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C. Suetonius Tranquillus, Divus Claudius (ed. Alexander Thomson), chapter 20 (search)
ation of this mole, he sunk the vessel in which the great obeliskSuetonius calls this " the great obelisk " in comparison with those which Augustus had placed in the Circus Maximus and Campus Martius. The one here mentioned was erected by Caligula in his Circus, afterwards called the Circus of Nero. It stood at Heliopolis, having been dedicated to the sun, as Herodotus informs us, by Phero, son of Sesostris, in acknowledgment of his recovery from blindness. It was removed by Pope Sixtus V. in 1586, under the celebrated architect, Fontana, to the centre of the area before St. Peter's, in the Vatican, not far from its former position. This obelisk is a solid piece of red granite, without hieroglyphics, and, with the pedestal and ornaments at the top, is 182 feet high. The height of the obelisk itself is 113 palms, or 84 feet. had been brought from Egypt;Pliny relates some curious particulars of this ship:-"A fir tree of prodigious size was used in the vessel which, by the command of Cal