Platner, Samuel Ball; Ashby, Thomas
A topographical dictionary of ancient Rome — Oxford: Univ. Press [u.a.], 1929

Page: 366
DOI Page: Citation link: 
https://digi.ub.uni-heidelberg.de/diglit/platner1929/0428
License: Creative Commons - Attribution - ShareAlike Use / Order
0.5
1 cm
facsimile
ο

Obeliscus Αντινοι : the obelisk now standing on the Pincian hill, which
was brought to Rome by Hadrian. The hieroglyphics were probably
cut in Rome, and state that the obelisk was erected on the site where
Antinous was buried, just outside the limits of the city (Mitt. 1896,
113-121 ; BC 1891, 277-279 ; 1897, 2o8-2i5 = Ob. Eg. 132-139 ; Erman
in Preuss. Abh. 1917, Abh. 4· IO-17), but it is uncertain whether this means
that the body of Antinous was actually brought to Rome or not. The
fragments of this obeliskwere set up in 1570 in the vigna Saccoccia outside
porta Maggioreata pointmarked by an inscription recording the fact, which
was fixed to one of the piers of the aqua Claudia, about 360 metres east of
the Aurelian wall. This was made one of the piers of the acqua Felice in
1585, The original site of the obelisk was probably not far from this point
(Mitt. 1896, 122-130 ; HJ 251 ; LS iii. 165). In 1633 it was removed by
the Barberini to their palace, and afterwards presented to Clement XIV
(1769-1777). It lay in the Giardino della Pigna in the Vatican until 1822,
when Pius VII erected it on the Pincian. The obelisk is about 9 metres
high, and may have stood at the entrance to the tomb or cenotaph of
Antinous, perhaps with another of the same size (NS 1922, 137—where
the old identification with the horti Variani or spei Veteris is still
retained : T x. 386).
Obeliscus Augusti, gnomon : an obelisk erected at Heliopolis in the
seventh century b.c. by Psammetichus II, brought to Rome by Augustus
in 10 b.c. and set up in the campus Martius between the ara Pacis Augustae
and the columna Antonini Pii (CIL vi. 702 ; Amm. Marcell. xvii. 4. 12 ;
Strabo xvii. 805 ; Plin. NH xxxvi. 71). It is of red granite, 21.79 metres
high (cf. Plin. loc. cit.; Notit. Brev.: Jord. ii. 187), and covered with hiero-
glyphics (BC 1896, 273-283 = 06. Eg. 104-114). It was standing in the
eighth century (Eins. 2.5; 4. 3), but was thrown down and broken at some
unknown date (BC 1917, 23), and not discovered until 1512 (PBS ii. 3).
It was excavated in 1748, but, in spite of various attempts (LS iv. 151),
it was not set up again in the Piazza di Montecitorio, its present site,
until 1789 (BC 1914, 381). It was repaired with fragments from the
columna Antonini.
Augustus dedicated this obelisk to the Sun (CIL vi. 702) and made it
the gnomon, or needle, of a great meridian 1 {horologium, solarium) formed
1 The name ‘ad Titan,’ applied to the neighbouring church of S. Lorenzo in Lucina in
liturgies of the eighth-tenth centuries, which originated perhaps as early as the fifth, may
refer to it (RAP iv. 261-277).

366
loading ...