Trajan

Trajan

Overview
Trajan was Roman Emperor
Roman Emperor
The Roman emperor was the ruler of the Roman State during the imperial period . The Romans had no single term for the office although at any given time, a given title was associated with the emperor...

 from 98 to 117 AD. Born into a non-patrician family in the province of Hispania Baetica
Hispania Baetica
Hispania Baetica was one of three Imperial Roman provinces in Hispania, . Hispania Baetica was bordered to the west by Lusitania, and to the northeast by Hispania Tarraconensis. Baetica was part of Al-Andalus under the Moors in the 8th century and approximately corresponds to modern Andalucia...

, in Spain
Spain
Spain , officially the Kingdom of Spain languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Spain's official name is as follows:;;;;;;), is a country and member state of the European Union located in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula...

 Trajan rose to prominence during the reign of emperor Domitian
Domitian
Domitian was Roman Emperor from 81 to 96. Domitian was the third and last emperor of the Flavian dynasty.Domitian's youth and early career were largely spent in the shadow of his brother Titus, who gained military renown during the First Jewish-Roman War...

. Serving as a legatus legionis
Legatus legionis
Legatus legionis was a title awarded to legion commanders in Ancient Rome.-History:By the time of the Roman Republic, the term legatus delegated authority...

 in Hispania Tarraconensis
Hispania Tarraconensis
Hispania Tarraconensis was one of three Roman provinces in Hispania. It encompassed much of the Mediterranean coast of Spain along with the central plateau. Southern Spain, the region now called Andalusia, was the province of Hispania Baetica...

, in Spain
Spain
Spain , officially the Kingdom of Spain languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Spain's official name is as follows:;;;;;;), is a country and member state of the European Union located in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula...

, in 89 Trajan supported the emperor against a revolt on the Rhine led by Antonius Saturninus
Lucius Antonius Saturninus
Lucius Antonius Saturninus was the Roman governor of the province Germania Superior during the reign of the Emperor Domitian. In the spring of 89, motivated by a personal grudge against the Emperor, he led a rebellion known as the Revolt of Saturninus, involving the legions Legio XIV Gemina and...

. In September 96, Domitian was succeeded by Marcus Cocceius Nerva
Nerva
Nerva , was Roman Emperor from 96 to 98. Nerva became Emperor at the age of sixty-five, after a lifetime of imperial service under Nero and the rulers of the Flavian dynasty. Under Nero, he was a member of the imperial entourage and played a vital part in exposing the Pisonian conspiracy of 65...

, an old and childless senator who proved to be unpopular with the army.
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97   Emperor Nerva is forced by the Praetorian Guard, to adopt general Marcus Ulpius Trajanus as his heir and successor.

98   Trajan becomes Roman Emperor after the death of Nerva.

109   The Aqua Traiana is inaugurated by emperor Trajan, the aqueduct channels water from Lake Bracciano, 40 kilometers (25 miles) north-west of Rome.

 
Encyclopedia
Trajan was Roman Emperor
Roman Emperor
The Roman emperor was the ruler of the Roman State during the imperial period . The Romans had no single term for the office although at any given time, a given title was associated with the emperor...

 from 98 to 117 AD. Born into a non-patrician family in the province of Hispania Baetica
Hispania Baetica
Hispania Baetica was one of three Imperial Roman provinces in Hispania, . Hispania Baetica was bordered to the west by Lusitania, and to the northeast by Hispania Tarraconensis. Baetica was part of Al-Andalus under the Moors in the 8th century and approximately corresponds to modern Andalucia...

, in Spain
Spain
Spain , officially the Kingdom of Spain languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Spain's official name is as follows:;;;;;;), is a country and member state of the European Union located in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula...

 Trajan rose to prominence during the reign of emperor Domitian
Domitian
Domitian was Roman Emperor from 81 to 96. Domitian was the third and last emperor of the Flavian dynasty.Domitian's youth and early career were largely spent in the shadow of his brother Titus, who gained military renown during the First Jewish-Roman War...

. Serving as a legatus legionis
Legatus legionis
Legatus legionis was a title awarded to legion commanders in Ancient Rome.-History:By the time of the Roman Republic, the term legatus delegated authority...

 in Hispania Tarraconensis
Hispania Tarraconensis
Hispania Tarraconensis was one of three Roman provinces in Hispania. It encompassed much of the Mediterranean coast of Spain along with the central plateau. Southern Spain, the region now called Andalusia, was the province of Hispania Baetica...

, in Spain
Spain
Spain , officially the Kingdom of Spain languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Spain's official name is as follows:;;;;;;), is a country and member state of the European Union located in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula...

, in 89 Trajan supported the emperor against a revolt on the Rhine led by Antonius Saturninus
Lucius Antonius Saturninus
Lucius Antonius Saturninus was the Roman governor of the province Germania Superior during the reign of the Emperor Domitian. In the spring of 89, motivated by a personal grudge against the Emperor, he led a rebellion known as the Revolt of Saturninus, involving the legions Legio XIV Gemina and...

. In September 96, Domitian was succeeded by Marcus Cocceius Nerva
Nerva
Nerva , was Roman Emperor from 96 to 98. Nerva became Emperor at the age of sixty-five, after a lifetime of imperial service under Nero and the rulers of the Flavian dynasty. Under Nero, he was a member of the imperial entourage and played a vital part in exposing the Pisonian conspiracy of 65...

, an old and childless senator who proved to be unpopular with the army. After a brief and tumultuous year in power, a revolt by members of the Praetorian Guard
Praetorian Guard
The Praetorian Guard was a force of bodyguards used by Roman Emperors. The title was already used during the Roman Republic for the guards of Roman generals, at least since the rise to prominence of the Scipio family around 275 BC...

 compelled him to adopt the more popular Trajan as his heir and successor. Nerva died on 27 January 98, and was succeeded by his adopted son without incident.

As a civilian administrator, Trajan is best known for his extensive public building program which reshaped the city of Rome
Rome
Rome is the capital of Italy and the country's largest and most populated city and comune, with over 2.7 million residents in . The city is located in the central-western portion of the Italian Peninsula, on the Tiber River within the Lazio region of Italy.Rome's history spans two and a half...

 and left multiple enduring landmarks such as Trajan's Forum
Trajan's Forum
Trajan's Forum is an ancient structure in Rome, Italy, chronologically the last of the Imperial fora. The forum was constructed by the architect Apollodorus of Damascus.-History:...

