Column of Phocas, the last monument built in the Roman Forum
The Column of Phocas rises on the back of the Arch of Septimius Severus in the Roman Forum.
Over the centuries the Roman Forum had become a symbolic place and an area to celebrate the Roman Emperors. Therefore, during its heyday the Forum featured many columns. Today, there’s only one still standing the test of time, the Column of Phocas. The column was erected in 608 AD, the only one built during the Middle Ages.
|Credits: image by @Roma_Wonder
|Location: in the Roman Forum
|Tickets: Free to visit from Via Dei Fori Imperiali / Tickets needed from the Roman Forum
|Accessibility: Partially Accessible
The Byzantine Emperor
The monument bears the name of a Byzantine Emperor, Phocas indeed, who would have been stayed unknown to the most of us if he had not donated the Pantheon to the Pope Boniface IV, who had persuaded the Emperor to give the monument to the Church.
The Column was the last monument to be erected in the Roman Forum. It was the Middle Ages and by that time Italy was a reign ruled by Goths, a barbaric population that was constantly at war against the Byzantines.
Phocas became Emperor in 602 AD after murdering his predecessor, Emperor Marius and his five sons. If it’s true that was goes around comes around, Phocas was brutally murdered himself: stripped, beheaded, dismembered and burned. His statues were overthrown everywhere, but the column was left, probably as a symbol to remind everyone of the Roman supremacy against the invaders.