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Bill Thayer

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This webpage reproduces a section of
A Description of the Trajan Column
by John Hungerford Pollen

printed by George E. Eyre and William Spottiswoode,
printers to Queen Victoria
London, 1874

Text and engravings are in the public domain.
Any color photographs are © William P. Thayer 1997-


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SCENES OF THE SPIRAL BAND RUNNING UP THE SHAFT

p173 C. Attack on a Roman fortification

The Dacians attack a fort garrisoned by a detachment of imperial troops. They are in great numbers and swarm round the place on every side. They attack with arrows, lances, and weapons of all kinds. The place is on the top of a rock, and the enemy presses up the sides with great determination. The Dacians seem to attempt to form the combined movement of the Roman testudo, but their shields are oval and do not fit. They fall in great numbers, but press on without hesitation. Numbers of the dead of the enemy encumber the slopes of the rock below the scene of the chief fury of the assault.

The Romans defend themselves with desperate energy. Some thrust with spears, leaning over the walls to strike. Most of the defence is with large squared stones, by which we may conclude that the fortifications are still in progress. p174Three gates can be made out. One of these constructions shows a large protruding beam pushed over the wall. From the end of it is hung by a chain the body of a Dacian chief killed on the crest of the wall. The great loss of life seems to have its effect on the Dacian army.


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Page updated: 27 Nov 01