, Trajan's Market
Trajan's Market
Trajan's Market is a large complex of ruins in the city of Rome, Italy, located on the Via dei Fori Imperiali, at the opposite end to the Colosseum...

 and Trajan's Column
Trajan's Column
Trajan's Column is a Roman triumphal column in Rome, Italy, which commemorates Roman emperor Trajan's victory in the Dacian Wars. It was probably constructed under the supervision of the architect Apollodorus of Damascus at the order of the Roman Senate. It is located in Trajan's Forum, built near...

. Early in his reign, he annexed the Nabataean kingdom
Nabataean kingdom
The Nabataean kingdom, also named Nabatea , was a political state of the Nabataeans which existed during Classical antiquity and was annexed by the Roman Empire in AD 106.-Geography:...

, creating the province of Arabia Petraea
Arabia Petraea
Arabia Petraea, also called Provincia Arabia or simply Arabia, was a frontier province of the Roman Empire beginning in the 2nd century; it consisted of the former Nabataean kingdom in modern Jordan, southern modern Syria, the Sinai Peninsula and northwestern Saudi Arabia. Its capital was Petra...

. His conquest of Dacia
Roman Dacia
The Roman province of Dacia on the Balkans included the modern Romanian regions of Transylvania, Banat and Oltenia, and temporarily Muntenia and southern Moldova, but not the nearby regions of Moesia...

 enriched the empire greatly — the new province possessed many valuable gold mines. His war against the Parthian Empire
Parthian Empire
The Parthian Empire , also known as the Arsacid Empire , was a major Iranian political and cultural power in ancient Persia...

 ended with the sack of the capital Ctesiphon
Ctesiphon
Ctesiphon, the imperial capital of the Parthian Arsacids and of the Persian Sassanids, was one of the great cities of ancient Mesopotamia.The ruins of the city are located on the east bank of the Tigris, across the river from the Hellenistic city of Seleucia...

 and the annexation of Armenia
Roman Armenia
From the end of the 1st century BC onwards, Armenia was, in part or whole, subject to the Roman Empire and its successor, the East Roman or Byzantine Empire...

 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
Stroke
A stroke, previously known medically as a cerebrovascular accident , is the rapidly developing loss of brain function due to disturbance in the blood supply to the brain. This can be due to ischemia caused by blockage , or a hemorrhage...

 in the city of Selinus
Gazipasa
Gazipaşa is a town and district of Antalya Province on the Mediterranean coast of southern Turkey, 180 km east of the city of Antalya. Gazipaşa is a quiet rural district famous for its bananas, oranges and international airport...

. He was deified
Apotheosis
Apotheosis is the glorification of a subject to divine level. The term has meanings in theology, where it refers to a belief, and in art, where it refers to a genre.In theology, the term apotheosis refers to the idea that an individual has been raised to godlike stature...

 by the Senate and his ashes were laid to rest under Trajan's Column
Trajan's Column
Trajan's Column is a Roman triumphal column in Rome, Italy, which commemorates Roman emperor Trajan's victory in the Dacian Wars. It was probably constructed under the supervision of the architect Apollodorus of Damascus at the order of the Roman Senate. It is located in Trajan's Forum, built near...

. He was succeeded by his adopted son Hadrian
Hadrian
Hadrian , was Roman Emperor from 117 to 138. He is best known for building Hadrian's Wall, which marked the northern limit of Roman Britain. In Rome, he re-built the Pantheon and constructed the Temple of Venus and Roma. In addition to being emperor, Hadrian was a humanist and was philhellene in...

.

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 honored by the Senate with the wish felicior Augusto, melior Traiano ("[be] luckier than Augustus
Augustus
Augustus ;23 September 63 BC – 19 August AD 14) is considered the first emperor of the Roman Empire, which he ruled alone from 27 BC until his death in 14 AD.The dates of his rule are contemporary dates; Augustus lived under two calendars, the Roman Republican until 45 BC, and the Julian...

 and better than Trajan"). Among medieval
Middle Ages
The Middle Ages is a periodization of European history from the 5th century to the 15th century. The Middle Ages follows the fall of the Western Roman Empire in 476 and precedes the Early Modern Era. It is the middle period of a three-period division of Western history: Classic, Medieval and Modern...

 Christian theologians, Trajan was considered a virtuous pagan
Virtuous pagan
Virtuous paganism is a concept in Christian theology analogous to that of the "righteous gentile" in Judaism. It addressed the problem of pagans who were never evangelized and consequently during their lifetime had no opportunity to recognize Christ, but nevertheless led virtuous lives, so that it...

, while the 18th century historian Edward Gibbon
Edward Gibbon
Edward Gibbon was an English historian and Member of Parliament...

 popularized the notion of the Five Good Emperors, of which Trajan was the second.

Early life and rise to power


Marcus Ulpius Traianus was born on 18 September 53 in the Roman province of Hispania Baetica
Hispania Baetica
Hispania Baetica was one of three Imperial Roman provinces in Hispania, . Hispania Baetica was bordered to the west by Lusitania, and to the northeast by Hispania Tarraconensis. Baetica was part of Al-Andalus under the Moors in the 8th century and approximately corresponds to modern Andalucia...

 (in what is now Spain
Spain
Spain , officially the Kingdom of Spain languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Spain's official name is as follows:;;;;;;), is a country and member state of the European Union located in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula...

), a province that was thoroughly Romanized, in the city of Italica
Italica
The city of Italica was founded in 206 BC by the Roman general Publius Cornelius Scipio Africanus in order to settle Roman soldiers wounded in the Battle of Ilipa, where the Carthaginian army was defeated during the Second Punic War...

 

Trajan was the son of Marcia
Marcia (mother of Trajan)
Marcia was an ancient Roman noblewoman and the mother of the emperor Trajan.-Family:Marcia came from a noble and politically influential family, the plebs gens Marcia , which claimed to be descended from the Roman King Ancus Marcius. Marcia was a daughter of the Roman Senator Quintus Marcius Barea...

 and Marcus Ulpius Traianus
Marcus Ulpius Traianus (senator)
Marcus Ulpius Traianus Maior was a Roman senator who lived in the 1st century. He was father of the Roman Emperor Trajan.-Family:...

