Trajan was well known, and a well loved Emperor. Of the Five Good Emperors mentioned by Edward Gibbon, Trajan was listed as the 2nd best. He came into power on Jan 27 98 AD where he is listed on the Bible Timeline.
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Trajan operated Rome as a triumphant warrior/emperor and was an influence to one of the greatest military growths the country’s history. Roman borders had expanded as far as they would ever go before his death.
Trajan also cared about the community and the economy. He began with a wide range of programs for public buildings, and social welfare policies.
September 96 Marcus Cocceius Nerva succeeded the throne. He was older and had no children. Another problem included his unpopularity with the army. In consequence after a year of strife, he was obligated by the Praetorian Guard to adopt Trajan, who was more popular as heir.
Nerva died not long after and Trajan succeeded him with no opposition. As the new emperor of Rome, he was met by the community with much excitement. This was warranted considering his fairness and mercy that was not as prominent with Domitian’s period.
Trajan set free several people who had been unfairly put in prison by Domitian and restored a large amount of personal land that Domitian had taken. Trajan’s renown was so great that later the Roman Senate awarded him with the honorable title of Optimus or “the best.”
Trajan was most known for as a military commander, especially in his conquers around the Near East. Particularly in his two years of battle with Dacia. This had been an issue of trouble for the Romans for past a decade.
Later he re-established Dacia with the Romans and appropriated it as a Roman Empire region. As a result, they were able to boost the economy from the acquired gold mines. For the next several years Trajan governed in the city with the same prestige he started with. At this period, he communicated with Pliny the Younger particularly about the Christians who were becoming more prominent. They were refusing to adhere to standard religious expectations.
They were largely disdained but as far as Pliny was concerned were not a threat. Trajan replied with his standard care for the public advising Pliny to ignore empty claims against the Christians and only focus on those who were pretentiously obstinate.
War with Parthia
Parthia received the Roman’s attention in 113 A.D. after crowning an unapproved ruler in Armenia. This kingdom had been shared between the two for about fifty years. Trajan’s first action was to attack Armenia and overthrow the king. He then proclaimed Parthia as part of the Roman Empire adding in a process the respect of domination from several tribes in the Caucasus by the Eastern shore of the Black Sea. This procedure kept Trajan occupied for at least a year.
Afterwards, he went on to conquer Babylon, the capital of Chesiphon. Working his way through Mesopotamia until she reached the Persian Gulf. There deciding to stop with his age catching up with him and his health declining. In 117 A.D., Trajan gradually returned to Italy and left Hadrian as a commander over the East.
He died soon after, and Hadrian became his successor. One of his first actions was to end all of Trajan’s Eastern invasions. He re-established Armenia and Osroene to the Parthian’s (under Roman ‘suzerainty’). Then kept everything that was left from Trojan’s conquests under Roman rule.
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