Trajan in Roman Biography
Tra'jan, (Lat. Traja'nus; It. Trajano, tRa-ya'no ;
Fr. Trajan, tRi'zhoN'; Ger. Trajan, tRa-yan',1 or,
more fully, Mar'cua Ul'pl-us Ner'va Tra-ja'nus,
Emperor of Rome, born near Seville, in Spain, about
52 A.n., was the son of Trajan, an Iberian officer, whom
he accompanied in his campaigns in Asia' Minor. He
was chosen consul in 91 A.n., and was afterwards appointed
to command the legions on the Lower Rhine.
His eminent virtues and ability obtained for him the
favour and confidence of the emperor Nerva, who
adopted him and made him his successor. On the
death of Nerva, in 98 A.D., Trajan was proclaimed emperor,
and soon after marched against Decebalus, King
of the Dacians, whom he repeatedly defeated. In 106
A.D. Dacia became a Roman province, and a column
(which is still extant) was erected on the Forum Trajani,
in commemoration of these victories, by Apollodorusof
Damascus. In the
year 115 he commanded in person an
army which invaded Parthia, and defeated the Parthians
in several battles. He took Ctesiphon, the capital of
Parthia, and deposed the king of that country. In
116 he descended the Tigris to the Persian Gulf. He
was returning to Rome, when he died, without issue, at
Selinus, in Cilicia, in 117 a.d., and was succeeded by
Hadrian. Trajan was one of the greatest and best emperors
of Rome. He is commended for his moderation,
sound judgment, and the simplicity of his mode of living.
Yet he persecuted the Christians, and presided as judge
at the tribunal when the martyr Ignatius was sentenced
to death. Among his friends was Pliny the Younger,
who wrote a "
Panegyric on Trajan."
" Histoiredes Emperettrs;" Rittkr, "Trajanus
in Lucent reproduces," 1768 ; H. Franckk, " Zur Geschichte
etc., 1840: Gknf.rsich, "Trajan ; biographisches GemiiMe,"
1811 ; Msrivale, "History of the Romans tinder the Empfre ;"
" Hechos y Diclios de Trajano," 1654; "Nottvelle Biojrapliie