Atlantis Online

Ancient Mediterranean Cultures => Rome: Empire & Republic => Topic started by: Bianca on March 24, 2008, 08:35:49 am

Title: Rome To 'Paint' Trajan's Column With Light/Emperor Trajan's Biography
Post by: Bianca on March 24, 2008, 08:35:49 am

                                     Rome to 'paint' Trajan's Column with light

Archaeologists want to use light to recreate the brilliant colors once seen on Trajan's Column in

The chaste white of Roman temples and monuments is a product of centuries of wear that has removed the original paint. The archaeology department in Rome is discussing the technical details
of creating a light beam that would temporarily repaint the column, with the power company Acea
and researchers at Rome University, the Italian news agency Ansa reported.

Under the plan, the column would be illuminated on weekends for a few minutes every hour.

''Nothing acts like light to deepen our understanding, activating our emotional brain,'' said Maurizio Anastasi, head of the technical office in the city archaeology department.

The column was erected in A.D. 113 to celebrate Trajan's two successful campaigns against the Dacians, depicted in carved relief. Trajan, who reigned from 98 to 117, pushed the boundaries of the Roman Empire to their farthest extent.

Copyright 2008 by United Press International

Publication date: 23 March 2008   

Source: UPI-1-20080322-23351400-bc-italy-trajancolumn.xml

Title: Re: Rome To 'Paint' Trajan's Column With Light
Post by: Bianca on March 24, 2008, 09:55:14 pm

Title: Re: Rome To 'Paint' Trajan's Column With Light
Post by: Bianca on March 24, 2008, 09:57:26 pm

Title: Re: Rome To 'Paint' Trajan's Column With Light
Post by: Bianca on March 24, 2008, 09:59:17 pm

Title: Re: Rome To 'Paint' Trajan's Column With Light
Post by: Bianca on March 24, 2008, 10:03:12 pm


Title: Re: Rome To 'Paint' Trajan's Column With Light
Post by: Bianca on March 24, 2008, 10:06:28 pm

Title: Re: Rome To 'Paint' Trajan's Column With Light
Post by: Bianca on March 24, 2008, 10:12:35 pm

Marble bust of Trajan
at the Glyptothek, Munich

Reign January 28, 98-
August 9, 117

Full name Marcus Ulpius Nerva Traianus

Born September 18, 53(53-09-18)
 Italica, ancient Hispania

Died August 9, 117 (aged 63)

Buried Rome (ashes in foot
of Trajan's Column, now lost.)

Predecessor Nerva

Successor Hadrian

Wife/wives Pompeia Plotina

Issue Hadrian (adoptive)

Dynasty Nervan-Antonine

Father Marcus Ulpius Traianus

Mother Marcia

Title: Re: Rome To 'Paint' Trajan's Column With Light/Emperor Trajan's Biography
Post by: Bianca on March 24, 2008, 10:28:49 pm

                            M A R C U S   U L P I U S   N E R V A   T R A I A N U S

Marcus Ulpius Nerva Traianus, commonly known as Trajan (September 18, 53 – August 9, 117),
was a Roman Emperor who reigned from 98 until his death in 117.

Born Marcus Ulpius Traianus into a non-patrician family in the Hispania Baetica province (modern
day Spain), Trajan rose to prominence during the reign of emperor Domitian, serving as a general
in the Roman army along the German frontier, and successfully crushing the revolt of Antonius Saturninus in 89.

On September 18, 96, Domitian was succeeded by Marcus Cocceius Nerva, an old and childless
senator who proved to be unpopular with the army. After a brief and tumultuous year in power,
a revolt by members of the Praetorian Guard compelled him to adopt the more popular Trajan as
his heir and successor. Nerva died on January 27, 98, and was succeeded by his adopted son
without incident.

As a civilian administrator, Trajan is best known for his extensive public building program, which reshaped the city of Rome and left a multiple of enduring landmarks such as Trajan's Forum,
Trajan's Market and Trajan's Column.

It was as a military commander, however, that Trajan celebrated his greatest triumphs.

