The Vandals were a large East Germanic tribe or group of tribes that first appear in history inhabiting present-day southern Poland. Some moved in large numbers, including most notably the group which successively established kingdoms in the Iberian Peninsula and North Africa in the 5th century; the traditional view has been that the Vandals migrated from southern Scandinavia to the area between the lower Oder and Vistula rivers during the 2nd century BC and settled in Silesia from around 120 BC. They are associated with the Przeworsk culture and were the same people as the Lugii. Expanding into Dacia during the Marcomannic Wars and to Pannonia during the Crisis of the Third Century, the Vandals were confined to Pannonia by the Goths around 330 AD, where they received permission to settle from Constantine the Great. Around 400, raids by the Huns forced many Germanic tribes to migrate into the territory of the Roman Empire, fearing that they might be targeted next the Vandals were pushed westwards, crossing the Rhine into Gaul along with other tribes in 406.
In 409 the Vandals crossed the Pyrenees into the Iberian Peninsula, where their main groups, the Hasdingi and the Silingi, settled in Gallaecia and Baetica respectively. After the Visigoths invaded Iberia in 418, the Iranian Alans and Silingi Vandals voluntarily subjected themselves to the rule of Hasdingian leader Gunderic, pushed from Gallaecia to Baetica by a Roman-Suebi coalition in 419. In 429, under king Genseric, the Vandals entered North Africa. By 439 they established a kingdom which included the Roman province of Africa as well as Sicily, Sardinia and the Balearic Islands, they fended off several Roman attempts to recapture the African province, sacked the city of Rome in 455. Their kingdom collapsed in the Vandalic War of 533–4, in which Emperor Justinian I's forces reconquered the province for the Eastern Roman Empire. Renaissance and early-modern writers characterized the Vandals as barbarians, "sacking and looting" Rome; this led to the use of the term "vandalism" to describe any pointless destruction the "barbarian" defacing of artwork.
However, modern historians tend to regard the Vandals during the transitional period from Late Antiquity to the Early Middle Ages as perpetuators, not destroyers, of Roman culture. The name of the Vandals has been connected to that of Vendel, the name of a province in Uppland, eponymous of the Vendel Period of Swedish prehistory, corresponding to the late Germanic Iron Age leading up to the Viking Age; the connection would be that Vendel is the original homeland of the Vandals prior to the Migration Period, retains their tribal name as a toponym. Further possible homelands of the Vandals in Scandinavia are Vendsyssel in Denmark and Hallingdal in Norway; the etymology of the name may be related to a Germanic verb *wand- "to wander". The Germanic mythological figure of Aurvandil "shining wanderer. R. Much has forwarded the theory that the tribal name Vandal reflects worship of Aurvandil or "the Dioscuri" involving an origin myth that the Vandalic kings were descended from Aurvandil; some medieval authors applied the ethnonym "Vandals" to Slavs: Veneti, Lusatians or Poles.
It was once thought that the Slovenes were the descendants of the Vandals, but this is not the view of modern scholars. Both Jordanes in his Getica and the Gotlandic Gutasaga tell that the Goths and Vandals migrated from southern Scandinavia to the area between the lower Oder and Vistula prior to the 2nd century BC, settled in Silesia from around 120 BC; the earliest mention of the Vandals is from Pliny the Elder, who used the term Vandilii in a broad way to define one of the major groupings of all Germanic peoples. Tribes within this category who he mentions are the Burgundiones, Varini and the Gutones. According to the Gallaecian Christian priest and theologian Paulus Orosius, the Vandals, who lived in Scoringa, near Stockholm, were of the same stock as the Suiones and the Goths; the Vandals are associated with the Przeworsk culture, but the culture extended over several eastern European peoples. Their origin and linguistic affiliation are debated; the bearers of the Przeworsk culture practiced cremation and inhumation.
