Pliny the Younger began his clerk career under Emperor Domitian, but withdrew from public life, discouraged by the universal terror. He returned to politics under Emperor Trajan, who trusted him and entrusted him with the governorship of the province of Bithynia and Pontus in 109 CE. At that time, he proposed to the ruler an extremely ambitious and interesting project – the construction of a navigable canal for Nicomedia, which would bypass the Bosphorus. It was also planned to build a series of aqueducts.
The great project, however, was never completed. According to assumptions of Pliny, the channel was to connect the nearest lake with the city, and the next one would complete the connection to the rivers: Melas and Sangarius (present Sakarya). Completion of such construction would facilitate the irrigation of agricultural land, and it would connect Nicomedia with Central Anatolia and the Black Sea.