Trajan's Parthian campaign

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Trajan's Parthian campaign (115–117)
Part of the Roman–Parthian Wars
Trajan RIC 325 - 650918.jpg
Aureus issued by Trajan to celebrate the conquest of Parthia


  • Roman failure to maintain control of Mesopotamia.[2]
  • Adiabene conquered by Rome[3]
 Roman Empire Parthian Empire
Commanders and leaders
Roman Empire Trajan
Osroes I
The extent of the Roman Empire under Trajan (117)[4]
Anatolia, western Caucasus and northern Levant under Trajan

Trajan's Parthian campaign, also known as Trajan's Parthian War, was engaged by Roman emperor Trajan in the year 115 against the Parthian Empire in Mesopotamia. The war was initially successful for the Romans, but due to a series of setbacks, including wide-scale rebellions in the Eastern Mediterranean and North Africa, as well as Trajan's death in 117, ended in a Roman withdrawal.

In 113, Trajan decided that the moment was ripe to resolve the "eastern question" once and for all time by the decisive defeat of Parthia and the annexation of Armenia; his conquests marked a deliberate change of Roman policy towards Parthia, and a shift of emphasis in the "grand strategy" of the empire.[5] In 114, Trajan invaded Armenia, annexed it as a Roman province, and killed Parthamasiris who was placed on the Armenian throne by his relative, the king of Parthia, Osroes I.[6] In 115, the Roman emperor overran northern Mesopotamia and annexed it to Rome as well; its conquest was deemed necessary, since otherwise the Armenian salient could be cut off by the Parthians from the south.[6] The Romans then captured the Parthian capital, Ctesiphon, before sailing downriver to the Persian Gulf.

However, in that year revolts erupted in the Eastern Mediterranean, North Africa and northern Mesopotamia, while a major Jewish revolt broke out in Roman territory, severely stretching Roman military resources. Trajan failed to take Hatra, which avoided total Parthian defeat. Parthian forces attacked key Roman positions, while Roman garrisons at Seleucia, Nisibis and Edessa were evicted by the local populaces. Trajan subdued the rebels in Mesopotamia, installed the Parthian prince Parthamaspates as a client ruler, and withdrew to Syria. Trajan died in 117, before he could renew the war.[7]

Trajan's Parthian campaign is considered, in different ways, the climax of "two centuries of political posturing and bitter rivalry."[8] Trajan was the first emperor to carry out a successful invasion of Mesopotamia. His grand scheme for Armenia and Mesopotamia were ultimately "cut short by circumstances created by an incorrect understanding of the strategic realities of eastern conquest and an underestimation of what insurgency can do."[8]


In 113, Trajan embarked on his last campaign, provoked by Parthia's decision to put an unacceptable king on the throne of Armenia, a kingdom over which the two great empires had shared hegemony since the time of Nero, some fifty years earlier.[citation needed]

Many modern historians consider that Trajan's decision to wage war against Parthia might have had economic motives: after Trajan's annexation of Arabia, he built a new road, Via Traiana Nova, that went from Bostra to Aila on the Red Sea.[9] That meant that Charax on the Persian Gulf was the sole remaining western terminus of the Indian trade route outside direct Roman control,[10] and such control was important in order to lower import prices and to limit the supposed drain of precious metals created by the deficit in Roman trade with the Far East.[11]

That Charax traded with the Roman Empire, there can be no doubt, as its actual connections with merchants from Palmyra during the period are well documented in a contemporary Palmyrene epigraph, which tells of various Palmyrene citizens honoured for holding office in Charax.[12] Also, Charax's rulers' domains at the time possibly included the Bahrain islands (where a Palmyrene citizen held office, shortly after Trajan's death, as satrap[13] – but then, the appointment was made by a Parthian king of Charax[14]) something which offered the possibility of extending Roman hegemony into the Persian Gulf itself.[15] The rationale behind Trajan's campaign, in this case, would be one of breaking down a system of Far Eastern trade through small Semitic ("Arab") cities under Parthia's control and to put it under Roman control instead.[16]

