instead of
contumacia – moderation instead of insolence. 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".
Eventually, Trajan's popularity among his peers was such that the
Roman Senate bestowed upon him the honorific of optimus, meaning "the
best", which appears on coins from 105 on. This title had
mostly to do with Trajan's role as benefactor, such as in the case of
him returning confiscated property.
That Trajan's ideal role was a conservative one becomes evident from
Pliny's works as well as from the orations of Dio of
Prusa – 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. In his third kingship oration, Dio describes
an ideal king ruling by means of "friendship" – that is,
through patronage and a network of local notables who act as mediators
between the ruled and the ruler. 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 - exactly what was to put Greek-speaking
Trajan on a collision course.
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 – and a commonly acknowledged sense of
cultural superiority – and, instead of seeing themselves
as Roman, disdained Roman rule. What the Greek oligarchies wanted
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. 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 – primarily in failing to keep the common people
under control, thus creating the need for the
Roman governor to
An excellent example of this Greek alienation was the personal role
played by Dio of Prusa in his relationship with Trajan. Dio is
Philostratus as Trajan's close friend, and
supposedly engaging publicly in conversations with Dio.
Nevertheless, as a Greek local magnate with a taste for costly
building projects and pretensions of being an important political
agent for Rome, Dio of Prusa was actually a target for one of
Trajan's authoritarian innovations: the appointing of imperial
correctores to audit the civic finances of the technically free
Greek cities. 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
Competition 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. 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 ... structures that would make a
show". 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.
Roman authorities liked to play the Greek cities against one
another – something of which Dio of Prusa was fully
[B]y their public acts [the Roman governors] have branded you as a
pack of fools, yes, they treat you just like children, for we often
offer children the most trivial things in place of things of greatest
worth [...] In place of justice, in place of the freedom of the cities
from spoliation or from the seizure of the private possessions of
their inhabitants, in place of their refraining from insulting you
[...] your governors hand you titles, and call you 'first' either by
word of mouth or in writing; that done, they may thenceforth with
impunity treat you as being the very last!"
These same Roman authorities had also an interest in assuring the
cities' solvency and therefore ready collection of Imperial taxes.
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 – 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, and as such was
shunned by Roman authorities. As
Trajan himself wrote to Pliny:
"These poor Greeks all love a gymnasium ... they will have to
content with one that suits their real needs".
The 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. It is
noteworthy that an embassy from Dio's city of Prusa was not favorably
received by Trajan, 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.
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.
Statue of Trajan, Luna marble and Proconessian marble, 2nd century AD,
from Ostia Antica
Eventually, it fell to Pliny, as imperial governor of Bithynia in
110 AD, to deal with the consequences of the financial mess
wrought by Dio and his fellow civic officials. "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. One of the compensatory measures proposed by Pliny
expressed a thoroughly Roman conservative position: as the cities'
financial solvency depended on the councilmen' 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.
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. A similar situation existed in Claudiopolis, where
a public bath was built with the proceedings from the entrance fees
paid by "supernumerary" members of the Council, enrolled with Trajan's
permission. 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
Trajan ingratiated himself with the Greek intellectual elite by
Rome many (including Dio) who had been exiled by
Domitian, 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
Delphi and its neighboring cities. However, it was clear
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. 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. 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
Nicomedia from having a corps of firemen ("If people assemble
for a common purpose ... they soon turn it into a political
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. 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. 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.
Nevertheless, 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, 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. It must be added that,
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). 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.
Severus was the grandfather of the prominent general Gaius Julius
Quadratus Bassus, consul in 105. Other prominent Eastern senators
included Gaius Julius Alexander Berenicianus, a descendant of Herod
the Great, suffect consul in 116.
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. But then Trajan's new
Eastern senators were mostly very powerful and very wealthy men with
more than local influence and much interconnected by marriage, so
that many of them were not altogether "new" to the Senate. On the
local level, among the lower section of the Eastern propertied,
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. It is
interesting to note that one of Trajan's senatorial creations from 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
Conquest of Dacia
Main article: Trajan's Dacian Wars
Trajan's Column, Rome
It was as a military commander that
Trajan is best known to
history, particularly for his conquests in the Near
East, but initially for the two wars against Dacia – the
reduction to client kingdom (101–102), followed by actual
incorporation into the Empire of the trans-
Danube border group of
Dacia – 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. 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. The treaty seems to have allowed Roman troops
the right of passage through the Dacian kingdom in order to attack the
Quadi and Sarmatians. However, senatorial opinion never
Domitian for paying what was seen as "tribute" to a Barbarian
king. In addition, unlike the Germanic tribes, the Dacian kingdom
was an organized state capable of developing alliances of its
own, thus making it a strategic threat and giving
Trajan a strong
motive to attack it.
In May of 101,
Trajan launched his first campaign into the Dacian
kingdom, crossing to the northern bank of the
defeating the Dacian army at
Tapae (see Second Battle of Tapae), near
Iron Gates of Transylvania. It was not a decisive victory,
however. Trajan's troops were mauled in the encounter, and he put
off further campaigning for the year in order to regroup and reinforce
The following winter, King
Decebalus took the initiative by launching
a counter-attack across the
Danube further downstream, supported by
Sarmatian cavalry, 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
Nicopolis ad Istrum and
Adamclisi. 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
Trajan returned to
Rome in triumph and was granted the title
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
the alternative of treating
Dacia as a protectorate, rather than an
outright conquest. 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.
Prior to the campaign,
Trajan had raised two entirely new legions: II
Traiana – which, however, may have been posted in the
East, at the
Syrian port of Laodicea – and XXX Ulpia
Victrix, which was posted to Brigetio, in Pannonia. By 105,
the concentration of Roman troops assembled in the middle and lower
Danube amounted to fourteen legions (up from nine in
101) – about half of the entire Roman army. Even
after the Dacian wars, the
Danube frontier would permanently replace
Rhine as the main military axis of the Roman Empire.
Including auxiliaries, the number of Roman troops engaged on both
campaigns was between 150,000 and 175,000, while
dispose of up to 200,000.
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.
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. 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
Statue of Trajan, posing in military garb, in front of the
Colonia Ulpia Traiana
Colonia Ulpia Traiana in the Xanten Archaeological
These costly projects completed, 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 (see also Second Dacian War). The Romans gradually
tightened their grip around Decebalus' stronghold in Sarmizegetusa
Regia, which they finally took and destroyed.
but, when cornered by Roman cavalry, committed suicide. His severed
head, brought to
Trajan by the cavalryman
Maximus, was later exhibited in
Rome on the steps leading up to
the Capitol and thrown on the Gemonian stairs.
