Trajan's Column

Trajan's Column

We are searching data for your request:

Forums and discussions:
Manuals and reference books:
Data from registers:
Wait the end of the search in all databases.
Upon completion, a link will appear to access the found materials.

Trajan's column, erected in 113 CE, stands in Trajan's Forum in Rome and is a commemorative monument decorated with reliefs illustrating Roman emperor Trajan's two military campaigns in Dacia (modern Romania). The column was the first of many such monuments and it is also an invaluable source of information on the Roman Army and a lasting testimony to the Roman love of monumental architecture constructed to celebrate military victories and Roman leaders.

The column stands 38 m tall (125 ft) and consists of 19 drums of Italian white marble. It stands on an 8-block base and is topped by a two-block pedestal. Originally, a 4.8 m (16 ft) bronze statue of Trajan stood on the top pedestal but this was replaced by a statue of St. Peter in 1588 CE. The column was in all likelihood conceived by Trajan's architect Apollodoros of Damascus as a commemoration of the emperor's victorious Dacian campaigns of c. 101-2 and 105-6 CE. On the Emperor's death in 117 CE his ashes were buried within the foundations of the column.

The column and its spiral narrative sculpture is an invaluable source of information concerning the Roman army.

The irregular perspective and presence of over 2,600 figures carved in low relief spiralling around the column create a lively 200 m long narrative of 155 key scenes from the campaigns in Dacia with Trajan himself present in many diverse situations such as leading the army, judging prisoners, and holding councils of war. The two campaigns, starting from the base, are presented in an approximate chronology of major events and each campaign is separated by a scene with a shield and victory trophies.

Most individual scenes on the column run into each other but sometimes scenes are separated by a feature of landscape such as rocks, trees and even buildings which indicate a change of narrative scene. Figures are generally two-thirds life-size and perspective is achieved by representing scenes as though they have been tilted towards the viewer resulting in the background figures being shown above the figures in the foreground. The reliefs were originally painted in colour and traces of this survived up to the 18th century CE. Erected in the Forum of Trajan, the column's sculpture would have been much more visible from the two libraries - one Greek and the other Latin - which originally stood either side of the column.

The column stands on a pedestal which also carries relief sculpture, this time showing captured Dacian weapons and armour and four Imperial eagles carrying victory garlands. The base also has a lengthy inscription on the southeast side which uses 10cm high capital letters to indicate that the monument is dedicated in honour of Trajan by the Senate and People of Rome (SPQR) in 113 CE. The inscription also indicates that the monument was designed to show how the surrounding site had been cleared for such great works as the column itself and Trajan's Forum in general. This was achieved through the column actually serving as a viewing platform. A door in the pedestal gives access to an interior spiral staircase which climbs within the column to allow access to the top platform pedestal. The staircase is entirely carved out of the solid stone and is lit by 40 small windows set within the column at regular intervals. The viewing platform originally had a metal rail and could accommodate up to 15 people who would have admired the magnificent buildings of Rome spread out below in all directions.

Love History?

Sign up for our free weekly email newsletter!

The column and its spiral narrative sculpture is an invaluable source of information concerning the Roman army and reveals unique details of weapons, armour, ships, equipment, troop formations, medical treatment and logistics. The column is a tour de force of propaganda art and the artists were not necessarily concerned with accurately portraying details, nevertheless, many scenes are corroborated by other sources and much basic information must surely have conformed to the viewers' knowledge and expectations of the contemporary Roman military. In addition, the column, famous even in Roman times and also appearing on Trajan's coins, inspired similar commemorative monuments in later Roman times, the Middle Ages and even as recently as Napoleon's Vendôme column in Paris, erected in 1806 CE, which also commemorates the Emperor's military campaigns.

Trajan's Column

Trajan&rsquos Column is an impressive monument that celebrates the victory of Rome and Emperor Trajan over the Dacians in the two Dacian Wars. Construction of the column was completed in the year 113. Trajan&rsquos Column history favors the hypothesis that the column was built under the architectural guidance of Apollodorus of Damascus. It is located in Trajan&rsquos Forum, also constructed by Apollodorus of Damascus, providing further credibility to the thought that it was he who was commissioned to design the intricate and ornate column. The column itself and the amazingly intricate bas reliefs that spiral up the shaft. The monument is 98 feet high, not including the pedestal, which puts Trajan&rsquos Column at a lofty 125 feet.