In his Dacian conquests, Trajan had already resorted to Syrian auxiliary units, whose veterans, along with Syrian traders, had an important role in the subsequent colonization of Dacia.[17] He had recruited Palmyrene units into his army, including a camel unit,[18] therefore apparently procuring Palmyrene support to his ultimate goal of annexing Charax. It has even been ventured that, when earlier in his campaign Trajan annexed Armenia, he was bound to annex the whole of Mesopotamia lest the Parthians interrupt the flux of trade from the Persian Gulf and/or foment trouble at the Roman frontier on the Danube.[19]

Other historians reject these motives, as the supposed Parthian "control" over the maritime Far Eastern trade route was, at best, conjectural and based on a selective reading of Chinese sources – trade by land through Parthia seems to have been unhampered by Parthian authorities and left solely to the devices of private enterprise.[20] Commercial activity in second century Mesopotamia seems to have been a general phenomenon, shared by many peoples within and without the Roman Empire, with no sign of a concerted Imperial policy towards it.[21] As in the case of the alimenta, scholars like Moses Finley and Paul Veyne have considered the whole idea of a foreign trade "policy" behind Trajan's war anachronistic: according to them, the sole Roman concern with the Far Eastern luxuries trade – besides collecting toll taxes and customs[22] – was moral and involved frowning upon the "softness" of luxuries, but no economic policy.[23][24] In the absence of conclusive evidence, trade between Rome and India might have been far more balanced, in terms of quantities of precious metals exchanged: one of our sources for the notion of the Roman gold drain – Pliny's the Younger's uncle Pliny the Elder – had earlier described the Gangetic Plains as one of the gold sources for the Roman Empire.[25] In his controversial book on the Ancient economy, Finley considers Trajan's "badly miscalculated and expensive assault on Parthia" to be an example of the many Roman "commercial wars" that had in common the fact of existing only in the books of modern historians.[21]

The alternative view is to see the campaign as triggered by the lure of territorial annexation and prestige,[21] the sole motive ascribed by Cassius Dio.[26] As far as territorial conquest involved tax-collecting,[27] especially of the 25% tax levied on all goods entering the Roman Empire, the tetarte, one can say that Trajan's Parthian War had an "economic" motive.[28] Also, there was the propaganda value of an Eastern conquest that would emulate, in Roman fashion, those of Alexander the Great.[29] The fact that emissaries from the Kushan Empire might have attended to the commemorative ceremonies for the Dacian War may have kindled in some Greco-Roman intellectuals like Plutarch – who wrote about only 70,000 Roman soldiers being necessary to a conquest of India – as well as in Trajan's closer associates, speculative dreams about the booty to be obtained by reproducing Macedonian Eastern conquests.[30] Also, it is possible that the attachment of Trajan to an expansionist policy was supported by a powerful circle of conservative senators from Hispania committed to a policy of imperial expansion, first among them being the all-powerful Licinius Sura.[31] One can explain the campaign by the fact that, for the Romans, their empire was in principle unlimited, and that Trajan only took advantage of an opportunity to make idea and reality coincide.[32]

Finally, there are other modern historians who think that Trajan's original aims were purely military and quite modest: to assure a more defensible Eastern frontier for the Roman Empire, crossing Northern Mesopotamia along the course of the Khabur River in order to offer cover to a Roman Armenia.[33] This interpretation is backed by the fact that all subsequent Roman wars against Parthia would aim at establishing a Roman presence deep into Parthia itself.[34]


Planning the campaign[edit]

The campaign was carefully planned in advance: ten legions were concentrated in the Eastern theater; since 111, the correspondence of Pliny the Younger witnesses to the fact that provincial authorities in Bithynia had to organize supplies for passing troops, and local city councils and their individual members had to shoulder part of the increased expenses by supplying troops themselves.[35] The intended campaign, therefore, was immensely costly from its very beginning.[36]