Trajan built a new city,
Colonia Ulpia Traiana
Colonia Ulpia Traiana Augusta Dacica
Sarmizegetusa, on another site (north of the hill citadel holding the
previous Dacian capital) 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.). Urban life
Roman Dacia seems to have been restricted to Roman colonists,
mostly military veterans; 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. In another arrangement with no parallels in any other
Roman province, the existing quasi-urban Dacian settlements
disappeared after the Roman conquest. 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.
The main regional effort of urbanization was concentrated by
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. The garrison city of
Oescus received the
Roman colony after its legionary garrison was
redeployed. The fact that these former Danubian outposts had
ceased to be frontier basis and were now in the deep rear acted as an
inducement to their urbanization and development.
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, were the lands extending from the
Danube to the inner arch of the Carpathian Mountains, including
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, and was intended perhaps as a basis for further
expansion in Eastern Europe – which the Romans conceived
to be much more "flattened", and closer to the ocean, than it actually
was. 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. 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. 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.
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), 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). 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. 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
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.
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) was Hegra, over 300 kilometres
(190 mi) south-west of Petra. The empire gained what became
the province of
Arabia Petraea (modern southern
Jordan and north west
Saudi Arabia). 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.
Period of peace: public buildings and festivities
Tabula Traiana near
Trajan's Bridge in Đerdap National Park, Serbia
For the next seven years,
Trajan ruled as a civilian emperor, to the
same acclaim as before. It was during this time that he corresponded
Pliny the Younger
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 denounciations in the interests
of justice as well as of "the spirit of the age". People who admitted
to their being Christians and refused to recant, however, were to be
executed "for obstinacy" when non-citizens, and sent to
Rome for trial
if they were Roman citizens.
Trajan 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) – consisting of a forum, Trajan's Column,
Trajan's Market still stands in
Rome today. He was also a prolific
builder of triumphal arches, many of which survive, and a rebuilder of
Via Traiana and
Via Traiana Nova).
One of Trajan's notable acts during this period was the hosting of a
three-month gladiatorial festival in the great
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". 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.
Devaluation of the currency
Trajan devalued the Roman currency. He decreased the silver
purity of the denarius from 93.5% to 89% – the actual
silver weight dropping from 3.04 grams to 2.88 grams.
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.
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. 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
Although 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 – something
openly acknowledged by Pliny. Nevertheless, this reproductive aim
was anachronistic, based as it was on a view of the
Roman Empire as
Rome and Italy, with a purely Italian manpower base, both
increasingly no longer the case. 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 – two roles ill-fitted to the
contemporary reality of an empire stretching across the entire
Mediterranean and ruled by an autocrat. 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. 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. Finley, however, thinks otherwise: in
his view, the whole scheme had as its chief aim the artificial
bolstering of the political weight of Italy, as seen, for example, in
the stricture – heartily praised by Pliny – 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
Italy not as
their native land, but as a mere inn or lodging house".
"Interesting and unique" as the scheme was, it remained small.
The fact that it was subsidized by means of interest payments on loans
made by landowners – mostly large ones, assumed to be more
reliable debtors – 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) – 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. Reliance solely on
loans to great landowners (in Veleia, only some 17 square
kilometers were mortgaged) 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. 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. The same notion of exploiting private – and
supposedly more efficient – 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. 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
In short, the scheme was so limited in scope that it could not have
fulfilled a coherent economic or demographic purpose – it
was the usual Ancient charity, directed, not towards the poor, but to
the community (in the case, the Italian cities) as a whole. 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
Rome (congiaria) following Dacian triumphs, points towards a purely
charitable motive. 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. 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.
War against Parthia
Aureus issued by
Trajan to celebrate the conquest of Parthia
The extent of the
Roman Empire under
Anatolia, western Caucasus and northern Levant under Trajan
Main article: Trajan's Parthian campaign
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
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.
As the surviving literary accounts of Trajan's Parthian War are
fragmentary and scattered, 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
Via Traiana Nova, that went from
Bostra to Aila on the Red
Sea. That meant that Charax on the
Persian Gulf was the sole
remaining western terminus of the Indian trade route outside direct
Roman control, 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.
That Charax traded with the Roman Empire, there can be no doubt, as
its actual connections with merchants from
Palmyra at the period are
well documented in contemporary Palmyrene epigraph, which tells of
various Palmyrene citizens honoured for holding office in Charax.
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 – but then, the appointment
was made by a Parthian king of Charax) something which offered
the possibility of extending Roman hegemony into the Persian Gulf
itself. The rationale behind Trajan's campaign, in this case,
would be 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.
In 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. He had
recruited Palmyrene units into his army, including a camel unit,
therefore apparently procuring Palmyrene support to his ultimate goal
of annexing Charax. It has even been ventured that, when earlier in
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
Other 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 – trade by land through Parthia seems to have been
unhampered by Parthian authorities and left solely to the devices of
private enterprise. 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. 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 – besides collecting toll taxes and
customs – was moral and involved frowning upon the
"softness" of luxuries, but no economic policy. 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 – Pliny's the Younger's uncle Pliny the
Elder – had earlier described the
Gangetic Plains as one
of the gold sources for the Roman Empire. Therefore, the fact
that, 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
Trajan, "the Palladium", white marble statue at the
Colosseum in Rome,
late 1st century AD
The alternative view is to see the campaign as triggered by the lure
of territorial annexation and prestige, the sole motive ascribed
by Cassius Dio. As far as territorial conquest involved
tax-collecting, 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. Also, there was the
propaganda value of an Eastern conquest that would emulate, in Roman
fashion, those of Alexander the Great. The fact that emissaries
Kushan Empire might have attended to the commemorative
ceremonies for the Dacian War may have kindled in some Greco-Roman
intellectuals like Plutarch – who wrote about only 70,000
Roman soldiers being necessary to a conquest of India – as
well as in Trajan's closer associates, speculative dreams about the
booty to be obtained by reproducing Macedonian Eastern conquests.
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.
Also, it is possible that the attachment of
Trajan to an expansionist
policy was supported by a powerful circle of conservative senators
Hispania committed to a policy of imperial expansion, first among
them being the all-powerful
Licinius Sura. Finally, 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.
Finally, 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. 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.
