Aelia Domitia Paulina
|Religion||Ancient Roman religion|
|Part of a series on|
Trajan was born in
As emperor of Rome, Trajan oversaw the construction of
As an emperor, Trajan's reputation has endured – he is one of the few rulers whose reputation has survived 19 centuries. Every new emperor after him was honoured by the Senate with the wish
An account of the
The 10th 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 the text of the letters that appear in this collection over Trajan's signature was written and/or edited by Trajan's Imperial secretary, his ab epistulis. Therefore, discussion of Trajan and his rule in modern historiography cannot avoid speculation. Non-literary sources such as archaeology, epigraphy, and numismatics are also useful for reconstructing his reign.
Marcus Ulpius Trajanus was born on 18 September 53 AD in the Roman province of Hispania Baetica (in what is now Andalusia in modern Spain), in the municipium of Italica (now in the municipal area of Santiponce, in the outskirts of Seville), a Roman colony established in 206 BC by Scipio Africanus. At the time of Trajan's birth it was a small town, without baths, theatre and amphitheatre, and with a very narrow territory under its direct administration. Trajan's year of birth is not reliably attested and may instead have been 56 AD.
Intermarriage between the Ulpii and the Traii resulted in the Ulpii Traiani; it is unknown if they were co-founders of Italica or migrants that later arrived in the town.
Trajan himself was just one of many well-known Ulpii in a line that continued long after his own death. His elder sister was
As a young man Trajan rose through the ranks of the
In about 86, Trajan's cousin
The historian Cassius Dio later noted that Trajan was a lover
The details of Trajan's early military career are obscure, save for the fact that in 89, as legate of
Rise to power
Domitian's successor, Nerva, was unpopular with the army, and had been forced by his Praetorian Prefect Casperius Aelianus to execute Domitian's killers. Nerva needed the army's support to avoid being ousted. He accomplished this in the summer of 97 by naming Trajan as his adoptive son and successor, claiming that this was entirely due to 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 was the way in which Trajan was raised to power, then it was worth it. Alice König argues that the notion of a natural continuity between Nerva's and Trajan's reigns was an ex post facto fiction developed by authors writing under Trajan, including Tacitus and Pliny.
According to the
As governor of Upper Germany (Germania Superior) during Nerva's reign, Trajan received the impressive title of Germanicus for his skilful management and rule of the volatile Imperial province.
|Roman imperial dynasties|
|Nerva–Antonine dynasty (AD 96–192)|
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 into Rome in 99 was notably understated, something on which Pliny the Younger elaborated. By not openly supporting Domitian's preference for equestrian officers, 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 100, Trajan exhorted the Senate to share the care-taking of the Empire with him – an event later celebrated on a coin.
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 idea is that 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 his returning confiscated property.
Pliny states that Trajan's ideal role was a conservative one, argued as well by the orations of Dio Chrysostom—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. Trajan ingratiated himself with the Greek intellectual elite by recalling to 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 favoured by the decisions taken on behalf of his home-place by one of Trajan's legates, who had arbitrated a boundary dispute between Delphi and its neighbouring cities.
However, it was clear to Trajan that Greek intellectuals and notables were to be regarded as tools for local administration, and not be allowed to fancy themselves in a privileged position. 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 forbid Nicomedia from having a corps of firemen ("If people assemble for a common purpose ... they soon turn it into a political society", Trajan wrote to Pliny) as well as in his and Pliny's fears about excessive civic generosities by local notables such as distribution of money or gifts.
Pliny's letters suggest 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.
Severus was the grandfather of the prominent general
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 from Rome was, above all, to be left in peace, to be allowed to exert their right to self-government (i.e., to be excluded from the provincial government, as was Italy) and to concentrate on their local interests. 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 intervene. An excellent example of this Greek alienation was the personal role played by Dio of Prusa in his relationship with Trajan. Dio is described by Philostratus as Trajan's close friend, and Trajan as supposedly engaging publicly in conversations with Dio.
Nevertheless, as a Greek local magnate with a taste for costly building projects and pretensions of being an important political agent for Rome,
[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!"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 favourably 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.
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.Claudiopolis, where a public bath was built with the proceeds from the entrance fees paid by "supernumerary" members of the council, enrolled with Trajan's permission. According to the Digest, Trajan decreed that when a city magistrate promised to achieve a particular public building, his heirs inherited responsibility for its completion.
Trajan was a prolific builder. Many of his buildings were designed and erected by the gifted architect Apollodorus of Damascus, including a massive bridge over the Danube, which the Roman army and its reinforcements could use regardless of weather; the Danube sometimes froze over in winter, but seldom enough to bear the passage of a party of soldiers. Trajan's works at the Iron Gates region of the Danube created or enlarged the boardwalk road cut into the cliff-face along the Iron Gate's gorge. A canal was built between the Danube's Kasajna tributary and Ducis Pratum, circumventing rapids and cataracts.
Trajan'sForum Traiani was Rome's largest forum. It was built to commemorate his victories in Dacia, and was largely financed from that campaign's loot. To accommodate it, parts of the Capitoline and Quirinal Hills had to be removed, the latter enlarging a clear area first established by Domitian. Apollodorus of Damascus' "magnificent" design incorporated a Triumphal arch entrance, a forum space approximately 120 m long and 90m wide, surrounded by peristyles: a monumentally sized basilica: and later, Trajan's Column and libraries. It was started in 107 AD, dedicated on 1 January 112, and remained in use for at least 500 years. It still drew admiration when Emperor Constantius II visited Rome in the fourth century. It accommodated Trajan's Market, and an adjacent brick market.