The Lugii are identified by modern historians as the same people as the Vandals. The Lugii are mentioned by Strabo and Ptolemy as a large group of tribes between the Vistula and the Oder. None of those authors mentions the Vandals, while Pliny the Elder mentions the Vandals but not the Lugii. According to John Anderson, the "Lugii and Vandili are designations of the same tribal group, the latter an extended ethnic name, the former a cult-title." Herwig Wolfram notes that "In all likelihood the Lugians and the Vandals were one cultic community that lived in the same region of the Oder in Silesia, where it was first under Celtic and under Germanic domination." By the end of the 2nd century, the Vandals were divided in two main tribal groups, the Silingi and the Hasdingi, with the Silingi being associated with Silesia and the Hasdingi living in the Sudetes. Around the mid 2nd century AD, there was a significant migration by Germanic tribes of Scandinavian origin towards the south-east, creating turmoil along the entire Roman frontier.
The 6th century Byzantine historian Procopius noted that the Goths and Vandals were ph
In the history of Europe, the Middle Ages lasted from the 5th to the 15th century. It began with the fall of the Western Roman Empire and merged into the Renaissance and the Age of Discovery; the Middle Ages is the middle period of the three traditional divisions of Western history: classical antiquity, the medieval period, the modern period. The medieval period is itself subdivided into the Early and Late Middle Ages. Population decline, counterurbanisation, collapse of centralized authority and mass migrations of tribes, which had begun in Late Antiquity, continued in the Early Middle Ages; the large-scale movements of the Migration Period, including various Germanic peoples, formed new kingdoms in what remained of the Western Roman Empire. In the 7th century, North Africa and the Middle East—once part of the Byzantine Empire—came under the rule of the Umayyad Caliphate, an Islamic empire, after conquest by Muhammad's successors. Although there were substantial changes in society and political structures, the break with classical antiquity was not complete.
The still-sizeable Byzantine Empire, Rome's direct continuation, survived in the Eastern Mediterranean and remained a major power. The empire's law code, the Corpus Juris Civilis or "Code of Justinian", was rediscovered in Northern Italy in 1070 and became admired in the Middle Ages. In the West, most kingdoms incorporated the few extant Roman institutions. Monasteries were founded; the Franks, under the Carolingian dynasty established the Carolingian Empire during the 8th and early 9th century. It covered much of Western Europe but succumbed to the pressures of internal civil wars combined with external invasions: Vikings from the north, Magyars from the east, Saracens from the south. During the High Middle Ages, which began after 1000, the population of Europe increased as technological and agricultural innovations allowed trade to flourish and the Medieval Warm Period climate change allowed crop yields to increase. Manorialism, the organisation of peasants into villages that owed rent and labour services to the nobles, feudalism, the political structure whereby knights and lower-status nobles owed military service to their overlords in return for the right to rent from lands and manors, were two of the ways society was organised in the High Middle Ages.
The Crusades, first preached in 1095, were military attempts by Western European Christians to regain control of the Holy Land from Muslims. Kings became the heads of centralised nation-states, reducing crime and violence but making the ideal of a unified Christendom more distant. Intellectual life was marked by scholasticism, a philosophy that emphasised joining faith to reason, by the founding of universities; the theology of Thomas Aquinas, the paintings of Giotto, the poetry of Dante and Chaucer, the travels of Marco Polo, the Gothic architecture of cathedrals such as Chartres are among the outstanding achievements toward the end of this period and into the Late Middle Ages. The Late Middle Ages was marked by difficulties and calamities including famine and war, which diminished the population of Europe. Controversy and the Western Schism within the Catholic Church paralleled the interstate conflict, civil strife, peasant revolts that occurred in the kingdoms. Cultural and technological developments transformed European society, concluding the Late Middle Ages and beginning the early modern period.
The Middle Ages is one of the three major periods in the most enduring scheme for analysing European history: classical civilisation, or Antiquity. The "Middle Ages" first appears in Latin in 1469 as media tempestas or "middle season". In early usage, there were many variants, including medium aevum, or "middle age", first recorded in 1604, media saecula, or "middle ages", first recorded in 1625; the alternative term "medieval" derives from medium aevum. Medieval writers divided history into periods such as the "Six Ages" or the "Four Empires", considered their time to be the last before the end of the world; when referring to their own times, they spoke of them as being "modern". In the 1330s, the humanist and poet Petrarch referred to pre-Christian times as antiqua and to the Christian period as nova. Leonardo Bruni was the first historian to use tripartite periodisation in his History of the Florentine People, with a middle period "between the fall of the Roman Empire and the revival of city life sometime in late eleventh and twelfth centuries".
