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Trajan's Column: 1900 years of a Roman classic

2014-03-16

In old times, when mass media still didn't exist, Romans resorted to this practice. It's the reason why many monuments in Rome are full of engraved stories and expression. Trajan's Column  is perhaps the best example.  

The classic Roman pillar turned 1900 years old. To celebrate, its hometown organized a very special exhibit.

LUCREZIA UNGERO
Museum of the Imperial Forums (Rome)
"What we want to show the public is the unique character of the column. It's more than the story of two war campaigns, it also shows all the features of the Roman world.”

The exhibit honors the Roman Emperor Trajan, in three different ways. The first one is this Medieval manuscript, which details the history and extension of the Roman Empire at the time. It's likely Trajan took some of these roads during his campaign against the Dacians.

But the celebration also includes contemporary art. In fact, the artist of these works comes from Romania, the modern-day site of historic Dacia. She was very surprised of the amount of detail in the Column.

LUCREZIA UNGERO
Museum of the Imperial Forums (Rome)
"The great thing about it is that for Dacia, it shows the leaves and branches of trees from the region, in modern-day Romania. But, for the Romans, it shows Mediterranean plants. It has very realistic elements.”

The last element incorporates the newest technology. A group of students transformed the monument into an interactive experience. Now, users can scroll through the history of the Column as if reading a comic.

ANDREA BONO
'Floaty' Technology
"If we're curious about the history, or if we want to find out more about something, we just touch the paddle, and we'll get a visual summary the piece we're interested in.”

Thanks to history, art and technology, the exhibit offers a complete experience to better appreciate Trajan's Column: a timeless work of art that describes the glory of a Roman emperor.


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