Trajan marched first on Armenia, deposed the Parthian-appointed king (who was afterwards murdered while kept in the custody of Roman troops in an unclear incident, later described by Fronto as a breach of Roman good faith[37]) and annexed it to the Roman Empire as a province, receiving in passing the acknowledgement of Roman hegemony by various tribes in the Caucasus and on the Eastern coast of the Black Sea – a process that kept him busy until the end of 114.[38] At the same time, a Roman column under the legate Lusius Quietus – an outstanding cavalry general[39] who had signaled himself during the Dacian Wars by commanding a unit from his native Mauretania[40] – crossed the Araxes river from Armenia into Media Atropatene and the land of the Mardians (present-day Ghilan).[41] It is possible that Quietus' campaign had as its goal the extending of the newer, more defensible Roman border eastwards towards the Caspian Sea and northwards to the foothills of the Caucasus.[42]


The chronology of subsequent events is uncertain, but it is generally believed that early in 115 Trajan launched a Mesopotamian campaign, marching down towards the Taurus mountains in order to consolidate territory between the Tigris and Euphrates rivers. He placed permanent garrisons along the way to secure the territory.[43] While Trajan moved from west to east, Lusius Quietus moved with his army from the Caspian Sea towards the west, both armies performing a successful pincer movement,[44] whose apparent result was to establish a Roman presence into the Parthian Empire proper, with Trajan taking the northern Mesopotamian cities of Nisibis and Batnae and organizing a province of Mesopotamia, including the Kingdom of Osrhoene – where King Abgaros VII submitted to Trajan publicly[45] – as a Roman protectorate.[46] This process seems to have been completed at the beginning of 116, when coins were issued announcing that Armenia and Mesopotamia had been put under the authority of the Roman people.[47] The area between the Khabur River and the mountains around Singara seems to have been considered as the new frontier, and as such received a road surrounded by fortresses.[48]

Sestertius issued by the Senate (SC, Senatus Consultus) during 116 to commemorate Trajan's Parthian victories. Obverse: bust of Trajan, with laurel crown. Caption: Trajan's titulature. Reverse: Trajan standing between prostrate allegories of Armenia (crowned with a tiara) and the Rivers Tigris & Euphrates. Caption: "Armenia & Mesopotamia put under the authority of the Roman People".
Bronze bust of Trajan in his later years, Museum of Anatolian Civilizations, Ankara, Turkey

After wintering in Antioch during 115/116  – and, according to literary sources, barely escaping from a violent earthquake that claimed the life of one of the consuls, Marcus Pedo Vergilianus[49][50] – Trajan again took to the field in 116, with a view to the conquest the whole of Mesopotamia, an overambitious goal that eventually backfired on the results of his entire campaign. According to some modern historians, the aim of the campaign of 116 was to achieve a "preemptive demonstration" aiming not toward the conquest of Parthia, but for tighter Roman control over the Eastern trade route. However, the overall scarcity of manpower for the Roman military establishment meant that the campaign was doomed from the start.[51] It is noteworthy that no new legions were raised by Trajan before the Parthian campaign, maybe because the sources of new citizen recruits were already over-exploited.[52]

As far as the sources allow a description of this campaign, it seems that one Roman division crossed the Tigris into Adiabene, sweeping south and capturing Adenystrae; a second followed the river south, capturing Babylon; Trajan himself sailed down the Euphrates from Dura-Europos – where a triumphal arch was erected in his honour – through Ozogardana, where he erected a "tribunal" still to be seen at the time of Julian the Apostate's campaigns in the same area. Having come to the narrow strip of land between the Euphrates and the Tigris, he then dragged his fleet overland into the Tigris, capturing Seleucia and finally the Parthian capital of Ctesiphon.[53][54]

