Trajan’s Column


Trajan’s Column is the only well kept monument in the Trajan’s Forum, in the middle of a field full of ruins. With a height of about 30 metres, there have been used about 20 blocks of Carrara marble, each weighing about 40 tons.

The Column is not only a cronique meant to immortalize the wars between the Roman Empire and the Dacian kingdom (101-102 and 105-106 A.D.), it is also the tomb of Trajan.

After his death in 117 A.D., his ash has been laid in a golden urn at the bottom of the monument. (from where it has eventually disappeared)

Initially, the column had at the top the statue of emperor Trajan, which disappeared soon after. Between 1589 and 1590, there has been placed, from Pope’s order, the Saint Peter’s statue, which can be seen today.


In 1896, after a journey of 45 days on foot, Badea Cartan (1849-1911), a shepherd with education from Cartisoara (Sibiu) arrives in Rome to see the Trajan’s Column. Tired after the long road, he sleeps next to the column and is found the next day by the citizens of Rome.

The local press writes: „A Dacian has descended from the Column…”.

December 31, 2010, I landed in Rome at 4 p.m. At the 5 p.m. I checked in at the hotel. At 6 p.m. I was in front of Trajan’s Column.


10 years ago I was visiting the Dacian citadels in the Orastie mountains and I was feeling like there were some important pieces missing from my image on the Dacians’ identity. In front of the column, the picture seemed a little bit more complete.

Though it is obvious the monument is a form of propaganda and it depicts the Dacians defeated and broken in all the battles and the Romans as always being victorious in every battle, it remains nevertheless an important element for the Romanian history and national identity.


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