, a prominent senator
Roman Senate
The Senate of the Roman Republic was a political institution in the ancient Roman Republic, however, it was not an elected body, but one whose members were appointed by the consuls, and later by the censors. After a magistrate served his term in office, it usually was followed with automatic...

 and general from the gens Ulpia
Ulpia (gens)
The gens Ulpia was a Roman family, which rose to prominence during the 1st century AD The gens is best known from the emperor Marcus Ulpius Trajanus, who reigned from AD 98 to 117. The Thirtieth Legion took its name, Ulpia, in his honor....

. 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
Ulpia Marciana
Ulpia Marciana was the beloved elder sister of Roman Emperor Trajan. She was the eldest child born to Roman woman Marcia and the Spanish Roman senator Marcus Ulpius Traianus. Her second name Marciana she inherited from her mother’s paternal ancestors. Her birthplace is unknown.Marciana married...

 and his niece was Salonina Matidia
Salonina Matidia
Salonina Matidia was the daughter and only child of Ulpia Marciana and wealthy praetor Gaius Salonius Matidius Patruinus. Her maternal uncle was the Roman emperor Trajan. Trajan had no children and treated her like his daughter...

. The patria
Patria
Patria may refer to:* Homeland * Patria, a cycle of theatrical works by composer R. Murray Schafer* Patria AMV * Patria , of Finland...

of the Ulpii was Italica
Italica
The city of Italica was founded in 206 BC by the Roman general Publius Cornelius Scipio Africanus in order to settle Roman soldiers wounded in the Battle of Ilipa, where the Carthaginian army was defeated during the Second Punic War...

, in Spanish Baetica, where their ancestors had settled late in the 3rd century BC. This indicates that the Italian origin was paramount.

As a young man, he rose through the ranks of the Roman army
Roman army
The Roman army is the generic term for the terrestrial armed forces deployed by the kingdom of Rome , the Roman Republic , the Roman Empire and its successor, the Byzantine empire...

, serving in some of the most contentious parts of the Empire's frontier. In 76–77, Trajan's father was Governor
Roman governor
A Roman governor was an official either elected or appointed to be the chief administrator of Roman law throughout one or more of the many provinces constituting the Roman Empire...

 of Syria
Syria (Roman province)
Syria was a Roman province, annexed in 64 BC by Pompey, as a consequence of his military presence after pursuing victory in the Third Mithridatic War. It remained under Roman, and subsequently Byzantine, rule for seven centuries, until 637 when it fell to the Islamic conquests.- Principate :The...

 (Legatus
Legatus
A legatus was a general in the Roman army, equivalent to a modern general officer. Being of senatorial rank, his immediate superior was the dux, and he outranked all military tribunes...

 pro praetore Syriae
), where Trajan himself remained as Tribunus legionis. Trajan was nominated as Consul
Consul
Consul was the highest elected office of the Roman Republic and an appointive office under the Empire. The title was also used in other city states and also revived in modern states, notably in the First French Republic...

 and brought Apollodorus of Damascus
Apollodorus of Damascus
Apollodorus of Damascus was a Greek engineer, architect, designer and sculptor who flourished during the 2nd century AD, from Damascus, Roman Syria. He was a favourite of Trajan, for whom he constructed Trajan's Bridge over the Danube for the 105-106 campaign in Dacia. He also designed the Forum...

 with him to Rome
Rome
Rome is the capital of Italy and the country's largest and most populated city and comune, with over 2.7 million residents in . The city is located in the central-western portion of the Italian Peninsula, on the Tiber River within the Lazio region of Italy.Rome's history spans two and a half...

 around 91. Along the Rhine River, he took part in the Emperor Domitian
Domitian
Domitian was Roman Emperor from 81 to 96. Domitian was the third and last emperor of the Flavian dynasty.Domitian's youth and early career were largely spent in the shadow of his brother Titus, who gained military renown during the First Jewish-Roman War...

's wars while under Domitian's successor, Nerva
Nerva
Nerva , was Roman Emperor from 96 to 98. Nerva became Emperor at the age of sixty-five, after a lifetime of imperial service under Nero and the rulers of the Flavian dynasty. Under Nero, he was a member of the imperial entourage and played a vital part in exposing the Pisonian conspiracy of 65...

, who was unpopular with the army and needed to do something to gain their support. He accomplished this by naming Trajan as his adoptive son and successor in the summer of 97. According to the Augustan History
Augustan History
The Augustan History is a late Roman collection of biographies, in Latin, of the Roman Emperors, their junior colleagues and usurpers of the period 117 to 284...

, it was the future Emperor Hadrian
Hadrian
Hadrian , was Roman Emperor from 117 to 138. He is best known for building Hadrian's Wall, which marked the northern limit of Roman Britain. In Rome, he re-built the Pantheon and constructed the Temple of Venus and Roma. In addition to being emperor, Hadrian was a humanist and was philhellene in...

 who brought word to Trajan of his adoption. When Nerva died on January 27, 98, the highly respected Trajan succeeded without incident.

His reign


The new Roman emperor was greeted by the people of Rome with great enthusiasm, which he justified by governing well and without the bloodiness that had marked Domitian's reign. He freed many people who had been unjustly imprisoned by Domitian and returned a great deal of private property that Domitian had confiscated; a process begun by Nerva before his death. His popularity was such that the Roman Senate
Roman Senate
The Senate of the Roman Republic was a political institution in the ancient Roman Republic, however, it was not an elected body, but one whose members were appointed by the consuls, and later by the censors. After a magistrate served his term in office, it usually was followed with automatic...

 eventually bestowed upon Trajan the honorific
Honorific
An honorific is a word or expression with connotations conveying esteem or respect when used in addressing or referring to a person. Sometimes, the term is used not quite correctly to refer to an honorary title...

 of optimus, meaning "the best".

Conquest of Dacia



It was as a military commander that Trajan is best known to history, particularly for his conquests in the Near East
Near East
The Near East is a geographical term that covers different countries for geographers, archeologists, and historians, on the one hand, and for political scientists, economists, and journalists, on the other...

