Traianus, Optimus princeps.
"... An Emperor who does not forget to be a man ...", so Pliny the Younger defines Trajan.
Kindness, patience, fairness and clemency were his main virtues.
An Emperor who preferred to be loved rather than honoured, as Cassius Dio points out in his Roman History, in such a way that he was remembered by posterity as "Optimus princeps", model of the perfect Emperor.
Trajan was properly a man-at-arms, a valiant soldier in love with military life.
He was the first Emperor coming from a province: he was born in Italica, near present-day Seville, in Hispania Betica. Nerva chose him as his successor for his virtues and abilities thus breaking the rule of consanguinity in the succession of power, a decision made not to let the fate of the Roman Empire depend on chance.