AncientScenery

This page contains images of ancient architecture and scenery from walks
around Rome, including both day and night shots of Castel sant’Angelo,
detailed images of the temples of the Sacred Area of Largo Argentina,
the Pyramid of Cestius, and three of the ancient Obelisks of Rome.

Click an image to open a larger version
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Castel sant’Angelo
Temple of Hadrian
Nero Aqueduct

Largo di Torre Argentina
Pyramid of Cestius
Obelisks of Rome

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The Banner below leads to the Rome Collections page where a Gallery can be selected.

Direct Link to the Gallery with images of Ancient Roman Scenery

There are a number of images in this section that are not yet on the Photoshelter site.
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Castel sant’Angelo
(Mausoleum of Hadrian)

Begun by Hadrian in 125 AD as a tomb for himself and his family and
 completed by Antoninus Pius in 139, the mausoleum was inspired by the
Mausoleum of Augustus on the Campus Martius, which was built in 28 BC. It
originally housed the urns of Hadrian, his wife Sabina, and his first adopted son.
It was later used to inter the ashes of succeeding Emperors through Caracalla in 217.

Castel_sant'Angelo_8014


Castel sant'Angelo 8014
1500 x 1092 (572 KB)

The original structure built by Hadrian is the cylinder in the center. It was built on the
opposite bank of the Tiber from the Mausoleum of Augustus, just north of the lower part
of the S-curve in the Tiber River opposite Campus Martius. Hadrian also built the Pons Aelius
leading to the Mausoleum, which is now Ponte sant’Angelo. This is the view from the east
showing the small tower at the southeast corner bastion. This is the only corner tower.

Castel_sant'Angelo_8015


Castel sant'Angelo 8015
1500 x 1110 (562 KB)

The Mausoleum was converted into a fortress in 401 AD and included in the Aurelian Walls.
The fortress was used to defend the Vatican area from the Visigoths during the Sack of Rome by
Alaric’s invaders in 410, who despoiled the tombs when they took the fortress by removing the urns
and scattered the ashes. It was used again to defend the area during the Vandal invasion of 455.
The mausoleum’s bronze and stone statues were thrown down on the Goths when they attacked
 Rome in 537. The capstone of one of the urns (probably Hadrian’s) survived and ended up
being incorporated into a Renaissance baptistery at St. Peter’s Basilica (1/2 mile west).

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Castel sant'Angelo detail 8018 M
1500 x 1290 (617 KB)

For the next several hundred years, the fortress was held by several prominent Roman
families. One of these families, the Crescenzi, strengthened the fortress considerably in the
late 10th century, and it was called Castrum Crescentii from this period. It passed to the Pierleoni,
then to the Orsini family. In 1277, Pope Nicholas III (Orsini) moved from the indefensible Lateran Palace
to the Castrum Crescentii due to its proximity to St. Peter’s and its value as a fortress. He built the
Passetto di Borgo leading between the Vatican and Castel sant’Angelo using part of the wall
which was created by Totila during the 6th century Gothic War. This passageway saved
Pope Alexander VI in 1494 when Charles VIII of France invaded Rome, and Pope
Clement VII during the Sack of Rome in 1527 by troops of HRE Charles V.

Castel_sant'Angelo_detail_8027


Castel sant'Angelo detail 8027
1500 x 1092 (560 KB)

The view from the southwest bastion towards the tower of the southeast bastion.
The exterior walls and bastions were built when 14th c. popes converted the mausoleum
into Castel sant’Angelo. After the castle was nearly razed to the ground in 1379 by Romans during
the occupation by the French, Pope Boniface IX commissioned military architect Niccolo Lamberti in 1395
to strengthen the defenses. He had the exterior curtain walls and bastions built which you see here.
The holes in the bastion walls were for the bombard cannons made from the 200 tons of bronze
 stripped from the trusses and ceiling of the Pantheon portico by Pope Urban VIII in 1625.

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Castel sant'Angelo 7866
795 x 1290 (320 KB)

Ponte sant’Angelo and the Castle sant’Angelo.

