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The Column of Marcus AureliusThe Genesis and Meaning of a Roman Imperial Monument$
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Martin Beckmann

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780807834619

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: July 2014

DOI: 10.5149/9780807877777_beckmann

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The Date & Purpose of the Column

The Date & Purpose of the Column

(p.19) Chapter One The Date & Purpose of the Column
The Column of Marcus Aurelius

Martin Beckmann

University of North Carolina Press

This chapter focuses on Adrastus, a former slave but now a freedman of the emperor, who had moved into a new house. Adrastus was not just any official, and his was not just any house. He was the procurator or caretaker of the Column of Marcus Aurelius, and his new residence was built just behind the column. The remains of Adrastus's house were found in the year 1777 during excavations beneath the Piazza di Montecitorio, about one hundred meters to the west of the Piazza Colona and the column itself. A lot is known about Adrastus's house because he recorded its construction in a pair of remarkable inscriptions, dating to the year ad 193, that reproduce letters that Adrastus exchanged with the emperor and his servants. The letters were inscribed on a tall marble block that formed the doorpost to the new house.

Keywords:   Adrastus, former slave, freedman, Marcus Aurelius, Piazza di Montecitorio

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