A Roman triumphal column in Italy, Trajan’s Column, commemorates Roman emperor Trajan's victory in the Dacian Wars. It was probably constructed at the order of the Roman Senate and under the supervision of the architect Apollodorus of Damascus. It is located in Trajan's Forum near the Quirinal hill. The freestanding column, completed in AD 113, is most famous for its spiral bas relief. This spiral bas relief describes the epic war between the remains and Dacians. The design of this building inspired numerous ancient and modern victory columns.



The purpose of making the column is unclear. It is unknown whether the column was meant to serve as a commemorative function or as a propaganda piece. The column was a glorifying monument which upholds Trajan as Rome's great emperor according to the traditional scholars.However, recent reconstructions of Trajan's forum have determined that the Column's narrative power would have been fairly limited as it would have been difficult to follow the spiral frieze from end to end. That Trajan's ashes were buried in a chamber at the base of the column, could also be the important idea of the column as a symbol for Trajan. There is a statue of Trajan at the top of the column. The earthly remains of Trajan are buried at the ground level of the Forum. This is a center of life for Romans. Taking us through Trajan's triumph, the column from the base goes up and finishes with a statue of Trajan above the Forum. It is hard to ignore the symbolism here if we consider the practice of deification of emperors. The Roman Senate voted an decided to have Trajan's ashes buried in the column's square base after his death in 117. The square base is decorated with Dacian arms and armor. His and his wife's ashes were set inside the base. Looking into this, we may conclude that Trajan may have intended the column to be his final resting place from the inception of the project.

Entered by a small doorway at one side of the base in the interior of Trajan's hollow column, a spiral stair of 185 steps gives access to the platform. 43 window slit illuminating the ascent offered the visitors a view over the surroundings. The height of the column is 38.4 m from the ground to the top of the statue base. It had to be constructed tall, because it is located immediately next to the large Basilica Ulpia, in order to maintain its own visual impact on the forum. The column without the pedestal, the statue ands its base is 29.76 metres high. The spiral stairs was carved out of 19 blocks an takes a full turn every 14 steps. The quality of craftsmanship was so superior that the staircase is practically even and huge blocks still fit accurately.

The inscription at the base of the column in finest lettering reads:

SENATVS·POPVLVSQVE·ROMANVS
IMP·CAESARI·DIVI·NERVAE·F·NERVAE
TRAIANO·AVG·GERM·DACICO·PONTIF
MAXIMO·TRIB·POT·XVII·IMP·VI·COS·VI·P·P
AD·DECLARANDVM·QVANTAE·ALTITVDINIS
MONS·ET·LOCVS·TANTIBVS·SIT·EGESTVS

The translation read: The Senate and people of Rome [give or dedicate this] to the emperor Caesar, son of the divine Nerva, Nerva Traianus Augustus Germanicus Dacicus, pontifex maximus, in his 17th year in the office of tribune, having been acclaimed 6 times as imperator, 6 times consul, pater patriae, to demonstrate of what great height the hill [was] and place [that] was removed for such great works.