Trajan's monument was inspired by the Augustus mausoleum, and was dedicated to the god Mars Ultor in AD 107/108 . On the monument there were 54 metopes depicting Roman legions fighting against enemies; most of these metopes are preserved in the museum nearby. The monument was supposed to be a warning to the tribes outside this newly conquered province.
By the 20th century, the monument was reduced to a mound of stone and mortar, with a large number of the original bas-reliefs scattered around. The present edifice is a reconstruction dating from 1977. The nearby museum contains many archaeological objects, including parts of the original Roman monument. Of the original 54 metopes, 48 are in the museum and 1 is in Istanbul.
The monument was decorated with a large inscription dedicated to Mars Ultor (the avenger). The inscription has been preserved fragmentarily from two sides of the trophy hexagone, so it could be reconstructed as follows:
NERVA F(ILIUS) NIANUS IITU DRUM
The inscription from the main monument can be translated in this way: