The Ancient Library

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was extended to other towns of Italy, where pro­vision was made for supporting the children of the poor. This was the mode in which the Roman policy attempted to meet an evil, which grows up in all large towns, a population without the means of subsistence (see the Tabula Alimentaria of Velleia). Trajan also occupied himself with pro­visioning Rome, a part of Roman policy which had been long established. There are only two ways of feeding a people ; one way is to let them feed themselves by removing all obstacles to free­dom of trade and freedom of communication ; the other is by taking from one to give to another, a system which is more agreeable to him who gains than to him who loses. Trajan punished the odious class of informers, a measure that will always be popular.

There was at Rome a tax of five per cent, (vicesima) on successions, that is, on property which came to a man bv the death of another. This


mode of raising a revenue contains the principle of the state assuming that a man's title to property ceases with his life, for if the amount of the tax is carried high enough, the whole will go to the state. It is not like a tax annually paid upon the annual produce or value of land, which is only a contribu­tion of a portion of the fruits. Trajan (Plin. Paneg. c. 37, &c.) released from this tax on suc­cessions those heredes who were not extranei, and also those who succeeded to a small hereditas. Many of the public buildings at Rome were re­paired by the emperor in the early part of his reign, and he added accommodation to the Circus for five thousand persons.

In the year a. d. 100, various persons enjoyed for a time the honour of the consulship ; Sex. Julius Frontinus, the author of a work on the aqueducts of Rome, Tertullus Cornutus, and C. Caecilius Plinius Secundus. In this year Marius Priscus, proconsul of Africa, was tried by the senate for peculation in his province. Plinius and Cornelius Tacitus, the historian, were appointed by the senate to prosecute. Priscus made no defence, and submitted to be convicted. He was banished, but he still enjoyed himself in his exile (Juv. Sat. viii. 120). Caecilius Classicus, proconsul of Baetica, was accused about the same time of pillaging the people whom he had been sent to govern. He died or killed himself before judgment was given (Plin. Ep. iii. 9) ; but the matter was still prosecuted: the property which Classicus had before he was governor was given to his daughter, and the rest was distributed among those whom he had robbed. Some of the accomplices of Classicus were also punished. The Panegyricus on Trajan, which is our authority for many of Trajan's acts up to this time, was pronounced by Plinius in A. d. 100, the year in which he received the consular honour. Some additions were made to the Panegyricus after it was pronounced (Plin. Ep. iii. 13,18). It was perhaps about this time that Hadrian, after­wards emperor, married Sabina, the grand-niece of Trajan ; and to this date or somewhere about this time we may refer a letter of Plinius (Ep. iii. 20), in which he says that all the senators on the day of electing the magistrates demanded the vote by ballot (tabellas postulaverunt).

In his fourth cousulship, a. d. 101, Trajan left Rome for his campaign against the Daci. Deceba­lus, king of the Daci, had compelled Domitian to purchase peace by an annual payment of money ; and



Trajan, either being tired of paying this shameful tribute, or having other grounds of complaint, de­termined on hostilities. Decebalus was defeated, and one of his sisters was taken prisoner, and many of his strong posts were captured. Trajan advanced as far as Zermizegethusa, probably the chief town of the Dacian king, and Decebalus at last sued for peace at the feet of the Roman emperor; but Trajan required him to send ambassadors to Rome to pray for the ratification of the treaty. The conqueror assumed the name of Dacicus, and en­tered Rome in triumph.

Plinius (Ep. iv. 22) records a curious decision at Rome in the emperor's consilium. Trebonius Rufinus, duumvir of Vienna, had put an end to certain games in that town, which had been esta­blished by a testamentary bequest; the ground of not allowing their celebration was, that the games were injurious to the morals of the people of Vienna. The case was carried by appeal to Rome, and the judgment of Rufinus was confirmed. When the members of the consilium were asked their opinion Junius Mauricus said that he wished such exhi* bitions could be stopped at Rome also. This was the same man who gave Nerva a rebuke [nerva, p. 1167]. (Plin. Ep. iv. 22.)

It was probably some time in A. d. 103, that Trajan made an artificial harbour at Centum Cellae (Civita Vecchia), the form of which is recorded on a medal: the operations of constructing the port are described by Plinius (Ep. vi. 31). The port was called Trajanus Portus, but the old name of Centum Cellae afterwards prevailed. In this year or the following Plinius was sent by Trajan as governor of Pontus and Bithynia. with the title of Legatus and Propraetor, and with Consularis Po-testas. It was during his residence of about eighteen months in this province that part of his correspondence with Trajan took place, which is preserved in the tenth book of the letters of Pli­nius. He was particularly commissioned by the em­peror to examine the state of the revenue and ex­penditure of the towns, and to cut off all useless cost. The correspondence of Trajan with his go­vernor shows the good sense and moderation of the Roman emperor, his attention to business, his honest straightforward purpose. As to the treat­ment of the Christians in Bithynia, see plinius, C. caecilius secundus.

An embassy from a Sarmatian king (a. d. 104) passed through Nicaea in Bithynia on their way to Trajan (Plin. Ep. x. 14). In this year the remains of Nero's golden palace were burnt, and Orosius adds (vii. 12) that it was a visitation upon Trajan for his persecution of the Christians ; but as it is not proved to the satisfaction of all persons that Trajan was a persecutor, perhaps the historian may be mistaken in his opinion. Besides, the burning of Nero's palace, who set the first example of per­secution, does not seem to have been an appro­priate punishment for Trajan, even if he deserved punishment.

In this year Trajan commenced his second Da­cian war against Decebalus, who, it is said, had broken the treaty ; and when Trajan required him to surrender himself, he refused, and prepared for resistance. The senate declared Decebalus an enemy, and Trajan conducted the campaign in person. The Dacian attempted to rid himself of his formidable enemy by sending two pretended deserters to assassinate him when he was iu

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