A Spaniard by birth, a soldier by profession Trajan (Marcus Ulpius Trajanus) was adopted as a successor to the Emperor Nerva and ruled between 98-117 A.D. This commemorative column records the military achievements of his Dacian campaign.
Marcus Aurelius (A.D. 161-180) was almost constantly troubled during his reign by various wars with Germanic tribes and the resurgence of the Pathian Empire. While on campaign between 170 and 180 A.D., Aurelius wrote his Meditations as a source for his own guidance and self-improvement.
Cleopatra's Needle at Alexandria was presented by the Turkish Viceroy of Egypt, Mohammed Ali to the British in 1819. Cut from the quarries of Aswan and erected at Heliopolis around 1475 B.C., it was moved by the Romans to Alexandria. It was later transported to London and re-erected on Victoria Embankment.