September 26, 2015

1913 ROMANIA (Constanţa) - Tropaeum Traiani

Very soon after he became emperor, Trajan turned his gaze to Dacia, a kingdom stretched and rich, with a strategic position, at north of the Danube, which Roman Empire had failed to conquer it until then. One of the most important battles of the war which followed took place in the winter of 101-102 A.D. on the site where later will be built Civitas Tropaensium, the largest Roman city of Scythia Minor (Dobrogea), in nowadays Adamclisi, in modern Romania. The Romans were victorious in this battle, but with heavy losses.

After the conquest of Dacia following of the second war (105-106 A.D.), Trajan build in 109, on the battle's place, Tropaeum Traiani, inspired by the Augustus mausoleum, and dedicated to the god Mars Ultor (Mars the Avenger). Before Trajan's construction, an altar existed there, on the walls of which were inscribed the names of the 3,800 legionaries and auxilia (servicemen) who had died "fighting for the Republic". The present edifice is a reconstruction dating from 1977.

In its original form the monument would have been composed of a huge cylindrical structure (the stereobat), superposed by a coned roof made of stone slates laid like scales and on the roof there were two hexagonal bases having decreasing size: they served as a socle for a large statue - the well-known Tropaeum - the symbol of the Roman victories won at the borders of the empire. The monument was supposed to be a warning to the tribes outside this newly conquered province.

The height of the monument together with the trophy is approximately equal to the diameter of the base that is about 40 m. On the monument was a frieze comprising 54 metopes, depicting Roman legions fighting against enemies (Dacians and their allies), a real picture on stone of the campaigns. 48 metopes are hosted in the Adamclisi museum nearby, and one metope is hosted by Istanbul Archaeology Museum. At the top is the bifacial trophy (10.75m high), depicting an armor with four shields. At the base of the trophy are two statuary bodies, each containing three representations of the captives.

About the stamp
On the postcard 1913
The stamp is part of the third set of a very extensive series, entitled Romanian Pottery, about which I wrote here.

About the FDC
The FDC was released with the occasion of the issuance of the series Discover Romania - Dobrudja (18.09.2015), which consists of four stamps designed by Alec Bartoş:

• The monument Tropaeum Traiani (2.00 RON) - It's on the FDC
• The ruins of the medieval fortress Enisala (4.70 RON)
Saint Apostle Andrew's Cave (7.60 RON)
• The Danube Delta (8.10 RON)

The "first day" postmark depicts two dolphins, the coat of arms of Dobrudja.

The Museum Complex of Adamclisi - Official website of Constanţa County Council
Tropaeum Traiani - Wikipedia

Sender 1913: Marian Irimia
Sent from Chirnogeni (Constanţa / Romania), on 06.09.2011
Photo: Leonard Vizireanu
Sender FDC: Mihnea Răducu
Sent from Bucureşti (Bucureşti / Romania), on 18.09.2015 

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