TRAJAN 98AD RARE She Wolf Mother to Romulus & Remus Ancient Roman Coin i51162
Item: i51162 Authentic Ancient Coin of. Trajan – Roman Emperor : 98-117 A. Bronze Quadrans 16mm (2.62 grams) Struck at the mint of Rome 98-103 A. Reference: RIC 691; C 338 IMP CAES NERVA TRAIAN AVG, Laureate head right. She- wolf standing right, SC in exergue. Romulus and Remus are the twin brothers and central characters of Rome’s foundation myth. Their mother is Rhea Silvia , daughter to Numitor , king of Alba Longa. Before their conception, Numitor’s brother Amulius seizes power, kills Numitor’s male heirs and forces Rhea Silvia to become a Vestal Virgin , sworn to chastity. Rhea Silvia conceives the twins by the god Mars , or by the demi-god Hercules ; once the twins are born, Amulius has them abandoned to die in the river Tiber. They are saved by a series of miraculous interventions: the river carries them to safety, a she-wolf (in Latin , lupa) finds and suckles them, and a woodpecker feeds them. A shepherd and his wife find them and foster them to manhood, as simple shepherds. The twins, still ignorant of their true origins, prove to be natural leaders. Each acquires many followers. When they discover the truth of their birth, they kill Amulius and restore Numitor to his throne. Rather than wait to inherit Alba Longa, they choose to found a new city. Romulus wants to found the new city on the Palatine Hill ; Remus prefers the Aventine Hill. They agree to determine the site through augury but when each claims the results in his own favor, they quarrel and Remus is killed. Romulus founds the new city, names it Rome , after himself, and creates its first legions and senate. The new city grows rapidly, swelled by landless refugees; as most of these are male, and unmarried, Romulus arranges the abduction of women from the neighboring Sabines. The ensuing war ends with the joining of Sabines and Romans as one Roman people. Thanks to divine favour and Romulus’ inspired leadership, Rome becomes a dominant force, but Romulus himself becomes increasingly autocratic, and disappears or dies in mysterious circumstances. In later forms of the myth, he ascends to heaven, and is identified with Quirinus , the divine personification of the Roman people. The legend as a whole encapsulates Rome’s ideas of itself, its origins and moral values. For modern scholarship, it remains one of the most complex and problematic of all foundation myths, particularly in the matter and manner of Remus’ death. Ancient historians had no doubt that Romulus gave his name to the city. Most modern historians believe his name a back-formation from the name Rome; the basis for Remus’ name and role remain subjects of ancient and modern speculation. The myth was fully developed into something like an “official”, chronological version in the Late Republican and early Imperial era; Roman historians dated the city’s foundation to between 758 and 728 BC, and Plutarch reckoned the twins’ birth year as c. 27/28 March 771 BC. An earlier tradition that gave Romulus a distant ancestor in the semi-divine Trojan prince Aeneas was further embellished, and Romulus was made the direct ancestor of Rome’s first Imperial dynasty. Possible historical bases for the broad mythological narrative remain unclear and disputed. The image of the she-wolf suckling the divinely fathered twins became an iconic representation of the city and its founding legend, making Romulus and Remus preeminent among the feral children of ancient mythography. The legend in ancient sources. Modern scholarship approaches the various known stories of Romulus and Remus as cumulative elaborations and later interpretations of Roman foundation-myth. Particular versions and collations were presented by Roman historians as authoritative, an official history trimmed of contradictions and untidy variants to justify contemporary developments, genealogies and actions in relation to Roman morality. Other narratives appear to represent popular or folkloric tradition; some of these remain inscrutable in purpose and meaning. Wiseman sums the whole as the mythography of an unusually problematic foundation and early history. Cornell and others describe particular elements of the mythos as “shameful”. Nevertheless, by the 4th century BC, the fundamentals of the Romulus and Remus story were standard Roman fare, and by 269 BC the wolf and suckling twins appeared on one of the earliest, if not the earliest issues of Roman silver coinage. Rome’s foundation story was evidently a matter of national pride. It featured in the earliest known history of Rome , which was attributed to Diocles of Peparethus. The patrician senator Quintus Fabius Pictor used Diocles’ as a source for his own history of Rome, written around the time of Rome’s war with Hannibal and probably intended for circulation among Rome’s Greek-speaking allies. Fabius’ history provided a basis for the early books of Livy’s Ab Urbe Condita , which he wrote in Latin , and for several Greek-language histories of Rome, including Dionysius of Halicarnassus’s Roman Antiquities , written during the late 1st century BC, and Plutarch’s early 2nd century Life of Romulus. These three accounts provide the broad literary basis for studies of Rome’s founding mythography. They have much in common, but each is selective to its purpose. Livy’s is a dignified handbook, justifying the purpose and morality of Roman traditions observed in his own times. Dionysius and Plutarch approach the same subjects as interested outsiders, and include founder-traditions not mentioned by Livy, untraceable to a common source and probably specific to particular regions, social classes or oral traditions. A Roman text of the late Imperial era, Origo gentis Romanae (The origin of the Roman people) is dedicated to the many “more or less bizarre”, often contradictory variants of Rome’s foundation myth, including versions in which Remus founds a city named Remuria, five miles from Rome, and outlives his brother Romulus. Stories of ancestry and parentage. There are several variations on the basic legendary tale. Plutarch presents Romulus and Remus’ ancient descent from prince Aeneas , fugitive from Troy after its destruction by the Achaeans. Their maternal grandfather is his descendant Numitor , who inherits the kingship of Alba Longa. Numitors brother Amulius inherits its treasury, including the gold brought by Aeneas from Troy. Amulius uses his control of the treasury to dethrone Numitor, but fears that Numitor’s daughter, Rhea Silvia , will bear children who could overthrow him. Amulius forces Rhea Silvia into perpetual virginity as a Vestal priestess, but she bears children anyway. In one variation of the story, Mars , god of war, seduces and impregnates her: in another, Amulius himself seduces her, and in yet another, Hercules. The king sees his niece’s pregnancy and confines her. She gives birth to twin boys of remarkable beauty; her uncle orders her death and theirs. One account holds that he has Rhea buried alive the standard punishment for Vestal Virgins who violated their vow of celibacy and orders the death of the twins by exposure ; both means would avoid his direct blood-guilt. In another, he has Rhea and her twins thrown into the River Tiber. In every version, a servant is charged with the deed of killing the twins, but cannot bring himself to harm them. He places them in a basket and leaves it on the banks of the Tiber. The river rises in flood and carries the twins downstream, unharmed. Altar from Ostia showing the discovery of Romulus and Remus (now at the Palazzo Massimo alle Terme). The river deity Tiberinus makes the basket catch in the roots of a fig tree that grows in the Velabrum swamp at the base of the Palatine Hill. The twins are found and suckled by a she-wolf (Lupa) and fed by a woodpecker (Picus). A shepherd of Amulius named Faustulus discovers them and takes them to his hut, where he and his wife Acca Larentia raise them as their own children. Faustulus (to the right of picture) discovers Romulus and Remus with the she-wolf and woodpecker. Their mother Rhea Silvia and the river-god Tiberinus witness the moment. Painting by Peter Paul Rubens , c. In another variant, Hercules impregnates Acca Larentia and marries her off to the shepherd Faustulus. She has twelve sons; when one of them dies, Romulus takes his place to found the priestly college of Arval brothers Fratres Arvales. Acca Larentia is therefore identified with the Arval goddess Dea Dia , who is served by the Arvals. In later Republican religious tradition, a Quirinal priest (flamen) impersonated Romulus (by then deified as Quirinus) to perform funerary rites for his foster mother (identified as Dia). Another and probably late tradition has Acca Larentia as a sacred prostitute one of many Roman slangs for prostitute was lupa (she-wolf). Yet another tradition