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Alfonso Chacón’s history of the wars against the Dacians published in the PUDL

The triumphal column erected by the Roman senate in 113 A.D. to celebrate the victories of the emperor Trajan (died 117) over the Dacians is one of the best-preserved monuments of Imperial Rome. The first publication to include a full series of illustrations of the sculpted reliefs was Alfonso Chacón’s history of the wars against the Dacians. In 1569, the Brescian painter Girolamo Muziano (1532–92) had been granted permission to publish prints of the frieze, which are thought to have been based on the drawings of Jacopo Ripanda (fl. ca. 1500–16), one of the first artists to make a close study of the column. Alfonso Chacón, a Spanish Dominican scholar in Rome, dedicated his book to King Philip II of Spain, the self-proclaimed champion of the Church of Rome, and the ruler of a vast empire. Philip would have been flattered by the analogy to the emperor Trajan (also Spanish-born), whose victories over the enemies of the empire were celebrated by the column.

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