Tripartite periodisation became standard after the 17th-century German historian Christoph Cellarius divided history into three periods: ancient and modern. The most given starting point for the Middle Ages is around 500, with the date of 476 first used by Bruni. Starting dates are sometimes used in the outer parts of Europe. For Europe as a whole, 1500 is considered to be the end of the Middle Ages, but there is no universally agreed upon end date. Depending on the context, events such as the conquest of Constantinople by the Turks in 1453, Christopher Columbus's first voyage to the Americas in 1492, or the Protestant Reformation in 1517 are sometimes used. English historians use the Battle of Bosworth Field in 1485 to mark the end of the period. For Spain, dates used are the death of King Ferdinand II in 1516, the death of Queen Isabella I of Castile in 1504, or the conquest of Granada in 1492. Historians from Romance-speaking countries tend to divide the Middle Ages into two parts: an earlier "High" and late
Pirro Ligorio was an Italian architect, painter and garden designer during the Renaissance period. He worked as the Vatican’s Papal Architect under Popes Paul IV and Pius IV, designed the fountains at Villa d’Este at Tivoli for Cardinal Ippolito II d’Este, served as the Ducal Antiquary in Ferrara. Ligorio showed a deep passion for classical Roman antiquity. Due to lack of accurate documentation little is known about the first three decades of Ligorio’s life, it is estimated that he was born in Naples, Italy, in 1512 or 1513 while the city was still under Spanish rule. His parents and Gismunda Ligorio, were rumored to be members of the noble class in Seggio di Portanova, a section of Naples. Around age twenty, Pirro Ligorio left the tumultuous and poverty-stricken city of Naples to pursue a more flourshing livelihood in Rome; the city was home to a thriving art community under the patronage of the Vatican. For his first job in Rome, Ligorio decorated the façades of homes and palaces; this role had been filled by Polidoro da Caravaggio, who fled in 1527, allowing Ligorio to enter the field with little formal artistic training.
His first documented contract was signed on 12 May 1542 when Ligorio decorated the loggia on the palace of the archbishop of Benevento. He was chosen for his knowledge of the grotesque style, popularized by Raphael and his followers in the sixteenth century. Ligorio appreciated this style, incorporated its elements into his work often. Many of the paintings from his early career were destroyed or repainted less than a century later. However, several surviving drawings from that time period have been recovered and attributed to Ligorio; this identification was made based on the subject matter. These loose connections allowed historians to name Ligorio as the rightful artist of these drawings, which are now held in collections across the world. In the mid sixteenth century, Ligorio was commissioned to assist in the decoration of the Oratory of San Giovanni Decollato in Rome. In particular, he painted a fresco of The Dance of Salome. Exact dates are unclear, but it is estimated he painted the fresco between 1544-1553.
Early drawing drafts and the fresco itself shows Ligorio’s commitment to the Raphaelesque and Manneristic styles. Notably, this is one of the few surviving large works of his early career. Around the same time, Ligorio began to explore the subject of classical antiquity, he spent a large portion of the 1540s learning as much as possible about Roman antiques, preserved valuable information while the pope destroyed artifacts in excavation projects. In the following decade, Ligorio worked to publish this knowledge, he published one book, Delle antichità di Roma, in 1553, engraved several antiques. He attempted to write an encyclopedia of Roman and Greek antiquity at least twice, some parts of which can now be found in the Biblioteca Nazionale in Naples. Despite its important contributions to the Italian knowledge base of Roman antiquities, Ligorio’s writings were met with some criticism. However, no substantial evidence of forgery has been identified. Ligorio’s period of archeological exploration and writing was accompanied by another pursuit: cartography.
Between 1557-1563, Ligorio combined his antiquarian knowledge and drawing abilities to create several maps of Rome. Most notably, in 1561 he published a topographical map of ancient Rome; this was considered the pinnacle of his cartographical endeavors. When Paul IV became Pope, he was interested in hiring a fellow Neapolitan as the Vatican Architect. Three years into his papacy, in 1558, he hired Ligorio as the Architetto Fabricae Palatinae, meaning Architect of the Vatican Palace, his assistant was Sallustio Peruzzi. His first and most prominent work was on the chapel in the newly-built Papal apartment. Construction of the residential areas had been prioritized, allowing Paul to move in by October 1556; the chapel, remained unfinished and was tasked to Ligorio. He designed two large angel paintings for the space, finished the project in about ten months. Around the same time, he received the commission to create a casino for the pope near Belvedere Court; this project was stalled due to financial concerns, but would become one of Ligorio's cornerstone projects under the patronage of Pope Pius IV.
