Analyzing the Column of Trajan Essay

Analyzing the Column of Trajan Essay

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The city of Rome delivers rich culture, influential architecture, and beautiful scenery that collectively demonstrate a course of great history and a prominent civilization. There are various structures from Imperial Rome that are highly recognized and mentioned within artistic research. Some examples include the Pantheon, Basilica Ulpia, Flavian Amphitheater, Arch of Titus, and Column of Trajan. Also referred to as Trajan’s Column, the iconic sculpture retains a prestigious appearance as it’s shown with characteristics of empowering height and intricate detail (Fig. 1). When analyzing such a remarkable piece of artwork one should consider the different elements that pertain to the subject matter and historical context. With that in mind, this paper presents the argument that the column is not only a portrayal of the Dacian Wars but also a funerary monument, paradigm of military inspiration, and tribute to Trajan’s reign.
Before addressing the column’s physical attributes it’s important to discuss the significance of the closely related landmarks that surround it. According to author Marilyn Stokstad, “The last and largest Imperial Forum was built by Trajan about 110-113 CE and finished under Hadrian about 117 CE on a large piece of property next to the earlier forums of Augustus and Julius Caesar” (Stokstad 191). At the north end of the courtyard was a closed off section from a building referred to as the Basilica Ulpia (Fig. 2). It was created in c. 112 CE and named after the family which Trajan had been a part of. The basilica was a long, spacious structure measured 385 feet long (without the apes included) and 182 feet wide that was mainly used for government related purposes (Stokstad 192). There were also two libraries behi...


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...ortant such as the development of the economy. In addition to the respect given to Trajan there was a level of respect that was owed to the Roman government and its own members of society as well. With these standards employed, it ensured that the people of Rome would realize that they were representing the city in which they lived.
In conclusion, there are various opinions as to what the column was built for and how it was supposed to engage its viewers. Many say it was simply constructed as architecture while others say it was utilized as propaganda. Either way there was a reason for its creation, physical design, and designated location. As mentioned in the beginning and argued throughout this piece, Trajan’s Column is not only a portrayal of the Dacian Wars but also a funerary monument, paradigm of military inspiration, and tribute to Trajan’s reign.

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