Trajan’s Column

Topics: Roman Empire, Trajan, Domitian Pages: 2 (451 words) Published: April 9, 2013
Trajan’s Column
Romans had great achievements in the field of art. Especially in the sculptures and architectures. The emperors of Rome were filled with ambitions. They wanted their name be written in the history and be remembered by their posterity. So they warred around and build all types of monument to celebrate their military victories.

One type of monument favored by the Romans --- suggestive not only the power but also of male virility--- is the ceremonial column. “Trajan’s Column, perhaps the most complete artistic statement of Rome’s militaristic character, consists of a spiral of 150 separate scenes from his military campaign in Dacia” (Henry 88). Trajan’s Column was designed by Apollodrus. It is about 30 meters in height, 35 meters including its large pedestal. After construction, a statue of Trajan was put on the top of the column; this statue disappeared in the Middle Ages. On December 4, 1587, Pope Sixtus V crowned the top with a bronze figure of St. Peter, which remains to now. On the exterior, the scenes outline the military campaigns in Dacia, across the Danube River. The upper carvings of the Column are difficult to see from the ground. In order to eliminate shadow and increase the legibility of the whole, the carving is very low relief. When the Column was originally built, color was added with metal accessories. The Column presently stands as a white marble monolith with only ruins representing the remainder of the Forum. Emperor Trajan was born Marcus Ulpius Nerva Trajanus in 53 CE in Spain. Because the previous Emperor, Nerva, was extremely unpopular with the soldiers, he chose Trajan as his adoptive son and heir. Trajan, at the time, was well known for his military skill and valor. Trajan's rule was marked by peace and prosperity for the Romans; he freed slaves and returned property that had been seized by Nerva. Furthermore, Trajan expanded the Roman Empire with a series of conquests, most notably the Dacian Wars. During his reign,...
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