previous next


a bronze equestrian statue of Domitian erected in the forum in 91 A.D. in honour of his campaign in Germany. Statius devotes one poem (Silv. i. I) to a description and celebration of this statue. It stood on the concrete base discovered in 1903 near the centre of the forum (CR 1904, 139, 328-329; BC 1904, 75-82, 174-178; Mitt. 1905, 71-72; Atti 574-577; HC 141-144; DR 479-482). This base is 11.80 metres long and 5.90 wide, and its top is 1.50 metres below the level of the latest pavement. The mass cuts into the main cuniculus and one of the cross-passages, and dates from the Flavian period. In the top of the base are set three square blocks of travertine, in which are holes about 0.44 metre square and 0.15 deep, which seem well adapted to hold supports of some kind. In the east end of the base was a hollow block of travertine (over which was placed another block as a lid), containing clay jars, in which were sand, stone, pitch, and fragments of tortoise shell, and in one of them a small piece of quartz with a bit of gold attached, but nothing suggestive of funeral gifts. There seems to be little doubt that, as Hulsen thinks, the workmen who sunk the foundations for the statue came on a prehistoric tomb (for the pottery is identical with that of the necropolis near the temple of Antoninus and Faustina) and that, inasmuch as its true nature was unknown, the pottery was regarded as highly venerable and enclosed in the base of the statue. So also Von Duhn, Italische Graberkunde i. 417; and cf. BUSTA GALLICA, DOLIOLA.

The statue itself was undoubtedly destroyed in consequence of the damnatio decreed by the senate after the death of Domitian, and its base concealed under the pavement of the forum. Over part of it Trajan afterwards erected a building (not the imperial tribunal) (BPW 1906, 221 ; CR 1906, 132, where Boni's misinterpretation of Plin. Panegyr. 36 is discussed). It has been thought that the so-called Trajanic reliefs (generally, and rightly, attributed to the Rostra) are really Flavian, and once decorated the enclosure wall round this statue (SScR 142).

hide Dates (automatically extracted)
Sort dates alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a date to search for it in this document.
91 AD (1)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: