The adolescent Trajan is in Italica. This is Hispania Romana, the ancient Iberia which Rome came to conquer, imposing its culture and law. What is not Roman is barbaric. Hamlet, centuries later, would take this assertion further “All else is silence”. For Hamlet “all else” was what he did not understand, or did not want to understand.
Trajan, still a boy, is in the beautiful privileged city of his birth. At the circus – whose ruins still stand – Trajan took part in the chariot races and the wrestling contests with other young men, sons like him, of Roman nobles. His father, one of Vespasian’s generals, wanted him to enlist in the Legions. This is how Dali saw him, as he himself explained it, in one of his dreams: coming out of the baths, naked, anointed with aromatic oils, and holding a dagger in his hand.