In 101, he launched a punitive expedition into the kingdom of Dacia against king Decebalus, defeat-
ing the Dacian army near Tapae in 102, and finally conquering Dacia completely in 106.

In 107, Trajan pushed further east and conquered Nabatea, gaining the short-lived province of
Arabia Petraea. After a period of relative peace within the Empire, he launched his final campaign
in 113 against Parthia, advancing as far as the city of Susa in 116, and expanding the Roman Empire
to its greatest extent.

During this campaign Trajan was struck by illness, and late in 117, while sailing back to Rome, he
died of stroke on August 9, in the city of Selinus.

He was deified by the Senate and his ashes were laid to rest in the Mausoleum of Augustus. He
was succeeded by his first cousin once removed Publius Aelius Hadrianus—commonly known as

As an emperor, Trajan's enduring in the history of the Roman Empire, and in reputation better than Augustus.

Every new emperor after Trajan was honored by the Senate with the prayer "Felicior Augusto,
Melior Traiano", meaning "may he be luckier than Augustus and better than Trajan". Contrary to
many lauded rulers in history, this reputation survived nearly undiminished for over nineteen cen-

Among medieval Christian theologians, Trajan was considered a virtuous pagan, while the 18th
century historian Edward Gibbon popularized the notion of the Five Good Emperors, of which
Trajan was the second.

Title: Re: Rome To 'Paint' Trajan's Column With Light/Emperor Trajan's Biography
Post by: Bianca on March 24, 2008, 10:32:37 pm

Early life and rise to power

Nervo-Trajanic Dynasty Nerva

   Natural - (none)
   Adoptive - Trajan

   Natural - (none)
   Adoptive - Hadrian

   Natural - (none)
   Adoptive - Lucius Aelius
   Adoptive - Antoninus Pius

Trajan was the son of Marcia and Marcus Ulpius Traianus, a prominent senator and general from the famous gens Ulpia. The family had settled in Hispania (the Iberian Peninsula, comprising modern Spain and Portugal), in the province of Hispania Baetica in what is now Andalusia (in modern Spain), a province that was thoroughly Romanized and called southern Hispania. Trajan himself was just one of many well-known Ulpii in a line that continued long after his own death. His elder sister was Ulpia Marciana and his niece was Salonina Matidia.

He was born on September 18, 53, in the city of Italica. As a young man, he rose through the ranks of the Roman army, serving in some of the most contentious parts of the Empire's frontier. In 76–77, Trajan's father was Governor of Syria (Legatus pro praetore Syriae), where Trajan himself remained as Tribunus legionis. Trajan was nominated as Consul and brought Apollodorus of Damascus with him to Rome around 91. Along the Rhine River, he took part in the Emperor Domitian's wars while under Domitian's successor, Nerva, who was unpopular with the army and needed to do something to gain their support. He accomplished this by naming Trajan as his adoptive son and successor in the summer of 97. According to the Augustan History, it was the future Emperor Hadrian who brought word to Trajan of his adoption. When Nerva died on January 27, 98, the highly respected Trajan succeeded without incident.

Title: Re: Rome To 'Paint' Trajan's Column With Light/Emperor Trajan's Biography
Post by: Bianca on March 24, 2008, 10:33:56 pm


As issued by the Roman Senate,
to the "Optimus Princeps" Trajan

Relation with the Senate

The new emperor was greeted by the people of Rome with great enthusiasm, which he justified by governing well and without the bloodiness that had marked Domitian's reign. He freed many people who had been unjustly imprisoned by Domitian and returned a great deal of private property that Domitian had confiscated; a process begun by Nerva before his death.

His popularity was such that the Roman Senate eventually bestowed upon Trajan the honorific of OPTIMUS, meaning "the best".

Dio Cassius, sometimes known as Cassius Dio, reports that Trajan drank heavily and was a pederast. "I know,
of course, that he was devoted to boys and to wine, but if he had ever committed or endured any base or wicked deed as the result of this, he would have incurred censure; as it was, however, he drank all the wine
he wanted, yet remained sober, and in his relation with boys he harmed no one."

