Trajan Adopts Anti-Christian Religious Policy.

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    • Abstract:
      The Roman province of Bithynia-Pontus lay along the south coast of the Black Sea. King Nicomedes IV bequeathed Bithynia to Rome in 74 b.c.e. Rome governed through a dozen Hellenized cities, each of which controlled the surrounding countryside. Pompey the Great annexed Pontus at the conclusion of the war against king Mithradates VI Eupator in 63 b.c.e. This region was less urbanized, containing three Greek cities along the coast (Sinope, Amisus, and Amastris) and a few half-Hellenized places in the interior, notably Amaseia. To facilitate provincial governance, he founded a number of cities, naming some after himself (Pompeiopolis and Magnopolis). Augustus re-created the kingdom for the client ruler Polemo, but it fell under Roman rule again in 64 c.e. and was joined to Bithynia. The senate assumed supervision of this peaceful province and annually dispatched senators of praetorian rank (termed proconsuls) to govern it. Each year, the governor made a circuit of his province, holding court in the major towns, inquiring into a wide range of matters, and rendering punishments. In these cognitiones, the proconsuls had enormous power over ordinary provincials; they had to proceed more carefully when dealing with Roman citizens and sometimes chose to transmit their cases to Rome.