The campaign was carefully planned in advance: ten legions were
concentrated in the Eastern theater; since 111, the correspondence of
Pliny the Younger
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. The intended
campaign, therefore, was immensely costly from its very
Trajan marched first on Armenia, deposed the Parthian-appointed king
(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 faith) 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 – a process that kept him busy until the end of
114. At the same time, a Roman column under the legate Lusius
Quietus – an outstanding cavalry general who had
signaled himself during the Dacian Wars by commanding a unit from his
native Mauretania – crossed the
Araxes river from
Media Atropatene and the land of the Mardians
(present-day Ghilan). 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. This newer, more "rational" frontier, depended,
however, on an increased, permanent Roman presence East of the
The 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
Euphrates rivers. He placed permanent
garrisons along the way to secure the territory. 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, 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 – where King Abgaros VII submitted to Trajan
publicly – as a Roman protectorate.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. 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
Sestertius issued by the Senate (SC, Senatus Consultus) during 116 to
commemorate Trajan's Parthian victories. Obverse: bust of Trajan, with
laurel crown. Caption: Trajan's titulature. Reverse:
between prostrate allegories of
Armenia (crowned with a tiara) and the
Tigris & Euphrates. Caption: "
Armenia & Mesopotamia put
under the authority of the Roman People".
Bronze bust of
Trajan in his later years, Museum of Anatolian
Civilizations, Ankara, Turkey
After wintering in Antioch during 115/116 – and,
according to literary sources, barely escaping from a violent
earthquake that claimed the life of one of the consuls, M. Pedo
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. 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.
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,
Trajan himself sailed down the
Dura-Europos – where a triumphal arch was erected in his
honour – 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
He continued southward to the Persian Gulf, when, after escaping with
his fleet a tidal bore on the Tigris, 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, 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.
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. Another
hypothesis is that the rulers of Charax had expansionist designs on
Parthian Babylon, giving them a rationale for alliance with
Trajan. The Parthian summer capital of
Susa was apparently also
occupied by the Romans.
According to late literary sources (not backed by numismatic or
inscriptional evidence) a province of Assyria was also
proclaimed, apparently covering the territory of Adiabene.
Some measures seem to have been considered regarding the fiscal
administration of Indian trade – or simply about the
payment of customs (portoria) on goods traded on the
Tigris. 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.
According to some modern historians,
Trajan might have busied himself
during his stay on the
Persian Gulf with ordering raids on the
Parthian coasts, 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. 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.
A coin of Trajan, found together with coins of the
Kanishka, at the
Ahin Posh Buddhist Monastery, Afghanistan
Trajan left the
Persian Gulf for
Babylon – where he intended to offer sacrifice to
Alexander in the house where he had died in
323 BC – a sudden outburst of Parthian
resistance, led by a nephew of the Parthian king Osroes I, Sanatruces,
Sanatruces, who had retained a cavalry force, possibly strengthened by
the addition of
Saka archers, imperiled Roman positions in
Mesopotamia and Armenia, something
Trajan sought to deal with by
forsaking direct Roman rule in Parthia proper, at least
Trajan sent two armies towards Northern Mesopotamia: the first, under
Lusius Quietus, recovered
Edessa from the rebels, probably
having King Abgarus deposed and killed in the process, with
Quietus probably earning the right to receive the honors of a senator
of praetorian rank (adlectus inter praetorios). The second army,
however, under Appius Maximus Santra (probably a governor of
Macedonia) was defeated and Santra killed. Later in 116, Trajan,
with the assistance of Quietus and two other legates, Marcus Erucius
Tiberius Julius Alexander Julianus, defeated a
Parthian army in a battle where Sanatruces was killed (possibly with
the assistance of Osroes' son and Sanatruces' cousin, Parthamaspates,
Trajan wooed successfully). After re-taking and burning
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". That done,
Trajan retreated north in order to
retain what he could of the new provinces of
Armenia – where he had already accepted an armistice in
exchange for surrendering part of the territory to Sanatruces' son
Vologeses and Mesopotamia.
Bust of Trajan, Glyptothek, Munich
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
Shortly afterwards, the Jews inside the Eastern Roman Empire, in
Egypt, Cyprus and Cyrene – this last province being
probably the original trouble hotspot – rose up in what
probably was an outburst of religious rebellion against the local
pagans, this widespread rebellion being afterwards named the Kitos
War. Another rebellion flared up among the Jewish communities of
Northern Mesopotamia, probably part of a general reaction against
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. Quietus discharged his commissions successfully, so
much that the war was afterward named after him – Kitus
being a corruption of Quietus. 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
Quietus was promised a consulate 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. 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
In 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,
retained Hadrian's trust, eventually becoming his Praetorian Prefect.
Hadrian could not allow the continued existence alongside
him of a group of independent-minded senatorial generals inherited
from his predecessor. 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.
Death and succession
The Alcántara Bridge, widely hailed as a masterpiece of Roman
Statue of Trajan
Statue of Trajan at Tower Hill, London
Early 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. After reaching Selinus (modern Gazipasa) 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 – the then governor of
Cilicia Apronianus – 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. He had reigned for 19 years, longer than anyone since
Tiberius, which would be broken by Hadrian.
Hadrian held an ambiguous position during Trajan's reign. After
Legio I Minervia
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). He
received no post after his 108 consulate, and no further honours
other than being made
Archon eponymos for
Athens in 111/112. He
probably did not take part in the Parthian War. Literary sources
Trajan had considered others, such as the jurist Lucius
Neratius Priscus, as heir. 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, which all made him as good as heir designate. In
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. 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.
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 – outwardly out of his own free
will – the distant and indefensible Mesopotamia
and to restore Armenia, as well as Osrhoene, to the Parthian hegemony
under Roman suzerainty. However, all the other territories
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). Trajan's ashes were laid to rest underneath
Trajan's column, the monument commemorating his success.[citation
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; 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 hillsides leveled.[citation
Unlike many lauded rulers in history, Trajan's reputation has survived
undiminished for nearly nineteen centuries. 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. A Third Century
Emperor, Decius, even received from the Senate the name
Trajan as a
decoration. 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. At the
inauguration of later Roman Emperors, the Senate would say the phrase
Felicior Augusto, melior Traiano
Felicior Augusto, melior Traiano ("be more fortunate than Augustus
[and] better than Trajan"). The
Rome resulted in
further embellishment of his legend: it was commonly said in medieval
times that Pope Gregory I, through divine intercession, resurrected
Trajan from the dead and baptized him into the
Christian faith. An
account of this features in the Golden Legend.
Some 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
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.
I noticed that the inner bank of the curve...
Was of white marble, and so decorated
With carvings that not only Polycletus
But nature herself would there be put to shame...
There was recorded the high glory
Of that ruler of
Rome whose worth
Moved Gregory to his great victory;
I mean by this the Emperor Trajan;
And at his bridle a poor widow
Whose 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 must
Carry 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.