relates that Romulus and Remus are nursed by the Wolf-Goddess Lupa or Luperca in her cave-lair (lupercal). Luperca was given cult for her protection of sheep from wolves and her spouse was the Wolf-and-Shepherd-God Lupercus , who brought fertility to the flocks. She has been identified with Acca Larentia. In all versions of the founding myth, the twins grew up as shepherds. While tending their flocks, they came into conflict with the shepherds of Amulius. Remus was captured and brought before Amulius, who eventually discovers his identity. Romulus raised a band of shepherds to liberate his brother and Amulius was killed. Romulus and Remus were conjointly offered the crown but they refused it and restored Numitor to the throne. They left to found their own city, but could not agree on its location; Romulus preferred the Palatine Hill , Remus preferred the Aventine Hill. They agreed to seek the will of the gods in this matter, through augury. Each took position on his respective hill and prepared a sacred space there. Remus saw six auspicious birds; but Romulus saw twelve. Romulus claimed superior augury as the divine basis of his right to decide. Remus made a counterclaim: he saw his six vultures first. Romulus set to work with his supporters, digging a trench (or building a wall, according to Dionysius) around the Palatine to define his city boundary. Livy gave two versions of Remus’ death. In the one “more generally received”, Remus criticized and belittles the new wall, and in a final insult to the new city and its founder alike, he leapt over it. Romulus killed him, saying “So perish every one that shall hereafter leap over my wall”. In the other version, Remus was simply stated as dead; no murder was alleged. Two other, lesser known accounts have Remus killed by a blow to the head with a spade, wielded either by Romulus’ commander Fabius according to St. Jerome’s version or by a man named Celer. Romulus buried Remus with honour and regret. The Roman ab urbe condita began from the founding of the city, and places that date as 21 April 753 BC. Romulus completed his city and named it Roma after himself. Then he divided his fighting men into regiments of 3000 infantry and 300 cavalry, which he called “legions”. From the rest of the populace he selected 100 of the most noble and wealthy fathers to serve as his council. He called these men Patricians : they were fathers of Rome, not only because they cared for their own legitimate citizen-sons but because they had a fatherly care for Rome and all its people. They were also its elders, and were therefore known as Senators. Romulus thereby inaugurated a system of government and social hierarchy based on the patron-client relationship. Rome drew exiles, refugees, the dispossessed, criminals and runaway slaves. The city expanded its boundaries to accommodate them; five of the seven hills of Rome were settled: the Capitoline Hill , the Aventine Hill , the Caelian Hill , the Quirinal Hill , and the Palatine Hill. As most of these immigrants were men, Rome found itself with a shortage of marriageable women. Romulus invited the neighboring Sabines and Latins , along with their womenfolk, to a festival at the Circus Maximus , in honour of Consus (or of Neptune). While the men were distracted by the games and befuddled with wine, the Romans seized their daughters and took them into the city. Most were eventually persuaded to marry Roman men. War with the Sabines. The Sabine and Latin men demanded the return of their daughters. The inhabitants of three Latin towns (Caenina, Antemnae and Crustumerium) took up arms one after the other but were soundly defeated by Romulus, who killed Acron, the king of Caenina, with his own hand and celebrates the first Roman triumph shortly after. Romulus was magnanimous in victory most of the conquered land was divided among Rome’s citizens but none of the defeated are enslaved. The Sabine king Titus Tatius marched on Rome to assault its Capitoline citadel. The citadel commander’s daughter Tarpeia opened the gates for them, in return for “what they wear on their left arms”. She expected their golden bracelets. Once inside, the Sabines crushed her to death under a pile of their shields. Romulus, Victor over Acron, hauls the rich booty to the temple of Jupiter, by Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres. The Sabines left the citadel to meet the Romans in open battle in the space later known as the comitium. The outcome hung in the balance; the Romans retreated to the Palatine Hill, where Romulus called on Jupiter for help traditionally at the place where a Stator temple to Jupiter (“the stayer”) was built. The Romans drove the Sabines back to the point where the Curia Hostilia later stood. The Sabine Women, by Jacques-Louis David. The Sabine women themselves then intervened to beg for unity between Sabines and Romans. A truce was made, then peace. The Romans based themselves on the Palatine and the Sabines on the Quirinal , with Romulus and Tatius as joint kings and the Comitium as the common centre of government and culture. 100 Sabine elders and clan leaders joined the Patrician Senate. The Sabines adopted the Roman calendar, and the Romans adopted the armour and oblong shield of the Sabines. The legions were doubled in size. Romulus and Tatius ruled jointly for five years and subdued the Alban colony of the Camerini. Then Tatius sheltered some allies who had illegally plundered the Lavinians, and murdered ambassadors sent to seek justice. Romulus and the Senate decided that Tatius should go to Lavinium to offer sacrifice and appease his offence. At Lavinium, Tatius was assassinated and Romulus became sole king. As king, Romulus held authority over Rome’s armies and judiciary. He organises Rome’s administration according to tribe; one of Latins (Ramnes), one of Sabines (Titites), and one of Luceres. Each elected a tribune to represented their civil, religious, and military interests. The tribunes were magistrates of their tribes, performed sacrifices on their behalf, and commanded their tribal levies in times of war. Romulus divided each tribe into ten curiae to form the Comitia Curiata. The thirty curiae derived their individual names from thirty of the kidnapped Sabine women. The individual curiae were further divided into ten gentes , held to form the basis for the nomen in the Roman naming convention. Proposals made by Romulus or the Senate were offered to the Curiate assembly for ratification; the ten gentes within each curia cast a vote. Votes were carried by whichever gens has a majority. Romulus formed a personal guard called the Celeres ; these were three hundred of Rome’s finest horsemen. They were commanded by a tribune of the Ramnes; in one version of the founding tale, Celer killed Remus and helped Romulus found the city of Rome. The provision of a personal guard for Romulus helped justify the Augustan development of a Praetorian Guard , responsible for internal security and the personal safety of the Emperor. The relationship between Romulus and his Tribune resembled the later relation between the Roman Dictator and his Magister Equitum. Celer, as the Celerum Tribune , occupied the second place in the state, and in Romulus’ absence had the rights of convoking the Comitia and commanding the armies. For more than two decades, Romulus waged wars and expands Rome’s territory. He subdues Fidenae , which seized Roman provisions during a famine, and founded a Roman colony there. Then he subdued the Crustumini, who had murdered Roman colonists in their territory. The Etruscans of Veii protested the presence of a Roman garrison at Fidenae, and demanded the return of the town to its citizens. When Romulus refused, they confronted him in battle and were defeated. They agreed to a hundred-year truce and surrendered fifty noble hostages: Romulus celebrated his third and last triumph. When Romulus’ grandfather Numitor died, the people of Alba Longa offered him the crown as rightful heir. Romulus adapted the government of the city to a Roman model. Henceforth, the citizens held annual elections and choose one of their own as Roman governor. In Rome, Romulus began to show signs of autocratic rule. The Senate becomes less influential in administration and lawmaking; Romulus ruled by edict. He divided his conquered territories among his soldiers without Patrician consent. Senatorial resentment grew to hatred. According to the legend, Romulus mysteriously disappeared in a storm or whirlwind, during or shortly after offering public sacrifice at or near the Quirinal Hill. A “foul suspicion” arises that the Senate, weary of kingly government, and exasperated of late by the imperious deportment of Romulus toward them, had plotted against his life and made him away, so that they might assume the authority and government into their own hands. This suspicion