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Secret “weapon” against Emperor Trajan

This post is also available in: Polish (polski)

Trajan's bust
Trajan's bust | Photo: The British Museum

Cassius Dio has left a message that King Abgarus, who ruled in the small country of Osroene on the Euphrates, tried at all costs to remain neutral during the invasion of Trajan’s Roman troops on the Parthia. In order not to offend any of the parties and in the future not to worry about the fate of the kingdom, he decided to use his secret “weapon”.

During the war, the Romans were the dominant party, so Abgarus decided to use Trajan on his son Arbandes, whom he met in 114 CE in Antioch. The Roman emperor, who had a homosexual inclination, was said to have been extremely enchanted by the party he was invited to by the king, and especially by the dance that Arbandes performed for him during the feast. Ultimately, Trajan recognized Abgarus as his friend and recognized his state as a client state within the Empire.

  • Cassius Dio, Roman history, LXVIII.21

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