The sole surviving monumental column from the Basilica of Maxentius and Constantine is the focus of Paul V, the Column of the Virgin, and the New Pax Romana. In 1613 Pope Paul V removed and re-erected this column at the center of Piazza S. Maria Maggiore in Rome, crowning it with a gilded bronze statue of the Virgin and Child. After reconstructing the little-known history of the monument and situating it within the history of honorific columns and Paul's urban planning, Steven F. Ostrow examines the antiquarian interest it long held, what was known about its original context, and the symbolic associations with which it was endowed. This close reading of Paul's monument demonstrates how, by appropriating the column and topping it with a statue of the Virgin, the pope eloquently expressed the Church's longstanding belief in Mary as a bringer of peace and the protector of Rome.

The reign of Pope Sixtus V (1585––90) has long been recognized as a watershed in the urban development of Rome. Through the agency of his architect, Domenico Fontana, the Peretti pope created a vast new urban network of streets linking the major Early Christian basilicas, providing pilgrims with monumental access routes to the sacred treasures of the city. At the heart of Sixtus's urban project was the transformation of pagan into Christian Rome, exemplified by his "christianizing" of ancient monuments, most notable among them the columns of Trajan and Marcus Aurelius, and the four Egyptian obelisks that he raised——at the center of St. Peter's square, in front of the north transept of the Lateran basilica, before the apse of S. Maria Maggiore, and at the center of the Piazza del Popolo. In elaborately staged ceremonies, these monuments of the pagan past were purified and exorcised of their demoniacal influences, then reconsecrated as symbols of Christian triumph through the crowning of the obelisks with gilded bronze crosses and the placing of colossal bronze statues of St. Peter and St. Paul atop the Columns of Trajan and Marcus Aurelius, respectively. By means of these appropriated monuments, which served as focal points in the pope's highly symbolic urban plan, Sixtus projected an image of a new Rome, a sacred city dedicated to Christ.1

A similar undertaking was carried out by Sixtus's successor Paul V Borghese (r. 1605––21). One of the most fascinating of Paul's projects utilized the sole surviving column from the Basilica of Maxentius and Constantine, which the pope removed and re-erected in the piazza of S. Maria Maggiore and crowned with a gilded bronze statue of the Virgin and Child (Figure 1 and see http://rome.arounder.com/en/churches/santa-maria-maggiore/santa-maria-maggiore-square.html). Remarkably, the monument he created, a landmark of early baroque Rome, has remained virtually hidden in plain sight, and its multivalent meanings have not been the subject of serious and sustained study. This neglected project occupies a significant place within Paul's efforts to build upon Sixtus's urban plan and in the history of honorific columns. The symbolic associations of the column and the iconography of the statue that the pope placed at its summit established Paul's Column of the Virgin as the most public and eloquent monument dedicated to the Virgin in post-Tridentine Rome, which, more directly than any other work of art, articulated the pope's and the Church's belief in the Virgin as the bringer of peace and guardian and protector of Rome.

Figure 1

Carlo Maderno, Guillaume Berthelot, Domenico Ferreri, et al., Column of the Virgin, Rome, Piazza S. Maria Maggiore, 1613––14 (author's photo)

Figure 1

Carlo Maderno, Guillaume Berthelot, Domenico Ferreri, et al., Column of the Virgin, Rome, Piazza S. Maria Maggiore, 1613––14 (author's photo)

The History of the Column Project

It comes as no surprise that, after having raised the four obelisks and transformed the columns of Trajan and Marcus Aurelius into Christian monuments dedicated to Rome's patron saints, Sixtus V announced his intention of removing the sole remaining white marble column from the Basilica of Maxentius and Constantine, re-erecting it, and topping it with a statue. An avviso (or proto-news report) dated 6 April 1589 announced: "It is said among some . . . that he [Sixtus] will erect in the piazza of the Diocletian baths that beautiful and grand column, which is now to be seen in the ruins of the Campo Vaccino, called the Templum Pacis, placing at the top of that mass the bronze image of the most Glorious Virgin."2

The avviso alerts us to the fact that the Basilica of Maxentius and Constantine was then known as the Templum Pacis, or Temple of Peace; that the statue the pope planned to place on the column was to depict the Virgin Mary; and that the intended location for the monument was the piazza in front of S. Maria degli Angeli, which Michelangelo had fashioned out of a portion of the Baths of Diocletian. Sixtus was, as all of his biographers stress, an avid devotee of the Virgin, a devotion most clearly expressed in his selection of Rome's preeminent Marian shrine, S. Maria Maggiore, as his burial site.3 His interest in transforming the ancient column into a monument honoring the Virgin was a logical extension of his Marian devotion and a continuation of his effort to christianize the remnants of Rome's pagan past.

Like many of Sixtus's projects, the reuse of the column from the Basilica of Constantine remained unrealized at the time of the pope's death in August 1590. But Paul V, who, in Howard Hibbard's words, "was Sixtus V reborn" as a patron of the arts, revived the plan in 1613.4 He entrusted the project to Carlo Maderno (1566––1629), who, having served as Fontana's assistant in the raising of the obelisks for Sixtus V, possessed the necessary engineering skills to oversee the removal and re-erection of the column. The Borghese pope moved the project to the piazza in front of S. Maria Maggiore from S. Maria degli Angeli——an appropriate decision given that S. Maria Maggiore was the most important Marian church in the papal capital. No less significant was the fact that S. Maria Maggiore held a special place in Paul V's heart; as a young cleric, he had served the basilica as its vicar, and as pope he provided it with a new canon's palace and designated it as the site of his burial chapel, the Cappella Paolina, which was nearing completion by 1613.5 And Piazza S. Maria Maggiore figured prominently in the pope's urban planning.

An avviso of 3 August 1613, the earliest notice of Paul V's decision to move and re-erect the column, records that the Apostolic Chamber (CameraApostolica) had allocated 10,700 scudi for the project, including the cost of the wood, rope, and ironwork that would be needed to encase and move the monolith.6 After two months of planning, on 23 October the removal of the column began.7 As with the moving and raising of the obelisks under Sixtus V, this colossal undertaking involved many dozens of men and horses, numerous giant winches, countless meters of rope, and the construction of an enormous wooden casing for the column as well as a causeway on which to move it to its new location. No less than Sixtus's raising of the obelisks, Paul V's removal and re-erection of the column was seen by contemporaries as a triumph of engineering, a truly remarkable event in the life of Rome. Giacinto Gigli, in his Diario Romano, noted with obvious excitement that "finally after much preparation the said column was . . . raised into the air from its site (because it lay somewhat buried under ground) by sixty horses, and the following day . . . it was lowered and placed on the ground above many wooden beams arranged to transport it to S. Maria Maggiore."8 The transport of the column proceeded slowly, and it was only in April 1614, nearly six months after it was lowered from its standing position, that it was moved over 1½½ kilometers and raised anew. An avviso dated 9 April 1614 announced its erection in Piazza S. Maria Maggiore: "That column from the Temple of Peace that . . . was removed and conducted to the Piazza of Santa Maria Maggiore was on Monday, with a marvelous artifice of winches and a tower of wooden timbers, raised and placed above its marble base, and out of joy for the happy completion of the work, gratuities were given to all the workers, [and] now attention is turned to polishing it and putting its capital above it, atop which is to be placed the gilded bronze statue of the most blessed Virgin."9 Another avviso, dated 16 April 1614, also recorded the successful raising of the column and described "the great concourse of people" that gathered to "to see put to work the machinery [machine] and winches that were made" for this extraordinary task.10

