[93], 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,[94] the correctores themselves were all men of the highest social standing entrusted with an exceptional commission. Finally, in 105, Decebalus undertook an invasion of Roman-occupied territory north of the Danube. He allowed provinces to keep gold remittances that would normally be sent to the emperor and reduced taxes. 21 (1931), pp. 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. In the West, that meant local senatorial families like his own. The Dacians and their allies were repulsed after two battles in Moesia, at Nicopolis ad Istrum and Adamclisi. This event might have prompted the annexation of the Nabataean kingdom, but the manner and the formal reasons for the annexation are unclear. Dikla Rivlin Katz, Noah Hacham, Geoffrey Herman, Lilach Sagiv, Z. Yavetz, "The Urban Plebs in the Days of the Flavians, Nerva and Trajan". Pergamum inscription (Smallwood NH 214), reproduced in Brian Campbell. [215] This newer, more "rational" frontier, depended, however, on an increased, permanent Roman presence east of the Euphrates. [137] The garrison city of Oescus received the status of Roman colony after its legionary garrison was redeployed. [294] 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). A remarkable pair of documents have survived from the correspondence between the Emperor Trajan and Pliny the Younger who was governor of Pontus/Bithynia from 111-113 AD. [221] 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. [39] Therefore, he could point to the allegedly republican character of his rule. [22] There are hints, however, in contemporary literary sources that Trajan's adoption was imposed on Nerva. His birth name was Marcus Ulpius Traianus. During his 19 year reign, he was involved in three major wars - the first two with the Dacians and the last on the eastern frontier. [162] 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. Citizens were sent to Rome for trial. Under Domitian he had been involved briefly with King Decebalus and the Dacians along the Danube River but without any clear success. [177], 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. [149] The empire gained what became the province of Arabia Petraea (modern southern Jordan and north west Saudi Arabia). In 79 A.D., the younger Pliny witnessed the eruption of Mount Vesuvius, with its “dense black cloud ... spreading over the earth like a flood.” Sadly, his uncle perished in the eruption. 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. [108] In addition, unlike the Germanic tribes, the Dacian kingdom was an organized state capable of developing alliances of its own,[109] thus making it a strategic threat and giving Trajan a strong motive to attack it. [243], 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,[243] with Quietus probably earning the right to receive the honors of a senator of praetorian rank (adlectus inter praetorios). Among medieval Christian theologians, Trajan was considered a virtuous pagan. Gravity. Trajan (/ˈtreɪdʒən/ TRAY-jən; Latin: Caesar Nerva Traianus pronounced [ˈkae̯sar ˈnɛr.wa t̪rajˈjaːnʊs]; 18 September 53 – 8 August 117) was Roman emperor from 98 to 117. [192] 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. The truth is that Trajan had many achievements but also some glaring failures. [236][231] 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. [155] 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. He was elected consul, or head of the senate, in 98 A.D., which brought him to the capital city. [49] 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". However, the overall scarcity of manpower for the Roman military establishment meant that the campaign was doomed from the start. Earlier campaigns against the Dacians as well as against Germanic tribes across the Danube by Domitian had met with some success, but the situation had been largely left unsettled. [60] 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. [146] 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. [138] 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. PLAY. [7] 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. Early in his reign, he annexed the Nabataean Kingdom, creating the province of Arabia Petraea. 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,[123] 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. [202] 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. 2020 National Geographic Partners, LLC. [95] It must be added that, although Trajan was wary of the civic oligarchies in the Greek cities, he also admitted into the Senate a number of prominent Eastern notables already slated for promotion during Domitian's reign by reserving for them one of the twenty posts open each year for minor magistrates (the vigintiviri). In contrast, his successor Hadrian would stress the notion of the empire as ecumenical and of the Emperor as universal benefactor and not kosmocrator. [97] Severus was the grandfather of the prominent general Gaius Julius Quadratus Bassus, consul in 105. Before one goes into the story of just how Trajan became emperor, one should consider his family. A noted orator, senator, and administrator, Pliny wrote ten books of letters that combined philosophy, history, and poetry. 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. The other four "good emperors" were Trajan (98–117), Hadrian (117–138), Antoninus Pius (138–161), and Marcus Aurelius (161–180). [107] 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. Trajan's putative lovers included Hadrian, pages of the imperial household, the actor Pylades, a dancer called Apolaustus, and senator Lucius Licinius Sura. However, his adventures in Parthia were costly and could have ended in disaster. However, the placement of the slab at Caput Bovis suggests that the canal extended to this point or that there was a second canal downriver of the Kasajna-Ducis Pratum one. Trajan was also a great builder. [100] But then Trajan's new Eastern senators were mostly very powerful and very wealthy men with more than local influence[101] and much interconnected by marriage, so that many of them were not altogether "new" to the Senate.
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