Tabula Traiana

Tabula Traiana

When Roman Emperor Traian decided to conquere Ancient Dacia, present day Romania, he encountered a large problem, Djerdap Gorge. Traian’s architects started the project of building road in highly unhospitable Danube Gorge and they had eventually outdone themselves. This project meant building a bridge over river Danube also, but unfortunatelly, only pieces of once mighty bridge survived until today.

Several monuments were also erected along the road commemorating this incredible engineeirig endevor, but only one still stands. It was cut from the rock and transfered to higher ground as Djerdap Dam was constructed and Danube level was subsequenly raised. Taian’s Plaque is only reacheble directly from the water and only then, 3 out of six lines can still be read. Translated from Latin, the inscription on Trajan’s plaque reads, “Emperor Caesar son of the divine Nerva, Nerva Trajan Augustus, victor over the Germans, Pontifex Maximus, invested for the fourth time as Tribune, Father of the Fatherland, Consul for the third time, excavating mountain rocks and using wood beams has made this road.”

As far as reliefs are concerned, only a frieze depicting an eagle and the figures of winged genies have been preserved. Below the inscription is a kneeling figure, probably Danubius, the river-God. The cassettes are decorated with rosettes and depictions of eagles with outstretched wings, while to the side is a relief with two dolphins.