A scale model of the Colonna di Foca in ‘rosso antico’ marble with bronze statue on top.
The Column of Phocas, or ‘Colonna di Foca’ in Italian, is located at the centre of the Forum Romanum, in front of the Rostra, the speaker’s platform. It was dedicated to the Eastern Roman Emperor Phocas and erected in ad 608 by the Exarch, the Byzantine governor of Ravenna, making it the last addition to the Forum in antiquity.
The column itself seems to be much older and must have been taken from another structure on the Forum. An earlier inscription on the base to the Emperor Diocletian was chiselled away to make room for the dedication to Phocas.
The Corinthian column is 13.6 metres tall and placed on a stepped plinth. Originally it was surmounted by a gilded bronze statue of the Emperor Phocas. The column remained visible even when the Forum had been covered by 5-8 metres of dirt, and it has remained in situ from antiquity until now. Its free-standing position among the ruins has always made it a landmark in the Forum, and it often appears in vedute and engravings.
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