Trajan was also a prolific builder of triumphal arches, many of which survive. He built roads, such as theBrundisium and the Via Traiana Nova, a mostly military road between Damascus and Aila, which Rome employed in its annexation of Nabataea and founding of Arabia Province.
Some historians attribute the construction or reconstruction ofpropylon of the Temple of Hathor at Dendera. His cartouche also appears in the column shafts of the Temple of Khnum at Esna.
He built palatial villas outside Rome atCentumcellae and at Talamone.
Trajan invested heavily in the provision of popular amusements. He carried out a "massive reconstruction" of the Circus Maximus, which was already the Empire's biggest and best appointed circuit for the immensely popular sport of chariot racing. The Circus also hosted religious theatrical spectacles and games, and public processions on a grand scale. Trajan's reconstruction, completed by 103, was modestly described by Trajan himself as "adequate" for the Roman people. It replaced flammable wooden seating tiers with stone, and increased the Circus' already vast capacity by about 5,000 seats. Its lofty, elevated Imperial viewing box was rebuilt among the seating tiers, so that spectators could see their emperor sharing their enjoyment of the races, alongside his family and images of the gods,
At some time during 108 or 109, Trajan held 123 days of games to celebrate his Dacian victory. They involved "fully 10,000" gladiators, and the slaughter of thousands, "possibly tens of thousands," of animals, both wild and domestic. Trajan's careful management of public spectacles led the orator Fronto to congratulate him for paying equal attention to public entertainments and more serious issues, acknowledging that "neglect of serious matters can cause greater damage, but neglect of amusements greater discontent". State-funded public entertainments helped to maintain contentment among the populace; the more "serious matter" of the corn dole aimed to satisfy individuals.
During the period of peace that followed the Dacian war, Trajan exchanged letters with Pliny the Younger on how best to deal with the Christians of Pontus. Trajan told Pliny to continue prosecutions of Christians if they merited that, but not to accept anonymous or malicious denunciations. He considered this to be in the interests of justice, and to reflect "the spirit of the age". Non-citizens who admitted to being Christians and refused to recant were to be executed "for obstinacy". Citizens were sent to Rome for trial.
Currency and welfare
In 107, Trajan devalued the Roman currency, decreasing the silver content of the denarius from 93.5% to 89.0% – the actual silver weight dropping from 3.04 grams to 2.88 grams. This devaluation, along with the massive amounts of gold and silver acquired through his Dacian wars, allowed Trajan to mint many more denarii than his predecessors. He also withdrew from circulation silver denarii minted before Nero's devaluation. Trajan's devaluation may have had a political intent, enabling planned increases in civil and military spending. Trajan formalised the alimenta, a welfare program that helped orphans and poor children throughout Italy by providing cash, food and subsidized education. The program was supported out of Dacian War booty, estate taxes and philanthropy. The alimenta also relied indirectly on mortgages secured against Italian farms (fundi). Registered landowners received a lump sum from the imperial treasury, and in return were expected to repay an annual sum to support the alimentary fund.
Conquest of Dacia
Trajan took the Roman empire to its greatest expanse. The earliest conquests were Rome's two wars against Dacia, an area that had troubled Roman politics for over a decade in regard to the unstable peace negotiated by Domitian's ministers with the powerful Dacian king Decebalus. Dacia would be reduced by Trajan's Rome to a client kingdom in the first war (101–102), followed by a second war that ended in actual incorporation into the Empire of the trans-Danube border group of Dacia. According to the provisions of Decebalus's earlier treaty with Rome, made in the time of Domitian, Decebalus was acknowledged as rex amicus, that is, client king; in exchange for accepting client status, he received from Rome both a generous stipend and a steady supply of technical experts. The treaty seems to have allowed Roman troops the right of passage through the Dacian kingdom in order to attack the Marcomanni, Quadi and Sarmatians. However, senatorial opinion never forgave Domitian for paying what was seen as tribute to a barbarian king. 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,Iron Gates of Transylvania. It was not a decisive victory, however. Trajan's troops took heavy losses in the encounter, and he put off further campaigning for the year in order to regroup and reinforce his army. Nevertheless, the battle was considered a Roman victory and Trajan strived to ultimately consolidate his position, including other major engagements, as well as the capture of Decebalus' sister as depicted on Trajan's Column.
The following winter, 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 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 runaways from Rome then under his protection (most of them technical experts), and surrender all his war machines. Trajan returned to Rome in triumph and was granted the title Dacicus. 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 harbour Roman runaways, and to pressure his Western neighbours, the Iazyges Sarmatians, into allying themselves with him. Through his efforts to develop an anti-Roman bloc, Decebalus prevented Trajan from treating Dacia as a protectorate instead of an outright conquest. In 104, Decebalus devised an attempt on Trajan's life by means of some Roman deserters, a plan that failed. Decebalus also took 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: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 the 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 Decebalus could dispose of up to 200,000. Other estimates for the Roman forces involved in Trajan's second Dacian War cite around 86,000 for active campaigning with large reserves retained in the proximal provinces, and potentially much lower numbers around 50,000 for Decebalus' depleted forces and absent allies.
In a fierce campaign that seems to have consisted mostly of static warfare, the Dacians, devoid of manoeuvring 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. A controversial scene on Trajan's column just before the fall of Sarmizegetusa Regia suggests that Decebalus may have offered poison to his remaining men as an alternative option to capture or death while trying to flee the besieged capital with him. Decebalus fled but, when later cornered by Roman cavalry, committed suicide. His severed head, brought to Trajan by the cavalryman Tiberius Claudius Maximus, was later exhibited in Rome on the steps leading up to the Capitol and thrown on the Gemonian stairs. The famous Dacian treasures were not found in the captured capital and their whereabouts were only revealed when a Dacian nobleman called Bikilis was captured. Decebalus’ treasures had been buried under a temporarily diverted river and the captive workers executed to retain the secret. Staggering amounts of gold and silver were found and packed off to fill Rome's coffers.