He also features in Piers Plowman. An episode referred to as the
Trajan was reflected in several art works.
In 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 – considered
among the best works of this artist.
It was only during the Enlightenment that this legacy began to be
Edward Gibbon expressed doubts about the militarized
character of Trajan's reign in contrast to the "moderate" practices of
his immediate successors. Mommsen adopted a divided stance
towards Trajan, at some point of his posthumously published lectures
even speaking about his "vainglory" (Scheinglorie). Mommsen also
speaks of Trajan's "insatiable, unlimited lust for conquest".
Although Mommsen had no liking for Trajan's successor
Hadrian – "a repellent manner, and a venomous, envious and
malicious nature" – he admitted that Hadrian, in
renouncing to Trajan's conquests, was "doing what the situation
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. 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). 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 – something his
reviewer Lendon considers an anachronistic outlook that sees in the
Roman emperor a kind of modern administrator.
During 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"). 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
of Domitian's, culminating in a failed Parthian adventure intended as
the crown of his personal achievement. 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". 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.
^ Trajan's regal name had an equivalent English meaning of "Commander
Nerva Trajan, son of the Divine Nerva, the Emperor"
^ Classical Latin pronunciation: [tra.jan]
^ Discourses on Livy, I, 10, 4
^ Nelson, Eric (2002). Idiots guide to the Roman Empire. Alpha Books.
pp. 207–209. ISBN 0-02-864151-5.
^ Strobel 2010, p. 14.
^ Strobel 2010, p. 15.
^ Bennett 2001, pp. xii/xiii & 63.
^ Finley Hooper, Roman Realities. Wayne State University Press, 1979,
ISBN 0-8143-1594-1, page 427
^ Carlos F. Noreña, "The Social Economy of Pliny's Correspondence
with Trajan". American Journal of Philology, 128 (2007) 239–277,
^ Bennett 2001, p. xiii.
^ a b Syme, Tacitus, 30–44; PIR Vlpivs 575
^ Bennett 2001, p. 1–3.
^ Arnold Blumberg, Great Leaders, Great Tyrants? Contemporary Views of
World Rulers who Made History, 1995, Greenwood Publishing Group,
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
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."
^ Strobel 2010, p. 41.
^ Goldsworthy, Adrian (2003). In the name of Rome: The men who won the
Roman Empire. London: Weidenfeld & Nicolson. p. 320.
^ Bennett 2001, p. 22–23.
^ Garzetti 2014, p. 378.
^ Bennett 2001, p. 13.
^ a b Augustan History, Life of
^ "Pompei Plotina". Britannica. Retrieved 26 January 2017.
^ a b Bennett 2001, p. 58.
^ Robert H. Allen, The Classical Origins of Modern Homophobia.
Jefferson: McFarland, 2006, ISBN 978-0-7864-2349-1, page 131
^ Bennett 2001, p. 43.
^ a b Bennett 2001, p. 45–46.
^ Alston 2014, p. 261.
^ Jason König, Tim Whitmarsh, eds., Ordering Knowledge in the Roman
Empire. Cambridge University Press, 2007, ISBN 978-0-521-85969-1,
^ Grainger 2004, p. 91 & 109.
^ Garrett G. Fagan, Bathing in Public in the Roman World. University
of Michigan Press, 2002, ISBN 0-472-08865-3, pages 113/114
^ Veyne 1976, p. page 686-note 399.
^ Stephen L. Dyson, Rome: A Living Portrait of an Ancient City.
Baltimore: JHU Press,2010,ISBN 978-0-8018-9253-0, page 338
^ Barbara M. Levick, Faustina I and II: Imperial Women of the Golden
Age.Oxford University Press, 2014, ISBN 978-0-19-537941-9, page
^ Eugen Cizek, "Tacite face à Trajan", available at , pages
127/128. Retrieved July 20, 2014
^ Grainger 2004, p. 111.
^ Bennett 2001, p. 52.
^ Alston 2014, p. 262.
^ Alston 2014, p. 200 & 206.
^ Rees 2012, p. 198.
^ Peter V. Jones, Keith C. Sidwell, eds., The World of Rome: An
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^ Jones 2002, p. 178.
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ancient Mediterranean. Presses Univ. Franche-Comté, 2007,
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^ Rees 2012, p. 121.
^ Veyne 2005, p. 402.
^ Letters III, 20, 12,
^ Veyne 2005, p. 38, footnote.
^ Kathleen Kuiper, ed., Ancient Rome: From Romulus and Remus to the
Visigoth Invasion. New York: Rosen Publishing Group, 2010,
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l'époque de Trajan", Mélanges d'archéologie et d'histoire, 1887,
V.7.7, available at . Accessed January 20, 2015
^ Veyne 2005, p. 37.
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Thought.John Wiley & Sons, 2012,
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^ Bernard W. Henderson, "Five Roman Emperors" (1927).
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^ 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
^ Elizabeth Forbis, Municipal Virtues in the Roman Empire: The
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^ Christopher J. Fuhrmann, Policing the Roman Empire: Soldiers,
Administration, and Public Order.Oxford University Press, 2012,
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^ Veyne 2005, p. 241.
^ Joshua Rice, Paul and Patronage: The Dynamics of Power in 1
Corinthians. Eugene, OR: Wipf & Stock, 2013,
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^ Simon Swain, ed., Dio Chrysostom: Politics, Letters, and Philosophy.
Oxford University Press, 2002, ISBN 0-19-925521-0, page 90
^ Veyne 2005, p. 195–196.
^ Veyne 2005, p. 229.
^ Veyne 2005, p. 229–230.
^ 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
^ 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
^ Bradley Hudson McLean, An Introduction to Greek
Epigraphy of the
Hellenistic and Roman Periods from
Alexander the Great
Alexander the Great Down to the
Reign of Constantine (323 B.C.–A.D. 337). University of Michigan
Press, 2002, p. 334
^ A. G. Leventis,
Hellenistic and Roman Sparta. London: Routledge,
2004, ISBN 0-203-48218-2, p. 138
^ Pliny, Letters, 10.70.2
^ David S. Potter, ed. A Companion to the Roman Empire. Malden, MA:
Wiley, 2010, ISBN 978-0-631-22644-4, p. 246
^ Ramsey Macmullen, Enemies of the Roman Order. London, Routledge,
1992, ISBN 0-415-08621-3, page 185.