they sought to turn aside by decreeing divine honors to Romulus, as to one not dead, but translated to a higher condition. And Proculus, a man of note, took oath that he saw Romulus caught up into heaven in his arms and vestments, and heard him, as he ascended, cry out that they should hereafter style him by the name of Quirinus. Livy repeats more or less the same story, but shifts the initiative for deification to the people of Rome. Then a few voices began to proclaim Romulus’s divinity; the cry was taken up, and at last every man present hailed him as a god and son of a god, and prayed to him to be forever gracious and to protect his children. However, even on this great occasion there were, I believe, a few dissenters who secretly maintained that the king had been torn to pieces by the senators. At all events the story got about, though in veiled terms; but it was not important, as awe, and admiration for Romulus’s greatness, set the seal upon the other version of his end, which was, moreover, given further credit by the timely action of a certain Julius Proculus, a man, we are told, honored for his wise counsel on weighty matters. The loss of the king had left the people in an uneasy mood and suspicious of the senators, and Proculus, aware of the prevalent temper, conceived the shrewd idea of addressing the Assembly. Romulus’, he declared,’the father of our city descended from heaven at dawn this morning and appeared to me. In awe and reverence I stood before him, praying for permission to look upon his face without sin. Go , he said, and tell the Romans that by heaven’s will my Rome shall be capital of the world. Let them learn to be soldiers. Let them know, and teach their children, that no power on earth can stand against Roman arms. Having spoken these words, he was taken up again into the sky. Livy infers Romulus’ murder as no more than a dim and doubtful whisper from the past; in the circumstances, Proculus’ declaration is wise and practical because it has the desired effect. Cicero’s seeming familiarity with the story of Romulus’ murder and divinity must have been shared by his target audience and readership. Dio’s version, though fragmentary, is unequivocal; Romulus is surrounded by hostile, resentful senators and “rent limb from limb” in the senate-house itself. An eclipse and sudden storm, “the same sort of phenomenon that had attended his birth”, conceal the deed from the soldiers and the people, who are anxiously seeking their king. Proculus fakes a personal vision of Romulus’ spontaneous ascent to heaven as Quirinus and announces the message of Romulus-Quirinus; a new king must be chosen at once. A dispute arises: should this king be Sabine or Roman? The debate goes on for a year. During this time, the most distinguished senators rule for five days at a time as interreges. Plutarch says that Romulus was 53 (“in the fifty-fourth year of his age”) when he “vanished” in 717 BC; this gives the twins a birth-date in the year 771 BC, and Romulus’ founding of Rome at the age of 18. Dionysius of Halicarnassus says that Romulus began his reign at 18, ruled for 37 years and died at 55 years old. 180s BC refers to Romulus as a divinity without reference to Quirinus, whom Roman mythographers identified as an originally Sabine war-deity, and thus to be identified with Roman Mars. Lucilius lists Quirinus and Romulus as separate deities, and Varro accords them different temples. Images of Quirinus showed him as a bearded warrior wielding a spear as a god of war, the embodiment of Roman strength and a deified likeness of the city of Rome. He had a Flamen Maior called the Flamen Quirinalis , who oversaw his worship and rituals in the ordainment of Roman religion attributed to Romulus’ royal successor, Numa Pompilius. There is however no evidence for the conflated Romulus-Quirinus before the 1st century BC. Ovid in Book 14, lines 812-828, of the Metamorphoses gives a description of the deification of Romulus and his wife Hersilia , who are given the new names of Quirinus and Hora respectively. Mars, the father of Romulus, is given permission by Jupiter to bring his son up to Olympus to live with the Olympians. Ovid uses the words of Ennius as a direct quote and puts them into the mouth of the King of the Gods, “There shall be one whom you shall raise to the blue vault of heaven”. Ovid then uses a simile to describe the change that Romulus undertakes as he ascends to live with the Olympians, as leaden balls from a broad sling melt in mid sky: Finer his features now and worthier of heavens high-raised couch, his lineaments those of Quirinus in his robe of state. Silver didrachm (6.44 g). Ancient pictures of the Roman twins usually follow certain symbolic traditions, depending on the legend they follow: they either show a shepherd, the she-wolf, the twins under a fig tree, and one or two birds (Livy , Plutarch); or they depict two shepherds, the she-wolf, the twins in a cave, seldom a fig tree, and never any birds (Dionysius of Halicarnassus). Also there are coins with Lupa and the tiny twins placed beneath her. The Franks Casket , an Anglo-Saxon ivory box (early 7th century AD) shows Romulus and Remus in an unusual setting, two wolves instead of one, a grove instead of one tree or a cave, four kneeling warriors instead of one or two gesticulating shepherds. According to one interpretation, and as the runic inscription (“far from home”) indicates, the twins are cited here as the Dioscuri , helpers at voyages such as Castor and Polydeuces. Their descent from the Roman god of war predestines them as helpers on the way to war. The carver transferred them into the Germanic holy grove and has Woden s second wolf join them. Thus the picture served along with five other ones to influence ” wyrd “, the fortune and fate of a warrior king. Romolo e Remo : a 1961 film starring Steve Reeves and Gordon Scott as the two brothers. The Rape of the Sabine Women : a 1962 film starring Wolf Ruvinskis as Romulus. In the Star Trek universe, Romulus and Remus are neighbouring planets with Remus being tidally locked to the star. Romulus is the capital of the Romulan Star Empire , which is loosely based on the Roman Empire. The novel Founding Fathers by Alfred Duggan describes the founding and first decades of Rome from the points of view of Marcus, one of Romulus’s Latin followers, Publius, a Sabine who settles in Rome as part of the peace agreement with Tatius, Perperna, an Etruscan fugitive who is accepted into the tribe of Luceres after his own city is destroyed, and Macro, a Greek seeking purification from blood-guilt who comes to the city in the last years of Romulus’ reign. Publiusa and Perpernia become senators. Romulus is portrayed as a gifted leader though a remarkably unpleasant person, chiefly distinguished by his luck; the story of his surreptitious murder by the senators is adopted, but although the story of his deification is fabricated, his murderers themselves think he may indeed have become a god. The novel begins with the founding of the city and the killing of Remus, and ends with the accession of Numa Pompilius. In the game Undead Knights , the main characters are brothers named Romulus and Remus. Marcus Ulpius Nerva Traianus , commonly known as Trajan (18 September, 53 8 August, 117), was a Roman Emperor who reigned from AD 98 until his death in AD 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 multiple 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 , defeating the Dacian army near Tapae in 102, and finally conquering Dacia completely in 106. In 107, Trajan pushed further east and annexed the Nabataean kingdom , establishing the 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 a stroke on. In the city of Selinus. He was deified by the Senate and his ashes were laid to rest under Trajan’s Column. He was succeeded by his adopted son (not having a biological heir) Publius Aelius Hadrianus commonly known as Hadrian. As an emperor, Trajan’s reputation has endured – he is one of the few rulers whose reputation has survived the scrutiny of nineteen centuries of history. Every new emperor after him was honoured by the Senate with the prayer felicior Augusto, melior Traiano , meaning “may he be luckier than Augustus and better than Trajan”. 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. Early life and rise to power. Trajan was born on September 18, 53 in the Roman province of Hispania Baetica (in what is now Andalusia in modern Spain), a province that was thoroughly Romanized and called southern Hispania, in the city of Italica , where the Italian families were paramount. Of Italian stock himself, Trajan is frequently but misleadingly designated the first provincial emperor. Trajan was the son of Marcia and Marcus Ulpius Traianus , a prominent senator and general from the famous Ulpia gens. 