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Castel sant'Angelo 7869
960 x 1290 (435 KB)

The reason there are two versions of this image is that they were taken at two apertures to get different results in the rays emanating from the comas around the lights. The image at left was taken at f/8, the one above at f/5.6. Note the character of coma and the length of rays of light. With a smaller aperture (higher numbers), coma blur is reduced and rays get longer.

Castel_sant'Angelo_7875


Castel sant'Angelo 7875
1500 x 1092 (403 KB)

Ponte sant’Angelo is famous for the 10 statues of angels placed on the bridge by Clement IX
between 1667-1669. After the marble statues were placed on the bridge, the name was changed
from Pons Aelius to Ponte sant’Angelo. The statue of the Archangel Michael was placed atop
the cylindrical castle keep to commemorate the vision of Pope Gregory I of the Archangel
sheathing his sword atop the castle to signify the end of the Plague of 590. The first
statue was made of wood. The second marble statue was destroyed in 1379
when Romans besieged the castle (occupied by the French). The third
version (also of marble, but with bronze wings) replaced it in 1453.
It was destroyed by a bolt of lightning which blew a powder keg.
The next statue (gilded bronze) was melted down in 1527 to make
cannons. That one was replaced by the marble with bronze wings by
Rafaello da Montelupo in 1536. Rafaello da Montelupo’s statue remained
until 1753, when it was moved to Cortile dell’Angelo (Courtyard of the Angel)
and replaced by the current bronze statue created by Peter Anton van Verschaffelt.

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Castel sant'Angelo 7100
877 x 1290 (370 KB)

These night shots were all taken handheld, and even though I  braced my arms against a wall, the long exposure times made the shots very challenging. The first two (7866 and 7869) were just under one second, a very long time without a tripod. For the shot above I opened the aperture to f/4 to get 1/3 second, which reduced the rays and increased the coma blur of the lights (and made it more likely that I would get a good shot).

Castel_sant'Angelo_TourBoat_7063


Castel sant'Angelo Tour Boat 7063
877 x 1290 (472 KB)

A tour boat on the Tiber passes Castel sant’Angelo.

For this image, when I saw the tour boat coming, I opened the aperture further to f/2.8 to get a shutter speed of 1/6 second and reduce the depth of field a bit. I maintained focus on the castle so the blurred tour boat would be outside the plane of focus (1/6 second is not fast enough to stop the moving boat).

Castel_sant'Angelo_7054


Castel sant'Angelo 7054
1500 x 1092 (482 KB)

The image above, also taken from the opposite side of Ponte sant’Angelo, was also taken
at f/2.8, reducing the light rays nearly to oblivion and increasing the coma blur around the lights.
The faster shutter speed of 1/15 second ensured that I would come away with at least one good shot.
Frankly, even though I have practiced long exposure handheld techniques, the extremely long
shutter speeds required for night shots in Rome were beyond the range I would normally
attempt. I was pleasantly surprised to find that I got at least one good shot of nearly
every angle (I took eight of each angle to increase the likelihood of success).

Castel_sant'Angelo_7095


Castel sant'Angelo 7095
1500 x 1092 (491 KB)

Compare the image above with the previous image. I have set the image above to open in
a second window or tab to facilitate comparison. This image was taken at f/4 (1/3 sec.) to get
the optimum balance between attractive coma and rays from the lights. I used the tree to block
the Auditorium Conciliazione (home of the Symphonic Orchestra of St. Cecilia from 1950-2002).
You also may want to compare this image with the first landscape shot (7875), taken at f/8.
Image 7875 (2/3 second at f/8) was shot at that aperture to get the longest rays while
still maintaining some coma blur. At f/11 and f/16 the rays get really long, but the
coma blurring around the lights disappears. For those who may be interested,
you can compare the coma and rays as rendered at f/2.8, f/4, f/5.6 and f/8:
7054 & 7063: f/2.8; 7095 and 7100: f/4; 7869: f/5.6; 7866 & 7875: f/8.