^ Graham Anderson, Second Sophistic: A Cultural Phenomenon in the
Roman Empire. London, Routledge, 2005, Google e-book, available at
. Retrieved December 15, 2014
^ Potter, 246
^ Dio, Discourse 38,To the Nicomedians on Concord with the Nicaeans,
37. Available at . Retrieved February 20, 2016
^ Veyne 2005, p. 232–233.
^ Hildegard Temporini, Wolfgang Haase, eds., Politische Geschichte:
Provinzen und Randvoelker – Griescher Balkanraum: Kleinasien.
Berlin; de Gruyter, 1980, ISBN 3-11-008015-X, pp. 668–669
^ Paul Veyne, "L'identité grecque devant
Rome et l'empereur", Revue
des Études Grecques, 1999, V.122-2, page 515. Available at .
Retrieved December 20, 2014
^ 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. 36
^ Quoted by Hooper, Roman Realities, 429
^ JC Carrière ,"À propos de la Politique de Plutarque
" – Dialogues d'histoire ancienne, V.3, no.3, 1977.
Available at  Retrieved December 13, 2014
^ 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
^ 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
^ Simon Swain, ed., Dio Chrysostom: Politics, Letters, and Philosophy.
Oxford University Press, 2002, ISBN 0-19-925521-0, p. 68
^ 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. 115
^ Temporini & Haase, Politische Geschichte, 669
^ de Ste. Croix 1989, p. 530.
^ Jesper Majbom Madsen, Eager to be Roman, 117
^ Sviatoslav Dmitriev, City Government in
Hellenistic and Roman Asia
Minor. Oxford University Press, 2005, ISBN 978-0-19-517042-9,
^ 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 37/38
^ Yun Lee Too, Niall Livingstone, eds. Pedagogy and Power: Rhetorics
of Classical Learning.Cambridge University Press, 2007,
ISBN 978-0-521-59435-6, p. 202; Leonard L. Thompson, The
Book of Revelation, Oxford University Press, 1997,
ISBN 0-19-511580-5, p. 112.
^ 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.
^ Giuseppe Zecchini, "
Plutarch as Political Theorist and Trajan" in
Philip A. Stadter, L. 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
^ Benjamin Isaac, The Invention of Racism in Classical Antiquity.
Princeton University Press, 2013, ISBN 0-691-11691-1, page 399
^ Benjamin Isaac, 487; Albino Garzetti, From
Tiberius to the
^ Veyne 2005, p. 240.
^ 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 237
^ 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  .
Retrieved December 12, 2014
^ 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 . Retrieved December 12, 2014
^ Brian Jones, The Emperor Domitian, Routledge, 2002,
ISBN 0-203-03625-5, p. 171
^ 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
^ 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
^ 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
^ Pierre Lambrechts, "
Trajan et le récrutement du Sénat",
L'antiquité classique, 1936, 5-1, pages 105–114. Available at .
Retrieved January 4, 2015
^ Stanley E. Hoffer, The Anxieties of Pliny, the Younger. Oxford
University Press, 1999, ISBN 0-7885-0565-3, page 121
^ de Ste. Croix 1989, p. 119.
^ de Ste. Croix 1989, p. 466.
^ 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
^ K. W. Arafat, Pausanias' Greece: Ancient Artists and Roman Rulers.
Cambridge University Press, 2004, ISBN 0-521-55340-7, page 192
^ "De Imperatoribus Romanis". An Online Encyclopedia of Roman
Emperors. Retrieved July 21, 2007. 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
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
Legion V Alaude was crushed and Cornelius Fuscus
was killed. The victorious Dacian general was called
^ Schmitz 2005, p. 9.
^ 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 . Retrieved February 23, 2016
^ Luttwak 1979, p. 100.
^ Schmitz 2005, p. 13.
^ "De Imperatoribus Romanis". An Online Encyclopedia of Roman
Emperors. Retrieved November 8, 2007. Because the
an obstacle against Roman expansion in the east, in the year 101 the
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.
^ a b Le Roux 1998, p. 73.
^ "Battle of Sarmizegetusa (Sarmizegetuza), A.D. 105: De Imperatoribus
Romanis". An Online Encyclopedia of Roman Emperors. Retrieved November
8, 2007. Although the
Dacians had been defeated, the emperor postponed
the final siege for the conquering of Sarmizegetuza because his armies
Trajan imposed on the
Dacians very hard peace
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
^ José Maria Blázquez, Las res gestae de Trajano militar: las
guerras dácicas. Aquila Legionis, 6 (2005) 19
^ 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
^ Bennett 2001, p. 94–95.
^ Bennett 2001, p. 96.
^ a b Christol & Nony, 171
^ a b Dando-Collins 2012, p. not numbered.
^ "Battle of Sarmizegetusa (Sarmizegetuza), A.D. 105: De Imperatoribus
Romanis". An Online Encyclopedia of Roman Emperors. Retrieved 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
^ 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
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.
^ Mattern 1999, p. 93.
^ a b c Le Roux 1998, p. 74.
^ 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
^ Wiseman, James 1997 "Beyond the Danube's Iron Gates." Archaeology
^ Šašel, Jaroslav. 1973 "Trajan's Canal at the Iron Gate." The
Journal of Roman Studies. 63:80–85.
^ 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
^ Găzdac 2010, p. 49.
^ 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
^ 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 253
^ Martin Goodman, The Roman World 44 BC–AD 180, 253
^ Jennifer Trimble, Women and Visual Replication in Roman Imperial Art
and Culture. Cambridge U. Press, 2011, ISBN 978-0-521-82515-3,
^ Ioana A. Oltean, Dacia: Landscape, Colonization and Romanization.
Abingdon: Routledge, 2007, ISBN 0-203-94583-2, page 222
^ Le Roux 1998, p. 268.
^ Carbó García, Juan Ramón. "
Dacia Capta: particularidades de un
proceso de conquista y romanización." Habis, 41, 275-292 (2010).
^ 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).
^ a b Sartre 1994, p. 269.
^ a b Luttwak 1979, p. 101 & 104.
^ Luttwak 1979, p. 101.
^ Mattern 1999, p. 61.
^ 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
^ Luttwak 1979, p. 104.
^ Moses I. Finley, ed., Classical Slavery, London: Routledge, 2014,
ISBN 0-7146-3320-8, page 122
^ Le Roux 1998, p. 241.
^ Le Roux 1998, p. 202 & 242.
^ 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
^ Bennett 2001, p. 102 & 90.
^ a b Sartre 1994, p. 46.
^ Bennett 2001, p. 177.
^ Bennett 2001, p. 172–182.
