The Roman Empire c. 117 CE


Map Code: Ax02293

By the time of the death of Emperor Trajan in 117, the Roman Empire had reached its zenith in terms of territorial extent. Trajan succeeded Nerva as Emperor in 98, and from 101 sought to incorporate the wealthy kingdom of Dacia (roughly speaking, present-day Romania), which boasted gold mines. From 101 he fought a series of arduous campaigns against the Dacian King Decebalus, finally in 105 taking his citadel at Sarmizegetusa and forcing his surrender and suicide. In 106, upon the death of its King Rabbel II Soter, Trajan also annexed Nabataea (roughly speaking, present-day Jordan). After a period of peace, prosperity and benign social programmes, Trajan returned to the battlefield, declaring war on the Parthians. In 114, his armies invaded Armenia, annexed it as a Roman province and killed the Parthian King Parthamasiris before advancing eastwards into Mesopotamia and sacking the Parthian capital Ctesiphon (nearby present-day Baghdad). While sailing back to Rome, Trajan fell ill and died in the town of Selinus. The Roman Senate declared Trajan to be optimus princeps (the best ruler). He was succeeded by his cousin Hadrian, whom he adopted on his deathbed.

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