Temple_ofHadrian_6463


Temple of Hadrian 6463
794 x 1290 (407 KB)

The remains of the Temple to the deified Hadrian in Campus Martius, built by Antoninus Pius in 145. The side colonnade shown above was incorporated into a 17th c. Papal Palace by Carlo Fontana in Piazza di Pietra (Plaza of Stone), so named because stones from the temple were used in its construction. Long misidentified as the Temple of Neptune (behind the Pantheon), it is now the Borsa (Stock Exchange of Rome).

Temple_ofAntoninus_andFaustina_7342M


Temple of Antoninus and Faustina 7342 M
1000 x 1600 (429 KB)

Another example of an ancient temple whose cella was used to house a later structure, this is the Temple of Antoninus and Faustina in the Forum Romanum. In the 7th-8th c., the temple was converted into the Church of San Lorenzo in Miranda. The staircase was built in the Middle Ages, but the earth deposited on the temple was removed during excavations in the 16th century, so there is now a six meter gap between the portico floor and the now unusable bronze door of the temple.

NeroAqueduct_ViaClaudia_6741


Nero Aqueduct Via Claudia 6741
960 x 1290 (571 KB)

Remains of part of Nero’s extension of the Aqua Claudia to bring water to his Domus Aurea. This is located at the intersection of Via Claudia and Via di Santo Stefano Rotondo (Basilica of St. Steven in the Round, behind the wall). This aqueduct also supplied water to the Nymphaeum of Nero shown to the right and part of the Palatine Hill. It is just south of the Colosseum, and north of the Baths of Caracalla.

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Nymphaeum of Nero 6739
800 x 1290 (628 KB)

Also on the Via Claudia is this apse, part of the remains
of the monumental fountain Nero built for his Domus Aurea.

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Images in this section are in a number of different Galleries on the Photoshelter website.
The Banner below leads to the Rome Collections page where a Gallery can be selected.

Direct Link to the Gallery with images of Ancient Roman Scenery

There are a number of images in this section that are not yet on the Photoshelter site.
If an image you want is not yet uploaded, contact Ron Reznick (info at bottom of page).

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There are 18 Galleries in the Photoshelter Rome Collection

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Largo di Torre Argentina

In the ancient part of the Campus Martius was located the Theater of Pompey, built in 55 BC.
This was an enormous stone theater, the largest ever built in Rome, with seating for 27,000. It
was built so that the steps were in the forecourt of four temples, as Roman Law allowed for
theatrical performances in temple forecourts. The Curia of the Theater of Pompey where
Julius Caesar was murdered is located in front of the arches, behind the round temple.
The actual spot where he was assassinated is under the street, but all that remains
of the Curia is the volcanic tuff behind Temple B (Aedes Fortunae Huiusce Diei).

Largo Argentina was named for the Papal Master of Ceremonies Johannes Burckardt,
who served five popes at the end of the 15th and early 16th centuries. He was an important
person at the time, and he bought up the area and built a palazzo around an existing medieval
tower, part of which can be seen in the right background of the image below (the Teatro Argentina).
His home town, near Strasbourg, was originally called Argentoratum in Latin, and he used to
sign documents with Argentinus, so the area became known as Largo di Torre Argentina.

LargoArgentina_TemplesABC_6568


Largo Argentina Temples ABC 6568
1500 x 1092 (649 KB)

The Largo Argentina Sacred Area, with Temple C in the foreground, Temple A
in the background, and Temple B between. These will be identified further below.

Temple C, the oldest of the temples, was (probably) originally dedicated c. 290 BC by
Manius Curius Dentatus to Feronia, goddess of Fertility, after a victory over the Sabines.
Feronia was originally a Sabine goddess. About 20 years later, Curius Dentatus also built
Rome’s 2nd aqueduct (Aqua Anio Vetus, from the Anio river), about four times the length of
the Aqua Appia (1st aqueduct) and from a higher source, but with lower quality water. There
are a number of fountains near the temple, suggesting a connection to water. Temple C
stood on a high podium. The podium used to be much taller (4.25 m) but c. 100 BC
the pavement was raised (the 100 BC pavement is shown in the foreground).