Trajan built a new city,decurions, aediles, etc.). Urban life in 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 (Carpathians. This may have been intended as a basis for further expansion within Eastern Europe, as the Romans believed the region to be much more geographically "flattened", and thus easier to traverse, than it actually was; they also underestimated the distance from those vaguely defined borders to the ocean.
Defence of the province was entrusted to a single legion, theequestrian 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 wage-earning. 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.
In 106,Hegra, over 300 kilometres (190 mi) south-west of Petra. The empire gained what became the province of Arabia Petraea (modern southern Jordan and northwest Saudi Arabia). At this time, a Roman road (Via Traiana Nova) was built from Aila (now Aqaba) in Limes Arabicus to Bosrah. 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.
In 113, Trajan embarked on his last campaign, provoked by Parthia's decision to put an unacceptable king on the throne of Armenia, a kingdom over which the two great empires had shared hegemony since the time of Nero some fifty years earlier. Trajan, already in Syria early in 113, consistently refused to accept diplomatic approaches from the Parthians intended 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.
Cause of the war
Modern historians advance the possibility that Trajan's decision to wage war against Parthia had economic motives: after Trajan's annexation of Arabia, he built a new road,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 during the period are well documented in a 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, which offered the possibility of extending Roman hegemony into the Persian Gulf itself. (A Palmyrene citizen held office as satrap over the islands shortly after Trajan's death, though the appointment was made by a Parthian king of Charax.) The rationale behind Trajan's campaign, in this case, was one of breaking down a system of Far Eastern trade through small Semitic ("Arab") cities under Parthia's control and to put it under Roman control instead.
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 his campaign Trajan annexed Armenia, he was bound to annex the whole of Mesopotamia lest the Parthians interrupt the flux of trade from the Persian Gulf and/or foment trouble at the Roman frontier on the Danube. 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 andGangetic Plains as one of the gold sources for the Roman Empire. Accordingly, in his controversial book on the Ancient economy, Finley considers Trajan's "badly miscalculated and expensive assault on Parthia" to be an example of the many Roman "commercial wars" that had in common the fact of existing only in the books of modern historians.
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 from the Kushan Empire might have attended to the commemorative ceremonies for the Dacian War may have kindled in some Greco-Roman intellectuals like Plutarch – 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 from Hispania committed to a policy of imperial expansion, first among them being the all-powerful Licinius Sura. Alternatively, one can explain the campaign by the fact that, for the Romans, their empire was in principle unlimited, and that Trajan only took advantage of an opportunity to make idea and reality coincide. Finally, there are other modern historians who think that Trajan's original aims were purely military and strategic: 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. It is possible that during the onset of Trajan's military experience, as a young tribune, he had witnessed engagement with the Parthians; so any strategic vision was grounded in a tactical awareness of what was needed to tackle Parthia.
Course of the war
The campaign was carefully planned in advance: ten legions were concentrated in the Eastern theatre; since 111, the correspondence of Pliny the Younger witnesses to the fact that provincial authorities in Bithynia had to organize supplies for passing troops, and local city councils and their individual members had to shoulder part of the increased expenses by supplying troops themselves.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 Euphrates.
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 Tigris and Euphrates rivers. He placed permanent garrisons along the way to secure the territory.Osrhoene – where King Abgar 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 fortresses.
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, Marcus Pedo Virgilianus – 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 "pre-emptive 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 theSeleucia and finally the Parthian capital of Ctesiphon. 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 city of Susa was apparently also occupied by the Romans.
According to late literary sources (not backed by numismatic or inscriptional evidence) a province ofAssyria 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 Euphrates and 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.
Trajan left the Persian Gulf for Babylon – where he intended to offer sacrifice to Alexander in the house where he had died in 323 BCSanatruces, a nephew of the Parthian king Osroes I who had retained a cavalry force, possibly strengthened by the addition of Saka archers, imperilled Roman positions in Mesopotamia and Armenia. Trajan sought to deal with this by forsaking direct Roman rule in Parthia proper, at least partially. Trajan sent two armies towards Northern Mesopotamia: the first, under Lusius Quietus, recovered Nisibis and Edessa from the rebels, probably having King Abgarus deposed and killed in the process, 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 Clarus and 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, whom Trajan wooed successfully). After re-taking and burning Seleucia, Trajan then formally deposed Osroes, putting Parthamaspates on the throne as client ruler. This event was commemorated in a coin 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. It was at this point that Trajan's health started to fail him. The fortress city of Hatra, on the Tigris in his rear, continued to hold out against repeated Roman assaults. He was personally present at the siege, and it is possible that he suffered a heat stroke while in the blazing heat.
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 Roman occupation. 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 theatre 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
Death and succession
Early in 117, Trajan grew ill and set sail for Italy. His health declined throughout the spring and summer of 117, possibly acknowledged to the public by the display of a bronze portrait-bust at the public baths of Ancyra, showing an aged and emaciated man, though the identification with Trajan is disputed. He reached Selinus,[a] where he suddenly died, on or shortly before 11 August. Trajan in person could have lawfully nominated Hadrian as his successor, but Dio claims that Trajan's wife, Pompeia Plotina, assured Hadrian's succession by keeping Trajan's death a secret, long enough for her to produce and sign a document attesting to Hadrian's adoption as son and successor. Dio, who tells this narrative, offers his father – the governor of Cilicia Apronianus – as a source, so his narrative may be based on contemporary rumour. It may also reflect male Roman displeasure that an empress – let alone any woman – could presume to meddle in Rome's political affairs.
