Trajan Optimus Princeps. A Life and Times.
Routledge, London, 1997. XVII,317p. ills.(B&W photographs and line drawings). Hard bound. Spine silver titled. Initials stamp, date and personal library mark on half title. Light remains of pencil strikes in margins. 'Trajan's reputation in antiquity and in the Middle Ages is well-known, although passing judgement upon that reputation is a none-too-easy task, because of the paucity of ancient source-material. The emperor's biographer has, therefore, to make the best of what there is; to this B. does full justice - a chapter (VI) devoted to the views of Pliny and Dio Chrysostom, an appendix citing Dio Cassius' treatment of the Dacian Wars, together with a chapter (VIII) on those wars which leans heavily on the evidence of the column. Besides this, there is a close discussion (Chapter XIV) of the presentation of Trajan's 'virtues' on the Arch at Beneventum, as well as an ample collection of photographic plates ilustrating aspects of the the Trajanic coinage and monuments (...). Reasonably enough, a good deal of space is devoted to the major campaign-areas of Trajan's reign - the Danube and the East, both of which are made much easier to follow, as is the chapter (XII) on the organization of Dacia and Arabia, by clear maps and diagrams. B.'s archaeological background is put to very good use in the way in which strategies and campaigns are elucidated using the combination of the different source-types available to place them on the ground. The narrative in these sections is detailed and tight, and provides an account that is admirably clear for the reader to follow. (...) This book is certainly a valuable addition to the burgeoning collection of imperial biographies.' (DAVID SHOTTER in The Classical Review (New Series), 1999, pp.486-488).