Emperor Trajan

Unidentified Artistafter 103 CE

Harvard Art Museums

Harvard Art Museums
Cambridge, United States

This statue shows Trajan in ceremonial armor (in contrast to the field equipment seen on the Column of Trajan in Rome), standing or stepping forward as if in the act of addressing his troops. His elaborate cuirass or breastplate has long tabs or pteryges, leather straps at the shoulders, and longer leather straps around the thighs. A tunic is visible under this ensemble, and a long cloak or paludamentum is worn on the left shoulder and around the left arm. The open-toed sandals are purely ceremonial, in keeping with the symbolic nature of the statue as suggested here and in previous publications.


  • Title: Emperor Trajan
  • Creator: Unidentified Artist
  • Date: after 103 CE
  • Technique: Carved
  • Physical Dimensions: w76.0 x h191.0 x d54.0 cm
  • Period: Roman Imperial period, Middle
  • Credit Line: Harvard Art Museums/Arthur M. Sackler Museum, Alpheus Hyatt Purchasing Fund
  • Creation Place: Europe/Ancient & Byzantine World
  • Type: Sculpture
  • External Link: Harvard Art Museums
  • Medium: Pentelic marble with modern restorations

Get the app

Explore museums and play with Art Transfer, Pocket Galleries, Art Selfie, and more


Google apps