At the end of the 19th century it was decided to rebuild parts of Rome as it was the new
capital of the Kingdom of Italy. In 1929, demolition of the medieval area around Torre Argentina
unearthed the colossal head and arms of Fortuna, the goddess associated with Temple B, the round
temple in the center of the image above. The entire Campus Martius area used to be teeming
with temples, as the victorious generals and their armies used to camp out on the plain
while they were waiting for permission from the Senate to enter the city in triumph.

LargoArgentina_TemplesAB_6571


Largo Argentina Temples AB 6571
1500 x 1092 (671 KB)

Temple B (left), dedicated to Fortunae Huiusce Diei (Fortune of This Day), is where the
enormous statue of Fortuna was originally housed. It was the newest constructed of the three,
built in 101 BC by Quintus Lutatius Catulus to celebrate his victory over the Cimbri tribes.
Temple B is the only one which is identifiable for certain, based on the Fortuna statue.

The round structure of Temple B is rare in Rome. It represents a change from the Hellenistic
temple style to one which is purely Roman. Most Greek temples were designed with the exterior
as the important feature, while in Roman structures the interior space became of primary importance.
This temple design with a round cella was designed to highlight the circular interior, and is an
important structure for its early concatenation of Hellenistic and Roman architecture.

LargoArgentina_TempleA_6572


Largo Argentina Temple A 6572
1500 x 1092 (649 KB)

Temple A (on the right) is the second oldest (after Temple C). It was built in the 3rd c. BC and is
probably the Temple of Juturna built by Gaius Lutatius Catulus after his decisive battle against the
Hanno the Great’s Carthaginians in the Battle of the Aegates Islands (First Punic War, 241 BC).
The first structure was a small shrine on a high platform of squared blocks. It was altered in the
middle of the 2nd c. BC with the addition of a layer of tufa blocks to the podium, and with
base and crown moldings. The peristyle was added in the 1st c. BC. The preservation
of the temple can be attributed to the fact that it was incorporated into a 9th c. church
(San Nicola dei Cesarini), the apse and altar of which can still be seen at the rear.

The very short remnants of columns which can be seen at the far right, between Temple A
and the wall next to the street, are remnants of the Hecatostylum (hundred-column portico).
This was part of the portico of the Theater of Pompey, which extended up to the sacred area.

The area on the left, between Temples A and B, was an Imperial period office for Water Management.
Temple A was related to water (Juturna was goddess of Fountains, Springs and Wells), so apparently
it made sense to locate the office of the water officials (statio aquarum) next to the Temple of Juturna.

LargoArgentina_TemplesAB_6573


Largo Argentina Temples AB 6573
1500 x 1092 (643 KB)

Behind Temple B (left) can be seen a mound of volcanic tuff, also seen in the next image and
the detail crop immediately following. This is the remains of the Curia of the Theater of Pompey,
which was the site of the assassination of Julius Caesar in 44 BC. The actual site of the murder was
probably under the street in front of the Teatro Argentina (right background), but the only remaining part
of the Curia is the volcanic tuff you can see in these three images. One of the world’s oldest murder scenes.

The peristyle which was built around Temple A in the 1st century BC had six columns in the front and nine
on the sides, made of tufa with Corinthian columns. The travertine columns which can be seen today
are from a later restoration. Within the peristyle a new, larger cella was created for the temple.

JuliusCaesar_MurderSite_6575c


Julius Caesar Murder Site 6575c
(detail crop from image shown below)

LargoArgentina_TemplesAB_6575


Largo Argentina Temples AB 6575
1500 x 1092 (690 KB)

Columns in the right foreground are from the Hecatostylum (100-column portico).
You may have noticed that there are cats in nearly every image. The Largo Argentina
area is Rome’s largest no-kill cat shelter, and is home to hundreds of Rome’s stray cats.

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Largo Argentina Temple A 7439
1500 x 1092 (685 KB)

This shot shows detail of the peristyle of Temple A.

LargoArgentina_TempleA_7441


Largo Argentina Temple A 7441
1500 x 1092 (639 KB)

The Temple A peristyle with the altar in the background.

