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Bill Thayer

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Scene 54
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 56


LV. Last battle of the war

Trajan presses forward to the stronghold of Decebalus. The light troops and auxiliaries are in advance, and the heavy troops are drawn up in the rear. A man in a linen tunic and cloak is hurling stones, and a German, nude to the waist, fighting with a club, but it is not rendered in the sculpture.

The Roman troops most in advance are desperately engaged and fight hand-to‑hand with the sword. Two of them are engaging a wounded Dacian, borne to the ground, and without his shield, but fighting with desperation, as is shown in the determined expression of his eyes and mouth. Another Roman climbs over heaps of slain to reach those still resisting. A stockaded fort is seen in the background, and ranks of Dacians are half distinguished in a defile of the rocks which separate them from the Roman attack. They express uncertainty and dismay by the action of their hands. Some are rushing on determined to dispute the ground still, and others seem inclined to take refuge in the fort, which is a timber structure with heavy timber posts at intervals, and again fixed into equally heavy pieces of timber.

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Page updated: 27 Nov 01