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Bill Thayer

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Scene 76
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 78

Scenes of the spiral band running up the shaft

 p161  LXXVII. Embassy of Dacians and others to the emperor

The scene is laid outside a Roman colonial station. Several buildings are enclosed within a circular wall. An amphitheatre made of timber is outside this enclosure, arches are formed round the exterior, and a row of triangular windows lights a corridor behind the upper seats. From this a roofed passage communicates with a small house placed at right angles to it. An open corridor makes a communication with this and with another building, beyond which last is a triumphal arch with a flat roof, and two military trophies above it. From this arch issue soldiers in full marching order, and pass over a wooden bridge, the first part of the parapet of which is made of close palings.

The emperor, in civil costume, wearing the same sleeved dress and boots and his pallium, stands in front of the buildings described. He is attended by several officers in the same dress. The native ambassadors are of various tribes and in various dresses. Some are such as we have already seen on the Dacians. Two men in front of the emperor wear light pantaloons gathered in puckers round the waist. The upper part of the body is clothed only with a square mantle clasped over the shoulder and half covering the back and breast. The speaker wears a handkerchief knotted round his head. One other man dressed in this way wears a sheepskin cap. Another has some tight tunic or jacket besides. Three men, of whom two are in the foreground, are dressed in long gowns gathered in the waists, and with full skirts falling to the feet, altogether like a modern woman's gown; but the breast and back are tightly fitted with what appears to be plate armour; the plates fastened together, and having the character of Asiatic plate armour, such as is still used and continues to be made in parts of India. Their dresses have tight sleeves to the wrists, and their hands are in gloves. On the side furthest from the emperor are two Dacians in pantaloons, gowns, and cloaks; one wears a straight sword at his left side. Both have high sheepskin caps, and hold their horses as  p162 if about to mount after an unsuccessful interview with Trajan. Behind the emperor and his officers are armed Roman guards, and soldiers, and colonists in civil dress.

The ambassadors have no success with the emperor, who seems to reproach them with having violated the conditions imposed at the end of the war.

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Page updated: 3 Aug 20