He continued southward to the Persian Gulf, when, after his fleet escaped a tidal bore on the Tigris,[55] he received the submission of Athambelus, the ruler of Charax. He declared Babylon a new province of the Empire and had his statue erected on the shore of the Persian Gulf,[56] after which he sent the Senate a laurelled letter declaring the war to be at a close and bemoaning that he was too old to go on any further and repeat the conquests of Alexander the Great.[46] Since Charax was a de facto independent kingdom whose connections to Palmyra were described above, Trajan's bid for the Persian Gulf may have coincided with Palmyrene interests in the region.[57] Another hypothesis is that the rulers of Charax had expansionist designs on Parthian Babylon, giving them a rationale for alliance with Trajan.[58] The Parthian summer capital of Susa was apparently also occupied by the Romans.[59]

According to late literary sources (not backed by numismatic or inscriptional evidence) a province of Assyria was also proclaimed,[60] apparently covering the territory of Adiabene.[61] Some measures seem to have been considered regarding the fiscal administration of Indian trade – or simply about the payment of customs (portoria) on goods traded on the Euphrates and Tigris.[62][57] It is possible that it was this "streamlining" of the administration of the newly conquered lands according to the standard pattern of Roman provincial administration in tax collecting, requisitions and the handling of local potentates' prerogatives, that triggered later resistance against Trajan.[63]

According to some modern historians, Trajan might have busied himself during his stay on the Persian Gulf with ordering raids on the Parthian coasts,[64] as well as probing into extending Roman suzerainty over the mountaineer tribes holding the passes across the Zagros Mountains into the Iranian Plateau eastward, as well as establishing some sort of direct contact between Rome and the Kushan Empire.[65] No attempt was made to expand into the Iranian Plateau itself, where the Roman army, with its relative weakness in cavalry, would have been at a disadvantage.[66]

A coin of Trajan, found together with coins of the Kushan ruler Kanishka, at the Ahin Posh Buddhist Monastery, Afghanistan

However, as Trajan left the Persian Gulf for Babylon – where he intended to offer sacrifice to Alexander in the house where he had died in 323 BC[67] – a sudden outburst of Parthian resistance, led by a nephew of the Parthian king, Sanatruces, who had retained a cavalry force, possibly strengthened by the addition of Saka archers,[68] imperilled Roman positions in Mesopotamia and Armenia, something Trajan sought to deal with by forsaking direct Roman rule in Parthia proper, at least partially.[69]

Trajan sent two armies towards Northern Mesopotamia: the first, under Lusius Quietus, recovered Nisibis and Edessa from the rebels, probably having King Abgarus deposed and killed in the process,[69] while a second, under Appius Maximus Santra (probably a governor of Macedonia), was defeated, with Santra being killed.[70] Later in 116, Trajan, with the assistance of Quietus and two other legates, Marcus Erucius Clarus and Tiberius Julius Alexander Julianus,[71][70] defeated a Parthian army in a battle where Sanatruces was killed. After re-taking and burning Seleucia, Trajan then formally deposed the Parthian king Osroes I and put his own puppet ruler Parthamaspates on the throne. This event was commemorated in a coin so as to be presented as the reduction of Parthia to client kingdom status: REX PARTHIS DATUS, "a king is given to the Parthians".[72] That done, Trajan retreated north in order to retain what he could of the new provinces of Armenia – where he had already accepted an armistice in exchange for surrendering part of the territory to Sanatruces' son Vologeses[73] and Mesopotamia.[69]

Bust of Trajan, Glyptothek, Munich

It was at this point that Trajan's health started to fail him. The fortress city of Hatra, on the Tigris in his rear, continued to hold out against repeated Roman assaults. He was personally present at the siege, and it is possible that he suffered a heat stroke while in the blazing heat.[69]

Jewish uprising[edit]

