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Trajan's Column, two slabs of the frieze

Scene LXXII: Trajan is presented with the heads of defeated Dacians.

Trajan’s Column was three things: a tomb, a monument to military victories, and a manifestation of an ambitious public building programme, the last two being the greatest achievements of Trajan’s reign as emperor from 98 to 117.

The well-preserved carved frieze spirals up around the 38 metre column, depicting Trajan’s two campaigns against the Dacians in central Europe. These military victories not only strengthened the Roman Empire’s frontiers but also yielded huge amounts of valuable war spoils.

Most of the scenes on the frieze are not of battles but of sacrifices, troops marching and establishing settlements, and the receiving of prisoners — or parts of them, as in the case shown here

Location of Original: 

In situ, Rome

1.19 x 0.81m

Acquired by exchange from the State Museum of Art, Copenhagen, on 27 May 1998


Lepper & Frere: Trajan’s Column, 109, pl. LI
Coarelli: Guida Archeologica di Roma, 122, no.51
Kleiner: Roman Sculpture, 212
Strong: Art in Ancient Rome II, 126

109-113 CE

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