Trajan&rsquos Column history tells us that it was no easy architectural or manual feat to construct this immense structure. The actual shaft of the column is made from twenty marble drums that each weigh a whopping 40 tons with a diameter of 11 feet. The frieze, or decorative band, that is carved into the formidable column is 625 feet long. To get to the top of the column, you will need to climb 185 stairs. Then you will be able to enjoy the breathtaking vistas from the viewing platform at the top. Originally, there was a statue of Trajan himself atop the column, but sometime during the Middle Ages, the statue was lost. Pope Sixtus V was happy to accommodate and on December 4, 1587, the top of Trajan&rsquos Column was adorned with a statue of his likeness, holding a bronze figure of Saint Peter. When you travel to Rome and explore some of the attractions near Trajan&rsquos Column, you will find that you can spend hours just staring at the intricacy of the carvings on the bas reliefs and statues that adorn the very streets upon which you walk.

If you decide to visit Trajan&rsquos Column, you will see this very same statue of Pope Sixtus V some 420 years later. One of the amazing things about taking a trip to Rome, or spending time in Rome in general, is that you get to experience so many ancient and historically significant sights. If you are into sightseeing, you will have no shortage of things to see or places to go. The only difficulty may come when you are forced to decide between all of the various attractions near Trajan&rsquos Column, like the Forum, and many other places within the city center, like the Colosseum, the Pantheon, and the many Roman museums. Attractions near Trajan&rsquos Column include the two churches it stands between, Santa Maria di Loreto and Santissimo Nome di Maria, and the Rome National Monument.

Rome Map

Trajan&rsquos Column history goes back to the time of ancient Rome. Various walking tours provide you with the opportunity of seeing some of these kinds of sights with knowledgeable guides who can explain the ins and outs of the attractions. Consider spending a day at the Piazza di Colonna Trajana the next time you are in Rome. It is a pleasant area filled with delightful sights and plenty of places to cool off and have a drink or bite to eat.

Trajan’s Column

The column stood 45 meters high above the ground level of a relatively small colonnaded courtyard (25 x 18 m) surrounded by two libraries, a basilica and a temple and was built throughout of finely jointed blocks and drums of arrara marble of colossal dimensions (each drum weighed about 40 tons).

This extraordinary monument was built by the emperor Trajan to celebrate his victorious campaigns against the Dacians and to be used as his tomb.

It was inaugurated on May 12th, 113 AD.

The Dacians were the turbulent inhabitants of a region corresponding to present day Romania on the other side of the Danube river which marked the frontier of the Roman empire in Eastern Europe.

Inside were carved a tomb-chamber and a stairway leading to the top were there was placed a statue of the Emperor which was lost.

A 200 meter frieze winding upwards 23 times around the column tells the story of Trajan’s various campaigns with vivid descriptions of the Roman army in combat, of its weapons, equipment, fortifications and even of the relationship between officers and soldiers, victors and prisoners.

The column depicts many scenes as, for example:

  • ships loading supplies in front of the Roman fortifications lining the river bank frontier
  • the Roman army crossing the Danube on boat bridges
  • the building of fortified camps inside enemy territory
  • Trajan encouraging and praising his troops
  • bloody battle scenes
  • the caring for the wounded
  • the surrendering of the enemy to the victorious emperor
  • the inauguration of the permanent bridge built by Trajan over the Danube which is to be considered as a notable feat of Roman military engineering.

Do you want to know more about the history of Rome?

Check out our guidebook to Rome, with detailed history and Past & Present images of the Pantheon, the Colosseum, Trajan’s Market and all the greatest historical and archaeological sites of the eternal city.

Bucharest Trajan Column tells the history of Romania

Traiana Columna or Column built in Trajan’s Forum in Rome, inaugurated on 12th of May 113, is one o f the best preserved monuments of antiquity – erected “for eternity”. It is to be admired at the National History Museum as a copy, brought into being by archaeologist Emil Panaitescu’s – the director of the Romanian School in Rome at that time.

When I was in Bucharest at the museum last weekend, I become aware of that it tells a lot about this country’s history and why it’s called Romania. With some of my photos and a bit of research, I gladly share it with you. Let’s start with the base of this monument:

Romanian History :
Romania is situated in Central Europe and its territory is marked by the Carpathian Mountains, the Danube and the Black Sea. With its temperate climate and varied natural environment, which is favourable to farming, the Romanian territory has been inhabited since time immemorial.

