Trajan's Column and the Ara Pacis

John Clark & Bryan Day 1B

Roman Architecture is known for Being Epic

Massive structures of glistening white marble populated a majority of Roman Cities. Most of the largest structures were government buildings, but Temple's and Monuments were typically similarly grand.

Trajan's Column was a Monument

Trajan was the Roman emperor from 98 to 117 C.E. During his reign he led Rome through the Dacian Wars, where Modern day Romania was added to the Empire. Constructed in the Forum Romanum under the order of the "Senate and people of Rome" as a gift for Trajan at the end of the Dacian Wars.

The Column was intricately decorated

with pictorial inscriptions on its marble exterior of events from the Dacian wars. The top also used to feature a small golden statue of Trajan, but it was lost during the Byzantine occupation of Rome, and later was replaced with a statue of Saint Peter by the pope.

The Ara Pacis

was built as an altar for the Roman Goddess of Peace, Pax, and to celebrate the return of Emperor Augustus Caesar in 13 BCE. The altar was carved out of Italian Luna marble and built on the flood plain of the Tiber known as Campus Martius.

The Altar depicts relief scenes

of The Vestal Virgins, Priest, and sacrificial animals on the upper exterior portion of the walls, while the lower portion was carved to look like acanthus scrolls. All the corners are decorated with palmettes and the interior wall depicts fruit & flower garlands hanging from ox heads. The East and West sides of the exterior walls have mythological scenes and on the South wall is Augustus and the Imperial Family. The North Wall has other Roman officials.


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