LargoArgentina_TempleA_6565


Largo Argentina Temple A 6565
1500 x 1092 (632 KB)

This shot shows the rear of Temple A, with the podium, peristyle, and the rear of the apsidal areas.

Cat_on_a_Hot_Ruin_6563


Cat on a Hot Ruin 6563
1350 x 990 (602 KB)

There is a paucity of tin roofs in the Largo Argentina area.

One of the Largo Argentina cats stops the cleaning process to watch the Americans.

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Images in this section are in a number of different Galleries on the Photoshelter website.
The Banner below leads to the Rome Collections page where a Gallery can be selected.

Direct Link to the Gallery with images of Ancient Roman Scenery

There are a number of images in this section that are not yet on the Photoshelter site.
If an image you want is not yet uploaded, contact Ron Reznick (info at bottom of page).

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There are 18 Galleries in the Photoshelter Rome Collection

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Pyramid_ofCestius_6829M


Pyramid of Cestius 6829 M
1500 x 1290 (424 KB)

The Pyramid of Caius Cestius (18-12 BC) was built in just 330 days so Cestius heirs
would not lose their inheritance. It is a Nubian style pyramid, but it is built of concrete with
 brick facing and white luna marble facing slabs over a travertine base. It is 37 meters
in height (125 Roman feet) and 29.6 meters square (100 Roman feet). Rome was
going through an Egyptian fad at the time, and obelisks were being brought into
Rome (shown in the next section). The structural strength of the concrete made
it possible to built this pyramid at a much steeper angle than the Giza-style
pyramids in record time. The steeper angle also made it possible for the
pyramid to reach its height using a much smaller amount of material.

The barrel-vaulted burial chamber was 5.95 m long, 4.1 m wide and 4.8 m tall.
The entrance was found in 1660, but the chamber had been plundered in antiquity.

Pyramid_ofCestius_6824


Pyramid of Cestius 6824
1146 x 1290 (468 KB)

The pyramid was built along the Via Ostiense, outside of the walls (as were all tombs), but as the city grew larger in the Republican period,  it became part of a dense neighborhood. In 271-275, the pyramid was made a part of the Aurelian Walls, and Porta Ostiensis was built next to it. Because the pyramid was made a part of the Aurelian Walls, it is one of the best preserved ancient buildings in Rome. There was another larger pyramid in Rome (the Pyramid of Romulus) but it was dismantled in the 16th century by Pope Alexander VI and the marble was used for the steps of St. Peter’s Basilica.

Pyramid_ofCestius_6831


Pyramid of Cestius 6831
960 x 1290 (407 KB)

I took the image above at a slightly different angle to take advantage of the late afternoon sun. By changing angles, I was able to capture the golden rays of the lowering sun (this was processed differently to emphasize the color). Each  of these shots was taken with people close to the pyramid (something I try to avoid), so you could have a sense of scale.

Pyramid_ofCestius_6832


Pyramid of Cestius 6832
1500 x 1150 (416 KB)

The Pyramid of Cestius next to the medieval gate of Porta San Paolo (Porta Ostiensis).

The gate was built by Maxentius in the 4th century, but the towers were increased in height
by Honorius, the notoriously weak Emperor who presided when the city was attacked by
the Visigoths (under Alaric) and sacked in 410. Honorius also demolished the central
section, and reduced the entrance arches from two to one. The section from below the
tower windows up to the battlements was built by Honorius (plus the center gate section).

Originally named Porta Ostiensis because it was at the beginning of the road to the Port
of Ostia (an important early port), the name was changed later because this was the gate
which led to Saint Paul’s Basilica outside the Walls. In 549, this was the gate through
which the Ostrogoths of Totila entered (due to the treason of the Isaurian garrison).

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Flaminio Obelisk 7933
795 x 1290 (355 KB)

 The Obelisks of Rome

Rome is the obelisk capital of the world. These were the ultimate trophies of Rome, representing the subjugation by Augustus of one of the oldest civilizations on Earth, and also the peace that reigned in the Empire of Augustus after the Battle of Actium which ended the Ptolemaic reign of Egypt.

