Building Trajan’s Column (REMOTE)

Lynne Lancaster
Mellon Professor in Charge of the Humanities, American Academy in Rome
Tuesday August 18
1:30 p.m. EDT

Trajan's Column is best known for its sculpted spiral frieze depicting Trajan's victories in the Dacian Wars (101-106 AD), but it was also a great technological achievement requiring a great deal of site organization. The blocks making up the Column of Trajan are among the heaviest to have been lifted during the Roman Imperial period (the largest of which weighed as much as 77 tons). In this talk I look at the possible ways this could have been accomplished, some of the logistical problems of accomplishing such a feat, and how it fits into the Roman desire to demonstrate power through large scale construction projects. I will also touch on some of the problems involved in creating hypothetical reconstructions of ancient processes.

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