The territory of today’s Romania was inhabited as early as 513 BC by the Getae or Dacians, a Thracian tribe. Under the leadership of Burebista (70-44 BC) the Dacians became a powerful state which threatened even the regional interests of the Romans. Julius Caesar intended to start a campaign against the Dacians, but was assassinated in 44 BC. The Dacian state sustained a series of conflicts with the expanding Roman Empire, and was finally conquered in 106 AD by the Roman emperor Trajan, who defeated Decebalus. Faced by successive invasions of the Goths and Carpi, the Roman administration withdrew in 271.

All of this and a lot more are told as history engravings from around the monument. They are reconstructed at the museum, so let me give you some examples:

A group of low rank Dacian warriors beg for mercy to the merciless Emperor Trajan

Dacians returning to their homes

Different people from other kingdoms (or empires) lived with the Romanians, such as the Gothic Empire (Oium) from 271 until 378, the Hunnish Empire until 435, the Avar Empire and slaves during the 6th century. Much of Romania fell under the First Bulgarian Empire during the 9th through 11th centuries. Subsequently Magyars, Pechenegs, Cumans and Tatars also raided and settled in the lands to various extents. Let me give you some other photos from the museum to exemplify (click to bigify and enjoy):

Left: Chimney crowing from the Walphard – Right: Funerary Lion at Micia, Hunedoara County.

Modern Romania since 1989 :
The Ceauşescu couple, fleeing Bucharest by helicopter, ended up in the custody of the army after being tried and convicted by a kangaroo court for genocide and other crimes, they were executed on December 25, 1989. The events of this revolution remain to this day a matter of debate, with many conflicting theories as to the motivations and even actions of some of the main players. It still shows at the Revolution Square where I took some photos too:

Ceauşescu lifted from the top left of this building.

In December 1991, a new constitution was drafted and subsequently adopted, after a popular referendum, which, however, attracted criticism from international observers who accused the government of manipulating the population and even of outright fraud. A new constitution which took effect October 29, 2003, follows the structure of the Constitution of 1991. However it made significant revisions, among which the most significant are extension of the presidential mandate from four years to five, and the guaranteed protection of private property. Presidential and parliamentary elections took place again on November 28, 2004. In 2004 Romania joined NATO and then the European Union (EU), alongside Bulgaria, on January 1, 2007.

The photo to the left is kind of a monument symbolising the past and the present: The pyramid of victory as a part of the Revival’s Memorial – Eternal glory to the Romanian revolution and it’s heroes from December 1989.

So this is my last post from my wife DianeCA and mine’s trip to Bucharest last weekend. I hope you’ve enjoyed us taking you along and you may read the other three here:
About our culinary adventure – Bucharest in Romania a city of architectural contrasts – and Bucharest People or Parliament Palace in Romania.

I also recommend that you read DianeCA’s post from our trip too – in quite a different but interesting prospective: Bucharest, Romania in Spring!


I’m a creative, enthusiastic, self motivated man with extensive experience in networking.

Trajan's Column

The Trajan's Column is a Ancient Roman Colonnade in Italy, constructed from 107 CE to 113 CE.

In 113 CE, the Roman Empire had reached its pinnacle. The ever-expanding empire sprawled across Italy, Spain, Britain, Greece, Egypt, and much of Southern Asia. The last holdouts against the empire were the Dacians, living in what is now Romania. For years, the Dacians had harassed and pushed back the Roman border, but their independence was finally and utterly ended by the Roman soldier-emperor Trajan. Trajan was not a politician, he was a tactician — a military leader raised in the rank of file of the Roman army. From 101-102 and 105-106 CE, Trajan led two campaigns across the Danube river into Dacia in a bloody war of attrition, finally destroying their armies and annexing it as a province of the Roman Empire.

Trajan returned to Rome triumphant, but with a political conundrum. The urban, multicultural population of Rome was suspicious of Trajan’s bloody conquest — both for its brutality and its great expense. Trajan needed some good PR — so to celebrate his victory, he declared a 100 day festival, paid for by the half a million pounds of gold he brought back from the Dacian mines. To tell the story of his victory, a massive column was constructed — 30 meters tall, made from 20 Carrara marble drums, each weighing 32 tons. Around the column is a spiraling relief sculpture depicting the events of the Dacian wars across and 155 scenes and 2,662 figures.

Trajan’s column is an architectural masterpiece, and it’s a brilliant piece of propaganda. Though the Dacian wars were bloody and long, very few scenes of violence appear on the column. Instead, soldiers are depicted raising bridges, conducting ceremonies and sacrificing to the gods. Trajan himself appears 58 times — a heroic protagonist, and personification of “justice, clemency, moderation, and restraint.” And Trajan’s propaganda appears to have worked. He was named optimus princeps, ‘best ruler’ by the Roman senate, and is remembered for his construction of public buildings and philanthropic efforts. Within the glossy marble confines of Rome, it was forgotten that progress was built on the graves of the Dacians.

