COLUMNA ANTONINI PII
a column, erected in memory of Antoninus Pius
by his two adopted sons, Marcus Aurelius and Lucius Verus (CIL vi. 1004
It stood in the campus Martius, on the edge of the elevation now known
as Monte Citorio, and belonged architecturally to the USTRINUM
being 25 metres north of it with the same orientation. The column was
a monolith of red granite, 14.75 metres in height and 1.90 in diameter, and
was quarried in 106 A.D., as is shown by the masons' inscription on its
lower end (IG xiv. 2421
. 1). It stood on a pedestal of white marble,
surrounded with a grating, and was surmounted by a statue of Antoninus,
as is represented on coins issued after his death (Cohen, Ant. Pius 353-6).
Previous to the eighteenth century the base of the column was entirely
buried, but the lower part of the shaft projected about 6 metres above the
ground. In 1703 the base was excavated, but the shaft lay in the Piazza
Colonna until 1764 when unsuccessful attempts were made to repair it.
Some pieces were used to restore the obelisk of Augustus that is now in
the Piazza di Monte Citorio, and the lower part was taken to the Vatican.
Three of the sides of the pedestal, which is now in the Giardino della
Pigna in the Vatican, are covered with reliefs. The principal one, representing the apotheosis of Antoninus and Faustina, was turned towards
the Ustrinum. The opposite side bears the dedicatory inscription, and
the reliefs on the other two represent scenes from the decursus equitum
at the deification (Mitt. 1889, 41-48
; S.Sculpt. 270-3; SScR 249-253;
LS iii. 145
; Amelung, Kat. Vat. i. pp. 883-893).