, but initially for the two wars against Dacia
Dacia
In ancient geography, especially in Roman sources, Dacia was the land inhabited by the Dacians or Getae as they were known by the Greeks—the branch of the Thracians north of the Haemus range...

 — the reduction to client kingdom
Satellite state
A satellite state is a political term that refers to a country that is formally independent, but under heavy political and economic influence or control by another country...

 (101–102), followed by actual incorporation into the Empire of the trans-Danube border kingdom of Dacia — an area that had troubled Roman thought for over a decade with the unfavourable (and to some, shameful) peace negotiated by Domitian
Domitian
Domitian was Roman Emperor from 81 to 96. Domitian was the third and last emperor of the Flavian dynasty.Domitian's youth and early career were largely spent in the shadow of his brother Titus, who gained military renown during the First Jewish-Roman War...

's ministers.

In the first military campaign c. March–May 101, Trajan launched a victorious attack into the Dacian Kingdom crossing to the northern bank of the Danube River and defeating the Dacian army
Dacia
In ancient geography, especially in Roman sources, Dacia was the land inhabited by the Dacians or Getae as they were known by the Greeks—the branch of the Thracians north of the Haemus range...

 at Tapae
Tapae
Tapae was a Dacian outpost, guarding Sarmisegetuza, their main political centre. Its location was on the Iron Gates of Translylvania, a natural passage breaking between Ţarcului and Poiana Ruscă Mountains and connecting Banat to Ţara Haţegului. This made it one of the very few point through which...

 (see Second Battle of Tapae
Second Battle of Tapae
The Battle of Tapae was the decisive battle of the first Dacian War, in which Roman Emperor Trajan defeated the Dacian King Decebalus's army. Other setbacks in the campaign delayed its completion until 102.-Background:...

) near the Iron Gates of Transylvania. Trajan's troops were mauled in the encounter, however and he put off further campaigning for the year to let the troops heal, reinforce, and regroup. name="Romanis REquote03">

During the following winter, King Decebalus
Decebalus
Decebalus or "The Brave" was a king of Dacia and is famous for fighting three wars and negotiating two interregnums of peace without being eliminated against the Roman Empire under two emperors...

 launched a counter-attack across the Danube
Danube
The Danube is a river in the Central Europe and the Europe's second longest river after the Volga. It is classified as an international waterway....

 further downstream, but this was repulsed. Trajan's army advanced further into Dacian territory and forced King Decebalus to submit to him a year later.

Trajan returned to Rome in triumph and was granted the title Dacicus Maximus. The victory was celebrated by the Tropaeum Traiani
Tropaeum Traiani
The Tropaeum Traiani is a monument in Roman Civitas Tropaensium , built in 109 in then Moesia Inferior, to commemorate Roman Emperor Trajan's victory over the Dacians, in 102, in the Battle of Tapae. The monument was erected on the place where legio XXI Rapax had previously been defeated in 92...

. Decebalus, though, after being left to his own devices, in 105 undertook an invasion against Roman territory by attempting to stir up some of the tribes north of the river against the empire. name="Romanis REquote04">

Trajan took to the field again and after building, with the design of Apollodorus of Damascus
Apollodorus of Damascus
Apollodorus of Damascus was a Greek engineer, architect, designer and sculptor who flourished during the 2nd century AD, from Damascus, Roman Syria. He was a favourite of Trajan, for whom he constructed Trajan's Bridge over the Danube for the 105-106 campaign in Dacia. He also designed the Forum...

, his massive bridge over the Danube
Trajan's bridge
Trajan's Bridge or Bridge of Apollodorus over the Danube was a Roman segmental arch bridge, the first to be built over the lower Danube. For more than a thousand years, it was the longest arch bridge in the world, in terms of both total and span length...

, he conquered part of Dacia in 106. After a fierce campaign (see also Second Dacian War
Second Dacian War
The Second Dacian War was fought in 105 to 106 because the Dacian king Decebalus had broken his peace terms with the Roman emperor Trajan from the First Dacian War...

), the Dacian capital, Sarmizegetusa Regia, was destroyed. Decebalus
Decebalus
Decebalus or "The Brave" was a king of Dacia and is famous for fighting three wars and negotiating two interregnums of peace without being eliminated against the Roman Empire under two emperors...

 fled but, rather than being captured by the Roman cavalry, committed suicide
Suicide
Suicide is the act of intentionally causing one's own death. Suicide is often committed out of despair or attributed to some underlying mental disorder, such as depression, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, alcoholism, or drug abuse...

, and his severed head was exhibited in Rome on the steps leading up to the Capitol
Capitoline Hill
The Capitoline Hill , between the Forum and the Campus Martius, is one of the seven hills of Rome. It was the citadel of the earliest Romans. By the 16th century, Capitolinus had become Capitolino in Italian, with the alternative Campidoglio stemming from Capitolium. The English word capitol...

. Trajan built a new city, Colonia Ulpia Traiana Augusta Dacica Sarmizegetusa
Ulpia Traiana Sarmizegetusa
Colonia Ulpia Traiana Augusta Dacica Sarmizegetusa was the capital and the largest city of Roman Dacia, later named Ulpia Traiana Sarmizegetusa after the former Dacian capital, located some 40 km away. Built on the ground of a camp of the Fifth Macedonian Legion, the city was populated with...

, on another site than the previous Dacian Capital, although bearing the same full name, Sarmizegetusa.

Trajan also reformed the infrastructure of the Iron Gates region of Danube
Danube
The Danube is a river in the Central Europe and the Europe's second longest river after the Volga. It is classified as an international waterway....

. Built around 103 to 105, Trajan's Bridge
Trajan's bridge
Trajan's Bridge or Bridge of Apollodorus over the Danube was a Roman segmental arch bridge, the first to be built over the lower Danube. For more than a thousand years, it was the longest arch bridge in the world, in terms of both total and span length...

, or Pontes, is considered an architectural marvel, at 3,500 feet across. He either commissioned 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. It can be dated to the year 101 and commemorates the building of at least one canal that went from the Kasajna tributary to at least Ducis Pratum, whose embankments were still visible until recently.

