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HIST 2904 Lecture Notes - Codex Theodosianus, Lambaesis, Antoninus Pius

Course Code
HIST 2904
Greg Fisher

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From Galba to Commodus
Arabia continued
Major work in province
Roads forts
New capital: Bostra
Dating system: "Ed of Bostra"
AD 110- Faced problems in Armenia - Parthians
114: Armenia captured -> province
115 -116=-1 new campaigns
Mesopotamia -> province
Trajan had gained confidence over the Parthians which lead to his aggressive campaign to
gain mesopotamia
Trajan in Mesopotamia
Not without problems
114/5 - massive earthquake in Antioch (Syria)
115 - widespread Jewish revolt
Trajan is facing stability problems as well as a natural disaster
Everything was settled by 117 - Read -> Rome
oJewish were squashed and everything was being rebuilt
Trajan was not well, he died in Cilicia - adopted the next emperor, Hadrian
Trajan's legacy is bound up in the life of Alexander the Great
oAlexander exercised successful life
oBoth Pompeii and Trojan looked towards Alexander the great
oRomans gave Alexander the title of The great when they had their obsession with
By 23, Alexander conquered the greatest amount of land ever
Spirit of Alexander great influence on Trajan as an example of what could
be done with a good army and guts could do
Pull of conquest (maybe Pliny was wrong?)
oTrajan was drawn into mission creek and the prospect of painting his name in
Trajan's legacy
Mesopotamia? Hadrian abandoned it
Government? Pliny wrote this to the emperor:
"Here is something that I hear for the firs ttime, that the emperor is not above the law, but
that the law is above the emperor"
oImplies that the autocracy of some of the judeo-claudians is gone and is being
replaced by more liberal government
oAlong with marcus aurelius, he is seen as a model leader
Why these ideas?
oGovernmented with the senate
oLife -> for office (duty) his office was his life's work, ingrained sense of duty that
led him to do everything. He acted as pater, benefactor
Benevolent soldier king?
Pater is a father or benefactor to the state
Idea of kingship would be exercised in a large way by Marcus
Aurelius, who will be used as an example of someone who gives his life
to the state

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Benevolent soldier king who works as a benevolent solider for the king
What he has and tried to teach as a teacher of the king
One step further
oTrajan developed a new idea of kingship "Jovian" -> referring to Jupiter, the king
of gods
Implied that Trajan had a close relationship with Jupiter
oSculpture: thunderbolt
Trajan had a sculpture with a thunderbolt
Suggests that he is the vice roy on earth of this divine power
He tries to make the relationship look as close as possible
oHugely important idea: Idea of government in state, universal in nature, one
empire, one government, one king, all backed by gods or god
oWhen the Roman empire goes Christian, Constantine will reinvent Rome as a
Christian state backed by one GOD
oPart of some of the ideas of the American Republic
oIdea originates through some idea of the Trajans
Romans think that their empire is a world empire
Happens with Constantine
Under his idea, triggers a huge Christian idea
For Constantine, there is only one government and one God
Had a generally good legacy : are in an era of the 5 good emperors
oWorked with senate
oMore provincials in government
See it with the emperors, Claudius, etc.
oUsed council of friends (cf. Alexander)
The nobles of the Roman state for whom he took advice from (Trajan)
oIncreased position of equestrians
Started by Augustus, the increasing trend of the middle class in the
He is seen as someone who will look at ideas, listen to the
government and the republic
Had an amazing legacy: dazzled those later on
oThose who came in later on could try to be better than Trajan or more fortunate
than Augustus
oIf only one [could be] 'more fortunate than Augustus and better than Trajan'
Earned a lot of praise from contemporaries
Conquests - especially in E.
Style of rule
Trajan died in 117 and now Hadrian
oAugust 8, 117 -> official version - circumstaces are slightly murky
Says that he was adopted by Trajan with literally his last breath
But it looks like Trajan planned to adopt Hadrian as soon as
Hadrian was very close to Plotina (Trajan's wife)
Praetorian Prefect
Both were pro-Hadrian
Plotina was very active behind the scenes, much like Livia
Hadrian was marked out for a while (proof)
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