To briefly compare a column to a tapestry…

10 Sep

The Bayeux Tapestry and Trajan’s Column advertise the victories of war in an effort to empower and preserve their civilization. The Bayeux Tapestry is currently considered to have been commissioned by Bishop Odo to maintain a favorable alliance with his half-brother, William the Conqueror. Throughout the embroidery Odo is often depicted in close proximity to William. It is interesting to consider that the impressive Bayeux Tapestry was commissioned to transmit a subliminal message to one individual. Regardless of the embroideries fictitious elements, it contains a remembrance of not just one historical incident, but a timeline of events which could be recalled by the public such as Haley’s Comet. Additionally, Harold and William’s parties appear to be rendered by a nonpartisan as the embroidery depicts favorable imagery of both sides. This piece is an exhibition of facts and some suggestions of truth, such as Trajan’s Column, a visual transcript of Emperor Trajan’s triumph over Dacia. The panels on the column were influenced by compositions produced by military artist, who maintained a visual record while they traveled with the Roman army, as well as diary entries written by Roman officials. The accuracy of the depictions heightens the reality of the narrative for the viewer. At the columns completion, Trajan dedicated the monument to the fallen warriors of the republic. This endearing inscription humanizes the emperor and his campaign as a necessary sacrifice. Similar to the Bayeux Tapestry, the column illustrates both armies as comparable opponents, presenting equally their achievements through the wars. The column has provided a breadth of information to historians regarding medical care, weaponry, and architecture. These elements, though of the war, surpass the narrative as if to visualize the subplot of accomplishment that were obtained through the capture of Dacia. The Trajan column makes the viewer aware of the inventions and complications of victory. Between these two artifacts, propaganda offers the viewer a detailed understanding of achievement and events through commemorative compositions.

S.Cook

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