Column of Marcus Aurelius
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member RakeInTheCache
N 41° 54.053 E 012° 28.791
33T E 290956 N 4641842
Quick Description: The Column of Marcus Aurelius, with a spiral relief, was built in honour of Roman emperor Marcus Aurelius and modeled on Trajan's Column. It still stands on its original site in Rome, in Piazza Colonna before Palazzo Chigi.
Location: Lazio, Italy
Date Posted: 8/2/2007 9:32:22 AM
Waymark Code: WM1Y9M
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member silverquill
Views: 196

Long Description:
Because the original dedicatory inscription has been destroyed, it is not known whether it was built during the emperor’s lifetime (on the occasion of the triumph over the Teutons and Sarmatians in the year 176) or after his death in 180; however, an inscription found in the vicinity attests that the column was completed in 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 29.60 m (about 100 feet) high, on a 10m high base, which in turn originally stood on a 3m high platform - the column in total is 41.95 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 3.7m diameter, hollowed out whilst still at the quarry for a stairway of 190-200 steps within the column up to a platform at the top. Just as with Trajan’s Column, this stairway is illuminated through narrow slits into the relief.

The spiral picture relief tells the story of Marcus Aurelius’ Danubian or Marcomannic wars, waged by him from 166 to his death.

In spite of many similarities to Trajan’s column, the style is entirely different, a forerunner of the dramatic style of the 3rd century and closely related to the triumphal arch of Septimius Severus, erected soon after. The figures’ heads are disproportionately large so that the viewer can better interpret their facial expressions. The images are carved less finely than at Trajan’s Column, through drilling holes more deeply into the stone, so that they are more impressive and stand out better in a contrast of light and dark.
Most Relevant Historical Period: Roman Empire > 27 B.C.

Admission Fee: Free

Opening days/times:
24 x 7


Web Site: [Web Link]

Condition: Completely intact or reconstructed

Visit Instructions:
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