Skip to main content

Key information:


Birthdate: September 18, 53 CE.

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

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

(Cassius Dio, Roman History, 68.4)

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

(Cassius Dio, Roman History, 68.3)


Pompeia Plotina (?-117 CE)

(Cassius Dio, Roman History, 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, 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

Trajan conquered lands in Dacia, Arabia, Armenia, and Mesopotamia. He ruled over the Roman Empire at its greatest territorial extent.
(Cassius Dio, Roman History, 68)
Trajan was given the title "best ruler" (optimus princeps) by the Roman Senate.
(Cassius Dio, Roman History, 68.18)
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)


This content is brought to you by The American Institute for Roman Culture, a 501(C)3 US Non-Profit Organization.

Please support our mission to aid learning and understanding of ancient Rome through free-to-access content by donating today.

Cite This Page

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


Created by The American Institute of Roman Culture, published on 08/05/2022 under the following license: Creative Commons: Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike. This license lets others remix, tweak, and build upon this content non-commercially, as long as they credit the author and license their new creations under the identical terms. Please note that content linked from this page may have different licensing terms.