In addition to supervising the removal, transport, and re-erection of the column, Maderno was responsible for the restoration (or virtual re-manufacture) of its capital (Figure 2). He also designed its pedestal and the fountain that Paul V decided to construct immediately adjacent to the monument.11 Consisting of a low basin adorned with the Borghese heraldic beasts——eagles and dragons (the latter now missing)——and fed by the Acqua Felice, the fountain was begun in late 1614 and finished early in 1616 (Figure 3). While work proceeded on the column and its base, equal attention was given to the production of the approximately 4-meter-tall bronze statue of the Virgin and Child that was to be placed at the top of the monument (Figure 4). In the summer of 1613 the French-born sculptor Guillaume Berthelot (1583––1648) completed the model, for which he was paid a paltry 100 scudi.12 Immediately upon the completion of the model, Domenico Ferreri, one of the leading founders of the day, began casting the statue, for which he received 1100 scudi.13 The casting was finished by late spring or early summer of 1614 and soon thereafter, on 18 July——as recorded in the diary of the pope's Master of Ceremonies——"the bronze image of the most blessed Virgin Mary was placed and secured on the column in front of the basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore." It was an elaborate ceremony, in which Alessandro de Curtis, the bishop of Isernia and vicar of S. Maria Maggiore, "christianized" the column by exorcising and consecrating it, just as had been done to Sixtus's obelisks.14 Surprisingly, according to an avviso of 23 July 1614, the statue had yet to be gilded when it was placed atop the column.15 The gilding (now destroyed by the elements), for which Annibale Corradini was paid starting on 27 July, was carried out with the statue at the summit of the column, as the payment documents imply.16

Figure 2

Carlo Maderno, Guillaume Berthelot, Domenico Ferreri, et al., Column of the Virgin, Rome, Piazza S. Maria Maggiore, detail of capital (author's photo)

Figure 2

Carlo Maderno, Guillaume Berthelot, Domenico Ferreri, et al., Column of the Virgin, Rome, Piazza S. Maria Maggiore, detail of capital (author's photo)

Figure 3

Carlo Maderno, Fountain of the Column of the Virgin, 1614––16 (plate 9 of G. B. Falda, Le fontane di Roma [Rome, 1675], Bibliotheca Hertziana, Rome)

Figure 3

Carlo Maderno, Fountain of the Column of the Virgin, 1614––16 (plate 9 of G. B. Falda, Le fontane di Roma [Rome, 1675], Bibliotheca Hertziana, Rome)

Figure 4

Guillaume Berthelot and Domenico Ferreri, Virgin and Child, 1614 (author's photo)

Figure 4

Guillaume Berthelot and Domenico Ferreri, Virgin and Child, 1614 (author's photo)

In June 1614, just before the erection of the statue and consecration of the column, the four inscriptions on the column's pedestal, designed by the scrittore Fabritio Baldelli, were cut into the marble panels.17 This was followed by the placement of the last of the sculptural components of the monument, the bronze eagles and dragons at the four corners of the pedestal (Figure 5). Berthelot modeled the two dragons, while Giacomo Laurentiano made the model for the two eagles and cast all four bronzes. They were completed late in 1614, when payment was issued to Corradini and Giovanni Boiani for their gilding.18

Figure 5

Carlo Maderno, Column of the Virgin, detail of pedestal with bronze eagles and dragons (author's photo)

Figure 5

Carlo Maderno, Column of the Virgin, detail of pedestal with bronze eagles and dragons (author's photo)

With the placing of the Borghese eagles and dragons, Paul V's columnar monument was virtually finished. What had once sustained a monument of paganism, as Ludwig von Pastor observed, now served as the focus of Christian worship.19 And to underscore the devotional purpose of the monument, on 24 November 1614 the pope granted "a perpetual indulgence of three years plus an additional forty to all those who venerate it [the statue] and pray devoutly before it on their knees."20

The Column in Paul V's Urban Plan

For all of Paul V's desire to emulate Sixtus V, his contributions with respect to the urban development of Rome paled in comparison to his predecessor's. Sixtus had made S. Maria Maggiore the center of his so-called stellar plan by creating new roads that led away from the basilica to a number of destinations throughout the city, and Paul expanded and improved the network of streets around the basilica. Sixtus cleared the piazza behind the apse of S. Maria Maggiore and erected one of the four obelisks at its center, and Paul continued this effort, clearing and developing the piazza in front of the faççade and raising the column at its center.

The Pauline streets were not as impressive as Sixtus's new arteries, but they linked the basilica with important sites in the city and promoted the development of the area known as the Suburra, adjacent to S. Maria Maggiore (Figure 6). The Suburra streets include via Paolina, via Graziosa (which later disappeared with the opening of via Cavour), via dell'Olmata, via del Paradiso (or via Paradisi), via degli Zingari, via Baccina, via Urbana, via del Boschetto, via Cimarra, and an addition to the preexisting via dei Quattro Cantoni.21 The extension and widening of what was then called via Gregoriana (now via Merulana) was Paul's most significant contribution to the urban network. First opened by Gregory XIII and then straightened by Sixtus V, via Gregoriana ran from a point east of S. Maria Maggiore, near the church of S. Prassede, to the Lateran. Paul widened the road and extended it to Piazza S. Maria Maggiore, in order to showcase his column monument, as the author of an avviso observed: "They are opening a new straight road from the column to Porta San Giovanni so that all those who will enter [the city] through the said portal will be able to see and to revere the statue of the glorious Queen of Heaven which will be placed atop the said column."22 As the terminus, the column monument stood as an urban beacon——rising about 38 meters into the air——a symbolic meta for pilgrims as they made their way though the city.

Figure 6

Giovanni Battista Falda, Nuova Pianta et Alzata della Cittàà di Roma, 1676 (detail of plate 359 from A. P. Frutaz, ed., Le piante di Roma [Rome, 1962], with key added here) (1) Piazza S. Maria Maggiore with Column; (2) S. Giovanni in Laterano; (3) S. Croce in Gerusalemme; (4) via Paolina; (5) via Gregoriana; (6) via dell'Olmata; (7) via Urbana; (8) via degli Zingari; (9) via Baccina; (10) via del Boschetto; (11) via del Paradiso [or via Paradisi]; (12) via Graziosa; (13) via Cimarra; (14) Campo Vaccino; (15) Basilica of Maxentius and Constantine [Templum Pacis]; (16) Piazza di Termine with S. Maria degli Angeli.

Figure 6

Giovanni Battista Falda, Nuova Pianta et Alzata della Cittàà di Roma, 1676 (detail of plate 359 from A. P. Frutaz, ed., Le piante di Roma [Rome, 1962], with key added here) (1) Piazza S. Maria Maggiore with Column; (2) S. Giovanni in Laterano; (3) S. Croce in Gerusalemme; (4) via Paolina; (5) via Gregoriana; (6) via dell'Olmata; (7) via Urbana; (8) via degli Zingari; (9) via Baccina; (10) via del Boschetto; (11) via del Paradiso [or via Paradisi]; (12) via Graziosa; (13) via Cimarra; (14) Campo Vaccino; (15) Basilica of Maxentius and Constantine [Templum Pacis]; (16) Piazza di Termine with S. Maria degli Angeli.

