The fate of the column of Antoninus Pius

Wednesday 23 November, 18.00–19.30

Ronald Ridley (Melbourne)

The column of Antoninus was never completely buried, but was rather hidden (in the garden of the Fathers of the Mission, beside Montecitorio) until Clement XI in 1703 employed the Fontanas to clear, raise, lower, and move it. Contemporaneous triumphalist accounts of the operation are belied by the facts and the current remains: only the pedestal in the Vatican Museum. Things went very wrong, to be followed by centuries of neglect.