Trajan's Column

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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Trajan’s Column


a monument in Rome erected by the Emperor Trajan between 111 and 114. The column was designed by the Greek architect Apollodorus of Damascus. The marble structure is 38 m high and comprises a cubic pedestal, a base, and a shaft with a capital of the Roman Doric order. It was originally crowned by a bronze eagle, which was later replaced by a statue of Trajan; since 1587 a statue of St. Peter has stood at the top of the column. Trajan’s Column is famous for its reliefs, which wind around the shaft in a spiral. The reliefs have an overall length of 200 m and are 1 m wide. Masterfully executed and containing more than 2,500 figures, they depict Trajan’s Dacian campaigns and provide a valuable source of information on the life and military technology of the Romans and Dacians.


Kruglikova, I. T. Dakiia v epokhu rimskoi okkupatsii. Moscow, 1955.
Blavatskii, V. D. Arkhitektura drevnego Rima. Moscow, 1938.
Cichorius, C. Die Reliefs der Traianssäule, vols. 1–2. Berlin, 1896–1900.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in classic literature ?
She was habited in a gaudy tissue of scarlet cloth, trimmed with yellow silk, which, descending a little below the knees, exposed to view her bare legs, embellished with spiral tattooing, and somewhat resembling two miniature Trajan's columns. Upon her head was a fanciful turban of purple velvet, figured with silver sprigs, and surmounted by a tuft of variegated feathers.
I got to know them intimately when abseiling down the interior of Trajan's Column: behind the expertly laid plaster cast is a circular Victorian brick chimney--with an awful lot of South Ken soot built up over the decades.
Another work in Kentridge's mind during the video's genesis was Trajan's Column in Rome, an almost-two-thousand-year-old image of military victory, which also must mean of defeat.
Perhaps, most importantly, the use of Trajan's Column as the model for the glorification of Napoleon equated his greatness with that of one of the greatest rulers in antiquity.
They shielded items such as Michelangelo's statue David and Trajan's Column in Rome in sturdy brick silos and tried to hide or shield as many paintings and sculptures as they could.
It may have been the architect who was asked to provide access to the top of the Trajan's Column, but without spoiling the carvings on the outside.
The column, which overlooks the city, is modeled after Trajan's column in Rome.
Of monuments marking Roman victories, the Titus and Constantine triumphal arches speak for themselves, but the most impressive architectural feat is still Trajan's column, constructed from twenty drums of marble, which immortalizes his two wars against the Dacians.
This was just after the end of the Second Dacian War of AD 105-106, in which a good many archer regiments are known, or may be inferred from epigraphic evidence, to have served; and Roman archers are depicted on Trajan's Column. (18) To be sure, as already mentioned, this regiment of Hamii is not directly attested anywhere before its appearance on the British diploma of AD 122 (CIL 16.69); but their participation in the Dacian Wars is perfectly feasible.
The Romans learnt of the creature from their enemies in Parthia - the ancient Asian kingdom now part of Iran - and it was seen carved on Roman emperor Trajan's column.
In a way, the clock recalls a grand historical precedent, like Trajan's Column in Rome, which recounts the story of the Roman emperor's victorious military campaigns in bas-relief spiraling up its 30m height--except here, Coupland is celebrating the story of an ordinary town.
The spirit of Trajan's reign is captured in the reliefs of battle, carnage, the sack of cities and forlorn barbarian warriors in chains on Trajan's Column. Hadrian felt obliged to honour the memory of his mentor; Trajan, though defeated and dead, still 'celebrated' a Parthian war triumph in Rome.