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. The patria of the Ulpii was Italica , in Spanish Baetica, where their ancestors had settled late in the third century B. This indicates that the Italian origin was paramount, yet it has recently been cogently argued that the family’s ancestry was local, with Trajan senior actually a Traius who was adopted into the family of the Ulpii. 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 7677, 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. The new Roman 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. His popularity was such that the Roman Senate eventually bestowed upon Trajan the honorific of optimus , meaning “the best”. Dio Cassius , sometimes known as Dio, reveals that Trajan drank heartily and was involved with boys. 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 his governing on at least one occasion, 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. 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 the reduction to client kingdom (101-102), followed by actual incorporation to the Empire of the trans-Danube border kingdom of Daciaan area that had troubled Roman thought for over a decade with the unfavourable (and to some, shameful) peace negotiated by Domitian’s ministers In the first war c. MarchMay 101, he launched a vicious 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. 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. Expansion in the East. At about the same time Rabbel II Soter , one of Rome’s client kings, died. This event might have prompted the annexation of the Nabataean kingdom , although the manner and the formal reasons for the annexation are unclear. 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). 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. Another important act was his formalisation of the Alimenta , a welfare program that helped orphans and poor children throughout Italy. It provided general funds, as well as food and subsidized education. Although the system is well documented in literary sources and contemporary epigraphy, its precise aims are controversial and have generated considerable dispute between modern scholars: usually, it’s assumed that the programme intended to bolster citzen numbers in Italy. However, the fact that it was subsidized by means of interest payments on loans made by landowners restricted it to a small percentage of potential welfare recipients (Paul Veyne has assumed that, in the city of Veleia , only one child out of ten was an actual beneficiary) – therefore, the idea, advanced by Moses I. Finley , that the whole scheme was at most a form of random charity, a mere imperial benevolence. 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. Some modern historians also attribute Trajan’s decision to wage war on Parthia to economic motives: to control, after the annexation of Arabia, Mesopotamia and the coast of the Persian Gulf, and with it the sole remaining receiving-end of the Indian trade outside Roman control – an attribution of motive other historians find absurd, as seeing a commercial motive in a campaign triggered by the lure of territorial annexation and prestige – by the way, the only motive for Trajan’s actions ascribed by Dio Cassius in his description of the events. Other modern historians, however, think that Trajan’s original aim was quite modest: to assure a more defensible Eastern frontier for the Roman Empire, crossing across Northern Mesopotamia along the course of the river Khabur in order to offer cover to a Roman Armenia. Trajan marched first on Armenia, deposed the Parthian-appointed king (who was afterwards murdered while kept in the custody of Roman troops in an unclear incident) and annexed it to the Roman Empire as a province, receiving in passing the acknowledgement of Roman hegemony by various tribes in the Caucasus and on the Eastern coast of the Black Sea – a process that kept him busy until the end of 114. The cronology of subsequent events is uncertain, but it’s generally believed that early in 115 Trajan turned south into the core Parthian hegemony, taking the Northern Mesopotamian cities of Nisibis and Batnae and organizing a province of Mesopotamia in the beginning of 116, when coins were issued announcing that Armenia and Mesopotamia had been put under the authority of the Roman people. In early 116, however, Trajan began to toy with the conquest of the whole of Mesopotamia, an overambitious goal that eventually backfired on the results of his entire campaign: One Roman division crossed the Tigris into Adiabene , sweeping South and capturing Adenystrae ; a second followed the river South, capturing Babylon ; while Trajan himself sailed down the Euphrates , then dragged his fleet overland into the Tigris, capturing Seleucia and finally the Parthian capital of Ctesiphon. He continued southward to the Persian Gulf , receiving the submission of Athambelus, the ruler of Charax , whence he declared Babylon a new province of the Empire, sent the Senate a laurelled letter declaring the war to be at a close and lamented that he was too old to follow in the steps of Alexander the Great and reach the distant India itself. A province of Assyria was also proclaimed, apparently covering the territory of Adiabene, as well as some measures seem to have been considered about the fiscal administration of the Indian trade. However, as Trajan left the Persian Gulf for Babylon – where he intended to offer sacrifice to Alexander in the house where he had died in 323 B. A sudden outburst of Parthian resistance, led by a nephew of the Parthian king, Sanatrukes, imperilled Roman positions in Mesopotamia and Armenia, something Trajan sought to deal with by forsaking direct Roman rule in Parthia proper, at least partially: later in 116, after defeating a Parthian army in a battle where Sanatrukes was killed and re-taking Seleucia, he formally deposed the Parthian king Osroes I and put his own puppet ruler Parthamaspates on the throne. That done, he retreated North in order to retain what he could of the new provinces of Armenia and Mesopotamia. Bust of Trajan, Glyptothek , Munich. It was at this point that Trajan’s health started to fail him. 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. Shortly afterwards, the Jews inside the Eastern 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, Lusius Quietus , who in early 116 had been in charge of the Roman division who had recovered Nisibis and Edessa from the rebels; Quietus was promised for this a consulate in the following year – when he was actually put to death by Hadrian , who had no use for a man so committed to Trajan’s aggressive policies. Early in 117, Trajan grew ill and set out to sail back to Italy. His health declined throughout the spring and summer of 117, something publicy acknowledged by the fact that a bronze bust displayed at the time in the public baths of Ancyra showed him clearly aged and edemaciated. 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, recognized the abandonment of Mesopotamia and restored Armenia – as well as Osroene – to the Parthian hegemony under Roman suzerainty – a telling sign the Roman Empire lacked the means for pursuing Trajan’s overambitious goals. 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. The Alcántara Bridge , widely hailed as a masterpiece of Roman engineering. Trajan was a prolific builder in Rome and the provinces, and many of his buildings were erected by the gifted architect Apollodorus of Damascus. Notable structures include Trajan’s Column , Trajan’s Forum , Trajan’s Bridge , Alcántara Bridge , and possibly the Alconétar Bridge. In order to build his forum and the adjacent brick market that also held his name Trajan had vast areas of the surrounding hillsides leveled. Unlike many lauded rulers in history, Trajan’s reputation has survived undiminished for nearly nineteen centuries. Ancient sources on Trajan’s personality and accomplishments are unanimously positive. Pliny the younger, for example, celebrates Trajan in his panegyric as a wise and just emperor and a moral man. Dio Cassius admits Trajan had vices like heavy drinking and sexual involvement with boys, but added that he always remained dignified and fair. The Christianisation 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. In the 18th Century King Charles III of Spain comminsioned Anton Raphael Mengs to paint The Triumph of Trajan on the ceiling of the banqueting-hall of the Royal Palace of Madrid – considered among the best work of this artist. “Traian” is used as a male first name in present-day Romania – among others, that of the country’s incumbent president, Traian Bsescu. The Roman Empire Latin. Was the post- Republican period of the ancient Roman civilization , characterised by an autocratic form of government and large territorial holdings in Europe and around the Mediterranean. The Roman Empire at its greatest extent, during the reign of Trajan in 117 AD. The 500-year-old Roman Republic , which preceded it, had been weakened and subverted through several civil wars. Several events are commonly proposed to mark the transition from Republic to Empire, including Julius Caesar’s appointment as perpetual dictator (44 BC), the Battle of Actium. 