Paul IV pursued major renovations to the papal palace in this time period. In particular, Paul aimed to increase the flow of light in the Hall of Constantine. Ligorio, as his most trusted architect, was chosen to remedy the darkness problem, they chose to destroy the old papal apartment and incorporate a rooftop garden into the space, allowing more light to enter the Hall of Constantine. Towards the end of Paul IV's tenure, he asked Ligorio to design a monstrance, or tabernacle, to be used for special papal trips, it was to be stored in the newly designed chapel. Paul died while the project was still in its early stages; the following pope, however valued continuation of unfinished projects, ordered that Ligorio finish the monstrance. Upon completion, it was sent to Milan as a gift to the Duomo. Pius IV rose to the papacy in 1559 holding a reputation as a strong patron of the arts—architecture especially. In fact, within the first three years of his pontificate, he spent a million and a half gold scudi on building projects.
His approach was u
Fiumicino is a town and comune in the Metropolitan City of Rome, central Italy, with a population of 77,870. It is famous for the presence of the Leonardo da Vinci–Fiumicino Airport, the busiest airport in Italy and the sixth busiest in Europe; the name means little river. The town of "Fiumicino" should not be confused with its namesake, Fiumicino, a small river near Rimini. Fiumicino became a comune in 1992. On 24 August 2013, a small mud volcano popped up at the centre of the via Coccia di Morto roundabout. Located by the Tyrrhenian coast. Fiumicino borders with the municipalities of Anguillara Sabazia, Cerveteri and Rome, it lies in the northern side of the mouth of Tiber river, next to Ostia. It counts the hamlets of Aeroporto "Leonardo da Vinci", Ara Nova, Casale del Castellaccio, Castel Campanile, Fregene, Isola Sacra, Le Vignole, Palidoro, Parco Leonardo, Passo Oscuro, Testa di Lepre, Torre in Pietra and Tragliatella. Fiumicino is home to the largest airport in Italy, the Leonardo da Vinci–Fiumicino Airport, which includes the Fiumicino Aeroporto railway station.
The city houses the head offices of Alitalia and Blue Panorama Airlines. In addition, Fiumicino has a large fishing center on a sea resort; the Istituto di Istruzione Superiore Leonardo da Vinci is in Fiumicino. The "Leonardo Da Vinci" International Airport known as "Rome-Fiumicino", lies in the north-eastern suburb of the town, it is served by the A91 motorway from Rome and by the Roman Suburban Railway line FL1. The municipality counts the railway stations of Fiumicino Aeroporto and Parco Leonardo, both on the line FL1. Airport station is served by a non-stop train from/to Roma Termini named Leonardo Express; the other stations within the municipality, Maccarese-Fregene and Torre in Pietra-Palidoro, are part of the Rome-Pisa line. The branch line from Parco Leonardo to the town's centre, counting the stations of Porto and Fiumicino Porto Canale, was closed in 2000. Mauro Galvano, boxer Gabriele Maruotti, volleyball player Simone Tiribocchi, football player Portus Isola Sacra 1973 Rome airport attacks and hijacking Rome and Vienna airport attacks Comune of Fiumicino Fiumicino on comuni-italiani.it
In historiography, ancient Rome is Roman civilization from the founding of the Italian city of Rome in the 8th century BC to the collapse of the Western Roman Empire in the 5th century AD, encompassing the Roman Kingdom, Roman Republic and Roman Empire until the fall of the western empire. The civilization began as an Italic settlement in the Italian Peninsula, conventionally founded in 753 BC, that grew into the city of Rome and which subsequently gave its name to the empire over which it ruled and to the widespread civilisation the empire developed; the Roman Empire expanded to become one of the largest empires in the ancient world, though still ruled from the city, with an estimated 50 to 90 million inhabitants and covering 5.0 million square kilometres at its height in AD 117. In its many centuries of existence, the Roman state evolved from a monarchy to a classical republic and to an autocratic semi-elective empire. Through conquest and assimilation, it dominated the North African coast and most of Western Europe, the Balkans and much of the Middle East.
