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Italy, Rome, Column of Antoninus Pius, Cortile della Pigna, Vatican Museums
Above are the four sides of the base of the Column of Antoninus Pius (Columna Antonini Pii) which was erected in the Campus Martius in memory of Antoninus Pius by Marcus Aurelius and Lucius Verus c.A.D.158 on the twentieth anniversary of his reign. Constructed of red granite, the column was 14.75 metres high and 1.90m in diameter, unlike the otherwise similar column of Trajan it had no decorating reliefs. The masons' inscription shows that it was quarried out in A.D.106 and architecturally it belonged to the Ustrinum which was 25m north of it on the same orientation. It was surmounted by a statue of Antoninus Pius. Previous to the 18th century the base was completely buried, but the lower part of the shaft projected about 6m above the ground. In 1703, when some buildings were demolished in the area of Montecitorio, the rest of the column and the base were discovered and excavated. The base still survives and is now housed in the Cortile della Pigna in the Vatican Museums.
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