Column of Antoninus Pius

Column Of Antoninus Pius

Column of Antoninus Pius

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This article deals with the lost column dedicated to Antoninus Pius. For the column previously erroneously called this before the Renaissance, see Column of Marcus Aurelius, and specifically Column of Marcus Aurelius#Restoration


The Column of Antoninus Pius () is a Roman honorific column in Rome, Italy, devoted in 161 to the Roman emperor Antoninus Pius, in the Campus Martius, on the edge of the hill now known as Monte Citorio, and set up by his successors, the co-emperors Marcus Aurelius and Lucius Verus.

History

Construction

The column itself was 14.75 metres high and 1.90m in diameter and was constructed of red granite, with no decorating reliefs as on the otherwise similar columns of Trajan and Marcus Aurelius. It was quarried out in 106 (as shown by the masons' inscription on its lower end, IG xiv.2421.1). Architecturally it belonged to the Ustrinum, 25 metres north of it on the same orientation, with the main apotheosis scene facing in that direction, and was surmounted by a statue of Antoninus, as is represented on coins issued after his death (Cohen, Ant. Pius 353‑6).

Rediscovery

Previous to the 18th century the base was completely buried, but the lower part of the shaft projected about 6m above the ground. In 1703, when some buildings were demolished inthe area of Montecitorio, the rest of the column and the base were discovered and excavated. The column was raised from the ground by Carlo Fontana's son Francesco(1668-1708), but no decision was made...
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