Paul's interest in clearing and enlarging the piazza in front of the basilica and in erecting a fountain adjacent to the column was aimed at enhancing the monument's setting and contributing to the saluspublica. But the idea for both a broader plaza and a fountain originated with the canons of S. Maria Maggiore. As early as 1609 the basilica's chapter discussed the need to "knock down all of the houses in front of the church," and between 1610 and 1615 the chapter worked in collaboration with the Mastro delle Strade of the city to clear the houses and to broaden the piazza.23 In anticipation of the column project, about which the canons must have been aware, in June 1613 the chapter sent two of its canons "to speak to the Pope and to discuss with His Holiness . . . the chapter's desire to be able to bring water into the piazza of Santa Maria Maggiore for its and the public's benefit."24 Paul recognized the merit of enlarging the piazza, and appears to have assumed primary responsibility for doing so;25 he similarly embraced the idea of a fountain, commissioning Maderno to design it. When the fountain was under construction, the chapter again sent two of its members to see the pope, this time to thank him "for the water that he has conducted into the piazza in front of the marble column."26

With the enlargement of the piazza and the raising of the column, Paul V created a grand urban tableau in front of his beloved S. Maria Maggiore. He realized Leon Battista Alberti's ideas about the value of the freestanding column as an urban marker, which "may embellish crossroads . . . [and] squares; or . . . may support a trophy; or . . . may act as a monument. It has grace, and it confers dignity."27 At the same time the pope increased the symmetry of the urban setting of S. Maria Maggiore, creating the counterpart to Sixtus V's piazza and obelisk behind the church's apse. The obelisk and the column——framing the church at its front and back——became pendants, paralleling the complementary nature of Sixtus's and Paul's chapels inside the basilica, as is evident in Giovanni Maggi's map of Rome (Figure 7). "Before the great Dore of this Church," wrote John Raymond in 1648, "is a high Columne taken out of the Temple of Peace . . . [and] on the other side of Santa Maria Maggiore is a pyramid . . . translated thither from the Mausoleum of Augustus."28 As Raymond's words make evident, they were to be seen together: two great relics of pagan antiquity transformed into symbols of Catholic triumph and objects of veneration and prayer.

Figure 7

Giovanni Maggi, Iconografia della Cittàà di Roma, 1625, detail with view of S. Maria Maggiore with obelisk and column (Bibliotheca Hertziana, Rome)

Figure 7

Giovanni Maggi, Iconografia della Cittàà di Roma, 1625, detail with view of S. Maria Maggiore with obelisk and column (Bibliotheca Hertziana, Rome)

Honorific Columns as Imperial, Religious, and Civic Monuments

The freestanding column with a statue on top erected to honor an individual had a long history in Rome. Pliny, in his Natural History, relates that the early Romans inherited the practice of placing statues of men on columns from the Greeks, and that the purpose of such honorific columns "was to elevate them [the subjects represented by the statues] above all other mortals."29 While the earliest examples date from the Republic, the best known were created during the empire, when the type acquired imperial associations, and——like many of the Republican examples——frequently served to commemorate military victories. Of the three still standing in the early seicento (and today), the Column of Trajan is the most famous (Figure 8). Completed in 113, it celebrated its namesake's triumph in the Dacian Wars (depicted in the helical frieze around the column's shaft) and, through the bronze statue of Trajan placed at its summit (after his death in 117), glorified the emperor as divus. The Column of Marcus Aurelius was erected, it is assumed, after the emperor's death in 180 by his son, Commodus, in conscious emulation of Trajan's monument. It, too, was adorned with a helical frieze, in this case celebrating Marcus Aurelius's military campaigns north of the Danube, and was presumably originally topped by a statue of the emperor. The last of the extant Roman examples is the Column of Phocas, which was dedicated in honor of the Byzantine emperor Phocas in 608. Smaragdas, the Exarch of Ravenna, who was responsible for the monument, reused an older column, placing a gilded bronze statue of the emperor at its top as an emblem of imperial sovereignty over Rome. The statue was apparently destroyed in 610, when Phocas was murdered, but the column remains a landmark in the Roman Forum.30

Figure 8

Column of Trajan, Rome, 113 (author's photo)

Figure 8

Column of Trajan, Rome, 113 (author's photo)

In the capital of the Eastern Empire, where honorific columns also proliferated, the best-known example is the Column of Constantine. Erected at the center of the emperor's forum in Constantinople, it was dedicated in 330 in commemoration of Constantine's declaration of the city as the NovaRoma, the new capital of the Roman Empire. The porphyry column was placed above the holiest relics of the city and surmounted by a statue of Constantine wearing military attire and a radiate crown and holding a globe in his left hand and a spear in his right.31 The tradition continued in Constantinople throughout the fifth and sixth centuries, with columns topped by imperial statues erected in honor of a number of emperors, including Marcian (r. 450––57), Leo I (r. 457––74), and Justinian (r. 527––65). This last example was set up in the proximity of Hagia Sophia in 543––44, perhaps to commemorate the capture of Ravenna, and was best known for the bronze statue that topped it, depicting Justinian on horseback and holding a globuscruciger.32

Constantine's and Justinian's columns were imperial monuments, honoring their subjects as political leaders and commanders. At the same time both celebrated the triumph of Christianity. The relics placed beneath Constantine's column underscored this point, as did his radiate crown, whose rays took the form of the nails from Christ's cross.33 The globuscruciger——the cross-bearing orb——held by Justinian was an even more obvious Christian symbol, signifying Christ's dominion over the world and, in turn, the emperor's role as Christ's legate. The honorific column now communicated both a political and religious message and had become a Christian monument. Emperor Heraclius (r. 610––41) immediately recognized the Christian significance of columns, and in 612 fixed a monumental cross atop the column that Phocas had erected in Constantinople in 609. This was the last such honorific column put up in the Byzantine capital until the thirteenth century, when Emperor Michael VIII Palaiologus (r. 1258––82) raised a column, reviving a tradition that had lapsed six centuries earlier. That column celebrated his restoration of the city and, significantly, he placed it opposite the main door of the Church of the Holy Apostles, a church he had restored and may have intended as his burial site. To crown the column, he commissioned a bronze sculptural group representing Archangel Michael at whose feet a kneeling figure of the emperor proffered a model of the city. The sculpture was intended to express his personal devotion to the archangel, after whom he was named, but also and more importantly the archangel's special role as protector and patron of the city and the empire.34

By the thirteenth century the honorific column had become a polyvalent monument, capable of expressing political, religious, and civic ideas. The two columns at the entrance to the Piazzetta in Venice exemplify well the two latter meanings (Figure 9). They were brought to Venice from the East (the exact source is uncertain), most likely in the mid-thirteenth century, and erected on the Molo, the threshold of the city. Sometime before 1293 one column was crowned with a bronze lion as a symbol of St. Mark, the city's patron saint, and in 1329 the other was topped with a marble statue of St. Theodore, Venice's patron saint prior to St. Mark. Together they stood as emblems of the city and its devotion to its patron saints.35 A similar civic monument, the Column of the Dovizia, was erected in Florence in 1430. It stood in the Mercato Vecchio, the heart of the city and site of its ancient Roman forum, and comprised an ancient granite column topped by a female allegorical figure of abundance, known as Dovitia, executed by Donatello. Erected by the Commune in emulation of Roman (and perhaps Byzantine) practice, it functioned as an emblem of the city's prosperity and communal beneficence.36