31 BC, and the Roman Senate’s granting to Octavian the honorific Augustus. Roman expansion began in the days of the Republic, but the Empire reached its greatest extent under Emperor Trajan : during his reign (98 to 117 AD) the Roman Empire controlled approximately. Because of the Empire’s vast extent and long endurance, the institutions and culture of Rome had a profound and lasting influence on the development of language, religion, architecture, philosophy, law, and forms of government in the territory it governed, particularly Europe, and by means of European expansionism throughout the modern world. In the late 3rd century AD, Diocletian established the practice of dividing authority between four co-emperors (known as the tetrarchy) in order to better secure the vast territory, putting an end to the Crisis of the Third Century. During the following decades the Empire was often divided along an East/West axis. After the death of Theodosius I in 395 it was divided for the last time. The Western Roman Empire collapsed in 476 as Romulus Augustus was forced to abdicate to the Germanic warlord Odoacer. The Eastern Roman or Byzantine Empire ended in 1453 with the death of Constantine XI and the capture of Constantinople to Mehmed II , leader of the Ottoman Turks. The powers of an emperor (his imperium) existed, in theory at least, by virtue of his “tribunician powers” (potestas tribunicia) and his “proconsular powers” (imperium proconsulare). In theory, the tribunician powers (which were similar to those of the Plebeian Tribunes under the old republic) made the Emperor’s person and office sacrosanct, and gave the Emperor authority over Rome’s civil government, including the power to preside over and to control the Senate. The proconsular powers (similar to those of military governors, or Proconsuls , under the old Republic) gave him authority over the Roman army. He was also given powers that, under the Republic, had been reserved for the Senate and the assemblies , including the right to declare war, to ratify treaties, and to negotiate with foreign leaders. In addition, the emperor controlled the religious institutions , since, as emperor, he was always Pontifex Maximus and a member of each of the four major priesthoods. While these distinctions were clearly defined during the early Empire, eventually they were lost, and the emperor’s powers became less constitutional and more monarchical. Realistically, the main support of an emperor’s power and authority was the military. Being paid by the imperial treasury, the legionaries also swore an annual military oath of loyalty towards him, called the Sacramentum. The death of an emperor led to a crucial period of uncertainty and crisis. In theory the Senate was entitled to choose the new emperor, but most emperors chose their own successors, usually a close family member. The new emperor had to seek a swift acknowledgement of his new status and authority in order to stabilize the political landscape. No emperor could hope to survive, much less to reign, without the allegiance and loyalty of the Praetorian Guard and of the legions. To secure their loyalty, several emperors paid the donativum , a monetary reward. While the Roman assemblies continued to meet after the founding of the Empire, their powers were all transferred to the Roman Senate , and so senatorial decrees (senatus consulta) acquired the full force of law. In theory, the Emperor and the Senate were two equal branches of government, but the actual authority of the Senate was negligible and it was largely a vehicle through which the Emperor disguised his autocratic powers under a cloak of republicanism. Although the Senate still commanded much prestige and respect, it was largely a glorified rubber stamp institution. Stripped of most of its powers, the Senate was largely at the Emperor’s mercy. Many emperors showed a certain degree of respect towards this ancient institution, while others were notorious for ridiculing it. During Senate meetings, the Emperor sat between the two consuls. And usually acted as the presiding officer. Higher ranking senators spoke before lower ranking senators, although the Emperor could speak at any time. By the 3rd century, the Senate had been reduced to a glorified municipal body. No emperor could rule the Empire without the Senatorial order and the Equestrian order. Most of the more important posts and offices of the government were reserved for the members of these two aristocratic orders. It was from among their ranks that the provincial governors, legion commanders, and similar officials were chosen. These two classes were hereditary. And mostly closed to outsiders. Very successful and favoured individuals could enter, but this was a rare occurrence. The career of a young aristocrat was influenced by his family connections and the favour of patrons. As important as ability, knowledge, skill, or competence, patronage was considered vital for a successful career and the highest posts and offices required the Emperor’s favour and trust. The son of a senator was expected to follow the Cursus honorum , a career ladder , and the more prestigious positions were restricted to senators only. A senator also had to be wealthy; one of the basic requirements was the wealth of 12,000 gold aurei (about 100 kg of gold), a figure which would later be raised with the passing of centuries. Below the Senatorial order was the Equestrian order. The requirements and posts reserved for this class, while perhaps not so prestigious, were still very important. Some of the more vital posts, like the governorship of Egypt (Latin Aegyptus) , were even forbidden to the members of the Senatorial order and available only to equestrians. During and after the civil war, Octavian reduced the huge number of the legions (over 60) to a much more manageable and affordable size (28). Several legions, particularly those with doubtful loyalties, were simply disbanded. Other legions were amalgamated, a fact suggested by the title Gemina (Twin). In AD 9, Germanic tribes wiped out three full legions in the Battle of the Teutoburg Forest. This disastrous event reduced the number of the legions to 25. The total of the legions would later be increased again and for the next 300 years always be a little above or below 30. Augustus also created the Praetorian Guard : nine cohorts ostensibly to maintain the public peace which were garrisoned in Italy. Better paid than the legionaries, the Praetorians also served less time; instead of serving the standard 25 years of the legionaries, they retired after 16 years of service. While the auxilia (Latin: auxilia = supports) are not as famous as the legionaries, they were of major importance. Unlike the legionaries, the auxilia were recruited from among the non-citizens. Organized in smaller units of roughly cohort strength, they were paid less than the legionaries, and after 25 years of service were rewarded with Roman citizenship , also extended to their sons. According to Tacitus there were roughly as many auxiliaries as there were legionaries. Since at this time there were 25 legions of around 5,000 men each, the auxilia thus amounted to around 125,000 men, implying approximately 250 auxiliary regiments. The Roman navy Latin: Classis , lit. “Fleet” not only aided in the supply and transport of the legions, but also helped in the protection of the frontiers in the rivers Rhine and Danube. Therefore it patrolled the whole of the Mediterranean, parts of the North Atlantic (coasts of Hispania, Gaul, and Britannia), and had also a naval presence in the Black Sea. Nevertheless the army was considered the senior and more prestigious branch. The Temple of Bacchus in Baalbec , Lebanon. Until the Tetrarchy (296 AD) Roman provinces lat. Provincae were administrative and territorial units of the Roman Empire outside of Italy. In the old days of the Republic the governorships of the provinces were traditionally awarded to members of the Senatorial Order. Augustus’ reforms changed this policy. Augustus created the Imperial provinces. Most, but not all, of the Imperial provinces were relatively recent conquests and located at the borders. Thereby the overwhelming majority of legions, which were stationed at the frontiers, were under direct Imperial control. Very important was the Imperial province of Egypt , the major breadbasket of the Empire, whose grain supply was vital to feed the masses in Rome. It was considered the personal fiefdom of the