The Column of Trajan - Green - Framed & Mounted Print

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Trajan's Column is a Roman triumphal column in Rome, Italy, that commemorates Roman emperor Trajan's victory in the Dacian Wars. It was probably constructed under the supervision of the architect Apollodorus of Damascus at the order of the Roman Senate. It is located in Trajan's Forum, built near the Quirinal Hill, north of the Roman Forum. Completed in AD 113, the freestanding column is most famous for its spiral bas relief, which artistically represents the wars between the Romans and Dacians (101–102 and 105–106). Its design has inspired numerous victory columns, both ancient and modern. The continuous helical frieze winds 23 times from base to capital, and was in its time an architectural innovation. The interior of Trajan's Column is hollow: entered by a small doorway at one side of the base, a spiral stair of 185 steps gives access to the platform above, having offered the visitor in antiquity a view over the surrounding Trajan's forum; 43 window slits illuminate the ascent. The column stands 38.4 m (126.0 ft) high from the ground to the top of the statue base. The column is composed of 29 blocks of Luni marble, weighing in total more than 1100 tons. The spiral stair itself was carved out of 19 blocks, with a full turn every 14 steps; this arrangement required a more complex geometry than the more usual alternatives of 12 or 16. The quality of the craftsmanship was such that the staircase is practically even, and the joints between the huge blocks still fit accurately. Despite numerous earthquakes in the past, the column today leans at an angle of less than half a degree. Trajan's Column, especially its helical stairway design, exerted a considerable influence on subsequent Roman architecture.

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