Marissa is a prolific blogger and often writes on Byzantine related subjects.
Since I have rather inadvertently written several pieces about the built heritage and history of Constantinople over the past weeks, I thought I would wrap up the theme by considering the context and fate of several sculptural pieces erected in the city by Emperor Theodosius, the last ruler of a united Roman Empire.
Reigning from 379-395 CE, Theodosius presided over an eventful period of Roman history. In the west, the usurper Magnus Maximus had led imperial troops from Britain into Gaul (modern France) and proclaimed himself emperor. Further east, Goths had begun to settle along the Danube, within the empire’s borders, potentially providing manpower to beleaguered imperial armies, but also complicating military loyalties.
These themes are captured by a spectacular piece of art, known today as the Obelisk of Theodosius. The Obelisk itself originated in ancient Egypt, where it was erected at Karnak by Thutmoses III in 1400s BCE. At…
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