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Bill Thayer

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Scene 48
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 50

SCENES OF THE SPIRAL BAND RUNNING UP THE SHAFT

p141

XLIX. A further advance and fresh fortifications

In this composition, while the light troops of Trajan are again sent forward, a new fortification is begun. This is a rocky height naturally strong. It is square in outline, with the corners of the enclosure rounded off. The four conventional gates are made, and lofty timber gate posts are dropped into the stone sockets made to receive them by workmen belonging to the legions. Within the enclosure are several inequalities amongst the rock in which parties of workmen carrying hewn stones to form battlements are nearly hidden. In a deep fosse or ditch round the outer circuit of the walls other workmen are giving orders and industriously digging out sand and gravel to form mortar. In the circuit of the praetorian camp, inside of which there is a tent, a doorway with two closed valves is seen, and above it is a strong framework of wood. Close besides it, mounted on the summit of the wall, is placed a balista, and another is mounted on another side of the enclosure. All these means of protection indicate a country favourable for ambush and surprise, and they are precautions not hitherto taken in the fortification of Roman stations in Dacia.


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Page updated: 27 Nov 01