Trajan's Column
A recent photograph of Trajan's Column. It was originally surrounded by other buildings on the Forum of Trajan, but as they have all disappeared, it now stands alone.
Behind the entrance to the Forum of Trajan stood Trajan's triumphal Column. This column was built to celebrate the triumph of Trajan and his army over Dacia, which was in modern Romania. On this 30 metre high column a report of the two campaigns against these Dacians,one from 101 to 103 and one from 107 to 108 A.D., is sculptured. It is some sort of comic of sculptures and painted people and environments. The depth of the relief is five centimetre. The height of the upwards spiraling frieze is 91 centimetres at the bottom and 120 centimetres at the top, this to compensate that you had to look upward to the top of the Column. A total of 2500 people is displayed on this column. After his death the ashes of emperor Trajan were placed in the base of the column.
Photograph of a detail of the reliefs at the bottom of Trajan's Column: the adlocutio-scene. Trajan speaks to speaks to his men from a platform. Because the soldiers are portrayed from many different sites, it seems like there is a lot of depth in this relief. In truth, its depth is only five centimetre.
This column was built to emphasize the virtus of the emperor: the might and the courage that also aplied to the entire Roman empire. Therefore the column was a kind of propaganda for the might of the Roman empire, of which every citizen would want to be part of after seeing such impressive works.

Because of the height of the Column, it is quite hard to see what was portrayed in the top. It helped that the frieze was higher in the top and that is was painted, but to see it really well, on should stand on the balcony around the Column.

Originally Trajan's Column stood between the other buildings of the Forum of Trajan, as visible in this picture. To the left stands the entrance, right behind the Column one of the two libraries and to the right a wall of the Basilica Ulpia.
The reason why, unlike the rest of the Forum of Trajan, this Column still stands, is that it was often visited by Christian tourists during the Middle Ages. In 1162 a law was even accepted that damaging the Column would be punished with death. In the 16e century pope Sixtus V placed a statue of saint Peter on top ot the Column, where once a statue of Trajan stood.stond.


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