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Tra Jan

roman, parthians, trajan, capital and province

TRA JAN, tra'jan (MARCUS ULPIUS TRAJA NUS), Roman emperor: b. Italica (near Se- ville), in the .Spanish province of Bmtica, 53 A.D. ; d. Se!inns, Cilicia, 117. He was the son of Trajanus, a Roman commander under Ves pasian. He accompanied his father in a cam paign against the Parthians and also served on the Rhine with such ability that when Nerva carne to the throne he adopted the young soldier and raised him to the rank of Cmsar (97). Nerva dying a few months after, he succeeded to the throne (98). He was at that time in Germany, where he remained for more than a year, to settle a peace with the German tribes, and in 99 set out with a numerous escort to Rome. After largess to the soldiers and people he took successful measures for supplying the capital with corn. He punished and batushed informers, reduced the taxes and filled the most important posts with men of talent and integ rity. He moreover founded libraries, and under his patronage the studies were revived which had suffered from the persecution of Domitian. By the unanimous voice of the Senate he was awarded the title "Optimus.° In 101 he set out on an expedition against Decebalus, king of the Dacians, who had forced Domitian to purchase peace by an annual payment of money, and after two years defeated the Dacians and re turned to Rome to enjoy the honors of a triumph with the name of Dacicus (103). In this year Pliny was made governor of Pontus and Bithynia, which circumstance gave rise to a series of letters between him and Trajan still extant. Among these are the epistles respecting the Christians, whom he directs Pliny not to search for, but only to punish if brought before him. In 104 Decebalus reriewed the war with

the Romans in pursuing which Trajan con structed a bridge over the Danube, below the modern Orsova, which was one of the greatest works of antiquity (105). He then marched into Dacia, reduced the capital of Decebalus and turned Dacia into a Roman province. It was in comrnemoration of his wars in Dacia that he erected the sculptured column which still bears his name. In 114 he dedicated the Forum that he had built in Rome and set out on a new warlike expedition against Chosroes, the Parthian. The result of this war was the reduction of Armenia to a Roman province. His war with the Parthians was completed in two campaigns, after which he sailed down the Tigris and entered the Persian Gulf. During his absence the Parthians revolted. After giv ing a king to the Parthians he laid siege to Atra, the capital of an Arabian tribe, but was obliged to withdraw to Syria. In the following year (117) he proposed returning into Mesopo tamia, but was attacked by a disorder, which induced him to repair to Italy, leaving the army under the command of Hadnan. He had pro ceeded no farther than Selinus, in Cilicia, when he died, after having adopted Hadrian for his successor. His good qualities as a ruler were such that, at the distance of 250 years from his death, the senators, in their acclamations on the accession of a new emperor, were accustomed to wish that he might be more fortunate than Augustus and better than Trajan.