Emperor Trajan’s tablet (Tabula Traiana) is part of an assemblage of Roman monuments on the Roman Road through Djerdap, raised to commemorate the completion of works on two huge construction projects in the gorge, namely a road through Djerdap and a Roman canal near the present day Djerdap 1 hydroelectric power plant. The rectangular tablet is carved into the rock, with an engraved inscription in Latin devoted to Roman Emperor Trajan.
EMPEROR CAESAR, SON OF THE DIVINE NERVA, NERVA TRAJAN AUGUSTUS GERMANICUS, HIGH PRIEST AND FOR THE FOURTH TIME TRIBUNE, OVERCOMING THE HAZARDS OF THE MOUNTAIN AND THE ROCKS OF THE DANUBE BUILT THIS ROAD
It was originally placed 1.5 meters above the Roman road along the Danube. The inscription suggests that a portion of the Djerdap route in the Lower Gorge was built by Emperor Trajan as part of preparations for the war on Dacians; more precisely, it reveals that in the year 100 AD this final and most difficult section of the road was completed. The Roman road and a number of strongholds indicate the importance of the Djerdap Gorge for the Roman Empire, until the final conquest of Dacia in the early 2nd century. The construction of the road, which stretched right along the river, was prompted by the need for faster and safer navigation.
The inscription on the tablet is in six lines, but only three are still legible. It used to be rich in relief decorations, however the only remaining adornment is a frieze depicting an eagle and figures of winged genies. Below the inscription is a kneeling figure, probably depicting Danubius (a river divinity), with a tympanum above and coffered ceiling. The Roman road was flooded after the construction of the Djerdap hydroelectric power plant (1963–1972). Trajan’s Tablet was cut from the rock, moved 50 meters higher and is now visible from the river.