THE TRAJAN’S COLUMN
The Trajan’s column is a Roman triumphal column. It has been built in 113 AD in order to celebrate the Roman emperor Trajan, after his victory over the Dacian people. Apollodorus of Damascus, one of the most famous architect of the Ancient time, has probably contributed to the work.
It is about 35 meters (125 ft), including the basement. The monument is famous for its continuos friezes, which have a spiral movement from the bottom to the top.
The scenes represent the phases of the Dacian war, from the fording of the Danube river to the capture of the capital city Sarmizegetusa Regia and the suicide of the Dacian king Decebalo.
The emperor Trajan wanted to celebrate himself and the empire. He appears 59 times but he has not any kind of divine qualities. He was depicted as he was, one of the best Roman emperor, who ruled very well thanks to his wisdom and innate attitude to the command.
Furthermore, this work has marked a turning point in the Roman art. Before the Column, Roman artists were conditioned by Hellenism, while this masterpiece changed how Romans represented their stories. In fact, not only the soldiers, but also the emperor is depicted in a realistic way, according to the Plebeian style. In addition, the scenes are engraved item by item, as if the mysterious artist followed the emperor during his campaigns. In fact, the friezes contain a lot of details, such as armors, leafeages, camps and strongholds. Another point which is worth – highlighting is the fact that symbolic and supernatural elements are absent apart from the personification of the Danube river, which is depicted as a bearded god who encouraged the Roman army to wade across himself. For instance, it stands out an image of the emperor who is talking to his commander Lucius Licinius Sura. Here Trajan is speaking in a really human way, revealing a close relationship with his subordinate.
The Trajan column, due to its features, has influenced a lot of other monuments, for example the Columns of Marcus Aurelius, Teodosius, Arcadius and Justinian in the late Roman empire. But it has conditioned also modern works of art, such as the Vendome column of Napoleon in Paris, the Congress column of Brussels and the Washington monument in Baltimora.