Figure 9

Columns of St. Mark and St. Theodore, Venice, Piazzetta di San Marco, ca. 1293––1329 (author's photo)

Figure 9

Columns of St. Mark and St. Theodore, Venice, Piazzetta di San Marco, ca. 1293––1329 (author's photo)

In emulation of the Dovitia column in Florence, in 1550 Duke Cosimo I de' Medici erected a column with a Dovitia carved by Piero da Vinci in the market square of Pisa. In the following decade, he commissioned three columns for Florence, which were intended to complement Donatello's Dovitia and to serve as both civic and political monuments. Each was to be topped by an allegorical figure personifying an aspect of his rule: Justice atop the column in Piazza Santa Trinitàà, Religion on the column in Piazza San Felice, and Peace atop the column in Piazza San Marco.37 While the San Marco column was never erected and that for San Felice was left incomplete (lacking a monumental base, capital, and statue), the Column of Justice was brought to completion and still stands (Figure 10). It is an imposing monument, with an ancient granite shaft from Rome, a gift from Pius IV to Cosimo, crowned by a porphyry statue designed by Bartolommeo Ammannati and carved by Francesco Ferrucci del Tadda.38 Over the course of the long gestation of the statue, Cosimo considered placing a statue of himself, instead of an allegory of Justice, at the top of the column, which would have been an act of blatant self-celebration. In the end, however, the statue of IustitiaVictrix——as it was called at the time——was fixed atop the monument, which celebrated Cosimo as the guarantor of justice. And together, as a contemporary poem praising the monument makes plain, the statue of porphyry (a material associated with the imperial East) and the ancient Roman column manifested "how far Florence excels that city [Rome], how superior Flora's beauty is to Rome's."39

Figure 10

Bartolommeo Ammannati and Francesco Ferrucci del Tadda, Column of Justice, Florence, Piazza Santa Trinitàà, ca. 1565––81 (author's photo)

Figure 10

Bartolommeo Ammannati and Francesco Ferrucci del Tadda, Column of Justice, Florence, Piazza Santa Trinitàà, ca. 1565––81 (author's photo)

Deserving special attention is the Column of Henry IV erected in Rome in both temporal and physical proximity to Paul's monument. Dedicated in 1595 in honor of Clement VIII's absolution of the French monarch, who had abjured Protestantism in 1593, it was the project of a French cleric, Charles d'Anisson, prior of the Antonines, who erected it in front of the mother church of his order in Rome, Sant' Antonio Abate, located at the far end of Piazza S. Maria Maggiore. A marble column supporting a cross, the two arms and top of which are adorned with bronze fleurs-de-lis, it combined a political and religious message, honoring the French king and celebrating the Catholic Church's success in persuading him to renounce the Protestant faith.40

From imperial Rome through the late sixteenth century the honorific column had been used for a variety of purposes: glorifying an emperor and his military victories, proclaiming a city's civic identity, celebrating the triumph of Christianity, and lauding the virtues of a ruler. Paul V's columnar monument joined this larger tradition, honoring the Queen of Heaven and Mother of God in the manner of its ancient Roman and Byzantine prototypes and proclaiming Rome's civic identity as a holy city, the city of the Catholic Church, devoted to and protected by the Virgin Mary.41 In the many monuments in this tradition the columns were considered as important as the statues (or crosses) they supported and were especially valued for their material, size, and place of origin. The shaft of Constantine's column, for example, was especially valued for its extraordinary height (37 meters) and the rarity and imperial splendor of its porphyry. Justinian, too, had paid great attention to his column's shaft, sheathing it with bronze panels, which made it glisten (until they were removed in the thirteenth century). And not only did Cosimo de' Medici specifically request from Pius IV the ancient granite shaft from the Baths of Caracalla that he would use for the Column of Justice, he also had variegated Seravezza marble shafts especially quarried for his other two planned monuments. In selecting a column for his monument, Paul V was no less discriminating, choosing a pillar that had long been recognized as an ancient marvel and that would be the ideal complement to the statue of the Virgin placed at its top.

Paul's Column in the Antiquarians' Imagination

In raising the column and crowning it with a statue of the Virgin, Paul V, like Sixtus V before him, sought to proclaim the triumph of Christianity over paganism. The appropriation of this column from the Basilica of Maxentius and Constantine——shown insitu in Etienne Duperac's engraving of 1575——can also be understood as an act of preservation and exaltation of the antique, as it assured the survival of the only remaining example of what Andrea Palladio called the "grandissime & bellissime colonne" of one of the most imposing ancient buildings in the papal capital (Figure 11).42 Measuring about 15 meters tall (without its base or capital), nearly 6 meters in circumference, and about 2 meters in diameter,43 the shaft of the Corinthian column had been carved from a single block of Proconnesian marble, and throughout the sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries antiquarian and other writers continually sang its praises. Its height received the most attention. Vincenzo Scamozzi, for example, in his Discorsi sopra l'antichitàà di Roma, referred to it as "perhaps the largest [monolithic column] that ever existed in Rome."44 Its girth was no less impressive, taking three men to embrace it, as Ottavio Panciroli noted in his I tesori nascosti nell'alma cittàà di Roma.45 Bernardo Gamucci, in his Le antichitàà della cittàà di Roma, remarked that it was "amazing to think how it survived," and marveled at the column's many flutes (24), their width (one palmo or 22.3 cm each), and their perfection.46 According to Andrea Vittorelli, the whiteness of the marble was another of its beautiful attributes.47 To Scammozi and Pietro Martire Felini, its monolithic integrity was remarkable.48

Figure 11

Etienne Duperac, "Vestigi del Tempio della pace" (plate 5 of I vestigi dell'antichitàà di Roma [Rome, 1575], Bibliotheca Hertziana, Rome)

Figure 11

Etienne Duperac, "Vestigi del Tempio della pace" (plate 5 of I vestigi dell'antichitàà di Roma [Rome, 1575], Bibliotheca Hertziana, Rome)

Beyond signifying Christianity's triumph over paganism, serving as an urban marker and place of prayer at the front of S. Maria Maggiore, and preserving and exalting a precious and much-admired vestige of Rome's ancient past, Paul V's column conveyed a rich array of additional meanings derived from the column's original context, the symbolic associations with which columns were endowed, and the statue with which it was crowned.

The Column as a Relic of the Templum Pacis

The building known today as the Basilica of Maxentius and Constantine, or the Basilica Nova (Figure 12), begun by Maxentius around 306 and completed by Constantine after 313, was only identified as such by the Italian archaeologist Antonio Nibby in 1818.49 On the basis of archaeological evidence, Nibby proved that it was a fourth-century structure, that it was a basilica and not a temple, and that it could only be the BasilicaConstantini, the building on the via Sacra described by numerous ancient sources as the work of Maxentius and Constantine.50

Figure 12

Basilica of Maxentius and Constantine, Rome, ca. 306––13 (Istituto Centrale per il Catalogo a la Documentazione, Rome)

Figure 12

Basilica of Maxentius and Constantine, Rome, ca. 306––13 (Istituto Centrale per il Catalogo a la Documentazione, Rome)

Prior to Nibby's identification, the building from which the column was taken was most commonly known as the Temple of Peace. Before this name was bestowed upon it, an early tradition identified it as the Palace of Romulus. According to the Mirabilia Urbis Romae, the much-copied twelfth-century Latin text that served generations of pilgrims and tourists as a guide to the city of Rome, the Palace of Romulus stood "between Santa Maria Nova and San Cosma, where there are two Temples of Piety and Concord, where Romulus set his golden image saying: 'It shall not fall until a virgin bears a child.' And as soon as the Virgin bore a son, the image fell down."51 This miraculous story later reappeared, with some significant changes, in Jacobus de Voragine's thirteenth-century Legenda Aurea. There we read: "[D]uring the twelve years when Rome enjoyed peace, the Romans built a Temple of Peace and placed a statue of Romulus in it. Apollo was asked how long the temple would stand, and the answer was that it would be until a virgin bore a child. Hearing this, the people said that the temple was eternal, for they thought it impossible that such a thing could happen; and an inscription, TEMPLVM PACIS AETERNVM, was carved over the doors. But in the very night when Mary bore Christ, the temple crumbled to the ground."52 By this account, which became virtually canonical, the structure housing the statue of Romulus was the Temple of Peace, built during the reign of Augustus to commemorate the Pax Romana initiated by the emperor.