Trajan’s Column Rome

Address, opening hours and admission

Adress: Via dei Fori Imperiali – Rome. District: Rione Campitelli. Opening hours and admission: The Colonna Traiana can be viewed from outside.

History and description

Trajan’s Column

Trajan’s Column is completely made of marble and was raised in the year 113. It was the first time in history a column was decorated with similar reliefs. It has a height of over 30 meters. The sculpted reliefs, that depict the emperor’s victories in Dacia (part of what is now Romania), wind themselves 23 times around the column.

The story starts with the crossing of the Danube on a boat bridge and ends with Dacians being deported. The walking path leading up to the monument is lined with pictures of the entire series of reliefs.

The enormous square base of the column is also decorated with bas reliefs.

The monument was built to be the emperor’s own tomb. A portal leads to a space where the urn with his remains was preserved. A spiral staircase inside the column leads all the way to the top.

The panel above this entrance, which is supported by two victories, has an inscription dedicated to the emperor.

The statue on top of Trajan’s Column does not depict Trajan. The original statue of the emperor was removed during by Pope Sixtus V in the 16th century and replaced by one depicting Saint Peter.

The monument was not always white, but painted in a variety of colors. Every so often there are special events recreating the original through the use of light beams.

The Museo della Civiltà Romana has a section showing plaster copies of the reliefs.


Marcus Ulpius Trajanus was born on 18 September at Italica near Seville, most likely in the year AD 52. His Spanish origin made him the first emperor not to come from Italy. Although he was from an old Umbrian family from Tuder in northern Italy which had chosen to settle in Spain. So his family was not a purely provincial one.

His father, also called Marcus Ulpius Trajanus, was the first of the to reach the office of senator, commanded the Tenth Legion ‘Fretensis’ in the Jewish War of AD 67-68, and became consul in around AD 70. And in about AD 75, he became governor of Syria, one of the key military provinces in the empire. Later he also was to be governor of the provinces of Baetica and Asia.

Trajan served in Syria as a military tribune during the governorship of his father. He enjoyed a thriving career, gaining the office of praetorship in AD 85. Soon after he won command of the Seventh Legion ‘Gemina’ based at Legio (Leon) in northern Spain.

It was in AD 88/89 that he marched this legion into Upper Germany help in suppressing the rebellion of Saturninus against Domitian. Trajan’s army arrived too late to play any part in crushing the revolt. Though Trajan’s swift actions on the emperor’s behalf won him the goodwill of Domitian and so he was elected as consul in AD 91. Such close ties to Domitian naturally became a source of some embarassment after the loathed Domitian’s murder.

Domitian’s successor Nerva though was not a man to hold a grudge and in AD 96 Trajan was made governor of Upper Germany. Then, late in the year AD 97 Trajan received a handwritten note from Nerva, informing him of his adoption.

If Trajan had any form of advance knowledge of his impending adoption is not known. His supporters in Rome may well been lobbying on his behalf.
Trajan’s adoption was naturally pure politics.

Nerva required a powerful and popular heir in order to prop up his severly shaken imperial authority. Trajan was highly respected within the army and his adoption was the best possible remedy against the resentment much of the army felt against Nerva.

But Trajan didn’t come speeding back to Rome in order to help restore Nerva’s authority. Rather than going to Rome he summoned the leaders of the earlier mutiny by the praetorians to Upper Germany.

But instead of receiving a promised promotion, they were executed on arrival. Such ruthless actions made it quite clear that with Trajan as part of it, Rome’s government was not to be messed with.

Nerva died on 28 January AD 98. But Trajan once more felt no need for hasty, potentially undignified, action. Far more he went on a tour of inspection to see the legions long the Rhine and Danube frontiers.With Domitian’s memory still held dear by the legions it was a wise move by Trajan to bolster his support among the soldiers with a personal visit to their frontier strongholds.

Trajan’s eventual entry at Rome in AD 99 was a triumph. Jubilant crowds rejoiced at his arrival. The new emperor entered the city on foot, he embraced each of the senators and even walked among the ordinary people. This was unlike any other Roman emperor and perhaps grants us a glimpse of Trajan’s true greatness.

Such modesty and openess easily helped the new emperor gain yet more support during the first years of his reign.