Emperor, and Senators were forbidden to even visit this province. The governor of Egypt and the commanders of any legion stationed there were not from the Senatorial Order, but were chosen by the Emperor from among the members of the lower Equestrian Order. The old traditional policy continued largely unchanged in the Senatorial provinces. Due to their location, away from the borders, and to the fact that they were under longer Roman sovereignty and control, these provinces were largely peaceful and stable. Only a single legion was based in a Senatorial province: Legio III Augusta , stationed in the Senatorial province of Africa (modern northern Algeria). The status of a province was subject to change; it could change from Senatorial towards Imperial, or vice-versa. This happened several times. Another trend was to create new provinces, mostly by dividing older ones, or by expanding the Empire. The Pantheon , the present structure built during Hadrian’s reign, was dedicated to the worship of all Roman deities. As the Empire expanded, and came to include people from a variety of cultures, the worship of an ever increasing number of deities was tolerated and accepted. The Imperial government, and the Romans in general, tended to be very tolerant towards most religions and cults, so long as they did not cause trouble. This could easily be accepted by other faiths as Roman liturgy and ceremonies were frequently tailored to fit local culture and identity. Since the Romans practiced polytheism they were also able to easily assimilate the gods of the peoples the Empire conquered. An individual could attend to both the Roman gods representing his Roman identity and his own personal faith, which was considered part of his personal identity. There were periodic persecutions of various religions at various points in time, most notably that of Christians. As the historian Edward Gibbon noted, however, most of the recorded histories of Christian persecutions come to us through the Christian church, which had an incentive to exaggerate the degree to which the persecutions occurred. The non-Christian contemporary sources only mention the persecutions passingly and without assigning great importance to them. The Augustus of Prima Porta , showing Augustus in military outfit holding a consular baton (now broken off). In an effort to enhance loyalty, the inhabitants of the Empire were called to participate in the Imperial cult to revere (usually deceased) emperors as demigods. Few emperors claimed to be Gods while living, with the few exceptions being emperors who were widely regarded at the time to be insane (such as Caligula). Doing so in the early Empire would have risked revealing the shallowness of what the Emperor Augustus called the “restored Republic” and would have had a decidedly eastern quality to it. Since the tool was mostly one the Emperor used to control his subjects, its usefulness would have been greatest in the chaotic later Empire, when the emperors were often Christians and unwilling to participate in the practice. Usually, an emperor was deified after his death by his successor in an attempt by that successor to enhance his own prestige. This practice can be misunderstood, however, since “deification” was to the ancient world what canonization is to the Christian world. Likewise, the term “god” had a different context in the ancient world. This could be seen during the years of the Roman Republic with religio-political practices such as the disbanding of a Senate session if it was believed the gods disapproved of the session or wished a particular vote. Deification was one of the many honors a dead emperor was entitled to, as the Romans (more than modern societies) placed great prestige on honors and national recognitions. The importance of the Imperial cult slowly grew, reaching its peak during the Crisis of the Third Century. Especially in the eastern half of the Empire, imperial cults grew very popular. As such it was one of the major agents of romanization. The central elements of the cult complex were next to a temple; a theatre or amphitheatre for gladiator displays and other games and a public bath complex. Sometimes the imperial cult was added to the cults of an existing temple or celebrated in a special hall in the bath complex. The seriousness of this belief is unclear. Some Romans ridiculed the notion that a Roman emperor was to be considered a living god, or would even make fun of the deification of an emperor after his death. Seneca the Younger parodied the notion of apotheosis in his only known satire The Pumpkinification of Claudius , in which the clumsy and ill-spoken Claudius is transformed not into a god, but a pumpkin or gourd. An element of mockery was present even at Claudius’s funeral, and Vespasian’s purported last words were Væ, puto deus fio , Oh dear! I think I’m becoming a god! Absorption of foreign cults. Since Roman religion did not have a core belief that excluded other religions, several foreign gods and cults became popular. The worship of Cybele was the earliest, introduced from around 200 BC. Isis and Osiris were introduced from Egypt a century later. Bacchus and Sol Invictus were quite important and Mithras became very popular with the military. Several of these were Mystery cults. In the 1st century BC Julius Caesar granted Jews the freedom to worship in Rome as a reward for their help in Alexandria. Druids were considered as essentially non-Roman: a prescript of Augustus forbade Roman citizens to practice “druidical” rites. Pliny reports that under Tiberius the druids were suppressedalong with diviners and physiciansby a decree of the Senate, and Claudius forbade their rites completely in AD 54. The Crisis under Caligula (3741) has been proposed as the “first open break between Rome and the Jews”, even though problems were already evident during the Census of Quirinius in 6 and under Sejanus (before 31). Until the rebellion in Judea in AD 66, Jews were generally protected. To get around Roman laws banning secret societies and to allow their freedom of worship, Julius Caesar declared Synagogues were colleges. Claudius expelled Jews from the city; however, the passage of Suetonius is ambiguous: Because the Jews at Rome caused continuous disturbances at the instigation of Chrestus he [Claudius] expelled them from the city. Chrestus has been identified as another form of Christus ; the disturbances may have been related to the arrival of the first Christians , and that the Roman authorities, failing to distinguish between the Jews and the early Christians, simply decided to expel them all. Historians debate whether or not the Roman government distinguished between Christians and Jews prior to Nerva’s modification of the Fiscus Judaicus in 96. The Christian Martyrs’ Last Prayer , by Jean-Léon Gérôme (1883). Christianity emerged in Roman Judea as a Jewish religious sect in the 1st century AD. The religion gradually spread out of Jerusalem , initially establishing major bases in first Antioch , then Alexandria , and over time throughout the Empire as well as beyond. Christianity shares numerous traits with other mystery cults that existed in Rome at the time. Early Christianity placed a strong emphasis on baptism, a ritual which marked the convert as having been inducted into the mysteries of the faith. The focus on a belief in salvation and the afterlife was another major similarity to other mystery cults. The crucial difference between Christianity and other mystery cults was the monotheism of Christianity. Early Christians thus refused to participate in civic cults because of these monotheistic beliefs, leading to their persecution. For the first two centuries of the Christian era , Imperial authorities largely viewed Christianity simply as a Jewish sect rather than a distinct religion. No emperor issued general laws against the faith or its Church, and persecutions, such as they were, were carried out under the authority of local government officials. A surviving letter from Pliny the Younger , governor of Bythinia, to the Emperor Trajan describes his persecution and executions of Christians; Trajan notably responded that Pliny should not seek out Christians nor heed anonymous denunciations, but only punish open Christians who refused to recant. Suetonius mentions in passing that during the reign of Nero “punishment was inflicted on the Christians, a class of men given to a new and mischievous superstition ” (superstitionis novae ac maleficae). He gives no reason for the punishment. Tacitus reports that after the Great Fire of Rome in AD 64, some among the population held Nero responsible and that the emperor attempted to deflect blame onto the Christians. One of the earliest persecutions occurred in Gaul at Lyon in 177. Persecution was often local and sporadic, and some Christians welcomed martyrdom