While the tradition that the Templum Pacis was erected during Augustus's reign lived on in the popular imagination, with the onset of archaeological study of Rome's ancient monuments an alternative history of the building emerged. In the fifteenth century, Flavio Biondo (1392––1463) argued on historical grounds in his De Roma instaurata (1444––46) that the temple could not be Augustan, and his arguments were reiterated by the Florentine humanist Bernardo Rucellai (1448––1515), author of De urbe Roma (written between ca. 1492 and 94).53 By the early sixteenth century a new, scholarly view had coalesced, according to which the temple was built and dedicated to "eternal peace" by Vespasian (r. 69––79) after his triumph in the Jewish War (70––71), and housed the most precious spoils brought back from Jerusalem by Titus, who had served under his father, Vespasian, as military commander in Judaea. These spoils included the Menorah (seven-branched candelabrum), the golden Table of the Shewbread, and silver trumpets from the Temple of Solomon, all of which appear in the reliefs adorning the Arch of Titus.

The Florentine humanist Francesco Albertini (ca. 1470––1520) was among the earliest cinquecento writers to present this new history of the building.54 He was followed by Andrea Fulvio (ca. 1470––1527), one of the most erudite antiquarians of the century, who in his guidebook, Antiquitates Urbis, first published in 1527, succinctly summarized the history of the Temple of Peace as having "been built, with marvelous speed, by Emperor Vespasian after the civil wars . . , [and] in this temple were placed the vases and the ornaments from the temple of Jerusalem, brought to Rome by Titus in his triumph." "It is commonly said," he continued, adding a strange gloss to the Legenda Aurea tradition, "that every year on the night of Christmas a small part of the said Temple falls into ruin, and that on the night in which our Lord was born the major part of it crumbled." But, he warned, this "is not to be believed, because this opinion is entirely at variance with and beyond reason, as it was built by Emperor Vespasian eighty years after the birth of Christ."55 Subsequent writers reiterated this history, and clarified the date of the building's destruction as occurring during the reign of Commodus (180––92). Palladio, for example, wrote that it was "built by Vespasian eighty years after Christ's birth, and burned down in an instant at the time of Commodus . . . and did not collapse (as the common people believe) the night of Christ's birth."56 The most definitive history of the temple was provided by Cesare Baronio (1538––1607), the renowned historian and Christian archaeologist, in the first volume of his Annales ecclesiastici of 1593. Relying on written sources as well as archaeological and epigraphic evidence, he rejected all of the legendary claims about the building's origins and destruction, and demonstrated that the building was constructed by Vespasian and destroyed by a fire at the time of Commodus.57

Notwithstanding the authority of Biondo, Fulvio, Baronio, and other antiquarians, traditions died hard, and many writers offered modified versions of the history of the structure. One such version argued that it was erected by Vespasian and called the Temple of Peace because it was built it on the site of the altar that Augustus had consecrated to the Goddess of Peace.58 Another claimed that the temple was in fact begun by Claudius (r. 41––54) and only completed by Vespasian.59 Perhaps the most intriguing legend added an entirely new perspective on the building's demise. This was told by Ottavio Panciroli in his I tesori nascosti nell'alma cittàà di Roma, a widely read guidebook first published in 1600, which focused on the "hidden treasures" of Early Christian Rome. Panciroli repeated what antiquarian scholarship had determined, that the Temple of Peace was built by Vespasian and housed all of the "ornaments from the Temple of Solomon" that Titus carried back from Jerusalem. But, he added:

From certain ancient coins one also learns that on the faççade of the portico of the Temple were written these two words, PACI AETERNAE, because Titus, son of Vespasian, having won victory in Jerusalem and triumphed over the Hebrew nation, which was awaiting a King, of whose peace the Prophets had predicted many things, thought that he was that [King]; but our Christ, unable to suffer such arrogance, caused an earthquake, and lightening struck from Heaven [that] burned [the Temple] and made it collapse in one night; and this took place under Emperor Commodus, about the year 180.60

Panciroli merged the accepted although erroneous dating of the building's construction and destruction with a miraculous event——Christ's causing an earthquake that resulted in the temple's collapse. The scholarly view of the building was inflected with this remnant of the legendary tradition, albeit to fit the historical evidence. One later writer went even further, interweaving the scholarly and legendary, but returning to the oldest redactions of the building's history——those in the Mirabilia and the Legenda Aurea. This writer was the Englishman John Evelyn (1620––1706), one of the best-known diarists of his day, who recorded in his travel diary his visit to Rome: "On the 7th [of November 1644] we went into Campo Vaccino by the ruines of the Templum Pacis, built by Titus Vespatianus, and thought to be the biggest & most ample as well as richly furnish'd of all the Roman Dedicated places; It is now an heape, rather than a Temple; yet dos the roofe, & Volto, continue firme, shewing it to have formerly been of incomparable workmanship: This goodly structure was (none knows how) consumed with fire, the very night (by all computation) that our B[lessed] Saviour was borne."61

The scholarly view of the temple's history established by Baronio and his antiquarian predecessors——that it was constructed by Vespasian and burned to the ground during the reign of Commodus——was accepted by the historians and literati in the circle of Paul V. Abraham Bzovius (1567––1637), the Polish-born Dominican who carried on the work of Baronio on the history of the Church, reiterated it, for example, in his official biography of the pope.62 So too did Paolo de Angelis (d. 1653), a native of Syracuse, in his voluminous monograph on S. Maria Maggiore.63 Giuseppe Castiglione (d. 1616), author of many historical and apologetic texts, repeated this chronology in his treatise on the Temple of Peace and its column. In his noteworthy account he referred to the column as a "relic" of the temple, lending it a nearly sacred aura, and he argued that Vespasian had ushered in an era of peace, which the Templum Pacis commemorated, thus likening the Flavian emperor and his temple to Augustus and his legendary building.64 Andrea Vittorelli (d. 1653), the theologian and ecclesiastical historian from Bassano, followed suit in his long interpretive "guide" to the Cappella Paolina, but he added, perhaps inspired by Panciroli's account, that some argued that Vespasian had built the temple because he was advised that "the Prophets talked of a Prince of Peace and of eternal peace," and therefore dedicated it to "PACI AETERNAE."65

The Column Monument as a Trophy of Peace

Notwithstanding Paul V's awareness of the history of the Temple of Peace as it had been constructed by eminent scholars, in appropriating its only remaining column, the pope appears to have played on both the popular and scholarly traditions associated with the building. In reference to the vulgar tradition, the column that had sustained a temple that purportedly crumbled on the night of Christ's birth would now support a statue of the divine Mother and Child in front of the basilica dedicated to Mary as Mother of God and housing the relics of Christ's birth.66 Just as Mary remained intact and unbroken——virginal——after the birth of Christ, so this column had remained whole after the collapse of the temple that was occasioned by the miraculous birth of Christ from the Virgin.67 The column that once adorned a pagan temple housing a golden image of Romulus, who was deified by the Romans, would now stand before a Christian temple and bear a bronze (and originally gilded) statue of the Virgin and Child, the Son of the one and true God.

