Check out this ancient Roman version of a graphic novel!

These columns may look familar, but that center one there with the statue on top is extremely unique! If you were able to zoom in, you’d see that a band of narrative relief carvings winds upward over twenty times to reach the top, very much like an illustrated comic book laid out like a horizontal scroll. Each band is just over three feet tall, and the whole column is about one hundred feet. A statue of the Roman emperor Trajan once stood on top, but has since been replaced by Saint Peter.

 

The whole of Trajan’s Column was designed to tell this one emperor’s victory story over the Dacians — peoples across the Danube River from ancient Rome. In fact, that male figure to the right is a personification of the river, and crossing it was the beginning of the illustrated story.
 
INSIDE the column, a winding staircase rises to the top, so that a sentry could stand on the platform above the column, beneath the statue. Two libraries used to stand to each side of the column, allowing visitors to get close enough to see the top parts of Trajan’s story carved in stone.
 
Check out the video below, along with the links below it, to learn more about this amazing 1900-year-old structure that still stands strong in the heart of Rome itself.

 

 
More on this topic:
Wikipedia
National Geographic Interactive!
Trajan’s Column in Rome
Ancient History Encyclopedia
A View on Cities
Khan Video (** the above YouTube video, but with subtitles)

 


 

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