This sensibility was one that influenced even his governing, leading him to favour the king of Edessa out of appreciation for his handsome son: "On this occasion, however, Abgarus, induced partly by the persuasions of his son Arbandes, who was handsome and in the pride of youth and therefore in favour with Trajan, and partly by his fear of the latter's presence, he met him on the road, made his apologies and obtained pardon, for he had a powerful intercessor in the boy."

Title: Re: Rome To 'Paint' Trajan's Column With Light/Emperor Trajan's Biography
Post by: Bianca on March 24, 2008, 10:44:42 pm

Trajan's Dacian Wars

It was as a military commander that Trajan is best known to history, particularly for his conquests
in the Near East, but initially for the two wars against Dacia—his cowling conquest (101-102), then delayed re-conquest of the trans-Danube border kingdom of Dacia—an area that had troubled Roman thought for over a decade with the unfavorable (and to some, shameful) peace negotiated by Domitian's retainers.

In the first war c. March–May 101, he launched an attack into the kingdom of Dacia with four legions,crossing to the northern bank of the Danube River on a stone bridge he had built, and
defeating the Dacian army near or in a mountain pass called Tapae (see Second Battle of Tapae). Trajan's troops were mauled in the encounter, however and he put off further campaigning for the
year to heal troops, reinforce, and regroup.

During the following winter king Decebalus launched a counter-attack across the Danube further downstream, but this was repulsed. Trajan's army advanced further into Dacian territory and forced King Decebalus to submit to him a year later, after Trajan took the Dacian capital/fortress of Sarmizegethusa. The Emperor Domitian had campaigned against Dacia from 86 to 87 without securing
a decisive outcome, and Decebalus had brazenly flouted the terms of the peace (89 AD) which had been agreed on conclusion of this campaign.

Trajan now returned to Rome in triumph and was granted the title Dacicus Maximus. The victory was celebrated by the Tropaeum Traiani. Decebalus though, after being left to his own devices, in 105 undertook an invasion against Roman territory by attempting to stir up some of the tribes north of
the river against her.

Trajan took to the field again and after building with the design of Apollodorus of Damascus his
massive bridge over the Danube, he conquered Dacia completely in 106. Sarmizegethusa was destroyed, Decebalus committed suicide, and his severed head was exhibited in Rome on the steps leading up to the Capitol.

Trajan built a new city, "Colonia Ulpia Traiana Augusta Dacica Sarmizegetusa", on another site than
the previous Dacian Capital, although bearing the same full name, Sarmizegetusa. He resettled Dacia with Romans and annexed it as a province of the Roman Empire. Trajan's Dacian campaigns benefited the Empire's finances through the acquisition of Dacia's gold mines. The victory is celebrated by Trajan's Column.

Title: Re: Rome To 'Paint' Trajan's Column With Light/Emperor Trajan's Biography
Post by: Bianca on March 24, 2008, 10:46:29 pm

Expansion in the East

At about the same time, one of Rome's client kings, the last king of Nabatea, Rabbel II Soter, died.

This might have prompted Trajan's annexation of Nabatea, although the reasons for annexation are
not known, nor is the exact manner of annexation. Some epigraphic evidence suggests a military operation, with forces from Syria and Egypt.

What is clear, however, is that by 107, Roman legions were stationed in the area around Petra and Bostra, as is shown by a papyrus found in Egypt. The Empire gained what became the province of Arabia Petraea (modern southern Jordan and north west Saudi Arabia).

Title: Re: Rome To 'Paint' Trajan's Column With Light/Emperor Trajan's Biography
Post by: Bianca on March 24, 2008, 10:47:46 pm

Coin showing the Forum of Trajan

Period of peace

The next seven years, Trajan ruled as a civilian emperor, to the same acclaim as before.

It was during this time that he corresponded with Pliny the Younger on the subject of how to deal
with the Christians of Pontus, telling Pliny to leave them alone unless they were openly practicing
the religion.