as a testament of faith. The Decian persecution (246251) was a serious threat to the Church, but while it potentially undermined the religious hierarchy in urban centers, ultimately it served to strengthen Christian defiance. Diocletian undertook what was to be the most severe and last major persecution of Christians , lasting from 303 to 311. Christianity had become too widespread to suppress, and in 313, the Edict of Milan made tolerance the official policy. Constantine I (sole ruler 324337) became the first Christian emperor, and in 380 Theodosius I established Christianity as the official religion. By the 5th century Christian hegemony had rapidly changed the Empire’s identity even as the Western provinces collapsed. Those who practiced the traditional polytheistic religions were persecuted, as were Christians regarded as heretics by the authorities in power. The language of Rome before its expansion was Latin , and this became the empire’s official language. By the time of the imperial period Latin had developed two registers : the “high” written Classical Latin and the “low” spoken Vulgar Latin. While Classical Latin remained relatively stable, even through the Middle Ages , Vulgar Latin as with any spoken language was fluid and evolving. Vulgar Latin became the lingua franca in the western provinces, later evolving into the modern Romance languages : Italian , French , Portuguese , Spanish , Romanian , etc. Greek and Classical Latin were the languages of literature, scholarship, and education. Although Latin remained the most widely spoken language in the West, through to the fall of Rome and for some centuries afterwards, in the East the Greek language was the literary language and the lingua franca. The Romans generally did not attempt to supplant local languages. Along with Greek, many other languages of different tribes were used but almost without expression in writing. Greek was already widely spoken in many cities in the east, and as such, the Romans were quite content to retain it as an administrative language there rather than impede bureaucratic efficiency. Hence, two official secretaries served in the Roman Imperial court, one charged with correspondence in Latin and the other with correspondence in Greek for the East. Thus in the Eastern Province, as with all provinces, original languages were retained. Moreover, the process of hellenisation widened its scope during the Roman period, for the Romans perpetuated “Hellenistic” culture. But with all the trappings of Roman improvements. This further spreading of “Hellenistic” culture (and therefore language) was largely due to the extensive infrastructure in the form of entertainment, health, and education amenities, and extensive transportation networks, etc. Put in place by the Romans and their tolerance of, and inclusion of, other cultures, a characteristic which set them apart from the xenophobic nature of the Greeks preceding them. Since the Roman annexation of Greece in 146 BC, the Greek language gradually obtained a unique place in the Roman world, owing initially to the large number of Greek slaves in Roman households. However, due to the presence of other widely spoken languages in the densely populated east, such as Coptic , Syriac , Armenian , Aramaic and Phoenician (which was also extensively spoken in North Africa), Greek never took as strong a hold beyond Asia Minor (some urban enclaves notwithstanding) as Latin eventually did in the west. This is partly evident in the extent to which the derivative languages are spoken today. Like Latin, the language gained a dual nature with the literary language, an Attic Greek variant, existing alongside spoken language, Koine Greek , which evolved into Medieval or Byzantine Greek (Romaic). By the 4th century AD, Greek no longer held such dominance over Latin in the arts and sciences as it had previously, resulting to a great extent from the growth of the western provinces. This was true also of Christian literature, reflected, for example, in the publication in the early 5th century AD of the Vulgate Bible , the first officially accepted Latin Bible. As the Western Empire declined , the number of people who spoke both Greek and Latin declined as well, contributing greatly to the future East West / Orthodox Catholic cultural divide in Europe. Important as both languages were, today the descendants of Latin are widely spoken in many parts of the world, while the Greek dialects are limited mostly to Greece, Cyprus , and small enclaves in Turkey and Southern Italy (where the Eastern Empire retained control for several more centuries). To some degree this can be attributed to the fact that the western provinces fell mainly to “Latinised” Christian tribes whereas the eastern provinces fell to Muslim Arabs and Turks for whom Greek held less cultural significance. Life in the Roman Empire revolved around the city of Rome, and its famed seven hills. The city also had several theatres , gymnasia , and many taverns , baths and brothels. Throughout the territory under Rome’s control, residential architecture ranged from very modest houses to country villas , and in the capital city of Rome, to the residences on the elegant Palatine Hill , from which the word ” palace ” is derived. The vast majority of the population lived in the city centre, packed into apartment blocks. Most Roman towns and cities had a forum and temples, as did the city of Rome itself. Aqueducts were built to bring water to urban centres. And served as an avenue to import wine and oil from abroad. Landlords generally resided in cities and their estates were left in the care of farm managers. To stimulate a higher labour productivity, many landlords freed a large numbers of slaves. By the time of Augustus, cultured Greek household slaves taught the Roman young (sometimes even the girls). Greek sculptures adorned Hellenistic landscape gardening on the Palatine or in the villas. Many aspects of Roman culture were taken from the Etruscans and the Greeks. In architecture and sculpture , the difference between Greek models and Roman paintings are apparent. The chief Roman contributions to architecture were the arch and the dome. Roman public baths (Thermae) in Bath , England (Aquae Sulis in the Roman province of Britannia). The centre of the early social structure was the family, which was not only marked by blood relations but also by the legally constructed relation of patria potestas. The Pater familias was the absolute head of the family; he was the master over his wife, his children, the wives of his sons, the nephews, the slaves and the freedmen, disposing of them and of their goods at will, even putting them to death. Originally, only patrician aristocracy enjoyed the privilege of forming familial clans, or gens , as legal entities; later, in the wake of political struggles and warfare, clients were also enlisted. Thus, such plebian gentes were the first formed, imitating their patrician counterparts. Generally mutilation and murder of slaves was prohibited by legislation. It is estimated that over 25% of the Roman population was enslaved Professor Gerhard Rempel from the Western New England College claims that in the city of Rome alone, during the Empire, there were about 400,000 slaves. The city of Rome had a place called the Campus Martius (“Field of Mars”), which was a sort of drill ground for Roman soldiers. Later, the Campus became Rome’s track and field playground. In the campus, the youth assembled to play and exercise, which included jumping, wrestling , boxing and racing. Riding , throwing, and swimming were also preferred physical activities. In the countryside, pastimes also included fishing and hunting. Board games played in Rome included Dice (Tesserae or Tali), Roman Chess (Latrunculi), Roman Checkers (Calculi), Tic-tac-toe (Terni Lapilli), and Ludus duodecim scriptorum and Tabula, predecessors of backgammon. There were several other activities to keep people engaged like chariot races, musical and theatrical performances. Clothing, dining, and the arts. Fresco of a Roman woman from Pompeii , c. Roman clothing fashions changed little from the late Republic to the end of the Western empire 600 years later. The cloth and the dress distinguished one class of people from the other class. The tunic worn by plebeians (common people) like shepherds and slaves was made from coarse and dark material, whereas the tunic worn by patricians was of linen or white wool. A magistrate would wear the tunica augusticlavi ; senators wore a tunic with broad stripes, called tunica laticlavi. Military tunics were shorter than the ones worn by civilians. Boys, up until the festival of Liberalia, wore the toga praetexta , which was a toga with a crimson or purple border. The toga virilis , (or toga pura) was worn by men over the age of 16 to signify their citizenship