It is grouped into classical antiquity together with ancient Greece, their similar cultures and societies are known as the Greco-Roman world. Ancient Roman civilisation has contributed to modern language, society, law, government, art, literature and engineering. Rome professionalised and expanded its military and created a system of government called res publica, the inspiration for modern republics such as the United States and France, it achieved impressive technological and architectural feats, such as the construction of an extensive system of aqueducts and roads, as well as the construction of large monuments and public facilities. The Punic Wars with Carthage were decisive in establishing Rome as a world power. In this series of wars Rome gained control of the strategic islands of Corsica and Sicily. By the end of the Republic, Rome had conquered the lands around the Mediterranean and beyond: its domain extended from the Atlantic to Arabia and from the mouth of the Rhine to North Africa.
The Roman Empire emerged with the dictatorship of Augustus Caesar. 721 years of Roman–Persian Wars started in 92 BC with their first war against Parthia. It would become the longest conflict in human history, have major lasting effects and consequences for both empires. Under Trajan, the Empire reached its territorial peak, it stretched from the entire Mediterranean Basin to the beaches of the North Sea in the north, to the shores of the Red and Caspian Seas in the East. Republican mores and traditions started to decline during the imperial period, with civil wars becoming a prelude common to the rise of a new emperor. Splinter states, such as the Palmyrene Empire, would temporarily divide the Empire during the crisis of the 3rd century. Plagued by internal instability and attacked by various migrating peoples, the western part of the empire broke up into independent "barbarian" kingdoms in the 5th century; this splintering is a landmark historians use to divide the ancient period of universal history from the pre-medieval "Dark Ages" of Europe.
The eastern part of the empire endured through the 5th century and remained a power throughout the "Dark Ages" and medieval times until its fall in 1453 AD. Although the citizens of the empire made no distinction, the empire is most referred to as the "Byzantine Empire" by modern historians during the Middle Ages to differentiate between the state of antiquity and the nation it grew into. According to the founding myth of Rome, the city was founded on 21 April 753 BC on the banks of the river Tiber in central Italy, by the twin brothers Romulus and Remus, who descended from the Trojan prince Aeneas, who were grandsons of the Latin King Numitor of Alba Longa. King Numitor was deposed by his brother, while Numitor's daughter, Rhea Silvia, gave birth to the twins. Since Rhea Silvia had been raped and impregnated by Mars, the Roman god of war, the twins were considered half-divine; the new king, feared Romulus and Remus would take back the throne, so he ordered them to be drowned. A she-wolf saved and raised them, when they were old enough, they returned the throne of Alba Longa to Numitor.
The twins founded their own city, but Romulus killed Remus in a quarrel over the location of the Roman Kingdom, though some sources state the quarrel was about, going to rule or give his name to the city. Romulus became the source of the city's name. In order to attract people to the city, Rome became a sanctuary for the indigent and unwanted; this caused a problem, in that Rome was bereft of women. Romulus visited neighboring towns and tribes and attempted to secure marriage rights, but as Rome was so full of undesirables he was refused. Legend says that the Latins invited the Sabines to a festival and stole their unmarried maidens, leading to the integration of the Latins with the Sabines. Another legend, recorded by Greek historian Dionysius of Halicarnassus, says that Prince Aeneas led a group of Trojans on a sea voyage to found a new Troy, since the original was destroyed at the end of the Trojan War. After a long time in rough seas, they landed on the banks of the Tiber River. Not long after they landed, the men wanted to take to the sea again, but the women who were traveling with them did not want to leave.
