jecting framework."* The operations which Trajan commenced in the spring of A.d. 104 had for their basis a much greater length of the river than before. The rivers Schyl and Alouta (the ancient Rhabon and Aluta), which flow southward through Wallachia into the Danube, pierce the chain of the southern Carpathians by the passes of the Volkan and Rotkenthurm, the latter giving direct access to the strongholds of the Dacians in the mountains of Transylvania. The remains of an ancient bridge over the Danube at Gieli, about 220 miles below Belgrade, and of a Roman causeway up the valley of the Alouta to the Rothenthurm pass, seem to leave no doubt that Roman armies have penetrated Dacia by this route; and the general opinion of antiquaries used to identify the piers and towers still standing in the river at Gieli with the celebrated bridge constructed for Trajan bj the architect Apollodorus. But in recent years that opinion has been changed by the remains discovered at Severin, a little below Orsova, where the river, issuing from the Iron Gate, expands to a width of 1300 yards, and shows, when the water is very low, a number of piers answering to the account of Dion. That historian, who was governor of Pannonia 120 years later (though the superstructure of the bridge had by that time been overthrown), describes it as having a total length of 4770 Roman feet (about 4570 English), the span of each arch being 170 Roman feet (about 163 English), and the height no less than 150 (about 144 English). The piers were most massive structures of stone, to resist the pressure of floods and ice; and the superstructure was of wood. The work, which will bear a comparison with the grandest triumphs of modern engineering, might well make good the boast of an inscription supposed to have belonged to it, though found at a different spot:—


The building of Trajan's bridge, and the other preparations

which he pressed on during its construction, appear not to have

been completed before the end of the second year (a.d. 105).

Meanwhile Decebalus, finding that the emperor would be content

* "The construction of this road is described by Mr. Paget in his Hungary and Transylvania, ii. 123. It is ascertained to be the work of Trajan from au inscription on the cliff overhanging the road at a place called Ogradina. The inscription, slightly supplied by Arnett in a memoir (Wien, 1856), points to the year 101. Trajan, trib. pot. iv. eons. iv. (while he was Germanicus, but not yet Dacicus) montis el fiuvii anfractibua superalis viam patefecit."—Merivalo, vol. vii., p. 233.

t An authentic picture of the bridge is happily preserved for us on Trajan's column;


with nothing short of a complete conquest, tried every device of barbarian cunning. An emissary whom he employed to assassinate Trajan was arrested, and confessed the treacherous design under torture; and a Roman officer, named Longinus, who had fallen into his hands, put himself to death rather than suffer Trajan to be embarrassed by the demands made as the price of his freedom. It says much for the Romans and their emperor, that the self-sacrifice of Regulus could be repeated in this age. Early in A.d. 106, Trajan crossed the Danube, and rapidly subdued the whole country between that river and the Carpathians. While Sarmizegethusa, which had been held by a Roman garrison ever since the former war, afforded a base of operations on his left, his main body penetrated by the Rothenthurm pass into the very heart of the Dacian strongholds. Decebalus retired, disputing post after post, till he was deserted by his Sarmatian allies, the mailed cavalry whose prowess Darius had long since experienced, and whose figures are seen upon Trajan's column. On that monument, too, we may still read the "counterfeit presentment" of the final scene, when, the last stronghold of Decebalus being stormed, the king and his nobles set fire to their houses, and killed themselves by sword or poison amidst the conflagration. The head of Decebalus was sent to Rome, probably to prove to the people that so inveterate an enemy was really dead. The treasures, which he is said to have buried beneath a river's bed, putting to death the slaves who had done the work, were nevertheless discovered to Trajan. After defraying the expenses of the war, and providing rewards for the veterans, there was enough left for the celebration of Trajan's triumph, with games in which 11,000 beasts were slain and 10,000 gladiators fought,* and for a magnificent architectural monument of the Dacian conquest. The ridge between the Capitoline and Quirinal hills — which rose above the level of the low ground occupied by the original Forum and the Fora constructed by successive Caesars, forming a sort of barrier between the heart of the city and the Campus Martius—was excavated to afford the site for a new Forum, surpassing all the others in magnificence.* This Forum Trajanum has perished, with its Basilica Ulpia, its two great libraries, the one Greek and the other Roman, its porticoes with their gilded cornices, balustrades, and images, and its colossal equestrian statue of the emperor; its arch of triumph bears the name of Constautine, who appropriated a predecessor's memorial as his own; but the magnificent Doric column, which stood in the centre of the Forum, by far the finest example of that sort of monument in all the .world, still rises to the height of 128 feet, its shaft, composed of nineteen stones, exhibiting to our view the record of Trajan's victories in Dacia, in a continuous spiral band of bas-reliefs, containing no fewer than 2500 figures. The golden urn, in which the ashes of the founder were deposited in the base, ensured the violation of his tomb; and his colossal statue had long been thrown down from the summit, before Pope Sixtus V. replaced it by the image of St Peter, a sign of the change from imperial to Papal Rome, and an undesigned satire on the religious ideas which could make scenes of war the pedestal for the chief of the Apostles. Such were the monuments of the conquest of Dacia. The country itself was reduced to a Roman province, which was divided on the east by the Tyras or Danaster {Dniester) from the Sarmatians,f and on the west by the Tibiscus (TAeist)


but the apparent differences from Dion's account have occasioned much controversy.

Trajan's Bridoe.

