Colonna Traiana (The Trajan's Column)
Colonna Traiana (The Trajan's Column) Rome Reviews
Trajan’s Column Dec 26, 2011
101 Trajan wins a battle against the Dacian’s
Fact about Trajan: “Trajan was born in a non-patrician family in Hispania Baetica (in modern day Spain) but he had a splendid career in the Roman army and rose through the ranks. When the childless senator Nerva became emperor he was forced to adopt Trajan as his son - and when Nerva died Trajan became emperor as the first of the line of successful adopted emperor - one of the few Roman Emperors who made it to heaven among the just rulers in Dante's Comedia. He managed to expand the Roman Empire to its largest extent.”
So who made the first cartoon in history - forget about Walt Disney - the tradition is much older than him. The first time in history somebody decided to produce a major cartoon to tell the history of their own exploits was done by Trajan. He decided the story of his impressive victory against the Dacian’s should be told to all his countrymen in Rome - hence he had a giant column erected on the imperial forum in Rome.
The story of the victory is displayed on the column snarling its way to the top of the column with lots of different carvings which tells the story of how he won the battle. There are different pictures of how they sailed across the sea and how the battle was won. On top of the column used to be a golden statue of Trajan himself - but this statue has disappear many years ago and it has been replaced by a new statue of Saint Peter.
The column was an inspiration for a later column made by Marcus Aurelius which stands next to via Corso. If you are walking around the area of the Forum Romano and Piazza Venezia you will pass through Trajan’s Column - so you might as well stop for a minute and have a closer look at the marvelous carvings from ancient times.
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My favourite monument in Rome Apr 03, 2011
Choosing a favourite monument in Rome is no easy task and although my top three are very close together, the Colonna Traiana, gets my top vote. Like most of Rome's monuments and ruins it tells a long history and is amazing upon first viewing. It is hard to believe you are really there standing in that spot where so many different people with their own personal stories have stood before you.
What makes the Colonna Traiana stand out for me is the capacity for one solitary column to share so many stories. It may not as be spectacular or popular as the Colosseum or as visited as the Vatican, however it has lot to share if you are not too busy rushing past to go somewhere else.
The column's carvings portray the wars between the Romans and the Dacians in intricate detail. It made me think about whether we put so much effort into recording our present times. Do we have as much pride in our "battles" either at a personal or national scale? My thoughts ventured out onto all sorts of tangents: perhaps street art is the new victory column, what will be the artifacts or our current times, what will appear strange to the 50th century human if the world survives until then etc, etc.
The column has apparently inspired other victory columns around the world. Its sheer scale and the work that it would have taken to construct it, especially in ancient times, is also pretty incredible.
Maybe I was a bit slow, but I think on coming to the Colonna Traiana was when it really set in just how incredible Rome is. Before then I was simply walking around with my jaw on the ground, too amazed to truly take anything in. I think having seen photos and heard about the other major monuments makes it a different experience when you actually see them up close. It is still amazing but at first you are just seeing the monument from tourist perspective rather than a historical perspective and this can be hard to overcome sometimes.
See it for yourself: maybe it will have the same effect!