Trajan's Column

Topics: Roman Empire, Dacia, Roman army Pages: 1 (352 words) Published: October 18, 2011
There were many methods that the sculptor used to tell his story on the Trajan’s Column, and to have the effect he wished to convey. The sculptor wanted to tell the story of the emperor Trajan to the people of Rome and illustrate his victories and achievement by the carvings on the column. He uses the technique “continuous narration” to let the story unfold within the spirals without any interruption. This progression of events is not always consecutive and is sometimes simultaneous. Due to the increasing distance of the column from the ground, the sculptor had to make sure the people could still see tee by gradually increasing the height of the spiralling band up the column. The band increases from 0.90m to 1.25m at the top, with human figures “growing” from 0.60m to 0.80m in height. Prominent figures such as Trajan were made outstanding by the sculptor using colour, metal accessories, and grooving around the contours of the figures. The figures on the column are made human instead of being idealised, and this highlighted by the historical reality in which they are set in. Although the figures are static, there is always action involved among them – everyone is doing something, whethsoller it is sacrificing or preparing for war. The sculptor may have done this to send through the message that under Trajan’s ruling, Rome is strong, busy and succeeding Empire, full of life. The sculptor uses reliefs about half-way up the column to separate the two Dacian campaigns. He is able to cement the story in the viewer’s mind by including a series of stock themes with reference to the emperor and the army setting out. While the column commemorates Trajan’s successes, the sculptor does not make him appear superhuman as the river-god of the Danube was portrayed. Trajan is the main focal point of the story on the column. He appears frequently in the reliefs making the viewer fully aware of him, and his continual presence dominates the scene showing him as the human leader of...
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