Hadrian held an ambiguous position during Trajan's reign. After commandingArchon eponymos for Athens in 111/112. He probably did not take part in the Parthian War. Literary sources relate that Trajan had considered others, such as the jurist Lucius Neratius Priscus, as heir. 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. Hadrian seems to have been well connected to the powerful and influential coterie of Spanish senators at Trajan's court, through his ties to Plotina and the Prefect Attianus. His refusal to sustain Trajan's senatorial and expansionist policy during his own reign may account for the "crass hostility" shown him by literary sources.
Hadrian's first major act as emperor was to abandon Mesopotamia as too costly and distant to defend, and to restore Armenia and Osrhoene to Parthian hegemony, under Rome's suzerainty. The Parthian campaign had been an enormous setback to Trajan's policy, proof that Rome had overstretched its capacity to sustain an ambitious program of conquest. According to the Historia Augusta, Hadrian claimed to follow the precedent set by Cato the Elder towards the Macedonians, who "were to be set free because they could not be protected" – something Birley sees as an unconvincing precedent.  Other territories conquered by Trajan were retained. According to a well-established historical tradition, Trajan's ashes were placed within the small cella that still survives at the base of Trajan's column. In some modern scholarship, his ashes were more likely interred near his column, in a mausoleum, temple or tomb built for his cult as a divus of the Roman state.
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.Many emperors after Trajan would, when they were sworn into office, be wished Felicior Augusto, Melior Traiano ("May you be more fortunate than Augustus and better than Trajan"). The fourth-century emperor Constantine I is credited with calling him a "plant upon every wall" for the many buildings bearing inscriptions with his name.
During theDante, following this legend, sees the spirit of Trajan in the Heaven of Jupiter with other historical and mythological persons noted for their justice. Also, a mural of Trajan stopping to provide justice for a poor widow is present in the first terrace of Purgatory as a lesson to those who are purged for being proud.
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.
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 contested, when 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 Trajan's conquests, was "doing what the situation clearly required".
It was exactly this military character of Trajan's reign that attracted his early twentieth-century biographer, the ItalianFascist 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 as 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-centred 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.
In Jewish legend
In the Jewish homiletical works, such as Esther Rabbah, Trajan is described with the epitaph "may his bones be crushed" (Hebrew: שְׁחִיק עֲצָמוֹת, sh'hik atzamot). The same epitaph is also used for Hadrian.
Nerva–Antonine family tree
- (1) = 1st spouse
- (2) = 2nd spouse
- (3) = 3rd spouse
- Reddish-purple indicates emperor of the Nerva–Antonine dynastylighter purple indicates designated imperial heir of said dynasty who never reignedgrey indicates unsuccessful imperial aspirantsbluish-purple indicates emperors of other dynasties
- dashed lines indicate adoption; dotted lines indicate love affairs/unmarried relationships
- Small Caps = posthumously deified (Augustae, or other)
Except where otherwise noted, the notes below indicate that an individual's parentage is as shown in the above family tree.
- Sister of Trajan's father: Giacosa (1977), p. 7.
- Giacosa (1977), p. 8.
- Levick (2014), p. 161.
- Husband of Ulpia Marciana: Levick (2014), p. 161.
- Giacosa (1977), p. 7.
- DIR contributor (Herbert W. Benario, 2000), "Hadrian".
- Giacosa (1977), p. 9.
- Husband of Salonia Matidia: Levick (2014), p. 161.
- Smith (1870), "Julius Servianus".
- Smith (1870), "Hadrian", pp. 319–322.
- Lover of Hadrian: Lambert (1984), p. 99 and passim; deification: Lamber (1984), pp. 2–5, etc.
- Julia Balbilla a possible lover of Sabina: A. R. Birley (1997), Hadrian, the Restless Emperor, p. 251, cited in Levick (2014), p. 30, who is sceptical of this suggestion.
- Husband of Rupilia Faustina: Levick (2014), p. 163.
- Levick (2014), p. 163.
- It is uncertain whether Rupilia Faustina was Frugi's daughter by Salonia Matidia or another woman.
- Levick (2014), p. 162.
- Levick (2014), p. 164.
- Wife of M. Annius Verus: Giacosa (1977), p. 10.
- Wife of M. Annius Libo: Levick (2014), p. 163.
- Giacosa (1977), p. 10.
- The epitomator of Cassius Dio (72.22) gives the story that Faustina the Elder promised to marry Avidius Cassius. This is also echoed in HA "Marcus Aurelius" 24.
- Husband of Ceionia Fabia: Levick (2014), p. 164.
- Levick (2014), p. 117.
- DIR contributors (2000). "De Imperatoribus Romanis: An Online Encyclopedia of Roman Rulers and Their Families". Retrieved 14 April 2015.
- Giacosa, Giorgio (1977). Women of the Caesars: Their Lives and Portraits on Coins. Translated by R. Ross Holloway. Milan: Edizioni Arte e Moneta.ISBN 0-8390-0193-2.
- Lambert, Royston (1984). Beloved and God: The Story of Hadrian and Antinous. New York: Viking.ISBN 0-670-15708-2.
- ISBN 978-0-19-537941-9.
- Smith, William, ed. (1870). Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology.
- Cassius Dio, Book 68, 3–4.
