The Column of Constantine

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The Column of Constantine

This column stood at the center of what was a large circular marketplace or forum where Constantine formally rededicated the city on May 11, 330. Carved out of blocks of a reddish-purple stone called porphyry that was especially prized by the ancient Romans, the column is 115 feet high and was once topped by a golden statue of Apollo, to which Constantine added his own head. Constantine was said to have placed various relics under the column, including an ax used by Noah to make the ark, a piece of the True Cross, and some of the leftover bread from the miracle of the loaves and fishes.

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