Far richer, however, was Paul's exploitation of the scholarly tradition, whose focus was the theme of peace. This was given its clearest expression in two of the four inscriptions that adorn the column's pedestal (Figure 13). The first was written in prose by Baldassare Ansidei (1555––1614), the well-known Latinist and former custode of the Vatican Library. It proclaims that the ancient and long-neglected column was transported to its new "most splendid" site before S. Maria Maggiore from the ruins of the temple constructed by Vespasian and dedicated to peace after his triumph over the Jews. Now, the inscription continues, the column is dedicated "to the Most Blessed Virgin, from whose flesh was born the Prince of True Peace."68 The second inscription was composed in Latin verse (as were the other two) by Antonio Querenghi (1546––1633), the Paduan poet, jurist, and theologian, who served Paul V as camerieresegreto. It reads: "Paul V transported this column, which stood for a long time in the profane Temple of Peace, to the Esquiline and consecrated it to the most holy Virgin, from whom true peace comes."69 Both inscriptions stress the word verus, or true, an adjective frequently used in reference to Mary.70 Both contrast two types of peace: the earthly, profane, and false versus the eternal, Christian, and true. True peace had arrived only with the advent of the Prince of Peace, Christ, the son of the true Mother of God, a theme that had earlier been expressed in one of the inscriptions adorning the base of the obelisk that Sixtus V had erected at S. Maria Maggiore, which speaks of Christ who was "born during the peaceful reign of Augustus" and bestows "peace upon his people through the invincible Cross."71 Just as the obelisk that once adorned the tomb of Augustus was made holy by Sixtus and now proclaimed, through the cross at its summit, the triumph of Christ, the column that was moved from a pagan temple to S. Maria Maggiore was consecrated by Paul, and the statue at its top honored the Prince of Peace and the Virgin Mary.72

Figure 13

Column of the Virgin with Inscriptions (from Paolo de Angelis, Basilicae S. Mariae Maioris [Rome, 1621], 64, Bibliotheca Hertziana, Rome)

Figure 13

Column of the Virgin with Inscriptions (from Paolo de Angelis, Basilicae S. Mariae Maioris [Rome, 1621], 64, Bibliotheca Hertziana, Rome)

In poems and prose written about Paul's monument peace is also the dominant theme. In his "Per la colonna drizzata nel Colle Esquilino," the Neapolitan poet Giambattista Basile (ca. 1575––1632) called the column a "Trophy of Peace" (Trofeo di Pace) that now adorns the "Libera Magion."73 The poem's conceit plays with the words LiberaMagion, which refer both to the "abode" (magione), or basilica, of Liberius, the pope who founded S. Maria Maggiore, and to the "abode" being "free" (libera) or "liberated" (liberata) by the column. Antonio Querenghi, who composed three of the four inscriptions for the column's pedestal, similarly stressed peace and liberation in a fifty-two-line ode to the monument first published in 1618. The destruction of Vespasian's temple was, he proclaimed, an act of divine providence, which liberated the column from its servitude, that is, from its burden of supporting a pagan structure. Now, thanks to Paul, it was an "eternal trophy," supporting an image of the Virgin who represents the Mother of Peace.74 "With much prudence," Andrea Vittorelli wrote in his extended discussion of the column, "the living Pope has wanted to honor the Virgin with a column, formerly profane, [and] now sacred." "Mary," he goes on to say, "is the bearer of peace, all peace, and Mother of the Prince of Peace. . . . From the temple of the false Peace has been transported the noble column because, having been consecrated to the Virgin, it serves the virginal triumphs of Mary, the most holy Column of the two august Temples of true Peace of the Church, [that] which wages war, and that which triumphs."75 Mary, a symbol of the Church Militant and the Church Triumphant, was now commemorated by and embodied in the column. And the theme of peace reappears on the medal designed in 1613 by Giacomo Antonio Moro for the foundation of the column, which bears the inscription FVNDA NOS IN PACE (establish us in peace) (Figure 14).76 Significantly, these words are drawn from the "Ave Maris Stella" (Hail Star of the Sea), the venerable Latin hymn that was part of the liturgy for feasts of the Virgin, sung immediately after the words "Sumens illud Ave/Gabrielis ore" (Hail, receiving that/from the mouth of Gabriel). God's irenic mission was entrusted to Mary, who, having been greeted by the Archangel Gabriel, conceived and bore Christ and established peace on earth.

Figure 14

Giacomo Antonio Moro, Foundation Medal for the Column of the Virgin, 1613 (from Alfonso Ciacconio, Vitae, et res gestae Pontificum Romanorum [Rome, 1677], 4: 397, detail, Bibliotheca Hertziana, Rome)

Figure 14

Giacomo Antonio Moro, Foundation Medal for the Column of the Virgin, 1613 (from Alfonso Ciacconio, Vitae, et res gestae Pontificum Romanorum [Rome, 1677], 4: 397, detail, Bibliotheca Hertziana, Rome)

The Column as a Hieroglyph of the Virgin

In referring to Mary as "the most holy column," Vittorelli evokes the symbolic associations of columns, which were derived from three distinct traditions: architectural theory; scriptural exegesis, hymns, and prayers; and visions and their visual records.

In the first, architectural, tradition, Vitruvius's is the first surviving text to associate the orders with specific gods, thereby personifying the basic elements of classical architecture. About the Corinthian——the order of Paul's column——he states in book one of De Architectura that its delicacy, slenderness, and ornamental grace make it the most appropriate order for temples erected in honor of Venus, Flora, Proserpina, and nymphs. In book four, in his discussion of the origins of the orders, he adds that the "Corinthian imitates the slenderness of a young girl."77 During the Renaissance, architectural theorists carefully read Vitruvius, and revised his ideas about the orders, adapting them to the Christian cult. Most important was Sebastiano Serlio (1475––1554), who endeavored to bring Vitruvian theory up to date in book four of his Regole generali di architettura, published in 1537. "The ancients," he wrote, "wanted the Corinthian style, taken from the form of a virgin, to be dedicated to the goddess Vesta, tutelary deity of virgins. However, in these modern times it seems to me that the procedure should be different, but not too far from the ancients." Then, following a discussion of various types of buildings and the Doric and Ionic orders, Serlio turned back to the Corinthian. After citing Vitruvius's discussion of the origins of the Corinthian capital, he stated: "I would certainly say that if you have to build a sacred temple in this Order, you should dedicate it to the Mother of our Saviour Jesus Christ, the Virgin Mary, who was not only a virgin before, but was a virgin during and after giving birth."78 In addition to christianizing Vitruvius's rule, Serlio codified an architectural tradition of employing the virginal order for Marian buildings. Two conspicuous examples are the Santa Casa di Loreto, begun in 1510 as a monumental reliquary container for the purported house in which the Virgin received the Annunciation, which was designed by Bramante in the Corinthian order, and the Chigi Chapel——dedicated to the Madonna di Loreto——in S. Maria del Popolo, which Raphael constructed in the Corinthian order on the model of the most famous surviving ancient building, the Pantheon, a Corinthian temple converted into a church and dedicated to S. Maria ad Martyres. In the seventeenth century the Corinthian was still closely associated with the Virgin: in 1626 Fabio Chigi, the future Alexander VII, in a description of his family's chapel, noted that its Corinthian order corresponded perfectly to its dedication to the Madonna, just as this order "had been used by the Ancients for their famous female gods."79

Paul V thus made an apposite choice in appropriating the last monumental Corinthian column from the so-called Temple of Peace. Following and exploiting an architectural tradition sanctioned by the ancients and modernized by Christian architectural theorists, he took the most prized virginal column from antiquity and transformed it into a Marian monument, a trophy to the Virgin standing before her basilica in Rome.

