Eastern Mediterranean 106: Arabia Petraea
After the fall of Masada (74), the Levant saw some thirty years of relative peace. This ended in 106, when the emperor Trajan began his eastern campaigns by annexing the Nabataean Kingdom and the Decapolis to form the new province of Arabia.
85? AD Revolt of the Nasamones▲
In around 85 AD the North African desert tribe of the Nasamones rebelled against Roman taxation in Cyrenaica, killing the tax collectors and defeating governor Gnaeus Suellius Flaccus. However, after plundering Flaccus’ camp, they gorged themselves on his wine and provisions, leaving themselves vulnerable to a counterattack. Flaccus massacred them all, prompting an elated Emperor Domitian to make the exaggerated claim to the Senate that he had “forbidden the Nasamones to exist.”
27 Jan 98–8 Aug 117 AD Principate of Trajan▲
When the Roman emperor Nerva died in 98 AD, his successor Trajan—at the time the accomplished governor of Lower Germania—made his way to Rome after touring the Rhine and Danube frontiers. As emperor, Trajan maintained good relations with the Senate and undertook an extensive public building program in Rome, but would become most well known for his military conquests. Expanding the Empire to include Dacia, Arabia Petraea, Armenia, and Mesopotamia, Trajan fell ill and died in 117 while returning to Rome after his Parthian campaigns. He was succeeded by Hadrian, the son of his cousin.
? ?? 105–11 Aug 106 Second Dacian War▲
In 105 the Dacians attacked Roman garrisons in Moesia, prompting Trajan to amass a huge army—and raise two new legions—for a conclusive war with Dacia. After constructing a great bridge—the longest arch bridge for more than 1,000 years—over the Danube, Trajan invaded Dacia in force, capturing the capital of Sarmizegetusa in 106. Vanquished, the Dacian king Decebalus committed suicide; his treasure hoard of 165 tons of gold and 300 tons of silver—a testimony to the mineral wealth of his kingdom—was discovered by the Romans soon after.
22 Mar 106 Arabia Petraea▲
In early 106 Rabel II Soter, the last ruler of the Nabataean Kingdom, died. Acting on Trajan’s orders, the Roman governor of Syria invaded the kingdom and, facing little apparent resistance, converted it into the Roman province of Arabia (later Arabia Petraea). At about the same time, the Decapolis was annexed and partitioned between Arabia and Judea.