Published On: Mon, Mar 4th, 2019

Past Italia: Marcus Aurelius on horseback

The Equestrian Statue of Marcus Aurelius stands centre stage in Rome’s Piazza del Campidoglio…

Photo by Getty Images

Piazza del Campidoglio with statue of Marcus Aurelius in Rome, Italy.

One of the few stipulations that the Pope made when he commissioned Michelangelo to redesign the piazza on the Capitoline Hill was that the famous ancient statue of Marcus Aurelius should be its focal point. The statue we see there today, however, is in fact a copy; the original is in the Palazzo dei Conservatori (conveniently located on the same square) and has been since it was removed for renovation in 1981. The Emperor himself might have predicted as much… “What then remains after death?” asked Marcus in his Meditations. “To wait with a good grace for the end, whether it be extinction or translation.”

See more fabulous photos and fascinating tales from Italy’s history in our Past Italia archive…


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