^ Stephen Benko, Pagan
Rome and the Early Christians. Bloomington:
Indiana U. Press, 1986, ISBN 0-253-20385-6, pages 6/7
^ Quoted by Andrea Giardina, ed. The Romans. University of Chicago
Press, 1993, ISBN 0-226-29049-2, page 272
^ Z. Yavetz, "The Urban Plebs in the Days of the Flavians,
Trajan". IN Opposition et Resistances a L'empire D'auguste a Trajan.
Geneva: Droz, 1987, ISBN 978-2-600-04425-7, page 181
^ "Tulane University "Roman Currency of the Principate"". Tulane.edu.
Retrieved December 5, 2011.
^ Petit 1976, p. 188.
^ "Alimenta". Tjbuggey.ancients.info. Archived from the original on
February 10, 2014. Retrieved April 25, 2014.
^ John Rich, Andrew Wallace-Hadrill, eds., City and Country in the
Ancient World. London: Routledge, 2003, ISBN 0-203-41870-0, page
^ 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
^ a b Veyne 1976, p. 654.
^ Veyne 1976, p. 769.
^ José María Blanch Nougués, Régimen jurídico de las fundaciones
en derecho romano. Madrid: Dykinson, 2007,
ISBN 978-84-9772-985-7, page 151
^ Petit 1976, p. 76.
^ Finley 1999, p. 119.
^ Finley 1999, p. 40.
^ Richard Duncan-Jones, The Economy of the Roman Empire: Quantitative
Studies. Cambridge University Press: 1982, ISBN 0-521-24970-8,
^ Finley 1999, p. 201–203.
^ Luuk de Ligt, S. J. Northwood, eds., People, Land, and
Politics: Demographic Developments and the Transformation of Roman
Italy 300 BC–AD 14, Leiden: Brill, 2008,
ISBN 978-90-04-17118-3, page 95
^ 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
^ Susan R. Holman, The Hungry Are Dying : Beggars and Bishops in
Roman Cappadocia. Oxford University Press, 2001,
ISBN 0-19-513912-7, page 117
^ Duncan-Jones, 298/299
^ Finley 1999, p. 203.
^ Finley 1999, p. 39.
^ Suzanne Dixon, ed., Childhood, Class and Kin in the Roman World.
London: Routledge, 2005, ISBN 0-415-23578-2, page 26
^ Pat Southern, The
Roman Empire from Severus to Constantine. London:
Routledge, 2015, ISBN 978-0-415-73807-1, page 181
^ Bennett, J. Trajan: Optimus Princeps. 1997. Fig. 1
^ 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 234
^ R. P. Longden, "Notes on the Parthian Campaigns of Trajan". The
Journal of Roman Studies, Vol. 21 (1931), pp. 1–35. Available at
. Retrieved November 15, 2014
^ Sidebotham 1986, p. 154.
^ Christol & Nony, Rome, 171
^ Young 2001, p. 181.
^ Daniel T. Potts, ed., Araby the Blest: Studies in Arabian
Archaeology. Copenhagen: Museum Tusculanum Press, 1988,
ISBN 87-7289-051-7, page 142
^ Veyne 2005, p. 279.
^ Julian Reade, ed.,The Indian Ocean In Antiquity. London: Routledge,
2013, ISBN 0-7103-0435-8, page 279
^ Potts, 143
^ George Fadlo Hourani, Arab Seafaring in the Indian Ocean in Ancient
Medieval Times. Princeton University Press, 1995,
ISBN 0-691-00170-7, page 15
^ Găzdac 2010, p. 59.
^ Pat Southern, Empress Zenobia: Palmyra's Rebel Queen. London:
Bloomsbury Publishing, 2008, ISBN 978-1-84725-034-6, page 25
^ Freya Stark,
Rome on the Euphrates: The Story of a Frontier.London:
I. B. Tauris, 2012, ISBN 978-1-84885-314-0, page 211
^ Young 2001, p. 176 sqq.
^ a b c Finley 1999, p. 158.
^ Paul 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
^ Finley 1999, p. 132.
^ Veyne 2001, p. 163/215.
^ Veyne 2001, p. 181.
^ Bennett 2001, p. 188.
^ Michael Alexander Speidel: "Bellicosissimus Princeps". In: Annette
Nünnerich-Asmus ed., Traian. Ein Kaiser der Superlative am Beginn
einer Umbruchzeit? Mainz 2002, pages 23/40.
^ Sidebotham 1986, p. 144.
^ 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 . Retrieved June 11, 2014
^ 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
^ 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 [dead link]
Retrieved March 17, 2017
^ Des Boscs-Plateaux 2005, p. 304 & 311.
^ Dexter Hoyos, ed., A Companion to Roman Imperialism. Leiden: Brill,
2012, ISBN 978-90-04-23593-9, page 262
^ Luttwak 1979, p. 108.
^ David Kennedy & Derrick Riley, Rome's Desert Frontiers . London:
B.T. Datsford Limited, 2004, ISBN 0-7134-6262-0, pages 31/32
^ Fergus Millar, The Roman Near East, 31 B.C. – A.D. 337. Harvard
University Press, 1993, ISBN 0-674-77886-3, page 103
^ M.Christol & D. Nony,
Rome et son Empire. Paris: Hachette, 2003,
ISBN 2-01-145542-1, page 171
^ John Rich, Graham Shipley, eds., War and Society in the Roman World.
London: Routledge, 1993, ISBN 0-415-06644-1, page 235
^ Bennett 2001, p. 194–195.
^ Hermann Bengtson, Römische Geschichte: Republik und Kaiserzeit bis
284 n. Chr. Munich: Beck, 2001, ISBN 3-406-02505-6, page 289
^ Alfred 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
^ Choisnel 2004, p. 164.
^ S.J. De Laet, review of Lepper, Trajan's Parthian War. L'Antiquité
Classique, 18-2, 1949, pages 487–489
^ Richard Stoneman,
Palmyra and Its Empire: Zenobia's Revolt Against
Rome. Ann Arbor: 1994, University of Michigan Press,
ISBN 0-472-08315-5, page 89
^ Sheldon, Rose Mary (2010). Rome's Wars in Parthia: Blood in the
Sand. London: Vallentine Mitchell. p. 133.
^ Bennett 2001, p. 195.
^ Maurice 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
^ a b Bennett 2001, p. 199.
^ Bennett, Trajan, 196; Christol & Nony, Rome,171
^ Petit 1976, p. 44.
^ Fergus Millar, The Roman Near East, 31 B.C. – A.D. 337. Harvard
University Press, 1993, ISBN 0-674-77886-3, page 101
^ Birley 2013, p. 71.
