History, Facts and Information about Trajan
The content of this article provides interesting history, facts and information about the Emperor Trajan and the all-powerful Caesars who ruled the empire of Ancient Rome. The word "Caesar" was originally the name of the famous aristocratic patrician family of ancient Rome and became synonymous with the Roman Emperors. Refer to the comprehensive List of Roman Emperors for the names of the most famous Romans, their dynasties and the historic eras of all the Roman Emperors and usurpers. Read about the life of Trajan who can be described, or remembered, as:
"The Emperor who left the legacy of Trajan's market and Column"
Short Biography about the life of Trajan
Short Biography profile and facts about one of the most famous Romans of all, in the life of Trajan, Emperor of Rome and provinces of the Roman Empire.
Name commonly known as: Trajan
Latin Roman Name: Marcus Ulpius Nerva Traianus
Trajan Reigned as Roman Emperor / Caesar: January 28, 98- August 9, 117
Dynasty / Historical Period: Five Good Emperors & Nervan / Antonine Dynasty (96–192)
Place and Date of Birth: Trajan was born September 18, 53 in Italica, Hispania
Name of previous Emperor: The predecessor or Emperor before Trajan was Nerva
Family connections / Genealogy
Place and Date of Death: Trajan died August 9, 117 (aged 63) in Selinus, Cilicia
Name of next Emperor: Trajan made no nomination of a successor to the throne and it is believed that his wife Plotina forged the will which stated that he had adopted Hadrian. The successor to Trajan was therefore Hadrian.
Interesting facts about the life of Trajan
Why was Trajan famous? Accomplishments and achievements and important Events. Trajan, the first emperor who was not a native of Italy, was born at Italica, in Spain, and was about forty years of age at the death of Nerva. He was free from every vice except an occasional indulgence in wine. His mind was naturally strong, his manners pleasing, his appearance noble and imposing. Trajan desired only to restore the simple manners and virtuous habits of an earlier age. Trajan abolished the trials for high treason, which had previously made Rome a scene of terror, restored freedom of speech to the Senate, revived the Comitia for the election of magistrates and bound himself by oath to observe the laws. Trajan was also responsible for the foundation of public schools for the education and maintenance of poor children in various parts of Italy. Trajan also founded the Ulpian Library at Rome. Trajan was a great builder and created magnificent buildings, roads, bridges across the empire.
Trajan - Dacian War and the Conquest of the Parthian Empire
Dacia corresponds in the main to modern Romania and Moldova, as well as parts of Hungary, Bulgaria and Ukraine - the Thracian nations. In AD 90 the Dacians had defeated the Romans under the Emperor Domitian. Emperor Trajan recommenced hostilities against Dacia and defeated the Dacian general Decebalus in the Second Battle of Tapae in 101 AD. Trajan then turned is ambitions to and successfully invaded the Parthian empire further expanding the power of the Roman Empire. The Parthian empire controlled most of Armenia, Mesopotamia, Iran, and Afghanistan and with it the Silk Road, the trade route between the Mediterranean Sea and China.
Picture of Trajan's Column
Trajan's column was also erected to commemorate his victories over the Dacians and took pride of place in Trajan's forum. Trajans column was his greatest monument. Trajans column consists of nineteen blocks of Carrara marble, each weighing 40 tons, and a spiral staircase that leads to the top of the column. Trajans column is most famous for its spiral bas relief frieze which shows figures of Romans and the Dacians wearing the clothing of era and carrying the weapons of the era. The picture of Trajans column shows the statue of Trajan at the top (this no longer exists).
Facts about the Structure and Size of Trajan's Column:
- Height: 30 meters (98 ft) in height (38 meters (125 ft) including its large pedestal)
- Diameter: 4 meters (13 ft)
- Spiral staircase: 185 stairs
- Frieze: 190 meter (625 ft) frieze which winds around the shaft 23 times
- Frieze depicts approximately 2,500 figures
- The figures include Roman soldiers, sailors, priest and politicians together with Dacian enemies
- An image of the Emperor Trajan is depicted 59 times
- Date column completed: 113AD
Trajan's Forum and Trajans Market
Trajan's forum and Trajan's market (and his column) were constructed to commemorate his victories over the Dacians. The architect of the great project was called Apollodorus of Damascus. To build the forum and market on the area of the Quirinal Hill over 60 million cubic meters of rock and earth had to be moved Trajan was building his forum and market for the people of Rome and the ruins of the market can still be seen in Rome today. The market was built in Trajan's forum and is a semi-circular building which is three storeys high, above which is a large vaulted hall, resembling a basilica. The market consisted of shops, all of which faced on to a corridor allowing passers by to see the goods on sale. Luxurious items such as silks were sold at Trajans market in the forum together with everyday items and fresh food. There were also restaurants and bars. Trajans Forum and the market were built almost 2000 years before our modern shopping malls.
Dynasties of Roman Emperors - Five Good Emperors & Nervan / Antonine Dynasty (96–192)
The Five Good Emperors and the Nervan / Antonine Dynasty (96–192). The Five Good Emperors were Nerva, Trajan, Hadrian, Antoninus Pius and Marcus Aurelius. The Five Good Emperors were so named by the political philosopher, Niccolo Machiavelli who gave them this name in 1503 due to their good government and the respect given to them by the people of Rome. The Nervan and Antonine dynasty consisted of the "Five Good Emperors" (Nerva, Trajan, Hadrian, Antoninus Pius, and Marcus Aurelius) together with Lucius Verus, who ruled jointly with Marcus Aurelius, and Commodus the son of Marcus Aurelius.
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Map of the Roman Empire c395AD illustrating the power of the Emperor