Trajan was born in Italica, close to modern Seville in present-day Spain, an Italic settlement in the Roman province of Hispania Baetica. Although misleadingly designated by some later writers as a provincial, his Ulpia gens came from Umbria and he was born a Roman citizen. Trajan rose to prominence during the reign of emperor Domitian.
Jul 06, 2018 · Trajan. Trajan was a Roman emperor who ruled from A.D. 98 until his death in A.D. 117. Born in Italica (Seville in modern-day Spain), Trajan was the first Roman emperor born outside of Italy. He was also one of the first emperors to be chosen, rather than to inherit power as part of a ruling family. Before he was emperor, Trajan was an army ...
Trajan, Roman emperor (98–117 CE) who sought to extend the boundaries of the empire to the east (notably in Dacia, Arabia, Armenia, and Mesopotamia), undertook a vast building program, and enlarged social welfare. Learn more about Trajan in this article.
Jun 24, 2019 · This warrior was the best of ancient Rome’s ‘Five Good Emperors’. A powerful military commander born in Spain, Trajan was very good to his imperial subjects—but woe to the foreigners who ...
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- Rise to Power
- Early Rule
- Dacian Campaigns
- Building Projects
After safely escaping the Praetorian Guard mutiny, the ailing Roman emperor Nerva began to question his own mortality and realized the urgency to name a successor. Without any children of his own, he recognized his only option was to adopt. The choice was not a difficult one. He named Marcus Ulpius Traianus - better known as Trajan - the recently named governor of Upper Germany as his “son.” On January 28, 91 CE Nerva died a natural death and Trajan was quickly named emperor by the Roman Senate, the second of those who would become known as the Five Good Emperors. The new emperor was born on September 18, 53 CE in Italica (Seville) in the Roman province of Hispania, becoming the first emperor born outside of Italy as his family had its origins in northern Italy. He came from a family with a very impressive military reputation. His father, a career soldier also named Marcus Ulpius Traianus, had been governor of both Baetica in Spain and Syria, a commander during the Jewish War of 67-...
When Nerva died in January 98 CE, Trajan did not immediately return to Rome. Instead, he inspected the Rhine and Danube frontiers to not only safeguard against the Dacians but also to test the allegiance of many of the legions still loyal to Domitian. Finally, in the summer of 99 CE, he made his entry into Rome on foot where he mingled with both the citizenry and senators. Pliny the Younger(61-112 CE) - a lawyer, author, and governor of Bithynia - often corresponded with Emperor Trajan on a variety of topics. After Nerva's death and Trajan's ascension, Pliny wrote one of his many letters to the new emperor, ”May you then, and would through your means, enjoy every prosperity worthy of your reign: to which let me add my wishes, most excellent Emperor, upon a private as well as public account, that your health and spirits may be preserved firm and unbroken.” Although he maintained an excellent rapport with the Senate, Trajan was still considered an absolute ruler but not to the degree...
While historians have identified him as a thoughtful emperor, Trajan's real passion was war (and he was very good at it). 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. Under Domitian he had been involved briefly with King Decebalusand the Dacians along the Danube River but without any clear success. In 101 CE Trajan left Rome to battle the Dacians, quickly defeating them at Tapae. After another failed attack, they immediately sued for peace. This time, however, Decebalus was forced to cede considerable territory north of the Danube but the Dacian king had never been one to respect a peace agreement. In 105 CE Trajan returned to the north to fight the pesky Dacians once again. Unfortunately for Decebalus, many of his allies deserted him as Trajan and his Roman army approached. After the king's defeat, the Romans continued on to the Dacian capital of Sarmizegethusa where their entire treasury was se...
For the next six years the Empire saw a period of relative peace, but in 114 CE war came to the eastern frontier. In response Trajan would leave Rome for the last time, never to return. The war began when the Parthians placed one of their own on the throne of Armenia, a Roman buffer state. This “upset the delicate balance of power” on the eastern frontier. Trajan intervened, and Armenia was made a province of Rome. The army continued on eastward and annexed Mesopotamia, including the Parthian capital of Ctesiphon. Under Trajan, the Roman Empire now stretched further than it ever had - from Scotlandto the Caspian Sea. In 117 CE the Mesopotamians rebelled, forcing Trajan to retreat and during the battle, Trajan almost died when an arrow meant for him struck and killed one of his bodyguards. Dio wrote, “…the enemy, seeing his majestic gray head, and his august countenance, suspected his identity, shot at him and killed a cavalryman in his escort.” Rebellion among the Jewish population...
Trajan's memory remained in Rome for generations to follow, primarily due to two gifts he gave the city - the Forum of Trajan and Trajan's Column. The Forum of Trajan, financed by the seized Dacian treasury, was dedicated in 112 CE. The population of Rome at the time of Trajan and Nerva had grown to its greatest height, close to one million, and it needed (and people felt they deserved) a new forum, not only a marketplace and shopping center but also a center for politics, commerce, and religion. The forum lay between the Quirinal and Capitoline Hills. On either side of the plaza were two semi-circular, six-story buildings, containing great halls and rooms for offices. North of the forum was a new basilica - Basilica Ulpias - that housed law courts. After Trajan's death, Emperor Hadrian would add a large gateway and a statue of Trajan riding a six-horse chariot. The forum's architect Apollodorus of Damascus had also designed Trajan's Bridge across the Danube - the longest arch bridg...
Like his predecessor, however, Trajan and his wife were childless and, like Nerva, he chose adoption to solve the problem of an heir. He adopted and named his cousin's son Hadrian as his successor. However, rumors persisted that Hadrian had never been officially adopted. Trajan's wife Pompeia Plotina supposedly used a ruse - forging documents - to make the adoption official, thus making Hadrian the third of the Five Good Emperors.
- Donald L. Wasson
- Birth and Death
- Family of Origin
- Titles and Honors
Future Roman emperor, Marcus Ulpius Traianus or Trajan was born at Italica, in Spain, on September 18, A.D. 53. After having appointed Hadrianhis successor, Trajan died while returning to Italy from the east. Trajan died on 9 August A.D. 117, after suffering a stroke, in the Cilician town of Selinus.
His family came from Italica, in Spanish Baetica. His father was Ulpius Trajanaus and his mother was named Marcia. Trajan had a 5 year older sister named Ulpia Marciana. Trajan was adopted by the Roman Emperor Nerva and made his heir, which entitled him to call himself the son of Nerva: CAESARI DIVI NERVAE F, literally, 'the son of the divine Caesar Nerva.'
Trajan was officially designated optimus 'best' or optimus princeps 'best chief' in 114. He provided 123 days of public celebration for his Dacian triumph and had his Dacian and Germanic successes recorded in his official title. He was posthumously made divine (divus) as had his predecessor (Caesar Divus Nerva). Tacitus refers to the beginning of Trajan's reign as a 'most blessed age' (beatissimum saeculum). He was also made Pontifex Maximus. Sources Literary sources on Trajan include Pliny the Younger, Tacitus, Cassius Dio, Dio of Prusa, Aurelius Victor and Eutropius. Despite their number, there is little reliable written information about Trajan's reign. Since Trajan sponsored building projects, there is archaeological and epigraphical (from inscriptions) testimony. Trajan Optimus Princeps - A Life and Times, by Julian Bennett. Indiana University Press, 1997. ISBN 0253332168. 318 Pages.
Trajan Senior. This is the reverse of an exceptionally rare aureus (RIC II 763) depicting the bare bust of the deified father of Trajan. Trajan Senior was instrumental in the rise of Trajan to the imperatorship - without the opportunities afforded to Trajan because of Trajan Senior's success, it is doubtful he would have risen so high.