Such humility and respect for the senate as well as for the simple people showed when Trajan promised that he would always keep the senate informed about the affairs of government and when he declared that the emperor’s right to rule was to be compatible with the freedom of the people who were ruled.

Trajan was an educated but not an especially learned man, who no doubt was a powerful, very masculine figure. He loved hunting, ranging through forests and even climbing mountains. Further he possessed a true sense of dignity and humility which in the eyes of the Romans made him an emperor of true virtue.

Under Trajan the programme of public works was enlarged substantially.

Thoughout Trajan’s reign there was an ever-increasing programme of public works.

The roads network in Italy was renovated, sections which passed through wetlands being paved or placed on embankments and many bridges were built.

Also provisions for the poor were made, especially for children. Special imperial funds (alimenta) were created for their upkeep. (This system would still be in use 200 years later!)

But with all his virtues, emperor Trajan was not perfect. He tended to overindulge on wine and had a liking for young boys. More still he seemed to truly enjoy war.

Much of his passion for war came from the simple fact that he was very good at it. He was a brilliant general, as shown by his military achievements. Quite naturally he was very popular with the troops, especially due to his willingness to share in the hardships of his soldiers.

Trajan’s most famous campaign is undoubtedly that against Dacia, a powerful kingdom north of the Danube in modern Romania.
Two wars were fought against it, resulting in its destruction and annexation as a Roman province in AD 106.

The story of the Dacian Wars is illustrated in a the impressive relief carvings which spiral upwards around ‘Trajan’s Column’, a monumental pillar standing Trajan’s Forum in Rome.

Much of the great treasure conquered in Dacia was used to build public works, including a new harbour at Ostia, and Trajan’s Forum.

But Trajan’s passion for military life and warfare would grant him no rest. In AD 114 he was at war again. And he should spend the rest of his life campaigning in ths east against the Parthian empire. He annexed Armenia and spectacularly conquered the whole of Mesopatamia, including the Parthian capital Ctesiphon.

But Trajan’s star then began to fade. Revolts among the Jews in the middle east and the recently conquered Mesopotamians weakened his position to continue the war and military setbacks tarnished his air of invincibility. Trajan withdrew his troops to Syria and set out back to Rome. But he should not see his capital again.

Already suffering from circulatory problems, which Trajan suspected were due to poison, he suffered a stroke which partially paralyzed him. The end came shortly after when he died in Selinus in Cilicia on 9 August AD 117.
He body was taken to Seleucia where it was cremated. His ashes were then carried back to Rome and were placed in a golden urn into the base of ‘Trajan’s Column’.

Trajan’s fame as the near perfect Roman ruler was remembered for time to come. His example was what later emperors at least aspired to live up to. And during the fourth century the senate still prayed for any new emperor to be ‘More fortunate than Augustus and better than Trajan’ (‘felicior Augusto, melior Traiano’).

Trajan’s Markets

The Markets of Trajan are an extended and articulated complex of buildings from Roman times in the city of Rome.

Built in the early second century A.D. at the behest of Trajan, they are placed as a hinge between the ancient and popular Subura (now the Monti district) and the valley of the Forum.

On the one hand they were used to support and line the extreme slopes of the Quirinale, regularized to make way for the Forum of Trajan on the other they were intended to exceed 40 meters in altitude with a daring engineering solution.

The market buildings are divided into six levels distributed in two areas, upper and lower. Communications are secured horizontally by three pedestrian streets, while the vertical connections are coordinated by internal and external stairs.

The complex of Trajan’s Market housed administrative offices for the activities that took place in the forum. In the surroundings of the “central body”, the headquarters of Trajan Forum’s procurator must have been, who was responsible for the functioning of Trajan’s Forum.

The topographic location and availability of large spaces in quantity and quality have favoured the constant reuse of the “Market”: from the residences of prestigious Roman families in Castellum Miliciae, with the multi-stage construction of the mighty Tower of the Militias, a complete transformation of the Dominican convent of St. Catherine of Siena, and the reoccupation after capital Rome with an army barracks.

Currently the new use for the complex is home to the Museo dei Fori Imperiali (Museum of the Imperial Forums)

The Museum of the Imperial Forums tells of the monumental Roman architecture, one of its greatest achievements.

Rooms in the museum present some significant findings of the five forums There are two sections devoted to the Forum of Caesar and Augustus.

The museum employs a mixed communication system, with traditional panels and videos using multimedia technologies, with the aim to revive the link between the materials on display, the appearance of the ancient buildings to which they belonged and the remains of them preserved in the archaeological sites.

