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Bill Thayer

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Scene 59
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 61

SCENES OF THE SPIRAL BAND RUNNING UP THE SHAFT

p149 LX. Trajan gives his parting instructions before leaving for rome.

The thirteenth legion to which was given the title of Dacica, had been stationed hitherto in Upper Pannonia. It was now to be entrusted with the safe keeping of the conquered country, from which the emperor was about to start in order to celebrate his triumph from Rome. The place in which the last stronghold has been taken and the fortifications of Ulpia Trajana commanded by Trajan have been constructed is north of the Banat, somewhere on the confines of Hungary and Transylvania, and from the rocky nature of the ground represented, probably on one of the spurs that start northward from the southern Carpathian chain.

The emperor and his two generals are on a high suggestum of stone finished with a moulding or projecting edge. He and they are unarmed. He wears a loose tunic, over which is the chlamys or military cloak, not the civil toga, and boots tied over the instep. In his left hand he holds what is perhaps a scroll or written commission or record of his wishes. Before him are the signiferi with three upright standards and an eagle. Three of the soldiers present are bearers of these ensigns; ten more are probably tribunes. All are dressed in their linen cuirasses and military cloaks; they are without helmets and unarmed.

The emperor is giving detailed instructions, and with the forefinger of his right hand seems to dwell on each p150separate head of the instructions he leaves behind him. The two general officers are apparently numbering off each point with the forefinger. The tribunes hold out each his right hand in token of pledging his faith to keep the oath exacted by the Emperor.

Thus ends the first Dacian War.


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Page updated: 27 Nov 01