List of Roman victory columns

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This is a list of Roman victory columns. Roman triumphal columns were either monolithic pillars or composed of column drums; in the later case, these were often hollowed out to accommodate an ancient spiral staircase leading up to the platform on top.

The earliest triumphal column was Trajan's Column which, dedicated in 113 AD, defined its architectural form and established its symbolic value as a political monument alongside the older Roman triumphal arches, providing a lingering model for its successors to this day. The imperial capitals of Rome and Constantinople house the most ancient triumphal columns.


All dimensions are given here in metres; it should be noted, however, that it was the Roman foot by which ancient architects determined the harmonious proportions of the columns, and which is thus crucial for understanding their design.[1] The list is sorted by date of erection.

Image Date Monument City Location Height above ground Comment
Trajan's Column in Trajan's Forum AD 113 Trajan's Column Rome Trajan's Forum 35.07 m[2] Archetype of victory column
The extant base of the Column of Antoninus Pius AD 161 Column of Antoninus Pius Rome Campus Martius
The Column of Marcus Aurelius in Piazza Colonna Before AD 193 Column of Marcus Aurelius Rome Piazza Colonna 39.72 m[2] Directly modelled on Trajan's Column
The Column of the Goths in Gülhane Park Between AD 268 and 337 Column of the Goths Istanbul Gülhane Park
Pompey's Pillar AD 297 Pompey's Pillar Alexandria 26.85 m[3]
Column of Constantine in 1912 AD 330 Column of Constantine Istanbul Forum of Theodosius
Column of Theodosius Istanbul Forum of Theodosius
Column of Arcadius in the Forum of Arcadius AD 421 Column of Arcadius Istanbul Forum of Arcadius
The Column of Marcian in 2007 AD 455 Column of Marcian Istanbul
Reconstruction of the column, after Cornelius Gurlitt, 1912. The depiction of a helical narrative frieze around the column, after the fashion of Trajan's Column, is erroneous. AD 543 Column of Justinian Istanbul Square of the Augustaeum Toppled by Ottomans in the 16th century
Column of Phocas in the Foro Romano AD 608 Column of Phocas Rome Roman Forum Last addition to the Forum Romanum


  1. ^ Jones 1993, pp. 23–38.
  2. ^ a b Jones 2000, p. 220.
  3. ^ Adam 1977, pp. 50f, refers to base, column shaft plus capital.


  • Adam, Jean-Pierre (1977), "À propos du trilithon de Baalbek: Le transport et la mise en oeuvre des mégalithes", Syria, 54 (1/2): 31–63 (50f.), doi:10.3406/syria.1977.6623 
  • Jones, Mark Wilson (1993), "One Hundred Feet and a Spiral Stair: The Problem of Designing Trajan's Column", Journal of Roman Archaeology, 6: 23–38 
  • Jones, Mark Wilson (2000), Principles of Roman Architecture, Yale University Press, ISBN 0-300-08138-3 

Further reading[edit]

  • Beckmann, Martin (2002), "The 'Columnae Coc(h)lides' of Trajan and Marcus Aurelius", Phoenix, 56 (3/4): 348–357, doi:10.2307/1192605 

See also[edit]

External links[edit]

Media related to Triumph columns at Wikimedia Commons