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* the obelisk from Heliopolis erected by Caligula on the spina of the circus Gai et Neronis (CIL vi. 882; Plin. NH xvi. 20 ; xxxvi. 74, where the reading is uncertain, cf. BC 1897, 226), and now standing in front of S. Peter's. In the Middle Ages it was called the tomb of Julius Caesar, whose ashes were supposed to be contained in a gilt ball on its top, now in the Museo dei Conservatori (Mirabilia 20; Jord. ii. 429, 625; JRS 1919, 43, 56; Cons. 71 ; Bullar. Vatican. i. 25 (a. 1023 Leo IX); Urlicls 228). It is a monolith of red granite, without hieroglyphics, 25.36 metres in height (cf. Not. Brev. and Jord. ii. 187), and was moved from its ancient to its present site in 1586 by Fontana, at the command of Sixtus V (LS iv. 144-147; LR 554, and literature cited, for removal 1), having stood erect from the time when it was brought to the city (HJ 657 ; BC 1897, 225-227=Ob. Eg. 149-151). The vessel which brought it was used as the nucleus of the central breakwater on which the pharos stood (Suet. Claud. 20) or the left-hand breakwater (Plin. NH xvi. 76; xxxvi. 4) of the Claudian harbour of Portus Augusti (Porto) (NS 1907, 734-740). The mediaeval church of S. Stefanus de Agulia took its name from it (HCh 472).

1 The story that, when the obelisk was being raised the silence was broken by a sailor named Bresca, from San Remo, who shouted "acqua alle funi," appears in a new form in Rawlinson's Diary, vol. i. 7 Dec. 1720 (Bodleian MS. Rawl. D. 1180, p. 163), 'the great obelisk of which is told this story, that when it was raising, the ropes fell too short, and so great was the fear of failing that silence was commanded on pain of death, but an English sailor present bid them wet the ropes, which then lengthened and the work was finished, but instead of a reward, the sailor had only his life given him, forfeited by his transgression of the command.' (Ficoroni, Roma Moderna, 19; cf. Hilsen in Byz. Neugr. Jahrb. ii. 453-460; and Roma i. (1923), pp. 412-418, who points out that the story really belongs to the obelisk at Constantinople and is taken from the relief on its base.)

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