Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
The Column of Marcus AureliusThe Genesis and Meaning of a Roman Imperial Monument$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Martin Beckmann

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780807834619

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: July 2014

DOI: 10.5149/9780807877777_beckmann

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM UNIVERSITY OF NORTH CAROLINA PRESS SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.northcarolina.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of North Carolina Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in NCSO for personal use.date: 25 May 2022

Viewing the Column

Viewing the Column

(p.187) Chapter Nine Viewing the Column
The Column of Marcus Aurelius

Martin Beckmann

University of North Carolina Press

This chapter has a different focus and asks a more problematic question: What did the column mean? For the modern viewer, the main message of the column at first seems to be contained in the frieze: a vast expanse of detailed images, inviting equally detailed interpretation. However, the frieze is a frustrating artwork, full of contradictions. It appears to tell a story, yet very few of its scenes are historical. The frieze is detailed, but many of the details are wrong. It was on prominent display yet shows many signs that great care was not lavished on it by its carvers. The frieze is apparently intended to give the impression that it chronicles Marcus's campaigns yet contains substantial elements copied directly from Trajan's Column. Also, it is never mentioned in any of our ancient sources.

Keywords:   problematic question, modern viewer, frieze, detailed images, detailed interpretation, Marcus's campaigns, Trajan's Column

North Carolina Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us .