Shortly afterwards, the Jews inside the Eastern Roman Empire, in Egypt, Cyprus and Cyrene – this last province being probably the original trouble hotspot – rose up in what probably was an outburst of religious rebellion against the local pagans, this widespread rebellion being afterwards named the Kitos War.[74] Another rebellion flared up among the Jewish communities of Northern Mesopotamia, probably part of a general reaction against Roman occupation.[75] Trajan was forced to withdraw his army in order to put down the revolts. He saw this withdrawal as simply a temporary setback, but he was destined never to command an army in the field again, turning his Eastern armies over to Lusius Quietus, who meanwhile had been made governor of Judaea and might have had to deal earlier with some kind of Jewish unrest in the province.[76] Quietus discharged his commission successfully, so much that the war was afterward named after him – Kitus being a corruption of Quietus.[77]

Quietus was promised a consulate[78] in the following year (118) for his victories, but he was killed before this could occur, during the bloody purge that opened Hadrian's reign, in which Quietus and three other former consuls were sentenced to death after being tried on a vague charge of conspiracy by the (secret) court of the Praetorian Prefect Attianus.[79] It has been theorized that Quietus and his colleagues were executed on Hadrian's direct orders, for fear of their popular standing with the army and their close connections to Trajan.[73][80]

In contrast, the next prominent Roman figure in charge of the repression of the Jewish revolt, the equestrian Marcius Turbo, who had dealt with the rebel leader from Cyrene, Loukuas,[81] retained Hadrian's trust, eventually becoming his Praetorian Prefect. Apparently, Hadrian could not allow the continued existence alongside him of a group of independent-minded senatorial generals inherited from his predecessor.[82] As all four consulars were senators of the highest standing and as such generally regarded as able to take imperial power (capaces imperii), Hadrian seems to have decided on a preemptive strike against these prospective rivals.[83]


As the surviving literary accounts of Trajan's Parthian War are fragmentary and scattered,[84] it is difficult to assign them a proper context, something that has led to a long-running controversy about its precise happenings and ultimate aims.