Do you want to know more about the history of the Trajan’s Forum and Market and see them as they were originally as monuments of ancient Rome?

Check out our guidebook to Rome, with detailed history and Past & Present images of the Trajan’s Market, the Pantheon, the Colosseum and all the greatest historical and archaeological sites of the eternal city.

Sample History Paper on Trajan’s Forum and Column

The column is located in Italy and was commissioned by Trajan when he won in Dacian wars. It would therefore act as a reminder of the victory. Architect Apollodorus who came from Damascus oversaw the building of the column. It was commissioned and completed around the 113 AD. From a closer look, a person is able to see spiral bas relief that runs from the bottom to the top. The base is rectangular showing its support for the column which stands alone. The body of the column is cylindrical and has a square cover at the top where the stature of Trajan is placed. The length of the column is about 30 metres or ninety eight feet’s. Inside the shaft, we have the spiral staircase that contain one hundred and eighty five steps that leads to the view platforms where individuals can stand and view the surrounding environment. This column is estimated to weigh fifty three tons. This stature at the top has changed from time to time. During the 15 th century, a figure depicted to be that of St. Peter was placed at the top commanded by pope Sixtus V. This image is still prevalent to date and people visit the place to view the work of great architecture.

The figure below represents the column that was commission as a symbol of victory.

Figure 1 represents Trajan column

From the picture above, we see the column standing at an upward position. The column is made of spiral body which shows from the bottom to the statue at the apex. A rectangular view platform is also visible with the surrounding made up of modern buildings. These buildings house the libraries used to reserves information about the soldiers and the Dacian’s war. They were defeated twice and this information needed to be kept in a safe place hence the building of these libraries within the vicinity as Grasby noted[1].

Trijan forum on its side was constructed within the surrounding of the column. Due to the damage brought about by the Dacian war, Emperor Trajan decided to rebuild the city at the end of this devastating encounter. Thus, a monument would be commissioned near the column which was surrounded by two hills by the name Capitoline and Quirinal respectively. A lot of excavation was to be done so that the building of the monument would commence. This took decades as the hills separated the region from other cities that were within the vicinity. However, the actual person who oversaw the construction was Emperor Domitian. There were many activities going in the construction sector in Roman Empire during this time such as construction of markets and renovation of several worship centers. This is because some of them have been destroyed during the war. Thus, it was the duty of the ruling body to see to it that everything comes into order by building up the infrastructural facilities that the community needed. The market would be used by traders in selling goods while buyers would visit the place for purchases. This would enable the country move forward in terms of development and economic activities.

Figure 2 represents Trajan Forum in Rome

The figure above shows the forum which is made up of several building such as the temple, column and libraries. These infrastructures are within the same region as they were planned and constructed by the same regime. They came about as a result of the victory that was experienced during Dacian war. Thus, the residents needed to build a city for themselves where they would trade. The emperor also needed a place to base his government hence improved the security of the country against their enemies as Jonathan found out[2].

The Forum is a combination of several building such as the portico-lined Piazza and two Exedrae which stretches for 300 metres and 185 metres respectively. To the northern part of the Piazza stands the basilica Ulpia. This building is a natural site as it is an outstanding structure with white marble, large equestrian statue and rectangular blocks covering the upper side. Therefore, it is a noticeable site from a distance. Next to this outstanding building is the temple that was dedicated to deified Trajan. The two libraries on the sides of the basilica are rich in Latin and Greek documents. These structures make the place look descent as well as represent the historical background of the people living in this region. In regards to the flooring of the areas around the Forum, government continually makes renovation to ensure that they resemble the national interest that ought to be the case with structures of such standing. At the same time, the forum and the column have been eroded by the natural phenomenon this has demanded the attention of government in overseeing the development and renovation of such building and structures.

During 113 AD, the community in the region was experiencing immense pressure from the enemies as they would constantly attack the people in quest of ruling over them. This is because the two communities which are Dacian and Greeks were at logger head with each other. Peace was established the moment the Greeks won the war twice and they were able to push back the Dacian. This gave them the opportunity to rebuild their lives as well as the city that is now known as Rome. Rulers after rulers would come with their own agenda and opinion in regards to the naming and the structure of Forum or column. Due to religious influence, the status was changed from the original figure to a religious statue that would represent the views and wants of Christians living in Rome. In addition, the population was made of different religion and they needed to live in peace with each other. At this point, the figure or the stature is more leaned towards religious goals than the traditional goals which were tied to the victory that the community went through during war. At present, the structure is going through renovation to ensure that they remain strong to withstand weather changes.

