Basilica-Ulpia-on-Sestertius

Basilica Ulpia on Sestertius

22 Jul 2020  Wed

Basilica Ulpia is an elegant portico supported by columns with lofty steps and is adorned with various statues over it. It was an ancient Roman civic structure in the forum of Trajan. Named after the Roman emperor Trajan, this building suited far away from the main courtyard. The acts conducted on its premises were not religious, but the administration of justice, commerce and the presence of emperor made it significant.

The Sestertius issued during the emperor Trajan reign illustrated Basilica. The coins depicted the equestrian statue of Trajan with the legend ‘S P Q R OPTIMO PRINCIPI’ and ‘BASILICA VLPIA S C’ in exergue on the reverse. This edifice was added by the order of Senate on these coins in AD 144 to commemorate the basilica.

The column structure of Basicila Ulpia was influenced by Egyptian hypostyle halls. Today, many of these columns exist and are part of the modern Via dei Fori Imperiali. A trunk road was constructed around it during Benito Mussolini time. This Basilica is decorated with the war spoils and trophies taken from the Dacian wars fought under the command of Trajan.

Image Courtesy: Americannumismatic.org

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