Nor indeed, considering the close resemblance of the remains at Gieli to those at Severin, can the position of the bridge be regarded as settled beyond doubt.

• It is worth while to observe how the revival of the old martial spirit was attended by the renewal of these gladiatorial exhibitions, which the Flavian emperors had discouraged.

• "The fact of this connection between the Quirinal and the

Capitoline se< ms to be put beyond a doubt by the inscription

Tka?ak°f on t^o base of the Trajan column, which purports to have been

erected to show how deep 'was the excavation made for the area

of the Forum." (Merivale, vol. vii. p. 248.) The column was also designed to be

the emperor's sepulchre.

t Ptolemy carried the boundary only as far as the liierasus or Parata (Pruik), tht



from the kindred Iazyges, while on the north it extended to the Great Carpathians; thus embracing eastern Hungary, with the Banat and Transylvania, within the circuit of the Carpathians, and between them and the Danube the principalities of Moldavia and Wallachia, where the descendants of the Dacians still claim the name of Komans (Roumani).* Besides founding four colonies in Dacia, Trajan added security to the conquest which he commemorated, by building in Mcesia the city of Nicopolis ad Iatrum (fflcopoli on the Iantra), celebrated thirteen centuries later for the defeat of the Hungarians by Bajazet (a.d. 1396). The province, after being long overrun by the Goths, was finally surrendered to them by the emperor Aurelian, who withdrew the Roman inhabitants to the south bank of the Danube, salving his pride by giving their new abode the name of Dacia (a.d. 270).

While Trajan was thus carrying the empire in Europe to the boundary of the Sarmatian steppes, his lieutenant, Cornelius Palma, added to its security in Asia by subduing the Arabian tribes, who troubled the south-eastern frontier of Syria. The strong cities on the eastern border of Palestine and Arabia Petraea, —Gerasa in Mount Gilead, Bostra (Bozrah), Philadelphia (Rabbath-Ammon), and Petra,—were included within the province, and from this period chiefly we may date the splendid remains of Koman architecture that adorn their sites. The occupation of these cities secured the great caravan routes between Egypt and the East; and it was now that Petra, in particular, rose to the splendour still attested by its rock-hewn temples and other edifices in the Roman style. The conquests of Cornelius Palma were made in A.d. 106; and for the next seven years Trajan occupied himself with the internal government of the empire. The extent to which his personal care embraced the details of administration in the provinces is attested by his correspondence with Pliny, who went out as governor of Bithynia in A.d. 103. His numerous "rescripts" to the magistrates created a large body of legislation, though chiefly relating to minor matters; and his personal administration of justice was alike firm and impartial. Augustus had maintained the dignity of the Senate from aristocratic predilection and policy, while using the forms of the constitution for his own aggrandisement: Trajan returned to the same policy in the more liberal spirit of restoring as much freedom as was compatible with the

modem boundary between Moldavia and Russia, while some modern enquirers find traces of Roman settlements as far as the Don. • The name of Wallachs signifies strangers.

established monarchical government, which had become a necessity of the state. He abandoned the system of the emperor's annual election to the consulship, and only held the office five times during his reign of nineteen years. That the freedom of election which he restored was no mere form, was proved by the necessity for reviving the laws against bribery; and the respect due to the Senate's deliberations was enhanced by abolishing the vote by ballot in that assembly. After every allowance is made for flattery, we cannot doubt that Trajan's relations to the Senate deserved the panegyrics of Martial and Pliny. The former declares him to be not a master but an imperator,* and thejustest senator of all; and the latter echoed his friend's wishes in the words, You command vs to be free: we will. More than one instance is recorded of his magnanimous disregard of suspected conspiracies, and he kept his vow to put no senator to death; but, when Calpurnius Crassus, who had been pardoned by Nerva, was detected in a new plot, Trajan allowed the indignation of the Senate to take its course, and Crassus suffered by the sentence of his colleagues. But it was only as they were represented in the Senate, that the people enjoyed any portion of political freedom, and all combinations for social or trading objects, or other purposes of mutual help—clubs or guilds, as we should call them—were suppressed as " factions" dangerous to the state, f The Romans of the second imperial century had, in fact, been brought by the operation of the first to a state of incapacity for political freedom; and their happiness under this new era consisted in the prevision which the emperor most liberally made for their material wants and enjoyments, his untiring attention to their petitions, and wisdom in developing the resources of the empire, his abstinence from arbitrary exactions, and the relief from taxation which his economy enabled him to afford. This economy, too, instead of degenerating into meanness,

* The title seems here to be used in its constitutional sense for the commander of the commonwealth's armies, as contrasted with doininus. Mr. Mm vale points out that, in the Pantgyricus, "Pliny repeatedly contrasts the titles ef dominut and printeps, and that when, in his letters from Bithynia, he addresses Trajan as<?vmixi"> he speaks as a military officer to his chief. But the word was already used u * courteous salutation to a superior."

+ Mr. Merivale mentions an interesting example of Trajan's intolerance of such associations even in the provinces :—" When Pliny, as prefect of Bithynia, proponed to enrol an association of workmen at Nicomedia for the speedier extinction of fires, he feels it necessary not only to consult the emperor on the subject, but to explain the precautions he would take to prevent abuse. Trajan absolutely rejects the proposal, declaring that no precautions can avail to prevent such associations from degenerating into dangerous conspiracies.'


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