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Great Ancient Warriors: Trajan of Rome

Trajan (or Marcus Ulpius Traianus) was once a ruler of Rome, who spent the majority of his life participating in campaigns for the progression of Rome. He was so committed to his missions that after hearing that he had been adopted by Roman Emperor Nerva (and that he had died), Trajan stayed in Germany until he had completed his objective. In this article, you will learn more about this former emperor of Rome.

When Trajan became emperor, he was involved many major campaigns. In 106, he fought against the Dacians, which led to great financial gain for Rome. This was not only his first victory, but was Trajan’s first military campaign overall. In 113, he participated in battles against the Parthians, which did not end in a clear victory. Trajan is also known for constructing an artificial harbor at Ostia.

The history of Trajan was recorded by ancient literary sources, such as Pliny the Younger, Tacitus, Cassius Dio, Dio of Prusa, Aurelius Victor and Eutropius. However, the bulk of reliable written details regarding his reign are pretty slim. However, other details of Trajan’s reign have been collected from some of the building projects that he had sponsored over his rule. Inscriptions have helped researchers piece together some of his archeological contributions. He was known for his generosity in constructing buildings across Rome.

Other facts concerning Trajan include:

·    There is evidence to suggest that Trajan established cash subsidies to help in the raising of poor children.

·    Trajan was the emperor of Rome from 98 to 117 AD.

·    During his travels to Italy, Trajan died in 117 AD of a stroke while he was in the town of Selinus. He was 63 years old at the time. He had already appointed Hadrian as his successor.

·    Tacitus wrote that the start of Trajan’s reign was a ‘most blessed age’ (a translation from beatissimum saeculum).

·    During his lifetime, Trajan was made Pontifex Maximus, which was the title of the high priest of the ancient Roman College of Pontiffs (Collegium Pontificum). The position was highly regarded when it came to ancient Roman religion, which was only held by patrician until 254 BC.

·    Trajan was born to a non-patrician family in 53 AD at Italica, in Spain.

·    When Trajan was a young man, he enjoyed an easy rise throughout the ranks of the Roman army. During the time that he served, he was sent to the places of most controversial regarding the Empire.

·    Trajan had an adoptive child, who would become his successor to the throne. His name was Hadrian, and he would take the Roman military to new heights.

·    When Trajan was the Roman emperor, the people welcomed his reign because he governed in a much different way than some of his predecessors. For example, he refrained from using bloody tactics to gain the obedience of his people.

·    Trajan was successful in launching conquests in the Near East.