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The High Water Mark

Contributed by David Verne

This spring Trajan and part of the army sailed down the Tigris to the Persian Gulf where they captured the important trade city of Charaxes. As he looked out over the ocean, Trajan expressed regret that he was too old to continue to India like Alexander the Great. Trajan also took the time to visit the ancient city of Babylon. While Trajan was playing tourist and taking in the sights, the conquered territories revolted and expelled the garrisoned Romans. Trajan managed to reconquer most of the Parthian territory, but instead of annexing it, he appoints a Parthian nobleman to rule Parthia as a client kingdom. While the Romans were successful, this year wore them down, and the elderly emperor was exhausted so they returned to Antioch. [1]

My Take by David Verne
The Empire was a little larger than the US, and it was a nightmare to manage and control. Messages took days or weeks to reach Rome, and the east and west sides of the Empire began to diverge culturally. This expansion into hostile territory, which already saw itself as belonging to an empire, would prove to be unsustainable, and Hadrian, the next emperor, will abandon the territory before it causes to many problems.

See Also


  1. Dando-Collins, Stephen (2010). Legions of Rome. St. Martin's Press. 

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