He built several new buildings, monuments and roads in Italia and his native Hispania. His magnificent complex in Rome raised to commemorate his victories in Dacia (and largely financed from that campaign's loot)—consisting of a forum, Trajan's Column, and Trajan's Market still stands in Rome today.

He was also a prolific builder of triumphal arches, many of which survive, and rebuilder of roads
(Via Traiana and Via Traiana Nova).

One notable act of Trajan was the hosting of a three-month gladiatorial festival in the great
Colosseum in Rome (the precise date of this festival is unknown).

Combining chariot racing, beast fights and close-quarters gladiatorial bloodshed, this gory spectacle reputedly left 11,000 dead (mostly slaves and criminals, not to mention the thousands of ferocious beasts killed alongside them) and attracted a total of five million spectators over the course of the festival.

Title: Re: Rome To 'Paint' Trajan's Column With Light/Emperor Trajan's Biography
Post by: Bianca on March 24, 2008, 10:52:22 pm

Maximum extent of the Empire

The extent of the Roman Empire under Trajan (117)In 113, he embarked on his last campaign, provoked
by Parthia's decision to put an unacceptable king on the throne of Armenia, a kingdom over which the two great empires had shared hegemony since the time of Nero some fifty years earlier. Trajan marched first on Armenia, deposed the king and annexed it to the Roman Empire. Then he turned south into Parthia itself, taking the cities of Babylon, Seleucia and finally the capital of Ctesiphon in 116. He continued southward to the Persian Gulf, whence he declared Mesopotamia a new province of the Empire and lamented that he was too old to follow in the steps of Alexander the Great and reach the distant India itself.

But he did not stop there. Later in 116, he captured the great city of Susa. He deposed the Parthian king Osroes I and put his own puppet ruler Parthamaspates on the throne. Never again would the Roman Empire advance so far to the east.

Title: Re: Rome To 'Paint' Trajan's Column With Light/Emperor Trajan's Biography
Post by: Bianca on March 24, 2008, 11:02:41 pm

It was at this point that the fortunes of war—and his own health—betrayed Trajan. The fortress city of Hatra, on the Tigris in his rear, continued to hold out against repeated Roman assaults. He was personally present at the siege and it is possible that he suffered a heat stroke while in the blazing heat. The Jews inside the Roman Empire rose up in rebellion once more, as did the people of Mesopotamia. Trajan was forced to withdraw his army in order to put down the revolts. Trajan saw it as simply a temporary setback, but he was destined never to command an army in the field again, turning his Eastern armies over to the high ranking legate and governor of Judaea, Brinius Carnix Maximus.

Late in 116, Trajan grew ill and set out to sail back to Italy. His health declined throughout the spring and summer of 117, and by the time he had reached Selinus in Cilicia which was afterwards called Trajanopolis, he suddenly died from edema on August 9.

Some say that he had adopted Hadrian as his successor, but others that it was his wife Pompeia Plotina who hired someone to impersonate him after he had died. Hadrian, upon becoming ruler, returned Mesopotamia to Parthian rule. However, all the other territories conquered by Trajan were retained.

Trajan's ashes were laid to rest underneath Trajan's column, the monument commemorating his success.

Title: Re: Rome To 'Paint' Trajan's Column With Light/Emperor Trajan's Biography
Post by: Bianca on March 24, 2008, 11:06:33 pm

Trajan's legacy

Unlike many lauded rulers in history, Trajan's reputation has survived undiminished for nearly nineteen centuries.

The Christianization of Rome resulted in further embellishment of his legend: it was commonly said in
medieval times that Pope Gregory I, through divine intercession, resurrected Trajan from the dead and baptized him into the Christian faith.

An account of this features in the Golden Legend. Theologians, such as Thomas Aquinas, discussed
Trajan as an example of a virtuous pagan.

In the Divine Comedy, Dante, following this legend, sees the spirit of Trajan in the Heaven of Jupiter
with other historical and mythological persons noted for their justice. He also features in Piers Plowman.

An episode, referred to as the justice of Trajan was reflected in several art works.