^ 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
^ Petit 1976, p. 45.
^ Bennett 2001, p. 197/199.
^ Birley 2013, p. 72.
^ Longden, "Notes on the Parthian Campaigns", 8
^ 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
^ a b Edwell 2007, p. 21.
^ 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
^ George Rawlinson, Parthia. New York: Cosimo, 2007,
ISBN 978-1-60206-136-1, page 310
^ Christopher S. Mackay, Ancient Rome: A Military and Political
History.Cambridge University Press, 2004, ISBN 0-521-80918-5,
^ 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.
^ a b Luttwak 1979, p. 110.
^ 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 135
^ Pirouz Mojtahed-Zadeh, Security and Territoriality in the Persian
Gulf: A Maritime Political Geography, London: Routledge, 2013,
ISBN 0-7007-1098-1, page 120
^ Choisnel 2004, p. 164/165.
^ Axel Kristinsson, Expansions: Competition and Conquest in Europe
Since the Bronze Age. Reykjavík: ReykjavíkurAkademían, 2010,
ISBN 978-9979-9922-1-9, page 129
^ Bennett, Trajan, 199
^ Kaveh Farrokh, Shadows in the Desert: Ancient Persia at War. Oxford:
Osprey, 2007, ISBN 978-1-84603-108-3, page 162
^ a b c d Bennett 2001, p. 200.
^ The Cambridge Ancient History: The Imperial peace, A.D. 70-192, 1965
ed., page 249
^ Julián González, ed., Trajano Emperador De Roma, 216
^ The last two were made consuls (suffecti) for the year 117
^ González, 216
^ E. Yarshater, ed., The Cambridge History of Iran, Volume 3(1).
Cambridge University Press, 1983, ISBN 0-521-20092-X, page 91
^ Mommsen 1999, p. 289.
^ a b Bennett 2001, p. 203.
^ James J. Bloom, The Jewish Revolts Against Rome, A.D. 66–135: A
Military Analysis. McFarland, 2010, page 191
^ Bloom, 194
^ 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
^ Bloom, 190
^ Christer Bruun, "the Spurious 'Expeditio Ivdaeae' under Trajan".
Zeitschrift für Papyrologie und Epigraphik 93 (1992) 99–106
^ He 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
^ Margret Fell, ed., Erziehung, Bildung, Recht. Berlim: Dunker &
Hunblot, 1994, ISBN 3-428-08069-6, page 448
^ Histoire des Juifs, Troisième période, I – Chapitre III –
Soulèvement des Judéens sous
Trajan et Adrien
^ Bloom, 195/196
^ Hoyos, A Companion to Roman Imperialism, 325
^ Gabriele Marasco, ed., Political Autobiographies and Memoirs in
Antiquity: A Brill Companion. Leiden: Brill, 2011,
ISBN 978-90-04-18299-8, page 377
^ Bennett 2001, p. 201.
^ Francesca Santoro L'Hoir, Tragedy, Rhetoric, and the Historiography
of Tacitus' Annales.University of Michigan Press, 2006,
ISBN 0-472-11519-7, page 263
^ Birley 2013, p. 52.
^ Birley 2013, p. 50 & 52.
^ Des Boscs-Plateaux 2005, p. 306.
^ Birley 2013, p. 64.
^ Birley 2013, p. 50.
^ Christopher S. Mackay, Ancient Rome: A Military and Political
History. Cambridge University Press, 2004, ISBN 0-521-80918-5,
^ Petit 1976, p. 53.
^ Des Boscs-Plateaux 2005, p. 307.
^ Garzetti 2014, p. 379.
^ According to Historia Augusta,
Hadrian declared that he was
following the precedent set by
Cato the Elder
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
^ Birley 2013, p. 78.
^ 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.
^ Butler, A. J. (1914).
Babylon of Egypt: A study in the history of
Old Cairo. Oxford: Clarendon Press. p. 5.
^ Dio Cassius,
Epitome of Book 6; 21.2–3
^ 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  .
Retrieved March 28 2017
^ 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 319
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
Paradise (Paradiso XX.44-8)."
Dante 1998, pp. 239-40
^ Robert Mankin, "Edward Gibbon: Historian in Space", A Companion to
Enlightenment Historiography, Leiden: Brill, 2013, page 34
^ Mommsen 1999, p. 488.
^ Römische Kaisergeschichte. Munich: 1992, page 389.
^ Mommsen 1999, p. 290.
^ A. G. G. Gibson, ed. Robert Graves and the Classical Tradition.
Oxford University Press, 2015, ISBN 978-0-19-873805-3, pages
^ Heuß, Alfred (1976). Römische Geschichte. 4. Braunschweig:
Westermann. pp. 344ff.
^ J.E. Lendon, "Three Emperors and the Roman Imperial Regime", The
Classical Journal 94 (1998) pp. 87–93
^ 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 . Retrieved December 13,
^ Jens Gering, Rezension zu: Karl Strobel, Kaiser
Traian – Eine Epoche der Weltgeschichte,Frankfurter
elektronische Rundschau zur Altertumskunde 15 (2011), . Retrieved
December 15, 2015.
^ 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
^ Veyne 1976, p. 654/655.
References and further reading
Dante (1998) [1st pub. 1993]. The Divine Comedy. Translated
by Sisson, Charles H. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Alston, Richard (2014). Aspects of Roman History 31BC-AD117. Abingdon:
Routledge. ISBN 978-0-415-61120-6.
Ancel, R. Manning. "Soldiers." Military Heritage. December 2001.
Volume 3, No. 3: 12, 14, 16, 20 (Trajan, Emperor of Rome).
Bennett, Julian (2001). Trajan. Optimus Princeps. Bloomington: Indiana
University Press. ISBN 0-253-21435-1.
Birley, Anthony R. (2013). Hadrian: The Restless Emperor. Abingdon:
Routledge. ISBN 0-415-16544-X.
(in French)Des Boscs-Plateaux, Françoise (2005). 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. ISBN 84-95555-80-8.
Bowersock, G.W. Roman Arabia, Harvard University Press, 1983
(in French)Choisnel, Emmanuel (2004). Les Parthes et la Route de la
Soie. Paris: L'Harmattan. ISBN 2-7475-7037-1.
(in French)Christol, M.; Nony, N. (2003).
Rome et son Empire. Paris:
Hachette. ISBN 2-01-145542-1.
(in French) Cizek, Eugen. L'époque de Trajan: circonstances
politiques et problèmes idéologiques. Bucharest, Editura
Științifică și Enciclopedică, 1983, ISBN 978-2-251-32852-2
Dando-Collins, Stephen (2012). Legions of Rome: The definitive history
of every Roman legion. London: Quercus.
