Trajan’s Forum: The Hub of Early Roman Society Essay

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Trajan’s Forum: The Hub of Early Roman Society The Roman Empire can arguably be considered one of the greatest ancient civilizations. From Augustus to Constantine, the Romans brought both new and borrowed ideas into the world. With influence from the Greeks, the Romans established a representative government with the Emperor and the Senate as the main law-making and law-enforcing bodies. The Roman Empire grew prosperous and, with military expeditions, expanded as west as modern day Britain and as east the lands near the Caspian Sea. With the Empire expanding into what is now known as Israel, Christianity spread to Rome and, under Constantine, was established as a legal religion under the Edict of Milan in 313. As the Roman culture was…show more content…
Under the emperor Domitian, Trajan served as a legatus legionis, or leader of the local Roman army in Spain. After supporting Domitian in a revolt in 89, Trajan gained popularity by the Roman Senate and was soon adopted by the heirless emperor, Nerva. Merely two years after Nerva’s adoption of Trajan, Nerva died and Trajan attained the throne of the Roman Empire. Under Trajan’s rule, the Roman Empire expanded to its largest, covering from the Atlantic Ocean to the Caspian Sea. By 106, the region of Dacia (present day Romania) had been conquered. It is Trajan’s campaigns in Dacia that are portrayed on his famous Column in the forum. The Forum of Trajan was constructed by the Greek architect Apollodorus of Damascus near the forums of Augustus and Julius Caesar. Like many of his predecessors, Trajan built his forum in order to mark Rome as the imperial center of the empire. The many fora with their marvelous feats of architecture were intended to be impressive to both the Roman citizens and any outsiders. Within Trajan’s Forum (Appendix Figure 1) stood the Basilica Ulpia, the Greek and Latin Libraries, the Column of Trajan, the Temple of Trajan and Trajan’s Markets. The complex follows an axial plan that leads from the Forum of Augustus, through an arch and into the Forum’s courtyard area. From the courtyard, the complex continues with the Basilica Ulpia, then

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