- Dec 2009
My second-century AD Roman history is pretty poor, but do we know what Trajan's intention was when he set on his Parthian campaign? Did he make a coherent effort to occupy Parthian territory and install Roman or friendly administration? I ask this because from a rather "zoomed-out" perspective Trajan's campaign does not seem all that different from the various other Roman conquests of Ctesiphon. Avidius Cassus, Carus, Septimius Severus, and Galerius all occupied the capital and then returned home. Others went and did not succeed: Valerian, Gordian III. Constantine was allegedly planning to go against Persia when he died, and Julian did so unsuccessfully. In the later cases, big Roman armies marched deep into Iraq, smashed things up, and went home. Was Trajan the beginning of this, or was he really planning on occupying these lands?