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Obelisk of Theodosius Database image

An authentic Egyptian obelisk commissioned by the Pharaoh Thutmose III, this monument occupied a place of prominence outside the temple of Karnak in Egypt. Carved from exquisite red-granite, the hieroglyphs on its four sides recount the tales of some of the Pharaoh's greatest military victories.

In 357 CE the obelisk was unabashedly pilfered by the Roman Emperor Constantius II and taken to Alexandria in celebration of his 20th year as sovereign. There, it remained for forty years until the Emperor Theodosius moved it again, this time to Constantinople where he placed it in the Hippodrome on an ornately carved base that he had specially constructed to hold it.

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