There are eight ancient Egyptian obelisks and five ancient Roman obelisks, plus a number of more modern obelisks. The first and the last of the Egyptian obelisks which were transported to Rome on the specially-made obelisk ships (the Flaminio and Lateran) and one of the ancient Roman obelisks (the Sallustiano, cut in Egypt with hieroglyphs made in Rome) are shown below.

Obelisks were seen by the Egyptians as petrified rays of sunlight, and were normally erected in pairs in front of entrances to temples to the sun god Ra. Most of the obelisks in Rome were taken from Heliopolis, City of the Sun.

The popes of the 16th-18th centuries re-erected obelisks (which were found during excavations of the Circus Maximus and other ancient Roman monuments) in front of churches as symbols of the Pope’s legacy as a continuation of the Roman Emperors and as a symbol of the defeat of paganism (by crowning the obelisk with a cross).

Some of the obelisks were incorporated into fountains, such as in Piazza Navona or the Piazza in front of the Pantheon. The obelisks which were re-erected by Sixtus V at St. Peter’s, Santa Maria Maggiore and St. John in Lateran (as well as the Flaminio obelisk he placed in Piazza del Popolo) were placed at the ends of roads leading to the sites and acted as guides to pilgrims so they could easily find the next site from the one they were currently visiting (and at the same time glorifying Pope Sixtus V and adding to his legacy).

SallustianoObelisk_7904


Sallustiano Obelisk 7904
800 x 1290 (264 KB)

The Sallustiano Obelisk is an Aurelian copy of the Flaminio Obelisk in Piazza del Popolo, built for the Horti Sallustiani, the private gardens of the wealthy historian Sallustianus. The obelisk itself was brought to Rome some time after the period of Augustus, and the hieroglyphs were created c. 200 AD. The obelisk was moved by Pius VI to the current location in 1789. The lily and star at the top are heraldic symbols of Pius VI.

SallustianoObelisk_7909


Sallustiano Obelisk 7909
795 x 1290 (265 KB)

The Gardens of Sallust were the source of a large number of spectacular archaeological finds in the 16th to 19th centuries. The Borghese Vase, the Ludovisi and Boston Thrones, and many other items were found by the Ludovisi after acquiring the property in the early 17th century, and by construction crews in the 1890s after the breakup of Villa Ludovisi and the parceling out of the land for building lots.

FlaminioObelisk_Piazza_delPopolo_7940


Flaminio Obelisk Piazza del Popolo 7940
800 x 1350 (331 KB)

The Flaminio Obelisk, or Obelisk Augusti in Circo Maximo, was originally erected by Ramesses II in Heliopolis in about 1250 BC. It was brought to Rome in 10 BC by Augustus and erected on the spina of the Circus Maximus. The Porta del Popolo (ancient Porta Flaminia) is in the background.

FlaminioObelisk_7943


Flaminio Obelisk 7943
795 x 1290 (418 KB)

The obelisk was found in 1587 along with the Lateran obelisk. It had fallen during the wars between the Byzantines and the Goths in the 6th c., when it was broken and covered by debris. It was restored by Pope Sixtus V (shortened) and  erected in the Piazza del Popolo in 1589 (the mountains and star of Sixtus V are mounted atop the obelisk, below the cross).

FlaminioObelisk_7935


Flaminio Obelisk 7935
781 x 1290 (318 KB)

The central hieroglyphs on three sides of the obelisk were inscribed by Seti I, the outer columns of hieroglyphs and those on the east side were inscribed by Ramesses II. Hieroglyphs inscribed by Ramesses were not up to the standards of Seti.

FlaminioObelisk_7937M


Flaminio Obelisk 7937 M
1000 x 1600 (332 KB)

This is a larger image, allowing detail examination of the hieroglyphs. The cartouche of Seti I is at the 1st horizontal line.
Seti’s columns of hieroglyphs were more deeply cut than Ramesses’ columns, and the inside surfaces were polished (Ramesses heiroglyph’s interior surfaces were left rough).

