This image comes from Trajan’s column and depicts the personification of Victory inscribing the name Dacia onto a shield to be hung on the victory trophy depicted to the right of the scene signifying the end of the first Dacian war. The victory monument on the right of the scene shows a tree trunk covered in the armour and weapons of the defeated enemy which can tell us a lot about the weapons and armour used by the Dacians throughout these conflicts.


Interestingly, Trajan’s column itself functioned as a monument to the Emperor Trajan’s victory over the Dacian people of modern day Romania. The Column was erected in the Trajan’s forum in Rome where it still stands today.


The frieze running up the column in a 220m long spiral has been argued to illustrate the events of the Dacian wars as depicted in Trajan’s lost account of these campaigns, although some historians disagree with this theory no final determination can be made one way or the other without more of Trajan’s account being found.

The low reliefs on the column depict over 2500 human figures engaged in all manner of military activities associated with these wars, from fighting in the forests to constructing the fortifications that protected the Roman army on campaign.

The symbology evident in this scene is repeated on other media of the period also, in particular on Trajanic coinage.