Column of Foca or Phocas (Colonna di Foca)

"Column of Foca or Phocas (Colonna di Foca)" submitted by RomeTour Editorial Team and last updated on Wednesday 29th June 2011

This column was erected by exarch of Rome Smeraldus in 608, in honor of emperor of the Eastern Roman Empire, Foca (Phocas). It is thought that it was him to present Pantheon to the pope St Boniface IV to adapt it for the church, thus saving this exceptional monument from the destruction. The column of Foca is the last honorary monument erected on the Forum Romanum. It was probably taken from a construction of the 3rd century A.D. and was surmounted by a statue of the emperor. It is 13,6m high.

Column of Foca or Phocas (Colonna di Foca), Forum Romanum
Close to it could be found the bases of other seven columns places along the Via Sacra. The Column is more ancient in origin (it dates back to the second century AD) and is surmounted by a Corinthian capital.

The column was recycled from its original earlier use supporting a statue dedicated to Diocletian: the former inscription was chiseled away to provide a space for the present effusion. On the left, is the arch of Septimius Severus.

The column remains in situ. Its isolated, free-standing position among the ruins has always made it a landmark in the Forum, and it often appears in vedute and engravings. The rise in ground level due to erosion had completely buried the socle by the time Giuseppe Vasi and Giambattista Piranesi made engravings and etchings of the column in the mid-18th century.

Column of Foca or Phocas (Colonna di Foca)
Via della Salara Vecchia (Via di San Gregorio)
00186 , Rome, Lazio, Italy
Zone: Rione Campitelli (Foro Romano- Campidoglio-P.Venezia) (Roma centro) / Rione Celio (Terme di Caracalla) (Roma centro)
Column of Foca or Phocas (Colonna di Foca) is Shown By "Map K Zone" As "11"
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