in Rome. The toga picta was worn by triumphant generals and had embroidery of their skill on the battlefield. The toga pulla was worn when in mourning. Even footwear indicated a person’s social status: patricians wore red and orange sandals, senators had brown footwear, consuls had white shoes, and soldiers wore heavy boots. Men typically wore a toga , and women a stola. The woman’s stola looked different from a toga, and was usually brightly coloured. The Romans also invented socks for those soldiers required to fight on the northern frontiers, sometimes worn in sandals. In the later empire after Diocletian’s reforms, clothing worn by soldiers and non-military government bureaucrats became highly decorated, with woven or embroidered strips, clavi , and circular roundels, orbiculi , added to tunics and cloaks. These decorative elements usually consisted of geometrical patterns and stylised plant motifs, but could include human or animal figures. The use of silk also increased steadily and most courtiers of the later empire wore elaborate silk robes. Heavy military-style belts were worn by bureaucrats as well as soldiers, revealing the general militarization of late Roman government. Trousersconsidered barbarous garments worn by Germans and Persianswere only adopted partially near the end of the empire in a sign for conservatives of cultural decay. Early medieval kings and aristocrats dressed like late Roman generals, not like the older toga-clad senatorial tradition. Roman fresco with banquet scene from the Casa dei Casti Amanti (IX 12, 6-8) in Pompeii. Romans had simple food habits. Staple food was simple, generally consumed at around 11 o’clock, and consisted of bread, salad, cheese, fruits, nuts, and cold meat left over from the dinner the night before. The Roman poet, Horace mentions another Roman favourite, the olive , in reference to his own diet, which he describes as very simple: As for me, olives, endives , and smooth mallows provide sustenance. The family ate together, sitting on stools around a table. Fingers were used to eat solid foods and spoons were used for soups. Wine was considered a staple drink, consumed at all meals and occasions by all classes and was quite cheap. Many types of drinks involving grapes and honey were consumed as well. Drinking on an empty stomach was regarded as boorish and a sure sign for alcoholism , whose debilitating physical and psychological effects were known to the Romans. An accurate accusation of being an alcoholic was an effective way to discredit political rivals. Woman playing a kithara , a wall mural from Boscoreale , dated 4030 BC. Roman literature was from its very inception influenced heavily by Greek authors. Some of the earliest works we possess are of historical epics telling the early military history of Rome. As the empire expanded, authors began to produce poetry, comedy, history, and tragedy. Virgil represents the pinnacle of Roman epic poetry. His Aeneid tells the story of flight of Aeneas from Troy and his settlement of the city that would become Rome. The genre of satire was common in Rome, and satires were written by, among others, Juvenal and Persius. Many Roman homes were decorated with landscapes by Greek artists. Portrait sculpture during the period utilized youthful and classical proportions, evolving later into a mixture of realism and idealism. Advancements were also made in relief sculptures, often depicting Roman victories. Music was a major part of everyday life. The word itself derives from Greek (mousike), “(art) of the Muses “. Many private and public events were accompanied by music, ranging from nightly dining to military parades and maneuvers. In a discussion of any ancient music, however, non-specialists and even many musicians have to be reminded that much of what makes our modern music familiar to us is the result of developments only within the last 1,000 years; thus, our ideas of melody, scales, harmony, and even the instruments we use would not be familiar to Romans who made and listened to music many centuries earlier. Over time, Roman architecture was modified as their urban requirements changed, and the civil engineering and building construction technology became developed and refined. The Roman concrete has remained a riddle, and even after more than 2,000 years some Roman structures still stand magnificently. The architectural style of the capital city was emulated by other urban centres under Roman control and influence. Following various military conquests in the Greek East , Romans adapted a number of Greek educational precepts to their own system. Conforming to discipline was a point of great emphasis. Girls generally received instruction. From their mothers in the art of spinning , weaving , and sewing. Education nominally began at the age of six. During the next six to seven years, both boys and girls were taught the basics of reading , writing and arithmetic. From the age of twelve, they would be learning Latin , Greek , grammar and literature , followed by training for public speaking. Oratory was an art to be practised and learnt, and good orators commanded respect. To become an effective orator was one of the objectives of education and learning. In some cases, services of gifted slaves were utilized for imparting education. The invention and widespread application of hydraulic mining , namely hushing and ground-sluicing, aided by the ability of the Romans to plan and execute mining operations on a large scale, allowed various base and precious metals to be extracted on a proto-industrial scale. The annual total iron output is estimated at 82,500 t , assuming a productive capacity of c. 1.5 kg per capita. Copper was produced at an annual rate of 15,000 t, and lead at 80,000 t. Both production levels not to be paralled until the Industrial Revolution. Spain alone had a 40% share in world lead production. The high lead output was a by-product of extensive silver mining which reached an amount of 200 t per annum. At its peak around the mid-2nd century AD, the Roman silver stock is estimated at 10,000 t, five to ten times larger than the combined silver mass of medieval Europe and the Caliphate around 800 AD. Any one of the Imperium’ s most important mining provinces produced as much silver as the contemporary Han empire as a whole, and more gold by an entire order of magnitude. The imperial government was, as all governments, interested in the issue and control of the currency in circulation. To mint coins was an important political act: the image of the ruling emperor appeared on most issues, and coins were a means of showing his image throughout the empire. Also featured were predecessors, empresses, other family members, and heirs apparent. By issuing coins with the image of an heir his legitimacy and future succession was proclaimed and reinforced. Political messages and imperial propaganda such as proclamations of victory and acknowledgements of loyalty also appeared in certain issues. Legally only the emperor and the Senate had the authority to mint coins inside the empire. However the authority of the Senate was mainly in name only. In general, the imperial government issued gold and silver coins while the Senate issued bronze coins marked by the legend “SC” , short for Senatus Consulto “by decree of the Senate”. However, bronze coinage could be struck without this legend. Some Greek cities were allowed to mint. Bronze and certain silver coins, which today are known as Greek Imperials (also Roman Colonials or Roman Provincials). The imperial mints were under the control of a chief financial minister, and the provincial mints were under the control of the imperial provincial procurators. The Senatorial mints were governed by officials of the Senatorial treasury. What is a certificate of authenticity and what guarantees do you give that the item is authentic? You will be quite happy with what you get with the COA; a professional presentation of the coin, with all of the relevant information and a picture of the coin you saw in the listing. Is there a number I can call you with questions about my order? When should I leave feedback? Once you receive your order, please leave a positive. Please don’t leave any negative feedbacks, as it happens many times that people rush to leave feedback before letting sufficient time for the order to arrive. The matter of fact is that any issues can be resolved, as reputation is most important to me. My goal is to provide superior products and quality of service. The item “TRAJAN 98AD RARE She Wolf Mother to Romulus & Remus Ancient Roman Coin i51162″ is in sale since Tuesday, July 28, 2015. This item is in the category “Coins & Paper Money\Coins\ Ancient\Roman\ Imperial (27 BC-476 AD)”. The seller is “highrating_lowprice” and is located in Rego Park, New York. This item can be shipped worldwide.