- Discourses on Livy, I, 10, 4
- Strobel 2010, p. 14.
- Strobel 2010, p. 15.
- Bennett 2001, pp. xii/xiii & 63.
- Noreña, Carlos F. (2007). "The Social Economy of Pliny's Correspondence with Trajan". American Journal of Philology, 128, 239–277, p. 251.
- Bennett 2001, p. xiii.
- Syme, Tacitus, 30–44; PIR Vlpivs 575
- Appian, Iberian Wars, Book VII, Chapter 38
- Roman-Italic migration in Spain, in The origins of the Social War, Emilio Gabba
- "Cassius Dio, himself of provincial origin, had little respect for the phylogeny of the emperor Trajan, observing with barely disguised contempt that he was 'an Iberian, and neither an Italian nor even an Italiote'. In fact, one ancient account derives Trajan's paternal family, the gens Ulpia, from Tuder, on the northern border of ancient Umbria, an area where the clan is independently recorded... Traius, like Ulpius, while not especially common, occurs with some frequency in northern Italy, notably at Tuder and at the nearby municipality of Ameria, the probable origo of Trajan's mother, strengthening the possibility of close family ties with the region... an Italian pedigree for the gens Ulpia seems certain... his family had settled at Italica (Santiponce) in southern Spain, a few miles east of modern Seville. ... strictly speaking, Trajan was an Hispaniensis, an Italian domiciled or born in Spain, as opposed to an Hispanus...." Bennett (2001). Trajan: Optimus Princeps, pp. 1–3.
- "... The Greek historian Cassius Dio made the baseless assertion that Trajan was an Iberian...'", Colonial elites: Rome and Spain, Ronald Syme, 1970, p. 22.
- "Two other Italica families with whom they shared this position may be identified, the Ulpii and the Trahii or Traii, the ancestors of Trajan. One or both derived from Tuder (Todi) in Umbria"[excessive quote], p.12, Hadrian: the Restless Emperor, London: Routledge, (1997), Anthony Birley
- Trajan, Mason Hammond, Britannica
- One author has argued that the Traii ancestors of Trajan were a family of indigenous Iberian Turdetani rather than Italic settlers, but this view departs from the prevailing view in academia. Canto, Alicia M. (2003). Las raíces béticas de Trajano: los 'Traii' de la Itálica turdetana, y otras novedades sobre su familia, Sevilla.
- Appian, Iberian Wars, Book VII, Chapter 38
- Epitome de Caesaribusabscriptum Aurelio Victori, XIII, Ulpius Traianus ex urbe Tudertina...
- CIL XI, 4686
- Chase, George Davis (1897). "The Origin of Roman Praenomina", in Harvard Studies in Classical Philology, vol. VIII, pp. 103–184.
- Roman-Italic migration in Spain, in The origins of the Social War, Emilio Gabba
- Strobel 2010, p. 40.
- 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, pp. 22–23.
- Garzetti 2014, p. 378.
- Bennett 2001, p. 13.
- Augustan History, Life of Hadrian 2.5–6
- "Pompei Plotina". Britannica. Retrieved 26 January 2017.
- Bennett 2001, p. 58.
- Bennett 2001, p. 43.
- Bennett 2001, pp. 45–46.
- Alston 2014, p. 261.
- Grainger 2004, pp. 91, 109.
- Veyne 1976, p. 686, note 399.
- Eugen Cizek, "Tacite face à Trajan", available at , pp. 127/128. Retrieved 20 July 2014
- Fritz Heichelheim, Cedric Veo, Allen Ward,(1984), The History of the Roman People, pp. 353, 354 Prentice-Hall, New Jersey
- Feriale Duranum 1.14-15: "V K[al](endas) [Feb]rarias... ob imperium [Divi Traiani]."
- Grainger 2004, p. 111.
- Bennett 2001, p. 52.
- Alston 2014, p. 262.
- Alston 2014, pp. 200, 206.
- Rees 2012, p. 198.
- Jones 2002, p. 178.
- Rees 2012, p. 121.
- Veyne 2005, p. 402.
- Letters III, 20, 12,
- Veyne 2005, p. 38, footnote.
- M.S. Gsell, "Étude sur le rôle politique du Sénat Romain à l'époque de Trajan", Mélanges d'archéologie et d'histoire, 1887, V.7.7, available at . Accessed 20 January 2015
- Veyne 2005, p. 37.
- Ryan K. Balot, ed., A Companion to Greek and Roman Political Thought.John Wiley & Sons, 2012,
- Bernard W. Henderson, "Five Roman Emperors" (1927).
- F. A. Lepper, "Trajan's Parthian War" (1948).
- Veyne 2005, p. 241.
- Benjamin Isaac, 487; Albino Garzetti, From Tiberius to the Antonines, 348
- Veyne 2005, p. 240.
- 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 12 December 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 12 December 2014
- Pierre Lambrechts, "Trajan et le récrutement du Sénat", L'antiquité classique, 1936, 5–1, pp. 105–114. Available at . Retrieved 4 January 2015
- de Ste. Croix 1989, p. 119.
- de Ste. Croix 1989, p. 466.
- Veyne 2005, pp. 195–196.
- Veyne 2005, p. 229.
- Veyne 2005, pp. 229–230.
- Bradley Hudson McLean, An Introduction to Greek Epigraphy of the Hellenistic and Roman Periods from Alexander the Great Down to the Reign of Constantine (323 B.C.–A.D. 337). University of Michigan Press, 2002, p. 334
- Pliny, Letters, 10.70.2
- Graham Anderson, Second Sophistic: A Cultural Phenomenon in the Roman Empire. London, Routledge, 2005, Google e-book, available at . Retrieved 15 December 2014
- Potter, 246
- Dio, Discourse 38,To the Nicomedians on Concord with the Nicaeans, 37. Available at . Retrieved February 20, 2016
- Veyne 2005, pp. 232–233.