In the second tradition of scriptural exegesis, hymns, and prayers, Mary was directly associated with a column and the column was often read as a sign of the Virgin. Passages in the Old Testament——for example, in Exodus (13:21––22 and 33:9––10), Numbers (12:5 and 14:14), Deuteronomy (31:15), and 2 Esdras (9:12)——in which God is described as appearing in a column of clouds (columnanubis) and a column of fire (columna ignis) were interpreted as signifying the Virgin.80 Similarly, the throne described in Ecclesiasticus 24:7 as being "in a cloudy pillar" (in columna nubis) was seen as referring to the throne of Mary, the Seat of Divine Wisdom, and as alluding to Mary's immaculacy.81 These (and other) passages——and their Marian readings——provided the basis for an extraordinarily rich body of hymns, prayers, and other texts in which the Virgin is called a column. In the twelfth-century Psalterium Beatae Mariae Virginis, Mary is the "columna novae legis" (column of the new covenant);82 in the late medieval hymn "Hortus rosarum dei genitricis Mariae" she is the "columna nostrae fidei" (column of our faith);83 and in the words of the Pseudo-Hugh of St. Victor, Mary is the "columna rectitudinis" (the column of rectitude)."84 When it came to devising one of the four inscriptions for the column's base, Querenghi called upon the columnaignis epithet, comparing the column of fire (in Exodus) that guided the Israelites to the promised land to Mary, who offers the faithful an illuminated path to heaven.85 In his extended discussion of Paul V's column monument, Andrea Vittorelli pointed to this exegetical and hymnal tradition and enriched it. Alluding to the Old Testament passages, he explained that the column of fire was Mary "because she was filled with God, who is fire," and the column of cloud was Mary, too, for in the cloud God placed her throne, citing Ecclesiasticus 24:7. Mary is, he writes, the "Colonna stabile" (firm column), the "Colonna mistica" (mystical column), and the "Colonna del Cielo" (column of heaven), because she is the mother of Christ. "The column," he continues, "is manifestly a hieroglyph of the incomparable excellence of the Virgin"; and Mary, in turn, is the "singular column who unites the earth with heaven, God with man." The white marble column "from the profane temple of Peace, [now] consecrated to the Virgin, is tall, firm, straight, fluted, [and] raised toward heaven; in its entirety it is," Vittorelli concludes, "a symbol of the Lady of the world, firm for her faith, strength of spirit, and her other virtues; tall for her contemplation of divine things; straight for the sincerity of her intentions and the fullness of her grace; […… and] fluted as a sign of her humility."86

The Virgin's close and continual association with columns was also manifested in visions. The most famous is said to have occurred in AD 40, on the banks of the Ebro River in Saragossa, Spain, where Mary, surrounded by angels, appeared on a column to St. James as he was preaching. According to tradition, she gave the apostle a statue of herself holding the infant Jesus and a pillar of jasper, and instructed him to erect an altar and church on that site. The statue on the column——known as Nuestra Seññora del Pilar——mirrored what appeared to James and is preserved as a miracle-working image to this day. It was widely depicted in paintings and prints, and the vision of St. James was also frequently represented, perhaps most dramatically in Poussin's painting in the Louvre (Figure 15).87 Another well-known Marian vision took place in the mid-tenth century in the French city of Clermont-Ferrand. There, Mary appeared to Bishop Etienne Robert, Abbot of Mozat, in the form of a gilded reliquary statue of the Virgin and Child in Majesty atop a marble column. Following the vision, Etienne II, the bishop of the city, commissioned just such a statue, which he placed atop a column behind the cathedral's main altar.88 The column as a symbol of Mary——as an architectural metaphor for her strength and fortitude——also appeared in depictions of the Madonna and Child, and especially of the Nativity, in which the Virgin was shown beside or leaning against a tall column.89

Figure 15

Nicolas Poussin, The Virgin Appearing to St. James, ca. 1629, Paris, Muséée du Louvre (Rééunion des Muséées Nationaux/Art Resource, New York)

Figure 15

Nicolas Poussin, The Virgin Appearing to St. James, ca. 1629, Paris, Muséée du Louvre (Rééunion des Muséées Nationaux/Art Resource, New York)

More directly related to Paul V's monument are two earlier columns topped with statues of Mary: one was erected in the central market of Udine in 1487 as a civic emblem, and the other, set up in 1516 in Regensburg to honor the Schööne Maria, is well known from the woodcut by Michael Ostendorfer (Figure 16).90 Closer in date, if not in type, is the Madonna della Colonna in St. Peter's, a fresco likely dating to the fifteenth century, which was painted directly on one of the columns of the nave in the Constantinian basilica. Considered a miracle-working image, in 1579 an altar was erected and dedicated to it and during the rebuilding of the church in 1607, the section of the column adorned with the image was sawn off of the shaft and reinstalled——surrounded by marble inlays——as the altarpiece of the southwest corner chapel of the new basilica, aptly named the Cappella della Madonna della Colonna. The only altarpiece in St. Peter's erected during the pontificate of Paul V, its creation underscores the importance that the pope placed on the cult of Mary.91

Figure 16

Michael Ostendorfer, Pilgrimage to the Schööne Maria at Regensburg, woodcut, ca. 1519 (Foto Marburg/Art Resource, New York)

Figure 16

Michael Ostendorfer, Pilgrimage to the Schööne Maria at Regensburg, woodcut, ca. 1519 (Foto Marburg/Art Resource, New York)

Pauls V's Marian column at S. Maria Maggiore was rooted in this multilayered tradition of likening the Virgin to a column and reading the column as a symbol of Mary. In surmounting the column with a statue of the Virgin, Paul V gave visual play to the semiotics of the column, creating a monument composed of two reciprocal signs, one symbolic and the other iconic, one metaphorical and the other figural——a lucid example of Baroque concettismo.

