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Midterm - How do Nero and Trajan use Roman tradition and...

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How do Nero and Trajan use Roman tradition and values? Throughout the history of Rome, we have seen the influence, success, and failures of many of emperors of Rome. Amongst this group come two very important emperors, Trajan and Nero. History shows the success and failures of their exploits during their time as emperors. Consequently, the success and failures of these emperors were based on their approaches to Roman tradition and values. Each of these values is seen not only in the everyday life of the commons but in the actions of those select individuals at the top of the political ladder. This tradition is split in two four separate aspects: Familia, the Tradition of the Ancestors, Religion, and Humanitas. Familia is the Roman tradition of the family. In the roman family the father is seen as the head. As the head, he makes all necessary decisions for the family. The father of the family could kill within the family as he sees fit not only to ensure that there was order in his household but also to establish a presence. This leads to a mindset of obedience and cruelty that permeates through Roman society. History shows Trajan’s use of familia in his exploits with Dacia. As the ruler of Rome and all the people and countries within that empire he had to have control over the different kings within his land and could not let them be unaware that he is in charge. His use of familia helps
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solidify his leadership position. Nero also uses familia, he has lavish monuments and houses built in Rome to help establish his presence and compensate for his lack of leadership. He kills his mother and his advisors because in his eyes they are obstacles and annoyances. The problem with Nero’s use of familia is seen in his past. He lacks experience politically and militarily which makes him unfit as a leader. The decisions he makes were used to compensate for the factors he lacked. The Tradition of the Ancestors and Religion were important staples in the eyes of the Romans. In the tradition of the ancestors it is believed that very great leader possessed four traits: Dignitas, Gravitas, Authoritas, and Libertas. Dignitas is directly related to dignity and is seen through the leader’s actions, one who acted stupid wasn’t not seen as dignified but simply stupid. Gravitas is having a presence. Authoritas is authority through
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