  1. ^ Clifford Ando, 2008, Rome: The Rise and Fall of an Empire: The Dacian Wars: "Holding on to the territory across these inhospitable swaths of desert was very hard for Trajan. Trajan found himself especially fighting in the North, Middle and South and the same time; He had overextended his resources"
  2. ^ Clifford Ando, 2008, Rome: The Rise and Fall of an Empire: The Dacian Wars: "Holding on to the territory across these inhospitable swaths of desert was very hard for Trajan. Trajan found himself especially fighting in the North, Middle and South and the same time; He had overextended his resources"
  3. ^ The Persian Empire: A Historical Encyclopedia [2 volumes: A Historical ...] "The Roman emperor Hadrian, who succeeded Trajan in 117 CE, withdrew his forces from the territories they had occupied during Trajan's invasion, although Adiabene remained under Roman control."
  4. ^ Bennett, J. Trajan: Optimus Princeps. 1997. Fig. 1
  5. ^ Lightfoot (1990), 115: "Trajan succeeded in acquiring territory in these lands with a view to annexation, something which had not seriously been attempted before [...] Although Hadrian abandoned all of Trajan's conquests [...] the trend was not to be reversed. Further wars of annexation followed under Lucius Verus and Septimius Severus."; Sicker (2000), 167–168
  6. ^ a b Sicker (2000), 167
  7. ^ Sicker (2000), 167–168
  8. ^ a b Sheldon, Rose Mary (2010). Rome's Wars in Parthia: Blood in the Sand. London: Vallentine Mitchell. p. 143.
  9. ^ Sidebotham 1986, p. 154.
  10. ^ Christol & Nony, Rome, 171
  11. ^ Young 2001, p. 181.
  12. ^ Daniel T. Potts, ed., Araby the Blest: Studies in Arabian Archaeology. Copenhagen: Museum Tusculanum Press, 1988, ISBN 87-7289-051-7 , page 142
  13. ^ Veyne 2005, p. 279.
  14. ^ Julian Reade, ed.,The Indian Ocean In Antiquity. London: Routledge, 2013, ISBN 0-7103-0435-8, page 279
  15. ^ Potts, 143
  16. ^ George Fadlo Hourani, Arab Seafaring in the Indian Ocean in Ancient and Early Medieval Times. Princeton University Press, 1995, ISBN 0-691-00170-7, page 15
  17. ^ Găzdac 2010, p. 59.
  18. ^ Pat Southern, Empress Zenobia: Palmyra's Rebel Queen. London: Bloomsbury Publishing, 2008, ISBN 978-1-84725-034-6 , page 25
  19. ^ Freya Stark, Rome on the Euphrates: The Story of a Frontier.London: I. B. Tauris, 2012, ISBN 978-1-84885-314-0, page 211
  20. ^ Young 2001, p. 176 sqq.
  21. ^ a b c Finley 1999, p. 158.
  22. ^ Paul Erdkamp, The Grain Market in the Roman Empire: A Social, Political and Economic Study. Cambridge University Press, 2005, ISBN 978-0-521-83878-8 , page 5
  23. ^ Finley 1999, p. 132.
  24. ^ Veyne 2001, p. 163/215.
  25. ^ Veyne 2001, p. 181.
  26. ^ Bennett 2001, p. 188.
  27. ^ Michael Alexander Speidel: "Bellicosissimus Princeps". In: Annette Nünnerich-Asmus ed., Traian. Ein Kaiser der Superlative am Beginn einer Umbruchzeit? Mainz 2002, pages 23/40.
  28. ^ Sidebotham 1986, p. 144.
  29. ^ Nathanael John Andrade, "Imitation Greeks": Being Syrian in the Greco-Roman World (175 BCE – 275 CE). Doctoral Thesis, University of Michigan, 2009, page 192. Available at [1]. Retrieved June 11, 2014
  30. ^ Raoul McLaughlin, Rome and the Distant East: Trade Routes to the Ancient Lands of Arabia, India and China. London: Continuum, 2010, ISBN 978-1-84725-235-7 , page 130
  31. ^ Des Boscs-Plateaux 2005, p. 304 & 311.
  32. ^ Dexter Hoyos, ed., A Companion to Roman Imperialism. Leiden: Brill, 2012, ISBN 978-90-04-23593-9 , page 262
  33. ^ Luttwak 1979, p. 108.
  34. ^ David Kennedy & Derrick Riley, Rome's Desert Frontiers . London: B.T. Datsford Limited, 2004, ISBN 0-7134-6262-0 , pages 31/32
  35. ^ Fergus Millar, The Roman Near East, 31 B.C. – A.D. 337. Harvard University Press, 1993, ISBN 0-674-77886-3 , page 103
  36. ^ M.Christol & D. Nony, Rome et son Empire. Paris: Hachette, 2003, ISBN 2-01-145542-1, page 171
  37. ^ John Rich,Graham Shipley, eds., War and Society in the Roman World. London: Routledge, 1993, ISBN 0-415-06644-1, page 235
  38. ^ Bennett 2001, p. 194–195.
  39. ^ Hermann Bengtson, Römische Geschichte: Republik und Kaiserzeit bis 284 n. Chr. Munich: Beck, 2001, ISBN 3-406-02505-6 , page 289
  40. ^ Alfred S. Bradford, With Arrow, Sword, and Spear: A History of Warfare in the Ancient World. Westport, CT: Greenwood, 2001, ISBN 0-275-95259-2 , page 232
  41. ^ Choisnel 2004, p. 164.
  42. ^ S.J. De Laet, review of Lepper, Trajan's Parthian War. L'Antiquité Classique, 18-2, 1949, pages 487–489
  43. ^ Sheldon, Rose Mary (2010). Rome's Wars in Parthia: Blood in the Sand. London: Vallentine Mitchell. p. 133.
  44. ^ Bennett 2001, p. 195.
