A Suitable Monument
Among the many bright spots of the Roman Empire, Emperor Trajan and the Forum of Trajan are elite examples of the legacy left by the Roman Empire. They were both once extremely powerful, fascinated by size, and despite all their glory, they both lost their battles. Trajan failed in his conquest of Mesopotamia, while the Forum of Trajan lost its battle of time, and is now submerged or decimated. The Forum of Trajan mirrors Emperor Trajan’s rise and fall as well as his elite status among his kind.
Emperor Trajan was born Marcus Ulpious Traianus on September 18, 53 C.E., to a non-patrician family, in the Roman province of Hispania Baerica which is modern day Spain (Bennett 28). He climbed to fame in the Roman Army where he served as a general (ibid 32). He was appointed heir to the throne by the childless Emperor Marcus Cocceius Nerva after a revolt from his personal guards (ibid 35). On January 20, 98 C.E., Nerva died and was succeeded by Trajan (ibid 36). While Emperor, Trajan was favored by the people; he freed the wrongly imprisoned and returned the private land confiscated by earlier emperors (ibid 52). Through history, Trajan will be best remembered as a brilliant military commander.
The Dacian Wars were two very short wars between Dacia (parts of modern day Balkans) and the Roman Empire. The first has roots going back to 86 C.E. when Dacians raided Moesia, a Roman province (ibid 85). The first Dacian War started in 101 C.E. and ended when Trajan defeated Dacian general Decebalus at the Second Battle of Tapae in 102 C.E. When the first war ended, a truce was drawn up. Decebalus spent the next three years building up his army and finally attack a Roman barracks in 105 C.E. (Matyszak 222). In response, Trajan marched to the Dacian capital of Sarmisegetusa and completely destroyed it, ending the second war in 106 C.E. The only record of the demolition of Sarmisegetusa is depicted in the Column of Trajan in the Forum of Trajan. Trajan...