The dark side of Trajan, the first Hispanic emperor of Rome

For all historians of the time, only Julius Caesar, the great ruler of ancient Rome, was a better emperor than the Hispanic Marcus Ulpius Trajan, considered by many to be the great emperor and Optimus Princeps of the empire. Hispanics quickly became the president who most managed to expand Roman power throughout old Europe, and created a school for his successors who, on the contrary, failed to measure up to the great emperor.

Trajan was born in Itálica province, close to what would be Seville today, and his work as Rome’s top president was so immense that after his death he was elevated to the category of god by his successor, his cousin Hadrian.

Was the second emperor of the Antonine dynasty, and a great military man who served his people with absolute devotion. Trajan’s work in different fields was so immense that he was even forgiven for having certain sexual inclinations that conflicted with the most elementary laws of life. And the other side of the emperor of Rome, Trajan, was that he liked youngsters and teenagers too much, inherited from the customs of Ancient Greece.

An exemplary military man

Despite his dark side, Trajan is considered by historians to be one of the greatest emperors in the history of Rome. It was Trajan’s father who achieved a quite prominent political career in the empire and seized control of Syria. In this, his son hardened on the battlefield and began to stand out among the Roman armies.

He extended his military service for a longer time to continue with his troops on the battlefield, something that helped him win over the people and have fervent admirers. When Nerva seized power in 96, and at 66, Trajan already had a good reputation among the Romans and, above all, among the new emperor, a statesman who had served up to four previous emperors: Nero, Vaspasian, Titus and Domitian.

Before dying, Nerva had already named Trajan as his successor and when he returned to Rome, Nerva stepped aside and let the new emperor begin his time of triumph. Although the natural succession occurred in the year 98 with the death of Nerva.

His first and great campaign was carried out against Dacia (near present-day Transylvania), which had already had contacts with Rome under Domitian, who was only able to get a little favorable treatment for Rome that had to pay a tax. This was considered a disgrace to the Romans, so Trajan put his efforts into conquering Dacia.

And it was not bad. The new emperor invaded the area in 101 with a resounding success, which was well reflected in his famous Trajan Column that narrates the battles of the Hispanic emperor.

Although it was not his original idea, Dacia annexed Rome and became a new province, making the empire one of the most immense in remembrance of the ancient world.

The vices of the emperor

But Trajano, like many leaders and presidents throughout history, had an unusual personal life. It was well known at court that the emperor liked to hang out with wine and youngsters, something that, incidentally, never interfered with his political power and as emperor.

It was Dio Cassius, a Greek historian of the time, who first described Trajan’s hazardous private life, defining the emperor as a man who drank heavily and with a certain admiration for young people like the ancient Hellenes.

«I know, of course, that was dedicated to boys and wine, but if he committed or endured some heinous or infamous act as a result of this, he would have incurred censorship; on the other hand, he drank all the wine he wanted, but he remained sober, and in relation to the boys he did not hurt anyone, “wrote the chronicler about the emperor’s private life.

Trajan He had no children with his only wife, Pompeii Plotina, and is that the emperor liked to walk with the young people and adolescents of the time and enjoyed while they bathed naked in his presence.

Death came to the great emperor while on a campaign in the East, when he was affected by a stroke. Before dying, Trajan appointed his cousin as emperor Adriano, also Hispanic, and heir to Trajano’s sexual tastes.

The devotion of both emperors to the Hellenic culture – Trajan implanted the beard in Rome – also led to pedophile and homosexual sexual behaviors inherited from Greece, but which did not cloud Trajan’s work at the head of the great empire of Rome.

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