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Trajan’s Column is a Roman triumphal column in Rome, Italy, that commemorates Roman emperor Trajan’s victory in the Dacian Wars.

The design is based on the letterforms of Capitalis Monumentalis or Roman square capitals, as used for the inscription at the base of Trajan’s Column from which the typeface takes its name.

SENATVS·POPVLVSQVE·ROMANVS IMP·CAESARI·DIVI·NERVAE·F·NERVAE TRAIANO·AVG·GERM·DACICO·PONTIF MAXIMO·TRIB·POT·XVII·IMP·VI·COS·VI·P·P AD·DECLARANDVM·QVANTAE·ALTITVDINIS MONS·ET·LOCVS·TANT(IS·OPER)IBVS·SIT·EGESTVS

“A high degree of grandiloquence was characteristic of

the inscriptions of Trajan, who, in restoring the

CircusMaximus, described it as worthy of

the roman people, and allowed the

language of vague exagger-

ation to appear on the

pedestal of his

column.”

Because of its origins, Trajan does not have a miniscule lowercase but has instead a small-cap lowercase, comprising capital forms of a slightly lower height. It has proved an extremely popular titling face, combining classical authority with great refinement of form.

In presenting facsimiles of Roman inscriptions, it hasn’t been possible to render all the letters which English usage requires. The classical Roman alphabet is, from the point of view of our own and other European languages, defective. I and V are dual-purpose letters, serving also for J and U; W is non-existent; K, Y and Z are alien, used by the Romans in words of Greek origin.

Glyphic; “This is a category of carved or inscribed type with its origins in both the history and the contemporary practice of letter cutting, and its main exponents have been equally distinguished in the letter crafts.

Since the inscription and its writing form manifests in only one case, Trajan is an all-capitals typeface. Instead, small caps are commonly used, and a more complete set of glyphs contained in Trajan Pro (a 2001 update of the original typeface) includes a lower case of small caps.