However, the placement of the slab at Caput Bovis suggests that the canal extended to this point or that there was a second canal downriver of the Kasajna-Ducis Pratum one. Trajan resettled Dacia with Romans and annexed it as a province of the Roman Empire. Trajan's Dacian campaigns benefited the Empire's finances through the acquisition of Dacia's gold mines. The victory has been commemorated by the construction of the Trajan's Column
Trajan's Column
Trajan's Column is a Roman triumphal column in Rome, Italy, which commemorates Roman emperor Trajan's victory in the Dacian Wars. It was probably constructed under the supervision of the architect Apollodorus of Damascus at the order of the Roman Senate. It is located in Trajan's Forum, built near...

, which depicts in stone carved basreliefs the Dacian Wars' most important moments.

Annexation of Nabataea


At about the same time Rabbel II Soter
Rabbel II Soter
Rabel II Soter was the last ruler of the kingdom of the Nabataea, ruling from AD 70 to 106.After the death of his father, Malichus II, ar-Rabil still a child, ascended to the throne. His mother, Shaqilath, assumed control of the government in the early years. His sister Gamilath became queen of...

, one of Rome's client kings, died. This event might have prompted the annexation of the Nabataean kingdom
Nabataean kingdom
The Nabataean kingdom, also named Nabatea , was a political state of the Nabataeans which existed during Classical antiquity and was annexed by the Roman Empire in AD 106.-Geography:...

, although the manner and the formal reasons for the annexation are unclear. Some epigraphic evidence suggests a military operation, with forces from Syria
Syria (Roman province)
Syria was a Roman province, annexed in 64 BC by Pompey, as a consequence of his military presence after pursuing victory in the Third Mithridatic War. It remained under Roman, and subsequently Byzantine, rule for seven centuries, until 637 when it fell to the Islamic conquests.- Principate :The...

 and Egypt. What is known is that by 107, Roman legions were stationed in the area around Petra
Petra
Petra is a historical and archaeological city in the Jordanian governorate of Ma'an that is famous for its rock cut architecture and water conduits system. Established sometime around the 6th century BC as the capital city of the Nabataeans, it is a symbol of Jordan as well as its most visited...

 and Bostra, as is shown by a papyrus found in Egypt. The furthest south the Romans occupied was Hegra, over 300 km south-west of Petra
Petra
Petra is a historical and archaeological city in the Jordanian governorate of Ma'an that is famous for its rock cut architecture and water conduits system. Established sometime around the 6th century BC as the capital city of the Nabataeans, it is a symbol of Jordan as well as its most visited...

. The empire gained what became the province of Arabia Petraea
Arabia Petraea
Arabia Petraea, also called Provincia Arabia or simply Arabia, was a frontier province of the Roman Empire beginning in the 2nd century; it consisted of the former Nabataean kingdom in modern Jordan, southern modern Syria, the Sinai Peninsula and northwestern Saudi Arabia. Its capital was Petra...

 (modern southern Jordan
Jordan
Jordan , officially the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan , Al-Mamlaka al-Urduniyya al-Hashemiyya) is a kingdom on the East Bank of the River Jordan. The country borders Saudi Arabia to the east and south-east, Iraq to the north-east, Syria to the north and the West Bank and Israel to the west, sharing...

 and north west Saudi Arabia
Saudi Arabia
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia , commonly known in British English as Saudi Arabia and in Arabic as as-Sa‘ūdiyyah , is the largest state in Western Asia by land area, constituting the bulk of the Arabian Peninsula, and the second-largest in the Arab World...

).

Period of peace



The next seven years, Trajan ruled as a civilian emperor, to the same acclaim as before. It was during this time that he corresponded with Pliny the Younger
Pliny the Younger
Gaius Plinius Caecilius Secundus, born Gaius Caecilius or Gaius Caecilius Cilo , better known as Pliny the Younger, was a lawyer, author, and magistrate of Ancient Rome. Pliny's uncle, Pliny the Elder, helped raise and educate him...

 on the subject of how to deal with the Christians
Christianity
Christianity is a monotheistic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus as presented in canonical gospels and other New Testament writings...

 of Pontus
Pontus
Pontus or Pontos is a historical Greek designation for a region on the southern coast of the Black Sea, located in modern-day northeastern Turkey. The name was applied to the coastal region in antiquity by the Greeks who colonized the area, and derived from the Greek name of the Black Sea: Πόντος...

, telling Pliny to leave them alone unless they were openly practicing the religion. He built several new buildings, monuments and roads in Italia
Italia (Roman province)
Italia was the name of the Italian peninsula of the Roman Empire.-Under the Republic and Augustan organization:During the Republic and the first centuries of the empire, Italia was not a province, but rather the territory of the city of Rome, thus having a special status: for example, military...

 and his native Hispania
Hispania
Another theory holds that the name derives from Ezpanna, the Basque word for "border" or "edge", thus meaning the farthest area or place. Isidore of Sevilla considered Hispania derived from Hispalis....

 (modern Spain
Spain
Spain , officially the Kingdom of Spain languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Spain's official name is as follows:;;;;;;), is a country and member state of the European Union located in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula...

). His magnificent complex in Rome raised to commemorate his victories in Dacia
Dacia
In ancient geography, especially in Roman sources, Dacia was the land inhabited by the Dacians or Getae as they were known by the Greeks—the branch of the Thracians north of the Haemus range...

 (and largely financed from that campaign's loot)—consisting of a forum
Trajan's Forum
Trajan's Forum is an ancient structure in Rome, Italy, chronologically the last of the Imperial fora. The forum was constructed by the architect Apollodorus of Damascus.-History:...

, Trajan's Column
Trajan's Column
Trajan's Column is a Roman triumphal column in Rome, Italy, which commemorates Roman emperor Trajan's victory in the Dacian Wars. It was probably constructed under the supervision of the architect Apollodorus of Damascus at the order of the Roman Senate. It is located in Trajan's Forum, built near...

, and Trajan's Market still stands in Rome today. He was also a prolific builder of triumphal arches
Arches of Trajan
The Arches of Trajan were built in the manner of triumphal arches in a number of places in the Roman Empire during the reign of Trajan, probably constructed by his chief architect, the engineer Apollodorus of Damascus...

