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Key information:

Official Name: IMPERATOR CAESAR NERVA TRAIANUS AUGUSTUS

Birthdate: September 18, 53 CE.

(Sextus Aurelius Victor, Epitome de Caesaribus, Trajan) (Cassius Dio, Roman History, Book 68.33)

Birthplace: Trajan was born in the city of Italica in the province of Hispania (modern-day Seville, Spain).

(Cassius Dio, Roman History, Book 68.4)

Reign: Trajan was named princeps in the will of his predecessor, Nerva. He became emperor on January 27, 98 CE.

(Cassius Dio, Roman History, Book 68.3)

Marriages:

Pompeia Plotina (?-117 CE)

(Cassius Dio, Roman History, Book 68.5)

Death: Trajan died of natural causes in the city of Selinus in the province of Cilicia (modern-day Gazipaşa, Turkey). He died on August 8, 117 CE. 

(Cassius Dio, Roman History, Book 68.33)

Statue of Trajan, Ostia Antica Museum, June 2019
Bust of Trajan, NY Carlsberg Glyptotek, Copenhagen, September 2018
Bust of Trajan, Art History Museum, Vienna, October 2019

Famous facts and dates

101
Trajan conquered lands in Dacia, Arabia, Armenia, and Mesopotamia. He ruled over the Roman Empire at its greatest territorial extent.
(Cassius Dio, Roman History, Book 68)
105
Trajan was given the title "best ruler" (optimus princeps) by the Roman Senate.
(Cassius Dio, Roman History, Book 68.18)
118
Trajan was beloved by the Roman people, and was regarded as an excellent administrator and skilled commander. As a result, they wished that future emperors would be “luckier than Augustus and better than Trajan” (felicior Augusto, melior Traiano). This line was recited by the Roman Senate during coronation ceremonies for new emperors.
(Eutropius, Short History of the Roman Empire, 8.5)

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Cite this page as: Darius Arya, The American Institute for Roman Culture, “Trajan” Ancient Rome Live. Last modified 08/05/2022. https://ancientromelive.org/trajan/

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