An Analysis of the Architecture

Through the work of Apollodorus of Damascus, many artists and architect were inspired and they came up with new designs. The original plan was to build a monument for commemoration of the historical background and traditions of the individuals/soldiers who fought the war against Dacian. Therefore, it acted as a symbol of national unity for the community. Throughout the war, people were killed and others lost their properties to their enemies. This was a time of national cohesion between all Greeks from different parts of the state. They came together to fight the enemy by the name Dacian. After the won the war, they put up some of these structures within the city so that everybody could remembers the history of the community. Thus, I can say that these structures are relics of the events that took place during and after the war. When you move to other region in the country, the architecture takes the same form that was used by the formers architectures. In addition, artists from outside the country would come to this place to gather information about the structure. They would thereafter transfer the knowledge to their region where they would use the technique to structure and plan various infrastructural developments. Therefore, it was a model that was looked upon by much architecture determined at building structures that were durable and could stand the test of time.

Paul Veyne one of the French archeologists was greatly influenced by the column which stood vertically in front of the two libraries. He describes the structure as being hidden from visibility from all positions within the city. However, an individual can be able to view the column from the roofs of the two libraries. This means that the purpose of the column was to glorify Trajan for his brave work in leading the Greeks against Dacian. The monument at the top was traditionally built with an image of Trajan. This was to glorify him for the efforts that he showed during war. He was the planner of the two victories that the roman won over their enemies. Therefore, it was only fair for the community to honor him through the construction of the statue. Future generation to come would associate themselves with the history of the region and they would pay attention to the events that culminated to the current situation. Consequently, it would act as a reminder of the thing and the historical events that led to the flourishing of the community. It is also important to note about the location of the two libraries which are adjacent to the column. Without preserving the history of the community, no progress can be made by the population. The reason behind this is that people need to remembers and pay respect to their heroes who fought for the freedom. Spiritually, it would give them peace and comfort while they appease their ancestors.

Its influential status can be seen when the pope decided to change the statue of Trajan to that of St. Peter. This would significantly affect the state of Christianity in the region which is known for its rich tradition in catholic traditions. The Romans would attach the same value and attention they attached to Trajan statue to the new Christian statue. It is also critically important to mention about the significant of St. Peter in the gospel. He is a key figure in the spread of the gospel amongst the non-Israelites. He was also persecuted for standing and preaching about the gospel. Thus, he is a very influential figure in the Christian family and setting in the community as well as outside the borders of Rome. As a consequence, Christians would have a place in the community and its influence was felt all over the country with the new status given by mounting it on top of the column. In the same location we have a temple and a Basilica. This would later turn out to be official location and headquarter for the Catholics because most of their activities were based in this place.

The two features are influential to the community due to the following reasons. First, it builds confidence that the community was safe from the enemies. This is a very critical stage in the setting of a strong economic body in the state. Investors are always looking for peace and security so that they can commit their funds into economy activities. This is the same case with traders who are concerned about the state of security in the market. If a country is not safe for doing business, then, the community will see freight of capital as well as traders. This will affect the economic state of the region. Moreover, the population increased due to the peace experienced in Rome. People and visitors would come into the region without fear of attack. Some of the confidence restored in the public came as a result of the standing of the statue in a stable state backed by the development within surrounding. Furthermore, private investors and developers were confident enough to build permanent buildings in the city. The vigor and state of the economy would be restored through building confidence on people and the governing body.

Secondly, the community benefited from the flow of tourism in the region which is at present on the rise. Therefore, the effects of the infrastructure can be felt at the ground in terms of income generation activities. Businesses erupted where they would be involved in offering services and products to the tourists. Diverse businesses have come up as intend to serve the prevailing market. Third, the community pride is restored and promoted through cultural and traditional figures such as the forum and column. These are not only statues that are elected for the sake of attracting visitors but also represent the community traditions. This tradition is shared with other communities and people from all over the world. Thus, culture would act as goodwill for selling or promoting the tourism sector.

