Thursday, March 10, 2005

My first visit to Rome Day 1 Part 7

Trajans Column relief detail
Trajans Column relief detail, originally uploaded by mharrsch.
Trajan's column is just a short walk from the Victor Emanuel Monument. Although it presently has scaffolding around the base I was still able to get some great shots of the sculptured images with my 12X zoom lens. The difficult part is trying to remember where you are on the monument to take the next successive photograph.

I had been anxious to see Trajan's column ever since I attended a lecture on Trajan and the Dacian Wars. I was certainly not disappointed. This is a period of Roman history I hope to learn more about and it is exciting to see the events depicted in so much detail on the column shaft.

Carved from 20 blocks of Carrara marble, the column stands over 30 meters high.

"The upper parts of the Column were designed to be seen not from the ground level but from the galleries of the buildings which originally stood around it. A statue of the emperor himself once stood on the summit; the present statue of St Peter dates only from 1588. The base of the Column is a massive cube containing a number of small rooms, the innermost of which was Trajan's tomb chamber. Cremation was still the customary rite among high-ranking Romans during this period. Two holes drilled in the rear wall of the room may have been intended to hold the funerary urns of Trajan and his wife Plotina."

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