  45. ^ Maurice Sartre,The Middle East Under Rome. Harvard University Press, 2005, ISBN 0-674-01683-1, p. 146. According to Cassius Dio, the deal between Trajan and Abgaros was sealed by the king's son offering himself as Trajan's paramour—Bennett, 199
  46. ^ a b Bennett 2001, p. 199.
  47. ^ Bennett, Trajan, 196; Christol & Nony, Rome,171
  48. ^ Petit 1976, p. 44.
  49. ^ Fergus Millar, The Roman Near East, 31 B.C. – A.D. 337. Harvard University Press, 1993, ISBN 0-674-77886-3, p. 101
  50. ^ Birley 2013, p. 71.
  51. ^ Patrick Le Roux, IN Ségolène Demougin, ed., H.-G. Pflaum, un historien du XXe siècle: actes du colloque international, Paris les 21, 22 et 23 octobre 2004. Geneva: Droz, 2006, ISBN 2-600-01099-8 , pages 182/183
  52. ^ Petit 1976, p. 45.
  53. ^ Bennett 2001, p. 197/199.
  54. ^ Birley 2013, p. 72.
  55. ^ Longden, "Notes on the Parthian Campaigns", 8
  56. ^ T. Olajos, "Le monument du triomphe de Trajan en Parthie. Quelques renseignements inobservés (Jean d'Ephèse, Anthologie Grecque XVI 72)". Acta Antiqua Academiae Scientiarum Hungaricae, 1981, vol. 29, no1-4, pp. 379–383. The statue was torn down by Sassanids in 571/572
  57. ^ a b Edwell 2007, p. 21.
  58. ^ E. J. Keall, "Parthian Nippur and Vologases' Southern Strategy: A Hypothesis". Journal of the American Oriental Society Vol. 95, No. 4 (Oct. – Dec. 1975), pp. 620–632
  59. ^ George Rawlinson, Parthia. New York: Cosimo, 2007, ISBN 978-1-60206-136-1 , page 310
  60. ^ Christopher S. Mackay, Ancient Rome: A Military and Political History.Cambridge University Press, 2004, ISBN 0-521-80918-5 , p. 227
  61. ^ Various authors have discussed the existence of the province and its location: André Maricq (La province d'Assyrie créée par Trajan. A propos de la guerre parthique de Trajan. In: Maricq: Classica et orientalia, Paris 1965, pages 103/111) identifies Assyria with Southern Mesopotamia; Chris S. Lightfood ("Trajan's Parthian War and the Fourth-Century Perspective", Journal of Roman Studies 80 (1990), pp. 115–126), doubts the actual existence of the province; Maria G. Angeli Bertinelli ("I Romani oltre l'Eufrate nel II secolo d. C. - le provincie di Assiria, di Mesopotamia e di Osroene", In Aufstieg und Niedergang der römischen Welt, Bd. 9.1, Berlin 1976, pp. 3-45) puts Assyria between Mesopotamia and Adiabene; Lepper (1948, page 146) considers Assyria and Adiabene to be the same province.
  62. ^ Luttwak 1979, p. 110.
  63. ^ Janos Harmatta and others, eds., History of Civilizations of Central Asia: The development of sedentary and nomadic civilizations, 700 B.C. to A.D. 250. Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass Publ., 1999, ISBN 81-208-1408-8, p. 135
  64. ^ Pirouz Mojtahed-Zadeh, Security and Territoriality in the Persian Gulf: A Maritime Political Geography,London: Routledge, 2013, ISBN 0-7007-1098-1, page 120
  65. ^ Choisnel 2004, p. 164/165.
  66. ^ Axel Kristinsson, Expansions: Competition and Conquest in Europe Since the Bronze Age. Reykjavík: ReykjavíkurAkademían, 2010, ISBN 978-9979-9922-1-9 , p. 129
  67. ^ Bennett, Trajan, 199
  68. ^ Kaveh Farrokh, Shadows in the Desert: Ancient Persia at War. Oxford: Osprey, 2007, ISBN 978-1-84603-108-3 , p. 162
  69. ^ a b c d Bennett 2001, p. 200.
  70. ^ a b Julián González, ed., Trajano Emperador De Roma, p. 216
  71. ^ The last two were made consuls (suffecti) for the year 117
  72. ^ Mommsen 1999, p. 289.
  73. ^ a b Bennett 2001, p. 203.
  74. ^ James J. Bloom, The Jewish Revolts Against Rome, A.D. 66–135: A Military Analysis. McFarland, 2010, p. 191
  75. ^ Bloom, p. 194
  76. ^ A precise description of events in Judaea at the time being impossible, due to the non-historical character of the Jewish (rabbinic) sources, and the silence of the non-Jewish ones: William David Davies,Louis Finkelstein,Steven T. Katz, eds., The Cambridge History of Judaism: Volume 4, The Late Roman–Rabbinic Period.Cambridge U. Press, 2006, ISBN 978-0-521-77248-8 , p. 100
  77. ^ Bloom, p. 190
  78. ^ He was already consul in absentia: Tanja Gawlich, Der Aufstand der jüdischen Diaspora unter Traian. GRIN Verlag, 2007, ISBN 978-3-640-32753-9, p. 11
  79. ^ Margret Fell, ed., Erziehung, Bildung, Recht. Berlim: Dunker & Hunblot, 1994, ISBN 3-428-08069-6 , p 448
  80. ^ Histoire des Juifs, Troisième période, I – Chapitre III – Soulèvement des Judéens sous Trajan et Adrien
  81. ^ Bloom, pp. 195, 196
  82. ^ Hoyos, A Companion to Roman Imperialism, p. 325
  83. ^ Gabriele Marasco, ed., Political Autobiographies and Memoirs in Antiquity: A Brill Companion. Leiden: Brill, 2011, ISBN 978-90-04-18299-8 , p. 377
  84. ^ R. P. Longden, "Notes on the Parthian Campaigns of Trajan". The Journal of Roman Studies, Vol. 21 (1931), pp. 1–35. Available at [2]. Retrieved November 15, 2014


