Trajan: Optimus Princeps

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9780253332165: Trajan: Optimus Princeps

"This study of Trajan is one of the most balanced and comprehensive yet to appear in English." --Religious Studies Review

"Julian Bennett is the first to attempt a full account of Trajan's career. And so his [book] . . . is of great service to Roman studies. Where Bennett's expertise lies--he is an archeologist by training--the book illuminates far more than Trajan. . . ." --Classical Journal

The emperor Trajan (A.D. 53Ü117) is one of the very few Roman emperors who, over the centuries, has always been seen in a good light. He is remembered for his expansion of the Empire, his monumental public-works projects, and his refusal to persecute the EmpireÍs Christian minority. The very substance of his glorious reputation, however, is tested by Julian Bennett in this comprehensive biography„the first since 1927 and the first ever in English. While the period as a whole is ill-served by the extant literary evidence, Bennett supplements this with a thorough examination of the contemporary archaeological and epigraphic evidence, covering every major aspect of TrajanÍs reign. Although some of his original suggestions may remain speculative, his central conclusion is that TrajanÍs contemporary reputation as Optimus Princeps seems to have been richly deserved.

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About the Author:

JULIAN BENNETT is Lecturer in Archaeology at Bilkent University, Ankara, Turkey. After reading Archaeology at the University of Durham, he prepared a dissertation on HadrianÍs Wall at the University of Newcastle upon Tyne. He has been the English Heritage Field Officer for HadrianÍs Wall and has contributed articles to Britannia and Archaeologia Aeliana.

Review:

'This book is certainly a valuable addition to the burgeoning collection of imperial biographies.' - David Shotter Classical Review

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