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Bill Thayer

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Scene 41
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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Scene 43

Scenes of the spiral band running up the shaft

(p139) XLII. Fortifications of the Enemy destroyed

The emperor on horseback, followed by two mounted attendants, crosses a stream by a bridge of timber erected by the enemy. It is defended by a wooden enclosure of timber palisading. A gateway is defended by a roofed wooden structure erected over it. This enclosure or gate house has four windows. All these wooden defences are set on fire by the Romans.

Their men form a guard to defend the hither end of the bridge. It is raised on piles driven into the bed of the river. A central opening seems to be left by a wider disposition of the piles, so that the navigation of the stream might not be hindered. The parapet is a stout upright railing with the usual diagonal bracing between. All the timber is carefully squared, and the piles are ornamented with capitals. A close piece of paling forms the parapet over the central part of the bridge, and on the further  p140 bank a structure of close paling seems to indicate a continuation of the bridge over soft ground.

In the distance are seen a body of Dacians with a standard, pointing to the emperor whom they see without having been discovered, and prudently beating a retreat.

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Page updated: 27 Nov 01