A GLOSSARY OF TERMS AND SCENE/OBJECT INDEX OF TRAJAN’S COLUMN
Trajan’s Column in Rome has served as a prominent landmark and a symbol of imperial power of the capital city since it was dedicated at the height of the emperor’s reign in 113 CE. Standing today in isolation, the Column was a focal point of the great forum and market complex built by Trajan to complement a group of older imperial fora clustered around the venerable Forum Romanum itself. The Trajanic project was funded by the rich spoils Trajan returned to Rome from the Dacian Wars, a conflict waged in two separate campaigns over the years 101-102 and 105-106.
Trajan’s commemorative Column is, ironically, one of the best preserved and least accessible monuments left to us from the ancient city. It has survived essentially intact, missing only its original painted decoration, the metal attachments that added detail to the sculpted figures, and of course the great bronze statue of the emperor himself that once crowned the top of the column (the statue of St. Peter was added by Pope Sixtus V in 1588). The reliefs that decorate the Column form a …