, many of which survive, and rebuilder of roads (Via Traiana
Via Traiana
300px|thumb|Via TraianaThe Via Traiana was an ancient Roman road. It was built by the emperor Trajan as an extension of the Via Appia from Beneventum, reaching Brundisium by a shorter route...

 and Via Traiana Nova
Via Traiana Nova
The Via Traiana Nova was an ancient Roman road built by the emperor Trajan. It was specifically known as the Via Traiana Nova in order to distinguish it from the Via Traiana in Italy. It is occasionally also referred to simply as the 'Via Nova' or 'Via Nova Traiana' and was completed under...

).

In 107 he devalued the Roman currency
Roman currency
The Roman currency during most of the Roman Republic and the western half of the Roman Empire consisted of coins including the aureus , the denarius , the sestertius , the dupondius , and the as...

. 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.

One notable act of Trajan during this period was the hosting of a three-month gladiator
Gladiator
A gladiator was an armed combatant who entertained audiences in the Roman Republic and Roman Empire in violent confrontations with other gladiators, wild animals, and condemned criminals. Some gladiators were volunteers who risked their legal and social standing and their lives by appearing in the...

ial festival in the great Colosseum
Colosseum
The Colosseum, or the Coliseum, originally the Flavian Amphitheatre , is an elliptical amphitheatre in the centre of the city of Rome, Italy, the largest ever built in the Roman Empire...

 in Rome (the precise date of this festival 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.

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 by funds from the Dacian War, and then later by a combination of estate taxes and philanthropy. Although the system is well documented in literary sources and contemporary epigraphy, its precise aims are controversial and have generated considerable dispute between modern scholars. Usually, it's assumed that the program was intended to bolster citizen numbers in Italy. However, the fact that it was subsidized by means of interest payments on loans made by landowners restricted it to a small percentage of potential welfare recipients (Paul Veyne
Paul Veyne
Paul Veyne, born 13 June 1930 in Aix-en-Provence, is a French archaeologist and historian, and a specialist on Ancient Rome. A former student of the École normale supérieure and member of the École française de Rome, he is now honorary professor at the Collège de France.-Biography:From an ordinary...

 has assumed that, in the city of Veleia
Veleia (Italy)
Veleia, an ancient town of Aemilia, Italy, situated about 20 miles south of Placentia. It is mentioned by Pliny among the towns of the eighth region, though the Veleiates were Ligurians by race. Its inhabitants were, in the census of Vespasian, found to be remarkable for their longevity...

, only one child out of ten was an actual beneficiary) – therefore, the idea, advanced by Moses I. Finley
Moses I. Finley
Sir Moses I. Finley CBE, FBA was an American and English classical scholar. His most notable work is The Ancient Economy , where he argued that status and civic ideology governed the economy in antiquity rather than rational economic motivations.-Early life and career:He was born in 1912 in New...

, that the whole scheme was at most a form of random charity, a mere imperial benevolence.

War against Parthia


In 113, he embarked on his last campaign, provoked by Parthia's
Parthian Empire
The Parthian Empire , also known as the Arsacid Empire , was a major Iranian political and cultural power in ancient Persia...

 decision to put an unacceptable king on the throne of Armenia
Armenia
Armenia , officially the Republic of Armenia , is a landlocked mountainous country in the Caucasus region of Eurasia...

, a kingdom over which the two great empires had shared hegemony
Hegemony
Hegemony is an indirect form of imperial dominance in which the hegemon rules sub-ordinate states by the implied means of power rather than direct military force. In Ancient Greece , hegemony denoted the politico–military dominance of a city-state over other city-states...

 since the time of Nero
Nero
Nero , was Roman Emperor from 54 to 68, and the last in the Julio-Claudian dynasty. Nero was adopted by his great-uncle Claudius to become his heir and successor, and succeeded to the throne in 54 following Claudius' death....

 some fifty years earlier. Some modern historians also attribute Trajan's decision to wage war on Parthia to economic motives: to control, after the annexation of Arabia, Mesopotamia and the coast of the Persian Gulf, and with it the sole remaining receiving-end of the Indian trade outside Roman control – an attribution of motive other historians reject, seeing the campaign as triggered by the lure of territorial annexation and prestige, the motive ascribed by Cassius Dio. Other modern historians, however, think that Trajan's original aim was quite modest: to assure a more defensible Eastern frontier for the Roman Empire, crossing across Northern Mesopotamia along the course of the Khabur River
Khabur River
The Khabur River , , , ) is the largest perennial tributary to the Euphrates in Syrian territory. Although the Khabur originates in Turkey, the karstic springs around Ra's al-'Ayn are the river's main source of water. Several important wadis join the Khabur north of Al-Hasakah, together creating...

 in order to offer cover to a Roman Armenia.

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) 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. The chronology of subsequent events is uncertain, but it's generally believed that early in 115 Trajan turned south into the core Parthian hegemony, taking the Northern Mesopotamian cities of Nisibis
Nisibis
Nusaybin Nisêbîn) is a city in Mardin Province, Turkey, populated mainly by Kurds. Earlier Arameans, Arabs, and Armenians lived in the city. The population of the city is 83,832 as of 2009.-Ancient Period:...

 and Batnae and organizing a province of Mesopotamia
Mesopotamia (Roman province)
Mesopotamia was the name of two distinct Roman provinces, the one a short-lived creation of the Roman Emperor Trajan in 116–117 and the other established by Emperor Septimius Severus in ca. 198, which lasted until the Muslim conquests of the 7th century....

 in the beginning of 116, when coins were issued announcing that Armenia and Mesopotamia had been put under the authority of the Roman people.
In early 116, however, Trajan began to toy with the conquest of the whole of Mesopotamia, an overambitious goal that eventually backfired on the results of his entire campaign: One Roman division crossed the Tigris into Adiabene
Adiabene
Adiabene was an ancient Assyrian independent kingdom in Mesopotamia, with its capital at Arbela...

, sweeping South and capturing Adenystrae; a second followed the river South, capturing Babylon
Babylon
Babylon was an Akkadian city-state of ancient Mesopotamia, the remains of which are found in present-day Al Hillah, Babil Province, Iraq, about 85 kilometers south of Baghdad...