The Column and Forum are relevant features in the community because they give account of the architectural development. In the community that was characterized by consistence attack from Dacian, the remains or the presence of such building is critical due to the safety measures the government adopt to protect them. Instantly, the country would get protection of government gained the necessary power to rule and to fight the enemy. At present, the community is at peace due to the efforts that were demonstrated by the heroes who made the country secure. The common people also contribute to the welfare of the state due to the contribution/development made by forefathers. Thus, it is a national symbol that shows unity of people in building the state. The virtues brought about out by the use of the statue includes justice, restraints and moderation. Justice is one of the virtues that individuals need to have as a result of individual contribution to national unity. To be just, comprises a lot of things and activities such as doing the right thing towards others and serving others with diligence and competence. It is therefore an important aspect that people and communities should possess and emphasize on so as to dedicate their life to national service. Moreover, just people do not engage in corrupt dealings that may cost the community its goodwill and welfare in service delivery. Many Romans were able to adopt some of the attributes taught by Trajan and the soldiers who made a breakthrough in winning the war. Restraints in the second virtues that was highly practiced and evidenced during the fight between Romans and Dacian. The same trickles down to the community through massive investment in education and related programs. Restraints is closely associated with the acts of being loyal and committed to work for the majority.

This does not only improve public perception towards the nation but also ensure that the public and people in power assume responsibility as the primary virtues that guide them in their work. The composition in the community also demands that individuals work and contributes to national development. This insinuates that people come together and share responsibility while those in power need to use and apply the same appropriately. Moderation is the last virtues on the list and it incorporates promotion of good values amongst citizens. Moderation in service and in national building is an important thing that was taught through actions of Trajan. In religious matters, Christians and Muslims needed to stay in harmony and practice their beliefs without stepping on one’s foot. This means that religion will not be used as a measure of national unity or separation rather as a social network between people who share the same values and traditions.

In conclusion, Forum and other structures in Rome such as the column are clear demonstration of the stable condition the country has become over time. Currently, the country is enjoying peace and tranquility that comes along way with security and good utilization of available resources in the community. This will therefore benefit the public regardless of race, social status and locality. This means that individuals in the country will access the services that are outlined and offered by the state. The forum has improved the confidence in people hence increased individual contribution towards development. The historical background and cultural diversity is also seen through the structure of the monument. Additional monuments have arisen in different parts of the state. It is attributed to the influence that came about as a result of the contact that took place between Roman and other communities. The model that builds the cathedral and temple is also evidence in other parts of the world meaning that the idea of architectural development has spread all over the globe. Lastly, the war was a learning lesson for the community in Rome. They learnt to work and live together in harmony and embrace different culture as people are different in nature and perception. In the recent past, Rome has held important conferences in discussing the direction of the globe in regards to social and environmental welfare. This has exposed the country’s culture and tourism to the world where people can trade their diversity for the good of the populace. Moreover, globalization has made the world smaller due to the fact that people can sell and buy goods unlimited by location. This has led to sharing of critical information that has seen cultural change all over the globe. Due to such features of globalization, many people have toured the place to see and experience the culture and tradition.

Coulston, Jonathan. “Trajan’s Column.” Oxford Classical Dictionary 33, no. 4 (January 2016), 230-260. doi:10.1093/acrefore/9780199381135.013.6524.

D.Grasby, Richard. Processes in the Making of Roman Inscriptions. New York: Sacketts (Books For Craft, 2011.

[1] Richard D.Grasby, Processes in the Making of Roman Inscriptions(New York: Sacketts (Books For Craft, 2011), 55.

[2] Jonathan Coulston, “Trajan’s Column,” Oxford Classical Dictionary33, no. 4 (January 2016): 250,

Additional source material

79. Column of Trajan. Sources.


The Senate and the People of Rome [dedicate this column] to the emperor Caesar Nerva Trajan Augustus Germanicus Dacicus, son of the deified emperor Nerva, Pontifex Maximus, with tribunician power for the 17th time, hailed as Imperator for the 6th time, consul for the 6th time [AD 113] and Father of his Country, to show the height and location of the hill removed for such great structures.

[Among Trajan's many activities in Rome before setting out of Parthia in AD 113,] Trajan also built libraries. In his forum he set up a large column, both as a tomb for himself and as a memorial to his work on the forum. For the whole area around it was formerly hilly, and he had to excavate down the distance shown by the height of the column to create a flat site for his forum.

Dio, History 68.16

The ashes of Trajan's cremated body were buried beneath his column in the Forum of Trajan, and a statue of him was placed on the top, arrayed like a triumphing general when he comes into the city with a senatorial and army escort.

Aurelius Victor, On the Emperors 13.11

Trajan was enrolled among the deified emperors, and received the singular honor of burial within the city boundaries: his bones were lodged in a golden urn under the column in the forum he built.

Eutropius 8.5.2

©2008 by the Rectors and Visitors of the University of Virginia. All rights reserved.

Watch the video: A walk trough Rome! Trajans Column (May 2022).