Apollodorus of Damascus
Roman, ca. 125 CE
Collected by a major museum
J. Paul Getty Museum

A prolific engineer and architect who worked primarily for the Roman emperor Trajan, Apollodorus of Damascus is credited with having designed most of the imperial buildings constructed during his reign, including baths, a forum, a bridge over the Danube, and the famous Trajan’s Column (completed 113). The column, which was built in the Roman Doric order and measures 125 feet, was the first triumphal monument of its kind. Low-relief carvings that decorate the marble column depict the emperor’s campaigns, and a chamber in the pedestal served as Trajan’s tomb. Apollodorus is also often credited as the designer of the Pantheon, and he is known to have written several technical treatises, none of which survive. Apollodorus was banished from Rome by the emperor Hadrian, possibly due to a disagreement over a temple design, and executed around the year 130.

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