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Bill Thayer

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Scene 32
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.

This page has been carefully proofread
and I believe it to be free of errors.
If you find a mistake though,
please let me know!


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Scene 34

Scenes of the spiral band running up the shaft

 p135  XXXIII. Trajan receives help from friendly natives

The emperor is surrounded by three officers. All, with one exception, wear the tunic and pallium clasped over the right shoulder; that of the emperor over the breast. One officer wears his cuirass. They are on the rocky bank of a river, outside the extreme angle of a fortified town, of which an arched gateway and a corner tower, with battlements, are behind the party. Two chiefs of friendly tribes or races are introduced to the emperor. Their hands are extended with a gesture implying confidence, and he stretches out his right hand to them. Two guards are present. These figures have no bonnet or head covering. There is an empty galley in the foreground, in which is a Roman officer or steward addressing the emperor, to whom this and other means of transport are being offered. The galley or row boat is similar to those used by the Romans. The curved stern post is turned back and ends in three bars or strips; on the hip of the curved part is carved the head of a swan turned towards the stern. The covered cuddy or cabin appears to be tiled over with rounded shingles of oak or other wood carefully laid one over the other. On a panel outside the small forecastle in the bow of the vessel is a cupid riding on a hippocamp in the water, and small buttresses are carved on the upper edge. It is fronted by  p136 a projecting pointed nose or cutwater, and is intended as a guard boat. It carries seven oars besides the broad steering paddle. The former are worked through the open diagonal bulwark railing along the sides. With it is a boat with a raised poop, intended for transport purposes. She is laden with cornº sacks and other stores closely packed and corded, which are being landed by the light troops. Amongst these stores are two standards. As standards would hardly have been sent to the legions as mere stores, it is probable that the signiferi have been sent with the soldiers in charge of the stores intended for special divisions or legions. A small building with a pedimental end can be distinguished behind these objects.

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Page updated: 5 Aug 20