One woman, named Roma, suggested that the women burn the ships out at sea to prevent their leaving
A bell tower is a tower that contains one or more bells, or, designed to hold bells if it has none. Such a tower serves as part of a church, will contain church bells, but there are many secular bell towers part of a municipal building, an educational establishment, or a tower built to house a carillon. Church bell towers incorporate clocks, secular towers do, as a public service; the Italian term campanile, deriving from the word campana meaning "bell", is synonymous with bell tower. A bell tower may in some traditions be called a belfry, though this term may refer to the substructure that houses the bells and the ringers rather than the complete tower; the tallest free-standing bell tower in the world, 113.2 metres high, is the Mortegliano Bell Tower, in the Friuli-Venezia Giulia region, Italy. Bells are rung from a tower to enable them to be heard at a distance. Church bells can signify the time for worshippers to go to church for a communal service, can be an indication of a time to pray, without worshippers coming to the church.
They are rung on special occasions such as a wedding, or a funeral service. In some religious traditions they are used within the liturgy of the church service to signify to people that a particular part of the service has been reached. A bell tower may have a collection of bells which are tuned to a common scale, they may be stationary and chimed, rung randomly by swinging through a small arc, or swung through a full circle to enable the high degree of control of English change ringing. They may house a carillon or chimes, in which the bells are sounded by hammers connected via cables to a keyboard; these can be found in many churches and secular buildings in Europe and America including college and university campuses. A variety of electronic devices exist to simulate the sound of bells, but any substantial tower in which a considerable sum of money has been invested will have a real set of bells; some churches have an exconjuratory in the bell tower, a space where ceremonies were conducted to ward off weather-related calamities, like storms and excessive rain.
The main bell tower of the Cathedral of Murcia has four. In Christianity, many Anglican and Lutheran churches ring their bells from belltowers three times a day, at 6 a.m. noon, 6 p.m. summoning the Christian faithful to recite the Lord’s Prayer, or the Angelus, a prayer recited in honour of the Incarnation of God. In addition, most Christian denominations ring church bells to call the faithful to worship, signalling the start of a mass or service of worship. In many historic Christian churches, church bells are rung during the processions of Candlemas and Palm Sunday; the Christian tradition of the ringing of church bells from a belltower is analogous to Islamic tradition of the adhan from a minaret. Old bell towers which are no longer used for their original purpose may be kept for their historic or architectural value, though in countries with a strong campanological tradition they continue to have the bells rung. In AD 400, Paulinus of Nola introduced church bells into the Christian Church.
By the 11th century, bells housed in belltowers became commonplace. Historic bell towers exist throughout Europe; the Irish round towers are thought to have functioned in part as bell towers. Famous medieval European examples include Bruges, Ghent; the most famous European free-standing bell tower, however, is the so-called "Leaning Tower of Pisa", the campanile of the Duomo di Pisa in Pisa, Italy. In 1999 thirty-two Belgian belfries were added to the UNESCO's list of World Heritage Sites. In 2005 this list was extended with one Belgian and twenty-three Northern French belfries and is since known as Belfries of Belgium and France. Most of these were attached to civil buildings city halls, as symbols of the greater power the cities in the region got in the Middle Ages. In the Middle Ages, cities sometimes kept their important documents in belfries. Not all are on a large scale. Archaic wooden bell towers survive adjoining churches in Lithuania and as well as in some parts of Poland. In Orthodox Eastern Europe bell ringing have a strong cultural significance, churches were constructed with bell towers.
Bell towers are common in the countries of related cultures. They may appear both as part of a temple complex and as an independent civic building paired with a drum tower, as well as in local church buildings. Among the best known examples are the Bell Tower of Beijing and the Bell Tower of Xi'an. Bell towers and campaniles by date Bell-gable Clock tower Conjuratory Octagon on cube Zvonnitsa Belfries of Belgium and France, UNESCO World Heritage Centre entry Les Beffrois - France, Pays-Bas, blog describing several bell towers All Saints Bell Tower
Trajan was Roman emperor from 98 to 117. Declared by the Senate optimus princeps, Trajan is remembered as a successful soldier-emperor who presided over the greatest military expansion in Roman history, leading the empire to attain its maximum territorial extent by the time of his death, he is known for his philanthropic rule, overseeing extensive public building programs and implementing social welfare policies, which earned him his enduring reputation as the second of the Five Good Emperors who presided over an era of peace and prosperity in the Mediterranean world. Trajan was born in the city of an Italic settlement in the province of Hispania Baetica. Although misleadingly designated by some writers as a provincial, his family came from Umbria and he was born a Roman citizen. Trajan rose to prominence during the reign of emperor Domitian. Serving as a legatus legionis in Hispania Tarraconensis, in 89 Trajan supported Domitian against a revolt on the Rhine led by Antonius Saturninus. In September 96, Domitian was succeeded by Marcus Cocceius Nerva, an old and childless senator who proved to be unpopular with the army.
