On Trajan's Column: readings, functions and symbolism

Tom Stevenson

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Most art history textbooks treat 'Trajan's Column' by concentrating on the details of the amazing helical frieze which envelopes the monument. In this paper I want initially to support those scholars who argue that the problems involved in viewing the frieze in detail were probably insurmountable in ancient times, so that we should re-evaluate our conventional approach. Next, the aim is to reassess the Column's functions as one way of approaching the meanings it would have had for individual viewers. Finally, I would like to make a few points about the Column as a symbol of Trajan's relationship with the Senate and People of Rome, and as a symbol of Roman power for later generations.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)28-68
Number of pages41
JournalAncient history : resources for teachers
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2001

Bibliographical note

Publisher version archived with the permission of the Editor, Ancient History : resources for Teachers, Macquarie Ancient History Association, Macquarie University, NSW, Australia. This copy is available for individual, non-commercial use. Permission to reprint/republish this version for other uses must be obtained from the publisher.


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