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In the beginning of the 2nd century, the Roman Emperor Trajan led two very successful war campaigns against the powerful Dacia kingdom by the river Danube in what is now Romania. The Dacians were a constant threat to the Roman Empire since the days of Caesar. Two decades earlier, after a savage pillaging of a Roman settlement and the humiliating defeat of Trajan’s predecessor, the Romans tried peace negotiation with the Dacians. When that failed the new Emperor Trajan led tens of thousands of Roman troops across the Danube River over a massive bridge that was constructed for the invasion, and defeated the barbaric empire on its home turf twice.

The victory over Dacia was the defining event of Trajan’s 19-year rule. The conquest brought back a staggering amount of loot in the form of gold that helped finance Rome’s further expansion campaign. By the time Trajan died, the Roman empire attained its maximum territorial extent in history.


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