Column of Arcadius

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Reconstruction of the column of Arcadius

The column of Arcadius was a Roman triumphal column begun in 401 in the forum of Arcadius in Constantinople to commemorate Arcadius's triumph over the Goths under Gainas in 400. Arcadius died in 408, but the decoration of the column was only completed in 421, so the monument was dedicated to his successor Theodosius II.

Strongly inspired by the Column of Theodosius set up in the forum Tauri in the 380s, the column of Arcadius follows the tradition of triumphal columns such as those of Trajan and Marcus Aurelius. It was destroyed in either the 16th or the 18th century when, weakened by earthquakes, it threatened to topple and had to be taken down—only its massive masonry base of red granite now survives, known as the Avret Tash in Turkish [1] (the shaft was made of serpentine). Even so, the detail of the shaft's decoration is conserved in a series of drawings made in 1575.


  • Brian Croke, 'Count Marcellinus and his Chronicle', 2001
  • Robert Grigg, "S'ymphōnian Aeidō tēs Basileias': An Image of Imperial Harmony on the Base of the Column of Arcadius" The Art Bulletin 59.4 (December 1977), pp. 469–482.
  • Müller-Wiener, Wolfgang (1977). Bildlexikon zur Topographie Istanbuls: Byzantion, Konstantinupolis, Istanbul bis zum Beginn d. 17 Jh (in German). Tübingen: Wasmuth. ISBN 978-3-8030-1022-3. 
  • (in German) Ch. B. Konrad, Beobachtungen zur Architektur und Stellung des Säulenmonumentes in Istanbul-Cerrahpasa - 'Arkadiossäule', Istanbuler Mitteilungen 51, 2001, 319-401.
  • (in French) Jean-Pierre Sodini, “Images sculptées et propagande impériale du IVe au VIe siècle : recherches récentes sur les colonnes honorifiques et les reliefs politiques à Byzance”, Byzance et les images, La Documentation Française, Paris, 1994 (ISBN 2-11-003198-0), 43-94.

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Media related to Column of Arcadius at Wikimedia Commons

Coordinates: 41°00′28″N 28°56′35″E / 41.0078°N 28.9431°E / 41.0078; 28.9431