After a brief and tumultuous year in power, culminating in a revolt by members of the Praetorian Guard, Nerva was compelled to adopt the more popular Trajan as his heir and successor. He was succeeded by his adopted son without incident; as a civilian administrator, Trajan is best known for his extensive public building program, which reshaped the city of Rome and left numerous enduring landmarks such as Trajan's Forum, Trajan's Market and Trajan's Column. Early in his reign, he annexed the Nabataean Kingdom, his conquest of Dacia enriched the empire as the new province possessed many valuable gold mines. Trajan's war against the Parthian Empire ended with the sack of the capital Ctesiphon and the annexation of Armenia and Mesopotamia, his campaigns expanded the Roman Empire to its greatest territorial extent. In late 117, while sailing back to Rome, Trajan fell ill and died of a stroke in the city of Selinus, he was deified by the Senate and his ashes were laid to rest under Trajan's Column. He was succeeded by his adopted son Hadrian.
As an emperor, Trajan's reputation has endured – he is one of the few rulers whose reputation has survived nineteen centuries. Every new emperor after him was honoured by the Senate with the wish felicior Augusto, melior Traiano. Among medieval Christian theologians, Trajan was considered a virtuous pagan. In the Renaissance, speaking on the advantages of adoptive succession over heredity, mentioned the five successive good emperors "from Nerva to Marcus" – a trope out of which the 18th-century historian Edward Gibbon popularized the notion of the Five Good Emperors, of whom Trajan was the second; as far as ancient literary sources are concerned, an extant continuous account of Trajan's reign does not exist. An account of the Dacian Wars, the Commentarii de bellis Dacicis, written by Trajan himself or a ghostwriter and modelled after Caesar's Commentarii de Bello Gallico, is lost with the exception of one sentence. Only fragments remain of a book by Trajan's personal physician Titos Statilios Kriton.
The Parthiká, a 17-volume account of the Parthian Wars written by Arrian, has met a similar fate. Book 68 in Cassius Dio's Roman History, which survives as Byzantine abridgments and epitomes, is the main source for the political history of Trajan's rule. Besides this, Pliny the Younger's Panegyricus and Dio of Prusa's orations are the best surviving contemporary sources. Both are adulatory perorations, typical of the late Roman era, that describe an idealized monarch and an idealized view of Trajan's rule, concern themselves more with ideology than with actual fact; the tenth volume of Pliny's letters contains his correspondence with Trajan, which deals with various aspects of imperial Roman government, but this correspondence is neither intimate nor candid: it is an exchange of official mail, in which Pliny's stance borders on the servile. It is certain that much of the text of the letters that appear in this collection over Trajan's signature was written and/or edited by Trajan's Imperial secretary, his ab epistulis.
Therefore, discussion of Trajan and his rule in modern historiography cannot avoid speculation, as well as recourse to non-literary sources such as archaeology and epigraphy. Marcus Ulpius Traianus was born on 18 September 53 AD in the Roman province of Hispania Baetica, in the city of Italica. Although designated the first provincial emperor, dismissed by writers such as Cassius Dio as "an Iberian, neither an Italian nor an Italiot", Trajan appears to have hailed on his father's side from the area of Tuder in Umbria, at the border with Etruria, on his mother's side from the Gens Marcia, of an Italic family of Sabine origin. Trajan's birthplace of Italica was founded as a Roman military colony of Italian settlers in 206 BC, though it is unknown when the Ulpii arrived there, it is possible, but cannot be substantiated, that Trajan's ancestors married local women and lost their citizenship at some point, but they recovered their status when the city became a municipium with Latin citizenship in the mid-1st century BC.
Trajan was the son of Marcia, a Roman noblewoman and sister-in-law of the second Flavian Emperor Titus, Marcus Ulpius Traianus, a prominent senator and general f