  • Bennett, Julian (2001). Trajan. Optimus Princeps. Bloomington: Indiana University Press. ISBN 978-0-253-21435-5.
  • (in French)Choisnel, Emmanuel (2004). Les Parthes et la Route de la Soie. Paris: L'Harmattan. ISBN 978-2-7475-7037-4.
  • Edwell, Peter (2007). Between Rome and Persia: The Middle Euphrates, Mesopotamia and Palmyra Under Roman Control. Abingdon: Routledge. ISBN 978-0-203-93833-1.
  • Finley, M.I. (1999). The Ancient Economy. Berkeley: University of California Press. ISBN 978-0-520-21946-5.
  • Găzdac, Cristian (2010). Monetary Circulation in Dacia and the Provinces from the Middle and Lower Danube from Trajan to Constantine I (AD 106–337). Cluj-Napoca: Mega. ISBN 978-606-543-040-2.
  • Luttwak, Edward N. (1979). The Grand Strategy of the Roman Empire: From the First Century A.D. to the Third. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press. ISBN 978-0-8018-2158-5.
  • Mommsen, Theodor (1999). A History of Rome Under the Emperors. London: Routledge. ISBN 978-0-203-97908-2.
  • Sidebotham, Steven E. (1986). Roman Economic Policy in the Erythra Thalassa: 30 B.C. – A.D. 217. Leiden: Brill. ISBN 978-90-04-07644-0.
  • (in French) Veyne, Paul (2001). La Société Romaine. Paris: Seuil. ISBN 978-2-02-052360-8.
  • (in French)Veyne, Paul (2005). L'Empire Gréco-Romain. Paris: Seuil. ISBN 978-2-02-057798-4.
  • Young, Gary K. (2001). Rome's Eastern Trade: International Commerce and Imperial Policy 31 BC – AD 305. Abingdon: Routledge. ISBN 978-0-203-47093-0.