- Paul Veyne, "L'identité grecque devant Rome et l'empereur", Revue des Études Grecques, 1999, V.122-2, p. 515. Available at . Retrieved 20 December 2014
- 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 13 December 2014
- Temporini & Haase, Politische Geschichte, 669
- de Ste. Croix 1989, p. 530.
- Jesper Majbom Madsen, Eager to be Roman, 117
- 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, p. 177
- Wiseman, James, 1997, "Beyond the Danube's Iron Gates". Archaeology 50(2): 24–29.
- Šašel, Jaroslav. 1973 "Trajan's Canal at the Iron Gate". The Journal of Roman Studies. 63:80–85.
- Fritz Heichelheim, Cedric Veo, Allen Ward,(1984) History of the Roman People, p. 382, Prentice-Hall, Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey
- Packer, James (January–February 1998). "Trajan's GLORIOUS FORUM". Archaeology. 51 (1): 32.
- Butler, A. J. (1914). Babylon of Egypt: A study in the history of Old Cairo. Oxford: Clarendon Press. p. 5.
- Epitome of Cassius Dio, Roman History, 68.15.1
- "Tulane University "Roman Currency of the Principate"". Tulane.edu. Archived from the original on 1 November 2008. Retrieved 5 December 2011.
- Petit 1976, p. 188.
- "Alimenta". Tjbuggey.ancients.info. Archived from the original on 10 February 2014. Retrieved 25 April 2014.
- 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 23 February 2016
- Luttwak 1979, p. 100.
- Schmitz 2005, p. 13.
- "De Imperatoribus Romanis". An Online Encyclopedia of Roman Emperors. Retrieved 8 November 2007.Because the Dacians represented an obstacle against Roman expansion in the east, in the year 101 the emperor Trajan decided to begin a new campaign against them. The first war began on 25 March 101 and the Roman troops, consisting of four principal legions (X Gemina, XI Claudia, II Traiana Fortis, and XXX Ulpia Victrix), defeated the Dacians.
- Le Roux 1998, p. 73.
- "Battle of Sarmizegetusa (Sarmizegetuza), A.D. 105: De Imperatoribus Romanis". An Online Encyclopedia of Roman Emperors. Retrieved 8 November 2007.Although the Dacians had been defeated, the emperor postponed the final siege for the conquering of Sarmizegetuza because his armies needed reorganization. Trajan imposed on the Dacians very hard peace conditions: Decebalus had to renounce claim to part of his kingdom, including the Banat, Tara Hategului, Oltenia, and Muntenia in the area south-west of Transylvania. He had also to surrender all the Roman deserters and all his war machines. At Rome, Trajan was received as a winner and he took the name of Dacicus, a title that appears on his coinage of this period. At the beginning of the year 103 A.D., there were minted coins with the inscription: IMP NERVA TRAIANVS AVG GER DACICVS.
- 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 2 July 2014
- Bennett 2001, pp. 94–95.
- Bennett 2001, p. 96.
- Christol & Nony, 171
- Dando-Collins 2012, p. not numbered.
- "Battle of Sarmizegetusa (Sarmizegetuza), A.D. 105: De Imperatoribus Romanis". An Online Encyclopedia of Roman Emperors. Retrieved 8 November 2007.However, during the years 103–105, Decebalus did not respect the peace conditions imposed by Trajan and the emperor then decided to destroy completely the Dacian kingdom and to conquer Sarmizegetuza.
- In the absence of literary references, however, the positioning of the new legions is conjectural: some scholars think that Legio II Traiana Fortis was originally stationed on the Lower Danube and participated in the Second Dacian War, being only later deployed to the East:cf. Ritterling, E., 1925. RE XII. Col. 1485. Syme, R., 1971. Danubian Papers, Bucharest. p. 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. p. 98. Strobel, K., 2010. Kaiser Traian. Eine Epoche der Weltgeschichte, Verlag Friedrich Pustet. Regensburg. pp. 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.
- Le Roux 1998, p. 74.
- Găzdac 2010, p. 49.
- Martin Goodman, The Roman World 44 BC–AD 180, 253
- 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).
- Sartre 1994, p. 269.
- Luttwak 1979, pp. 101, 104.
- Luttwak 1979, p. 101.
- Mattern 1999, p. 61.
- Luttwak 1979, p. 104.
- Le Roux 1998, p. 241.
- Le Roux 1998, pp. 202, 242.
- Bennett 2001, pp. 102, 90.
- Sartre 1994, p. 46.
- Bennett 2001, p. 177.
- Bennett 2001, pp. 172–182.
- Browning 1982, p. 33.
- R. P. Longden, "Notes on the Parthian Campaigns of Trajan". The Journal of Roman Studies, Vol. 21 (1931), pp. 1–35. Available at . Retrieved 18 August 2019
- Sidebotham 1986, p. 154.
- Christol & Nony, Rome, 171
- Young 2001, p. 181.
- Potts, 143
- Veyne 2005, p. 279.
- Găzdac 2010, p. 59.
- Young 2001, p. 176 sqq.
- Finley 1999, p. 158.
- Finley 1999, p. 132.
- Veyne 2001, pp. 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, pp. 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, p. 192. Available at . Retrieved 11 June 2014
- 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  Retrieved 18 August 2019
- Des Boscs-Plateaux 2005, pp. 304, 311.
