The Column of Trajan.

Essay by briansgirl0413College, Undergraduate November 2005

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The Column of Trajan is one of the only well preserved pieces form the Forum Trajan. The entire complex was used as a stone quarry and a source for decorative marble since the sixth century AD. The column was considered a tourist attraction an in 1162 a law was passed forbidding anyone to damage it. The column had many functions. One of the main functions it served as was the resting place for Trajan. The column was never intended to serve as his resting place but the senate decided that after his death it would be an honor to place his ashes there. The columns role as a showcase for Trajan's uses it was a constant reminder of his virtues. Some of Trajan's virtues were: courage, and fortitude.

A sculpture documented the column with campaigns and victories of Trajan. The reliefs of the column were made from hollow drums of marble, and then placed on top of one another to form a column.

The height of the frieze is three feet at the bottom, and then increased to four feet at the top. Near the beginning the band was narrow so it could accommodate the spiral, and then the top tapered to a point. The first sections of the columns were used to set the scene, like the landscape and the surroundings of lower Dacia. This is where the story the column tells began. The column included houses, and boats and houses if the native people. The scenes of the column passes form one to the next without framing of the different episodes of Trajan's campaigns.

The artists who carved the column of Trajan concentrated not only on a style that would make the narrative clear, but also the historical accuracy in praising the many qualities pf the army and...