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Lateran Obelisk 8268
800 x 1290 (335 KB)

The Lateran Obelisk is the tallest in Rome, and the largest standing Egyptian obelisk in the world. The red granite weighs 455 tons and stands 32.18 meters tall (plus base and cross).

LateranObelisk_8254


Lateran Obelisk 8254
795 x 1290 (273 KB)

Created by Tuthmosis III and IV, and erected at the Temple of Amun in Karnak, Thebes c. 1430 BC, it was brought to Rome by Constantius II in 357 AD (also erected at Circus Maximus).

The obelisk was originally commissioned by Thutmosis III, but he died before completing it. It sat unfinished
for over 35 years until his grandson, Thutmosis IV, completed and erected the obelisk at the Temple of Amun.
Thutmosis IV restored the inscription begun by his grandfather and added an inscription describing his work and
his piety toward his grandfather. This was the only single obelisk erected at Karnak (others were erected in pairs).
There is an unfinished obelisk at the Aswan quarry, which may have been the mate to this obelisk. It was unfinished
due to cracks which were found in the stone. No information exists on the unfinished obelisk, so we will never know.

Augustus and Constantine had considered bringing this obelisk to Rome but its size and weight had defeated them.
Constantine finally ordered it brought to Constantinople (it was moved to Alexandria), but he died before it left Egypt.
Constantius II was able to transport it in 357 using specially-built ships and an ingenious technique for the transport.
Three ships were built to carry the single obelisk. Two ships carried the obelisk between them, and the third ship,
a large trireme, was tethered to the two larger aft ships and provided steering and row/sail power. The aft ships
were both 37 meters long and 5 meters wide, and carried the obelisk suspended underwater between them.

The obelisk stood at the Circus Maximus, the major stadium of ancient Rome, until it was felled (possibly
by an earthquake) and covered by debris. Pope Sixtus V ordered a search for the obelisk, and it was
found (along with the Flaminio obelisk) in 1587... 23 feet below ground level of the Circus Maximus.
It was broken into three pieces. Sixtus V had it restored, and cut 4 meters off at the base before
moving it from the Circus Maximus (it used to be 36 meters tall). Before it was erected at the
Lateran Palace, Sixtus V had the cross mounted, with all of his heraldic devices: not only
the mountains and star, as he used on the Flaminio, but also four lions holding pears.

LateranObelisk_8251


Lateran Obelisk 8251
795 x 1290 (382 KB)

It was found along with the Flaminio obelisk in 1587, in three pieces, and was restored (4 meters shorter) by Pope Sixtus V then erected in its present location by Domenico Fontana.

LateranObelisk_8259


Lateran Obelisk 8259
795 x 1290 (333 KB)

The last obelisk to be brought to Rome, the Lateran is the tallest monolithic obelisk in the world (the Washington Monument is not a monolithic obelisk, but it is 152 m. tall).

LateranObelisk_Hieroglyphs_8262M


Lateran Obelisk Hieroglyphs 8262 M
1000 x 1600 (586 KB)

This image and two of the following three are M-sized detail shots of 3 sides of the obelisk (the 4th is a corner oblique).

LateranObelisk_Hieroglyphs_8266M


Lateran Obelisk Hieroglyphs 8266 M
1000 x 1600 (363 KB)

The previous image and the image above were taken in the golden light at sunset (the two below were taken at dusk).

LateranObelisk_8384


Lateran Obelisk 8384
800 x 1290 (378 KB)

I spent the time between 8266 and this image shooting inside St. John in Lateran and forgot to take the fourth side. [sigh]

LateranObelisk_Hieroglyphs_8386M


Lateran Obelisk Hieroglyphs 8386 M
1000 x 1600 (427 KB)

The obelisk replaced the Equestrian Statue of Marcus Aurelius which was moved to Piazza del Campidoglio.

Lateran_Flaminio_Hieroglyphs_M


Lateran Flaminio Hieroglyphs M
1517 x 1200 (542 KB)

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A composite comparing the hieroglyphs on the Lateran (left) and Flaminio Obelisks.

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