- Luttwak 1979, p. 108.
- Bennett 2001, pp. 194–195.
- Choisnel 2004, p. 164.
- S.J. De Laet, review of Lepper, Trajan's Parthian War. L'Antiquité Classique, 18-2, 1949, pp. 487–489
- Sheldon, Rose Mary (2010). Rome's Wars in Parthia: Blood in the Sand. London: Vallentine Mitchell. p. 133.
- Bennett 2001, p. 195.
- Bennett 2001, p. 199.
- Bennett, Trajan, 196; Christol & Nony, Rome,171
- Petit 1976, p. 44.
- Birley 2013, p. 71.
- Petit 1976, p. 45.
- Bennett 2001, pp. 197/199.
- Birley 2013, p. 72.
- Longden, "Notes on the Parthian Campaigns", 8
- 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
- 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, pp. 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, pp. 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, pp. 3/45) puts Assyria between Mesopotamia and Adiabene; Lepper (1948, p. 146) considers Assyria and Adiabene to be the same province.
- Luttwak 1979, p. 110.
- Choisnel 2004, pp. 164/165.
- Bennett, Trajan, 199
- Bennett 2001, p. 200.
- The Cambridge Ancient History: The Imperial peace, A.D. 70–192, 1965 ed., p. 249
- Julián González, ed., Trajano Emperador De Roma, 216
- The last two were made consuls (suffecti) for the year 117
- Mommsen 1999, p. 289.
- Bennett 2001, p. 203.
- James J. Bloom, The Jewish Revolts Against Rome, A.D. 66–135: A Military Analysis. McFarland, 2010, p. 191
- Bloom, 194
- Bloom, 190
- Christer Bruun, "the Spurious 'Expeditio Ivdaeae' under Trajan". Zeitschrift für Papyrologie und Epigraphik 93 (1992) 99–106
- Histoire des Juifs, Troisième période, I – Chapitre III – Soulèvement des Judéens sous Trajan et Adrien
- Bloom, 195/196
- Bennett 2001, p. 201.
- Theophilus of Antioch, To Autolycus XXVII: "Trajan [ruled] 19 years 6 months 16 days". This gives a death date of 12/13 August. Theophilus and Clement's works were primarily focused on religion, and present various inconsistencies in chronology.
- Clement of Alexandria (c. 200), Stromata Book I: "nineteen years, seven [six] months, ten days." This gives a death date of 6/7 August.
- Historia Augusta (4th/5th century) Hadrianus 4.6. "On the fifth day before the Ides of August [9 August], while Hadrian was governor of Syria, he learned of his adoption by Trajan. On the third day before the Ides of August [11 August] he received the news of Trajan's death."
- There is no contemporary account of Trajan's life. Only the Historia Augusta gives precise dates, but there is no certainty or agreement about its accuracy.
- Birley 2013, p. 52.
- Birley 2013, pp. 50, 52.
- Des Boscs-Plateaux 2005, p. 306.
- Birley 2013, p. 64.
- Birley 2013, p. 50.
- Petit 1976, p. 53.
- Des Boscs-Plateaux 2005, p. 307.
- Garzetti 2014, p. 379.
- 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. 277–290
- Hammond, Mason. "Trajan". Encyclopedia Britannica. Retrieved 21 June 2019.
- Claride, Amaanda, Hadrian's lost Temple of Trajan, in: "Hadrian's Succession and the Monuments of Trajan", edited by Thorsten Opper, The British Museum, 2016, pp. 5 - 19
- 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, p. 70. Available at  . Retrieved 28 March 2017
- Eutropius, Breviarium, 8.5.3
- Epitome de Caesaribus 41.13
- Ammianus Marcellinus 27.3.7
- Gschwantler, Kurt; Bernhard-Walcher, Alfred; Laubenberger, Manuela; Plattner, Georg; Zhuber-Okrog, Karoline (2011). "Emperor Trajan - unknown - Masterpieces in the Collection of Greek and Roman Antiquities. A Brief Guide to the Kunsthistorisches Museum". Google Arts & Culture. Vienna. Retrieved 8 May 2021.Trajan is always depicted without a beard.
- "Porträtbüste: Kaiser Traian". www.khm.at (in German). Retrieved 30 December 2021.
- Dorsey, Lauren (9 January 2021). "How to Identify a Roman Emperor By His Beard? | DailyArt Magazine". DailyArtMagazine.com - Art History Stories. Retrieved 8 May 2021.
- Dante 1998, p. 593. David H. Higgins in his notes to Purgatorio X l. 75 says: "Pope Gregory the Great (d. 604) was held to have swayed the justice of God by prayer ('his great victory'), releasing Trajan's soul from Hell, who, resuscitated, was converted to Christianity. Dante accepted this, as Aquinas before him, and places Trajan in Paradise (Paradiso XX.44-8)."
- Dante 1998, pp. 239–40
- Europe, 1450 to 1789: Encyclopedia of the Early Modern World. Ed. Jonathan Dewald. Vol. 4. New York, NY:Charles Scribner's Sons, 2004. p94-96.
- Robert Mankin, "Edward Gibbon: Historian in Space", A Companion to Enlightenment Historiography, Leiden: Brill, 2013, p. 34
- Mommsen 1999, p. 488.
- Römische Kaisergeschichte. Munich: 1992, p. 389.
- Mommsen 1999, p. 290.
- Heuß, Alfred (1976). Römische Geschichte. Vol. 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, 2015.
- Jens Gering, Rezension zu: Karl Strobel, Kaiser Traian – Eine Epoche der Weltgeschichte,Frankfurter elektronische Rundschau zur Altertumskunde 15 (2011), . Retrieved December 15, 2015.
