Trajan, detail of a marble bust; in the British Museum.—Courtesy of the trustees of the British Museum
(born Sept. 15?, AD 53, Italica, Baeticadied Aug. 8/9, 117, Selinus, Cilicia) Roman emperor (98–117), the first born outside Italy. He had military commands in Asia and Europe before being named consul in 91. In 97 he was adopted by Nerva as his successor. After Nerva's death in 98, he deified the former emperor and named himself Jupiter's representative on earth. He strengthened defenses along the northern frontier and weakened the Praetorian Guard at Rome. He gave the Senate new authority, reduced taxes, supported the poor with government welfare, reformed provincial administration, and built public works, including a forum with Trajan's Column, a structure commemorating his Dacian Wars. He added Dacia, Mesopotamia, and Parthia to the empire. He was campaigning in Asia when revolts broke out in conquered territories. Discouraged and ill, he died on his journey to Rome.
Variants of TRAJAN
Trajan in full Caesar Divi Nervae Filius Nerva Traianus Optimus Augustus or Caesar Nerva Traianus Germanicus orig. Marcus Ulpius Traianus