; while Trajan himself sailed down the Euphrates, then dragged his fleet overland into the Tigris, capturing Seleucia
Seleucia on the Tigris
Seleucia , also known as Seleucia on the Tigris, was one of the great cities of the world during Hellenistic and Roman times. It stood in Mesopotamia, on the west bank of the Tigris River, opposite the smaller town of Ctesiphon, in present day Babil Governorate, Iraq.-Seleucid empire:Seleucia,...

 and finally the Parthian capital of Ctesiphon
Ctesiphon
Ctesiphon, the imperial capital of the Parthian Arsacids and of the Persian Sassanids, was one of the great cities of ancient Mesopotamia.The ruins of the city are located on the east bank of the Tigris, across the river from the Hellenistic city of Seleucia...

. He continued southward to the Persian Gulf
Persian Gulf
The Persian Gulf, in Southwest Asia, is an extension of the Indian Ocean located between Iran and the Arabian Peninsula.The Persian Gulf was the focus of the 1980–1988 Iran-Iraq War, in which each side attacked the other's oil tankers...

, receiving the submission of Athambelus, the ruler of Charax, whence he declared Babylon a new province of the Empire, 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 A province of Assyria was also proclaimed, apparently covering the territory of Adiabene, as well as some measures seem to have been considered about the fiscal administration of the Indian trade.


However, as 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, Sanatrukes, imperilled Roman positions in Mesopotamia and Armenia, something Trajan sought to deal with by forsaking direct Roman rule in Parthia proper, at least partially: later in 116, after defeating a Parthian army in a battle where Sanatrukes was killed and re-taking Seleucia, he formally deposed the Parthian king Osroes I
Osroes I of Parthia
Osroes I of Parthia ruled the Parthian Empire c. 109–129. He succeeded his brother Pacorus II. For the whole of his reign he contended with the rival king Vologases III based in the east of Parthia....

 and put his own puppet ruler Parthamaspates on the throne. That done, he retreated North in order to retain what he could of the new provinces of Armenia and Mesopotamia.


It was at this point that Trajan's health started to fail him. The fortress city of Hatra
Hatra
Hatra is an ancient city in the Ninawa Governorate and al-Jazira region of Iraq. It is currently known as al-Hadr, a name which appears once in ancient inscriptions, and it was in the ancient Iranian province of Khvarvaran. The city lies northwest of Baghdad and southwest of Mosul.-History:Hatra...

, on the Tigris
Tigris
The Tigris River is the eastern member of the two great rivers that define Mesopotamia, the other being the Euphrates. The river flows south from the mountains of southeastern Turkey through Iraq.-Geography:...

 in his rear, continued to hold out against repeated Roman assaults. He was personally present at the siege
Siege
A siege is a military blockade of a city or fortress with the intent of conquering by attrition or assault. The term derives from sedere, Latin for "to sit". Generally speaking, siege warfare is a form of constant, low intensity conflict characterized by one party holding a strong, static...

 and it is possible that he suffered a heat stroke while in the blazing heat. Shortly afterwards, the Jews inside the Eastern Roman Empire rose up in rebellion once more, as did the people of Mesopotamia. Trajan was forced to withdraw his army in order to put down the revolts. Trajan saw it as simply a temporary setback, but he was destined never to command an army in the field again, turning his Eastern armies over to the high ranking legate and governor of Judaea, Lusius Quietus
Lusius Quietus
thumb|300px|Stylised Moorish Cavalry under Lusius Quietus, fighting against the Dacians. From the Column of Trajan.Lusius Quietus was a Roman general and governor of Iudaea in 117.- Life :...

, who in early 116 had been in charge of the Roman division who had recovered Nisibis and Edessa
Edessa, Mesopotamia
Edessa is the Greek name of an Aramaic town in northern Mesopotamia, as refounded by Seleucus I Nicator. For the modern history of the city, see Şanlıurfa.-Names:...

 from the rebels; Quietus was promised a consulate in the following year (118 AD) for his victories but he was murdered before this could occur. It has been theorized that Quietus was executed on the orders of the new emperor, Hadrian
Hadrian
Hadrian , was Roman Emperor from 117 to 138. He is best known for building Hadrian's Wall, which marked the northern limit of Roman Britain. In Rome, he re-built the Pantheon and constructed the Temple of Venus and Roma. In addition to being emperor, Hadrian was a humanist and was philhellene in...

, for fear of Quietus' popular standing with the army and his close connections to Trajan.


Death and succession


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
The Roman Baths of Ankara
The Roman Baths of Ankara are the ruined remains of an ancient Roman bath complex in Ankara, Turkey, which were uncovered by excavations carried out in 1937-1944, and have subsequently been opened to the public as an open-air museum.-History:...

 showed him clearly aged and emaciated. By the time he had reached Selinus in Cilicia
Cilicia
In antiquity, Cilicia was the south coastal region of Asia Minor, south of the central Anatolian plateau. It existed as a political entity from Hittite times into the Byzantine empire...

 which was afterwards called Trajanopolis, he suddenly died from edema
Edema
Edema or oedema ; both words from the Greek , oídēma "swelling"), formerly known as dropsy or hydropsy, is an abnormal accumulation of fluid beneath the skin or in one or more cavities of the body that produces swelling...

 on August 9. Some say that he had adopted Hadrian
Hadrian
Hadrian , was Roman Emperor from 117 to 138. He is best known for building Hadrian's Wall, which marked the northern limit of Roman Britain. In Rome, he re-built the Pantheon and constructed the Temple of Venus and Roma. In addition to being emperor, Hadrian was a humanist and was philhellene in...

 as his successor, but others that it was his wife Pompeia Plotina
Pompeia Plotina
Pompeia Plotina Claudia Phoebe Piso or Pompeia Plotina was a Roman Empress and wife of Roman Emperor Trajan. She was renowned for her interest in philosophy, and her virtue, dignity and simplicity. She was particularly devoted to the Epicurean philosophical school in Athens, Greece...

 who hired someone to impersonate him after he had died.

Hadrian
Hadrian
Hadrian , was Roman Emperor from 117 to 138. He is best known for building Hadrian's Wall, which marked the northern limit of Roman Britain. In Rome, he re-built the Pantheon and constructed the Temple of Venus and Roma. In addition to being emperor, Hadrian was a humanist and was philhellene in...

