Trajan was born in Hispania which meant he should have been good at salsa , bullfighting and football. However Trajan was always keener to spend more time in the gymnasium where he would go for sweaty naked work outs with like-minded men. This lead to Trajan being called 'Toro Rosso' as he would always emerge from the local Roman baths looking very red and would charge around china shops singing "I am beautiful, no matter what you say". Trajan's father thought it was about time 'Traj' got into the local legion and went off to do some fighting.
You Are in The Army, Son
Trajan shone as a soldier. He loved the unique combination of male company and random acts of killing against anyone the Emperor deemed to be an enemy. He even became friends with 'whiplash' Domitian and the two would enjoy an oily wrestle every time Trajan was in Rome - though other friends of the Emperor laughed at Trajan's 'provincial accent' and lisping latin.
Meet Your New Dad
When the legions heard that Domitian had been done in by a collection of failed insurance salesmen and smelly old senators - they demanded Vengance with a capital V. Trajan, who was living on the Rhine frontier, went to Rome with his legions and demanded that Emperor Nerva now call him 'Son'. Nerva agreed and watched Trajan rip the heads off a flock of geese in the imperial bedroom to make the point about who was really in charge now. But Nerva got has his own back with the upstart by forcing Trajan to walk around Rome in his Imperial nappy (Imperialis Diaperous) to show that he was the 'new born son' of Nervous Nerva.
Your Turn to be Emperor
When Nerva died, Trajan turned down the chance to marry the late Emperor's daughter Anorexia Nerva. Trajan already had a wife Pompeia Pottyplantus who looked like a dead gladiator and, unsurprisingly, they had no children. To be honest, Trajan's sexual preference was butch-blokey but as a Roman he kept his true feelings hidden and was seen out shopping with the Empress for appearance's sakes.
The Dacian king Discombobulatus had long been sending obscure (and obscene) ballads to Rome telling them if they were really that 'hard', the Romans would deal with him. Trajan took up the insult and decided that he would take on the Dacians. He gathered his Roman legions and prepared for a very long campaign away from Rome as Trajan missed his soldier buddies. He ordered that a bridge be built across the Danube so that his precious men wouldn't get their feet wet. This move so shocked the Dacians that they were immediately defeated and Discombobulatus cut off his own head and gave it to his best friend as a gift for Trajan.
I Want My Penis Honoured
Following the defeat of the Dacians (or now 'Romanians' - the Dacians thought a name change would lessen their punishment) ,Trajan wanted everyone in Rome to remember his victories.He was offered a victory arch, a really big Triumph and a non-stop party at the Colosseum where plenty of bloodletting was promised ! However, Trajan had something else in mind. He had his imperial stiffy cast in plaster and demanded Roman architects built a marble version of this to be the tallest building in the city.
So was built Trajan's Boner - or Trajan's Column as it is usually now known. It still stands proud to this day though the bronze statue that once crowned it of Trajan standing naked and thrusting out his hips has been replaced by one of St. Peter who is clothed and waving a cross about, as per the sort of thing the Catholic church prefers (well, officially anyway). Also at some stage the lurid scenes of Trajan having fun with slim hipped slave boys that once decorated the column were replaced with more sober scenes of his brutal bashing of the hairy arsed Dacians. In later centuries, it was believed the column had been built by aliens as a disguised interstellar radio transmitter.
Pliny the Younger who was a Roman Governor in Asia Minor said the Christians were a real pain in the bum but admired their ability to take a lot of punishment. Christians were given the usual persecutions (they were such an unclubbable bunch of whingers) but drew comfort that Trajan disliked the Jews even more.
Call Me Alexander
Late on life Trajan decided to give himself a new present - the Parthian Empire. So he went off with his armies to chase the Parthians all over the Middle East. He also quite fancied being the new Alexander the Great and drew up plans to invade India but the old emperor was really past it - and even his old vices like pederasty were no longer much fun either.
Go to Rome and look at Trajan's column. Sums up the man .
- Trajan's column was originally painted pink and purple