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Trajan (Hardback)

Rome's Last Conqueror

Ancient History > Rome & the Roman Provinces Military > Greenhill Books

By Nicholas Jackson
Greenhill Books
Pages: 320
Illustrations: 40 colour illustrations and 6 maps
ISBN: 9781784387075
Published: 23rd February 2022



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Until the publication of this captivating biography, no such volume on Trajan’s life has been tailored to the general reader. The unique book illuminates a neglected period of ancient Roman history, featuring a comprehensive array of maps, illustrations, and photographs to help orientate and bring the text to life.

Trajan rose from fairly obscure beginnings to become the emperor of Rome. He was born in Italica, an Italic settlement close to modern Seville in present-day Spain, and is the first Roman Emperor to be born outside of Rome. His remarkable rise from officer to general and then to emperor in just over 20 years reveals a shrewd politician who maintained absolute power. Trajan’s success in taking the Roman Empire to its greatest expanse is highlighted in this gripping biography.

Trajan’s military campaigns allowed the Roman Empire to attain its greatest military, political and cultural achievements. The book draws on novel theories, recent evidence and meticulous research, including field visits to Italy, Spain, Germany and Romania to ensure accurate, vivid writing that transports the reader to Trajan’s territory.

Until the publication of this informative and captivating biography, no such volume on the life of the Roman Emperor Trajan (18 September 53 - 9/11 August 117) has been shaped to be of value to both academia and the non-specialist general reader alike. This is a unique and impressively informative study by Nicholas Jackson as he illuminates an often neglected period of ancient Roman history, and features a comprehensive array of maps, illustrations, and photographs to help orientate and bring the text to life.

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Midwest Book Review

This is the first full length biography of the Emperor himself that I’ve read, and it provides an excellent account of how a capable man could rise even in troubled times, and demonstrates that the Roman Empire of Trajan’s time was still a very major military power.

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History of War

A Emperor Trajan is often overlooked in history of Rome, but he was an important figure, and Nicholas Jackson's biography places his firmly back where he belongs. Trajan was emperor of the Roman Empire at its highest point.

Books Monthly

A magnificent biography, well researched and produced with maps and coloured photographs. I recommend this book to anyone interested in Roman history or just in history itself. This is the sort of book you will read again and again. One of the best biographies I have read in a long time.

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Army Rumour Service (ARRSE)

As featured in

The Bookseller

Having spent hours gazing up at Trajan’s column in Rome and contemplating the Dacian Wars and the Emperor who successfully conducted them, this book is an excellent biography. Given that a portion of the biography must be conjecture owing to the quality of sources, it skilfully draws on the available sources to paint a picture of Trajan and his times. Recommended.

Michael McCarthy. Battlefield Guide

Michael McCarthy

About Nicholas Jackson

Nicholas is an infectious disease scientist by training (MSc., DLSHTM., PhD), with more than 20 years’ professional experience in the pharmaceutical industry working on vaccines. 
 Recently, he has worked in R&D on several COVID-19 vaccines and advised several institutions and sovereign states on their vaccine development efforts. In his career, he has published numerous peer-reviewed scientific papers, reviews and professional articles.
As a life-long student of Roman history, he has now uniquely combined his passion for Imperial Rome with his research acumen and writing expertise for the pharma industry to bring to life the gripping stories of ancient Rome.

Born on this day - Trajan

18th September 0053

Roman emperor from 98 AD until his death. Officially declared by the Senate as optimus princeps ("the best ruler"), he is remembered as a successful soldier-emperor who presided over the greatest military expansion in Roman history, leading the empire to attain its maximum territorial extent by the time of his death.

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