's first act as emperor was to abandon the distant and indefensible Mesopotamia and restore Armenia — as well as Osroene
Osroene
Osroene, also spelled Osrohene and Osrhoene and sometimes known by the name of its capital city, Edessa , was a historic Syriac kingdom located in Mesopotamia, which enjoyed semi-autonomy to complete independence from the years of 132 BC to AD 244.It was a Syriac-speaking kingdom.Osroene, or...

 – to the Parthian hegemony under Roman suzerainty. However, all the other territories conquered by Trajan were retained. Trajan's ashes were laid to rest underneath Trajan's column, the monument commemorating his success.


Building activities


Trajan was a prolific builder in Rome and the provinces, and many of his buildings were erected by the gifted architect Apollodorus of Damascus
Apollodorus of Damascus
Apollodorus of Damascus was a Greek engineer, architect, designer and sculptor who flourished during the 2nd century AD, from Damascus, Roman Syria. He was a favourite of Trajan, for whom he constructed Trajan's Bridge over the Danube for the 105-106 campaign in Dacia. He also designed the Forum...

. Notable structures include Trajan's Column
Trajan's Column
Trajan's Column is a Roman triumphal column in Rome, Italy, which commemorates Roman emperor Trajan's victory in the Dacian Wars. It was probably constructed under the supervision of the architect Apollodorus of Damascus at the order of the Roman Senate. It is located in Trajan's Forum, built near...

, Trajan's Forum
Trajan's Forum
Trajan's Forum is an ancient structure in Rome, Italy, chronologically the last of the Imperial fora. The forum was constructed by the architect Apollodorus of Damascus.-History:...

, Trajan's Bridge
Trajan's bridge
Trajan's Bridge or Bridge of Apollodorus over the Danube was a Roman segmental arch bridge, the first to be built over the lower Danube. For more than a thousand years, it was the longest arch bridge in the world, in terms of both total and span length...

, Alcántara Bridge
Alcántara Bridge
The Alcántara Bridge is a Roman stone arch bridge built over the Tagus River at Alcántara, Spain between 104 and 106 CE by an order of the Roman Emperor Trajan in 98...

, the road and canal around the Iron Gates (see conquest of Dacia), and possibly the Alconétar Bridge
Alconétar Bridge
The Alconétar Bridge , also known as Puente de Mantible, was a Roman segmental arch bridge in the Extremadura region, Spain. The ancient structure, which featured flattened arches with a span-to-rise ratio of 4–5:1, is one of the earliest of its kind...

.
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.

Trajan's legacy



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. Dio Cassius
Dio Cassius
Lucius Cassius Dio Cocceianus , known in English as Cassius Dio, Dio Cassius, or Dio was a Roman consul and a noted historian writing in Greek...

 added that he always remained dignified and fair. The Christianisation of Rome resulted in further embellishment of his legend: it was commonly said in medieval times that Pope Gregory I
Pope Gregory I
Pope Gregory I , better known in English as Gregory the Great, was pope from 3 September 590 until his death...

, through divine intercession, resurrected Trajan from the dead and baptized him into the Christian faith. An account of this features in the Golden Legend
Golden Legend
The Golden Legend is a collection of hagiographies by Jacobus de Voragine that became a late medieval bestseller. More than a thousand manuscripts of the text have survived, compared to twenty or so of its nearest rivals...

.

Theologians, such as Thomas Aquinas
Thomas Aquinas
Thomas Aquinas, O.P. , also Thomas of Aquin or Aquino, was an Italian Dominican priest of the Catholic Church, and an immensely influential philosopher and theologian in the tradition of scholasticism, known as Doctor Angelicus, Doctor Communis, or Doctor Universalis...

, discussed Trajan as an example of a virtuous pagan. In the Divine Comedy
The Divine Comedy
The Divine Comedy is an epic poem written by Dante Alighieri between 1308 and his death in 1321. It is widely considered the preeminent work of Italian literature, and is seen as one of the greatest works of world literature...

, Dante
DANTE
Delivery of Advanced Network Technology to Europe is a not-for-profit organisation that plans, builds and operates the international networks that interconnect the various national research and education networks in Europe and surrounding regions...

, following this legend, sees the spirit of Trajan in the Heaven of Jupiter
Jupiter (mythology)
In ancient Roman religion and myth, Jupiter or Jove is the king of the gods, and the god of the sky and thunder. He is the equivalent of Zeus in the Greek pantheon....

 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.

He also features in Piers Plowman
Piers Plowman
Piers Plowman or Visio Willelmi de Petro Plowman is the title of a Middle English allegorical narrative poem by William Langland. It is written in unrhymed alliterative verse divided into sections called "passus"...

. An episode, referred to as the justice of Trajan
Justice of Trajan
The Justice of Trajan is a legendary episode in the life of Roman Emperor Trajan, based upon Dio Cassius' account : "He did not, however, as might have been expected of a warlike man, pay any less attention to the civil administration nor did he dispense justice any the less; on the contrary, he...

 was reflected in several art works.

In the 18th century King Charles III of Spain
Charles III of Spain
Charles III was the King of Spain and the Spanish Indies from 1759 to 1788. He was the eldest son of Philip V of Spain and his second wife, the Princess Elisabeth Farnese...

 commissioned Anton Raphael Mengs
Anton Raphael Mengs
Anton Raphael Mengs was a German painter, active in Rome, Madrid and Saxony, who became one of the precursors to Neoclassical painting.- Biography :Mengs was born in 1728 at Ústí nad Labem in Bohemia...

 to paint The Triumph of Trajan on the ceiling of the banqueting-hall of the Royal Palace of Madrid
Royal Palace of Madrid
The Palacio Real de Madrid is the official residence of the King of Spain in the city of Madrid, but it is only used for state ceremonies. King Juan Carlos and the Royal Family do not reside in the palace, choosing instead the more modest Palacio de la Zarzuela on the outskirts of Madrid...

 – considered among the best work of this artist.

"Traian" is used as a male first name in present-day Romania
Romania
Romania is a country located at the crossroads of Central and Southeastern Europe, on the Lower Danube, within and outside the Carpathian arch, bordering on the Black Sea...

 – among others, that of the country's president, Traian Băsescu
Traian Basescu
Traian Băsescu is the current President of Romania. After serving as the mayor of Bucharest from June 2000 until December 2004, he was elected president in the Romanian Presidential Elections of 2004 and inaugurated on December 20, 2004...

.

Primary sources


Secondary material


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