Rome

The “Enricher” of Rome

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Image from EDR

I̲m̲p̲(eratori) C̲a̲e̲s̲a̲r̲i̲ d̲i̲v̲i̲ N̲e̲r̲v̲a̲e̲ f̲(ilio) N̲e̲r̲v̲a̲e̲ T̲r̲a̲i̲a̲n̲o̲ A̲u̲g̲(usto) G̲e̲r̲m̲(anico) D̲a̲c̲i̲c̲o̲, p̲o̲n̲t̲i̲f̲(ici) m̲a̲x̲(imo), t̲̲r̲i̲b̲(unicia) p̲o̲t̲̲(estate) X̲I̲I̲, imp(eratori) VI, co(n)s(uli) V, p(atri) p(atriae), p̲r̲o̲p̲a̲g̲a̲t̲o̲r̲i̲
o̲r̲b̲i̲s̲ t̲̲e̲r̲r̲̲a̲r̲u̲m̲, l̲o̲c̲u̲p̲l̲e̲t̲a̲t̲o̲r̲̲i̲ c̲i̲v̲i̲u̲m̲ c̲u̲l̲t̲o̲r̲e̲s̲ L̲a̲r̲̲u̲m̲ e̲t̲ i̲m̲a̲g̲i̲n̲u̲m̲ d̲o̲m̲u̲s̲ A̲u̲g̲u̲s̲̲t̲a̲e̲ s̲o̲l̲o̲̲ p̲r̲ivato sua pecuṇi̲a̲ f̲e̲c̲e̲r̲u̲n̲t̲.

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Trajan’s campaigns and conquests helped make Rome rich. Following his conquest of Dacia in 106 A.D., Trajan threw festivals in Rome lasting more than one hundred and twenty days. This, in turn, helped make Trajan tremendously popular with the Roman people. An inscription from 107 refers to him as locupletori, which means enricher.

Another inscription fragment sums up Trajan by calling him “the most generous:”

[— Nerv]ae Traian[o —]
[—] ḷìḅeralissimọ [—]

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Although Trajan is remembered primarily for his military conquests, he also undertook a number of social welfare projects within Rome and an enormous new building campaign. Perhaps the most famous of these new structures was Trajan’s Column, built to honor his conquest of Dacia and completed in 113 A.D.

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Image from EDR

Trajan’s Column, however, is not simply a monument to conquest during war. An inscription along the base of the column reads:

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Image from EDR

Senatus popolusque Romanus
Imp(eratori) Caesari dìvì Nervae f(ilio) Nervae
Traiano Aug(usto) Germ(anico) Dacico, pontif(ici)
maximo, trib(unicia) pot(estate) X̅V̅I̅I̅, imp(eratori) V̅I̅, co(n)s(uli) V̅I̅, p(atri) p(atriae),
ad declarandum, quantae altitudinis
mons et locus tant[is oper]ibus sit egestus.

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The inscription, when translated reads, “The Senate and People of Rome to the Emperor Trajan…to declare how high a hill and area was removed for such great works.” The inscription shows that in addition to being a monument to the conquest of Dacia, the column is a monument to engineering, a very physical reminder of Trajan’s ability to literally move mountains for the good of the Roman people.