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Drawing of the Trajanic frieze on the Arch of Constantine, Rome

Maker / artist: Unknown

Date collected: 1830-1883 (circa)

Collector: Thomas Man Bridge

Material: paper

Accession number: F3644.nn (recto)

Copy of Trajanic frieze on the Arch of Constantine, Rome. This drawing depicts a battle, with cavalrymen and foot soldiers.The men in armour are Roman soldiers. They are wearing plumed helmets and body armour or ‘cuirasses’. The man on the left with a flying cloak but no helmet is thought to represent the emperor Trajan.The men without armour are Dacians – ‘barbarians’ from the area of central Europe now in Romania.The battle scene is a Roman sculpture from the time of Trajan. It is a relief sculpture from the Great Trajanic Frieze that was once in the Basilica Ulpia in Trajan’s Forum, Rome. During the time of the emperor Constantine, before the fall of the Roman Empire, this sculptural relief was removed from its original location and incorporated in a new Arch of Constantine. This arch reused many Roman sculptures from the time of earlier emperors.

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