Monday, November 21, 2022

Something About the Obelisk of Theodosius

Oh, pointy pointy.

Thanksgiving will arrive later this week – as will the family.  My daughter, Sandrine, always says she'll bring the turkey, though it usually turns to be the son-in-law.  Zing.

For my semi-annual dip into Turkish tidbits this year, I remembered the previous posts about Cleopatra's Needle, an Egyptian obelisk in London.  Several other obelisks exist, including the 80-foot granite Obelisk of Theodosius in Istanbul.

Pharaoh Thutmose III (1479-1425 BC) erected the obelisk during the 18th Dynasty at the great temple of Karnak.  The Roman emperor Constantius II (337–361 AD) had it and another obelisk transported along the Nile to Alexandria to commemorate his 20 years on the throne in 357.  The obelisk remained in Alexandria until 390 when Theodosius I (379–395 AD) moved it to Constantinople and re-erected it in the Hippodrome.

Johnny, Fergie, and Professor Childermass would have likely spotted the obelisk the evening they visited the Hippodrome in The Trolley to Yesterday (1989).  Today visitors to the city can find the obelisk just northeast of the Serpentine Column.

The Serpentine Column stands between this obelisk and another known as the Walled or Masonry Obelisk.  While its construction date is unknown, its been around since the 10th Century.  One wonders if one of these obelisks is the one shown in the Edward Gorey artwork on the original hardcover dust jacket.  Mumtāz!

Happy Thanksgiving!

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