- Veyne 1976, pp. 654/655.
- "Esther Rabbah: Petikhta, par. 3". sefaria.org. Retrieved 22 February 2022.
- Smallwood, E. M. (1962). Palestine c. AD 115-118. Historia: Zeitschrift für Alte Geschichte, (H. 4), 500-510.
- Pius, A., Italica, H., Sabina, V., Aelius, L., Hadrianus, P. A., Augustus, C. P. A. T. H., ... & Paulina, D. Roman imperial dynasties. Nerva, 96, 98.
Sources and further reading
- Alighieri, Dante (1998) . The Divine Comedy. Translated by Sisson, Charles H. Oxford: Oxford University Press.ISBN 978-0-19-283502-4.
- 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:ISBN 978-0-253-21435-5.
- ISBN 978-0-415-16544-0.
- 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 (in French). Madrid: Casa de Velázquez.ISBN 978-84-95555-80-9.
- Bowersock, G.W. Roman Arabia, Harvard University Press, 1983
- Browning, Iain (1982). Jerash and the Decapolis. London: Chatto & Windus.OCLC 1166989366.
- Choisnel, Emmanuel (2004). Les Parthes et la Route de la Soie (in French). Paris: L'Harmattan.ISBN 978-2-7475-7037-4.
- ISBN 978-2-01-145542-0.
- (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.ISBN 978-1-84916-230-2.
- Edwell, Peter (2007). Between Rome and Persia: The Middle Euphrates, Mesopotamia and Palmyra Under Roman Control. Abingdon: Routledge.ISBN 978-0-203-93833-1.
- ISBN 978-0-520-21946-5.
- 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 Emperor).
- Garzetti, Albino (2014). From Tiberius to the Antonines: A History of the Roman Empire AD 14-192. Abingdon: Routledge.ISBN 978-1-138-01920-1.
- Găzdac, Cristian (2010). Monetary Circulation in Dacia and the Provinces from the Middle and Lower Danube from Trajan to Constantine I (AD 106–337). Cluj-Napoca: Mega.ISBN 978-606-543-040-2.
- Grainger, John D. (2004). Nerva and the Roman Succession Crisis of AD 96–99. Abingdon: Routledge.ISBN 978-0-415-34958-1.
- Isaac, B. The Limits of Empire, The Roman Army in the East, Revised Edition, Oxford University Press, 1990OCLC 20091873
- Jackson, N. Trajan: Rome's Last Conqueror, 1st edition, GreenHill Books, 2022. ISBN 9781784387075
- Kennedy, D. The Roman Army in Jordan, Revised Edition, Council for British Research in the Levant, 2004.OCLC 59267318
- Kettenhofen, Erich (2004). "TRAJAN". Encyclopaedia Iranica.
- Jones, Brian (2002). The Emperor Domitian. London: Routledge.ISBN 978-0-203-03625-9.
- Lepper, F.A. Trajan's Parthian War. London: Oxford University Press, 1948.OCLC 2898605Also available online.
- ISBN 978-0-8018-2158-5.
- Mattern, Susan P. (1999). Rome and the Enemy: Imperial Strategy in the Principate. Berkeley: University of California Press.ISBN 978-0-520-21166-7.
- ISBN 978-0-203-97908-2.
- (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 978-0-520-02171-6.
- Rees, Roger (2012). Latin Panegyric. Oxford: Oxford University Press.ISBN 978-0-19-957671-5.
- Le Roux, Patrick (1998). Le Haut-Empire Romain en Occident, d'Auguste aux Sévères (in French). Paris: Seuil.ISBN 978-2-02-025932-3.
- de Ste. Croix, G.E.M. (1989). The Class Struggle in the Ancient Greek World. London: Duckworth.ISBN 978-0-8014-9597-7.
- ISBN 978-84-460-0412-7.
- Schmitz, Michael (2005). The Dacian Threat, 101–106 AD. Armidale, Australia: Caeros Pty.ISBN 978-0-9758445-0-2.
- Sidebotham, Steven E. (1986). Roman Economic Policy in the Erythra Thalassa: 30 B.C. – A.D. 217. Leiden: Brill.ISBN 978-90-04-07644-0.
- Strobel, Karl (2010). Kaiser Traian: Eine Epoche der Weltgeschichte (in German). Regensburg: F. Pustet.ISBN 978-3-7917-2172-9.
- Veyne, Paul (1976). Le Pain et le Cirque (in French). Paris: Seuil.ISBN 978-2-02-004507-0.
- Veyne, Paul (2001). La Société Romaine (in French). Paris: Seuil.ISBN 978-2-02-052360-8.
- Veyne, Paul (2005). L'Empire Gréco-Romain (in French). Paris: Seuil.ISBN 978-2-02-057798-4.
- Young, Gary K. (2001). Rome's Eastern Trade: International Commerce and Imperial Policy 31 BC – AD 305. Abingdon: Routledge.ISBN 978-0-203-47093-0.
- Wildfeuer, C.R.H. Trajan, Lion of Rome: the Untold Story of Rome's Greatest Emperor, Aquifer Publishing, 2009.OCLC 496004778Historical fiction.
- Cassius Dio, Roman History Book 68, English translation
- Aurelius Victor (attrib.), Epitome de Caesaribus Chapter 13, English translation
- Pliny the Younger, Letters, Book 10, English translation
- Benario, Herbert W. (2000). "Trajan (A.D. 98–117)". De Imperatoribus Romanis. Retrieved 24 September 2007.