{Photography} Spirits of Ancient Egypt, In Rome

In wandering about Rome, I found many reminders that Egypt was, for a long time, part of, or a fascination for, the ancient Romans. Just like the 19th Century Europeans went mad for Egypt stuff in the wake of Napoleon’s brief occupation of it. (And so did the US—consider that the Washington Monument is an Obelisk and not more Greco-Roman like, as Jefferson and Lincoln’s Memorials are)

There are 13 Obelisks in total in Rome, which is more than are left in all of Egypt. I encountered a few of them in my travels…

This is in the park near the Villa Borghese.

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The Piazza del Popolo. You can also see St. Peter’s in the distance here.

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Speaking of St. Peter’s. There is an Obelisk there, too.


Those famous Spanish Steps you heard about (and are under construction). An Obelisk there too:


The Piazza Nuovo also has one…


And you’ll remember from my story of Hadrian that there is a Obelisk in front of the Pantheon…


As it is, I missed a few, and saw a couple of others in the dark.

Now, none of these Obelisks are “where they were” in ancient times. In the Baroque period (remember Bernini), the Popes decided to, among other things, to move Obelisks to various locations in the city. In a couple of cases, they rescued a couple of Obelisks that had fallen down and had been forgotten.

But Obelisks are hardly the only remnants of Rome’s fascination with Egypt…



This is the Goddess ISIS (not those idiots in the Middle East, but an Egyptian Goddess of life and birth)


Lastly, Cestus. Cestus was a rich Roman around the time of Jesus’ birth who had more money than sense. He decided that when he died, he wanted an Egyptian pyramid for a tomb. So he built one. It sat where it was by itself for 300 years until Aurelian decided to build big walls around Rome. So, he built the wall right up to the Pyramid and continued on the other side…