Edwell, Peter (2007). Between
Rome and Persia: The Middle Euphrates,
Palmyra Under Roman Control. Abingdon: Routledge.
Finley, M.I. (1999). The Ancient Economy. Berkeley: University of
California Press. ISBN 0-520-21946-5.
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
Garzetti, Albino (2014). From
Tiberius to the Antonines: A History of
Roman Empire AD 14-192. Abingdon: Routledge.
Găzdac, Cristian (2010). Monetary Circulation in
Dacia and the
Provinces from the Middle and Lower
Trajan to Constantine
I (AD 106–337). Cluj-Napoca: Mega.
Grainger, John D. (2004).
Nerva and the Roman Succession Crisis of AD
96–99. Abingdon: Routledge. ISBN 0-415-34958-3.
Isaac, B. The Limits of Empire, The Roman Army in the East, Revised
Edition, Oxford University Press, 1990 ISBN 0-19-814891-7
Kennedy, D. The Roman Army in Jordan, Revised Edition, Council for
British Research in the Levant, 2004. ISBN 0-9539102-1-0
Kettenhofen, Erich (2004). "TRAJAN". Encyclopaedia Iranica.
Jones, Brian (2002). The Emperor Domitian. London: Routledge.
Lepper, F.A. Trajan's Parthian War. London: Oxford University Press,
1948. OCLC 2898605 Also available online.
Luttwak, Edward N. (1979). The Grand Strategy of the Roman Empire:
From the First Century A.D. to the Third. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins
University Press. ISBN 0-8018-2158-4.
Mattern, Susan P. (1999).
Rome and the Enemy: Imperial Strategy in the
Principate. Berkeley: University of California Press.
Mommsen, Theodor (1999). A History of
Rome Under the Emperors. London:
Routledge. ISBN 0-203-97908-7.
(in French) Minaud, Gérard, Les vies de 12 femmes d'empereur
romain – Devoirs, Intrigues & Voluptés , Paris,
L'Harmattan, 2012, ch. 6, La vie de Plotine, femme de Trajan,
p. 147–168. ISBN 978-2-336-00291-0.
Petit, Paul (1976). Pax Romana. Berkeley: University of California
Press. ISBN 0-520-02171-1.
Rees, Roger (2012). Latin Panegyric. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
(in French)Le Roux, Patrick (1998). Le Haut-Empire Romain en Occident,
d'Auguste aux Sévères. Paris: Seuil. ISBN 2-02-025932-X.
de Ste. Croix, G.E.M. (1989). The Class Struggle in the Ancient Greek
World. London: Duckworth. ISBN 0-8014-9597-0.
(in Spanish)Sartre, Maurice (1994). El Oriente romano, Parte 3.
Madrid: AKAL. ISBN 84-460-0412-7.
Schmitz, Michael (2005). The Dacian Threat, 101–106 AD. Armidale,
Australia: Caeros Pty. ISBN 0-9758445-0-4.
Sidebotham, Steven E. (1986). Roman Economic Policy in the Erythra
Thalassa: 30 B.C. – A.D. 217. Leiden: Brill.
(in German) Strobel, Karl (2010). Kaiser Traian: Eine Epoche der
Weltgeschichte. Regensburg: F. Pustet.
(in French) Veyne, Paul (1976). Le Pain et le Cirque. Paris: Seuil.
(in French) Veyne, Paul (2001). La Société Romaine. Paris: Seuil.
(in French)Veyne, Paul (2005). L'Empire Gréco-Romain. Paris: Seuil.
Young, Gary K. (2001). Rome's Eastern Trade: International Commerce
and Imperial Policy 31 BC – AD 305. Abingdon: Routledge.
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.
Cassius Dio, Roman History Book 68, English translation
Aurelius Victor (attrib.),
Epitome de Caesaribus Chapter 13, English
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Benario, Herbert W. (2000). "
Trajan (A.D. 98–117)". De Imperatoribus
Romanis. Retrieved September 24, 2007.
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Tiberius II Constantine
Maurice with son Theodosius as co-emperor
Constantine IV with brothers
Tiberius and then Justinian
II as co-emperors
Justinian II (first reign)
Justinian II (second reign) with son
Tiberius as co-emperor
Leo III the Isaurian
Leo IV the Khazar
Michael I Rangabe
Michael I Rangabe with son Theophylact as co-emperor
Leo V the Armenian
Leo V the Armenian with Symbatios-Constantine as junior emperor
Michael II the Amorian
Basil I the Macedonian
Leo VI the Wise
Constantine VII Porphyrogennetos
Romanos I Lekapenos
Romanos I Lekapenos with sons Christopher, Stephen and Constantine as
Nikephoros II Phokas
John I Tzimiskes
Zoë (first reign) and Romanos III Argyros
Zoë (first reign) and Michael IV the Paphlagonian
Michael V Kalaphates
Zoë (second reign) with Theodora
Zoë (second reign) and Constantine IX Monomachos
Constantine IX Monomachos
Constantine IX Monomachos (sole emperor)
Michael VI Bringas
Isaac I Komnenos
Constantine X Doukas
Romanos IV Diogenes
Michael VII Doukas
Michael VII Doukas with brothers Andronikos and Konstantios and son
Nikephoros III Botaneiates
Alexios I Komnenos
John II Komnenos
John II Komnenos with Alexios Komnenos as co-emperor
Manuel I Komnenos
Alexios II Komnenos
Andronikos I Komnenos
Isaac II Angelos
Alexios III Angelos
Alexios IV Angelos
Nicholas Kanabos (chosen by the Senate)
Alexios V Doukas
Empire of Nicaea
Theodore I Laskaris
John III Doukas Vatatzes
Theodore II Laskaris
John IV Laskaris
Michael VIII Palaiologos
Andronikos II Palaiologos
Andronikos II Palaiologos with
Michael IX Palaiologos
Michael IX Palaiologos as co-emperor
Andronikos III Palaiologos
John V Palaiologos
John VI Kantakouzenos
John VI Kantakouzenos with
John V Palaiologos
John V Palaiologos and Matthew
Kantakouzenos as co-emperors
John V Palaiologos
Andronikos IV Palaiologos
John VII Palaiologos
Andronikos V Palaiologos
Manuel II Palaiologos
John VIII Palaiologos
Constantine XI Palaiologos
Italics indicates a co-emperor, while underlining indicates an
ISNI: 0000 0001 2142 6949
BNF: cb13164032k (data)