Trajan

Trajan, the full Latin name: Marcus Ulpius Traianus
Born in Italica, now a ruined city near Seville, Spain.
Reign period: 98 AD – 117 AD

Trajan was the first Roman emperor who was not of Italic origin. He was born on the territory of today’s Spain and in 97 AD was adopted by Emperor Nerva. By the time he was proclaimed an emperor, Trajan had an extensive military career. After that, as the ruler of the Empire, Trajan decided not to return to Rome. He took a long tour around the borders of the empire – to the rivers Rhine and Danube. Trajan was worried about the Danube limes in particular. Not only there were Dacian attacks, but the legions, loyal to Domitian, were concentrated there. They were located in Oescus (near the village of Gigen, Pleven Region), Novae (near Svishtov), Durostorum (now Silistra) – all these are аncient cities, whose ruins are now in Bulgaria. His visits there, however, managed to rally and unite the legions around the new ruler.

In 105 AD Trajan defeated the Dacians and established the new Roman province of Dacia. That was the time when the Emperor founded many new towns, again on the territory of present-day Bulgaria. Today they are known as "Cities of Victory." These are: Nicopolis ad Istrum (now near the village of Nikyup, Veliko Tarnovo Region), Marcianopolis (now Devnya), Anchialos (now Pomorie), Augusta Traiana (now Stara Zagora), Ulpia Serdica (now Sofia), Pautalia (now Kyustendil), Nicopolis ad Nestum (now near the village of Garmen, Blagoevgrad Region).

Thanks to the Dacian gold and the good management and use of the conquered gold and silver mines, the state of the Roman treasury improved significantly. This resulted as an opportunity for Emperor Trajan to begin major construction work in Rome and throughout the Empire.

Trajan and Philippopolis
Philippopolis reached its peak during the reign of the Antonines. The central town square – the Agora was reconstructed. During this period, in the Forum of Philippopolis, for the first time within the Bulgarian lands, the Roman Corinthian order was used. The most important building, however, built in Philippopolis during Trajan's reign, was the Theatre.