The Column of Marcus Aurelius
(, ) is a Roman victory column
in Piazza Colonna
. It is a Doric column
featuring a spiral relief
: it was built in honour of Roman emperor Marcus Aurelius
and modeled on Trajan's Column
Because the original dedicatory inscription has been destroyed, it is not known whether it was built during the emperor’s reign (on the occasion of the triumph
over the Marcomanni
in the year 176) or after his death in 180; however, an inscription found in the vicinity attests that the column was completed by 193.
In terms of the topography of ancient Rome
, the column stood on the north part of the Campus Martius
, in the centre of a square. This square was either between the temple of Hadrian
(probably the Hadrianeum) and the temple of Marcus Aurelius
(dedicated by his son Commodus
, of which nothing now remains - it was probably on the site of Palazzo Wedekind
), or within the latter’s sacred precinct, of which nothing remains. Nearby is the site where the emperor’s cremation occurred.
The column’s shaft is 29.62 m (about 100 feet) high, on a ca. 10.1 m high base, which in turn originally stood on a 3 m high platform - the column in total is 39.72 m. About 3 metres of the base have been below ground level since the 1589 restoration.
The column consists of 27 or 28 blocks of Carrara marble
, each of 3.7 m diameter, hollowed out whilst still at... Read More