On the 21st of April, Sunday last week, Rome celebrated her 2,766th birthday dating from the traditional founding of the city by Romulus in 743 BC.
And what better way to belatedly celebrate the birthday than to conclude the 10 part series on best Ancient Roman things to see in Rome.
Victory columns are not new things in the world- there have been more victory memorials than has been good for the world. But some victory columns are better than others- if not for what they commemorate then at least for their design and execution.
The victory column of Trajan for example is not only impressive in its height and stature- it stands 100 feet tall (125 feet when you count the pedestal) but also for the tale it tells. The column was put up to celebrate Trajan’s victory over the Dacians (near modern Romania) in the early 100s AD.
The column has the entire story of the wars retold in a winding spiral frieze right from the bottom to the top. The frieze at the bottom is about 3m in width and goes up to 4m at the top in order for the people to view the frieze easily.
If you look at the frieze closely you will see how each detail is carefully carved out throughout the column and nothing is repeated. It is a little hard to follow the tale in situ but the museum of Roman civilisation at EUR in Rome has plaster casts of the frieze laid out one next to another.