The Statue of the Virgin and Child

Paul V's decision to re-erect the column and crown it with a statue of the Virgin clearly affirmed his profound devotion to Mary and her privileged status in the Catholic Church. However, the statue on a column was a type of monument directly associated with pagan idolatry and cultic practices, and in medieval manuscripts and paintings it was "shorthand for idolatry."92

Christianity prohibited idolatry, and the toppling of statues from their pedestals expressed Christian triumph. For this reason, in numerous images of the Flight into Egypt, while the Holy Family passes, an idol——a statue on a column——is depicted falling from its crumbling perch (Figure 17). The true God replaces the false deity; Christ's appearance causes the idol's destruction.93 As Michael Cole has shown, the idea of the statue-on-column as an idol continued well into the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries——and even Christian images on columns could be suspect.94 It is hardly surprising, given the iconoclastic tendencies of the German Reform, that in 1524 the statue of the Virgin on the column in Regensburg was called an "idol" and that in 1543 it was torn down and destroyed.95 When Paul V placed a statue of the Virgin at the summit of his column, just as when Sixtus V erected statues of Saints Peter and Paul atop the Columns of Trajan and Marcus Aurelius, there can be little doubt that he was aware of the association of this type of monument with idolatry. No wonder, then, that he——following Sixtus——exorcised and then consecrated the ancient column, converting it from pagan to Christian. Paul, like Sixtus, inverted two traditions: he transformed the statue-on-column from a pagan idol into an object of Christian worship; and instead of knocking a statue off its column to express Christian triumph, that victory was now celebrated by placing a statue on a column. The surmounting of an ancient column with a statue of Mary or a saint was an announcement of Christianity's victory over paganism. It was also, tacitly, a post-Tridentine defense of images, for Protestant acts of iconoclasm were especially directed against images of the Virgin.96 It should not be forgotten, that, according to the Mirabilia Urbis Romae and the Legenda Aurea, the golden idol erected by Romulus would fall when a Virgin bore a child. The statue of Mary holding the Christ Child evoked this legendary tradition. The column that once supported the temple housing that idol, now held aloft a Christian image that manifested the prophesied miraculous birth that had caused the idol's destruction.

Figure 17

Limbourg Brothers, Flight into Egypt, The Belles Heures of Jean de France, fol. 63r, ca. 1409, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, The Cloisters Collection (The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York)

Figure 17

Limbourg Brothers, Flight into Egypt, The Belles Heures of Jean de France, fol. 63r, ca. 1409, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, The Cloisters Collection (The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York)

Paul's decision to have the statue made of gilded bronze was also purposeful. The durability of bronze and the precedent of Sixtus V's statues of Peter and Paul must have influenced his choice, but the preciousness of bronze, especially gilded bronze, and the associations of the medium must also have played a role. Many of the most prominent ancient Roman statues known during the Middles Ages and Renaissance were made of bronze, a metal that symbolized strength and durability.97 However, in the Bible idols are nearly always described as being made of cast metal, and often as gilded. For example, in Exodus 32 we read about Aaron's "golden calf"; 2 Paralipomenon 28:2 speaks of the idols Achaz made for Baalim as being "cast"; Psalm 113:4 tells us "the idols of the Gentiles are silver and gold;" Judges 18:14 and 18 describe "molten" idols; and 4 Kings 10 speaks of the "golden calves" erected by Jeroboam. The material of such idols was thus appropriated as the medium for holy images; gilded bronze was now a Christian medium.98 The melting down of two bronze cannon from Castel Sant'Angelo to make the statue of the Virgin and Child added an additional layer of meaning: weapons of war were transformed into an object of devotion, an image of the Holy Mother and the Prince of Peace.99

The statue presents Mary in a number of interrelated guises, whose iconography enriches the monument's meaning (Figure 18, see Figure 4). The Virgin is first the "great sign," the "woman clothed with the sun and the moon under her feet, and upon her head a crown of twelve stars," as described in St. John's Apocalypse, 12:1. She is presented as the Immacolata, the Virgin of the Immaculate Conception, conceived without stain. She is, as well, the Regina Coeli, the Queen of Heaven, wearing her crown and standing on billowing clouds, and the Virgin Mother of Christ, the source of the true Prince of Peace, whom she holds tenderly in her left arm.100 The statue of the Virgin and Child also alludes to the vision of the Ara Coeli, whose legend, recounted in the Mirabilia and the Legenda Aurea, revolves around Emperor Augustus, whom the Roman Senate declared to be a god to honor him for the peace and stability he brought to the empire. However, the Legenda Aurea relates that "the prudent emperor,"

Figure 18

Guillaume Berthelot and Domenico Ferreri, Statue of the Virgin, engraving by J. Perretta (from Pier Leone Bombelli, Le statue de' dodici apostoli esistenti nella Basilica Lateranese scolpite da celebri autori [Rome, n.d.], Bibliotheca Hertziana, Rome)

Figure 18

Guillaume Berthelot and Domenico Ferreri, Statue of the Virgin, engraving by J. Perretta (from Pier Leone Bombelli, Le statue de' dodici apostoli esistenti nella Basilica Lateranese scolpite da celebri autori [Rome, n.d.], Bibliotheca Hertziana, Rome)

knowing full well that he was mortal, refused to usurp the title of immortality. The senators insisted that he summon the sibylline prophetess and find out, through her oracles, whether someone greater than he was to be born in the world. When therefore, on the day of Christ's birth, the council was convoked to study this matter and the Sibyl, alone in the room with the emperor, consulted her oracles, at midday a golden circle appeared around the sun, and in the middle of the circle a most beautiful virgin holding a child . . . . The Sybil showed this to Caesar, and while the emperor marveled at the vision, he heard a voice saying to him: "This is the altar of Heaven [Ara Coeli]." The Sibyl then told him: "This child is greater than you, and it is he that you must worship."101

Other versions of the legend relate that, after seeing this vision, Augustus erected an altar in the Capitol inscribed "This is the Altar of the first-born of God," and in other texts the legend of the Ara Coeli was conflated with that of the Augustan Temple of Peace, which, according to the oracle, would stand until a virgin bore a child. Some representations of the Vision of the Ara Coeli show a vaulted building that is identifiable as the Templum Pacis, conflating the two legends.102 In keeping with most depictions of the vision, the Virgin atop Paul's column is shown above a crescent moon, radiant, and holding the Christ Child in one arm.103 This makes reference to the "vulgar" tradition that the column once supported Augustus's Templum Pacis, which, as prophesied, crumbled upon Christ's birth. A chiaroscuro woodcut of the vision of the Ara Coeli, by Antonio da Trento after a design by Parmigianino, beautifully completes this circle of connections, for rising up directly behind the Tiburtine Sibyl, as she directs Augustus's gaze to the Virgin and Child, is a fluted Corinthian column, remarkably like the column that stood in the Temple of Peace, which Paul used for his monument (Figure 19).

Figure 19

Antonio da Trento (after Parmigianino), Augustus and the Tiburtine Sibyl, chiaroscuro woodcut, ca. 1527––30 (Los Angeles County Museum of Art)

Figure 19

Antonio da Trento (after Parmigianino), Augustus and the Tiburtine Sibyl, chiaroscuro woodcut, ca. 1527––30 (Los Angeles County Museum of Art)

The Virgin atop the column at S. Maria Maggiore is presented in all of these interconnected personae. Viewed from the ground, the once-gilded form hovers, silhouetted against and presiding over the sky, illuminated by the sun's rays, just as the Virgin appeared to Augustus, to St. John as the Apocalyptic Woman, and as Queen of Heaven and Immacolata. Elevated on her virginal column, Mary appears as in a vision, to "establish us in peace." As three of the inscriptions on the monument's base remind us, Mary is the mother of the Prince of the True Peace, a peace that surpasses the false peace of pagan antiquity, and she is the column of fire, which illuminates the way to heaven. The column and statue thus unite to communicate the idea of a new Pax Romana——a new eternal peace——achieved through the Virgin, who stands as guardian before her basilica in Rome. And while the peace was ushered in by the birth of Christ, Paul V, through this monument, celebrates Mary as the source of that peace, as proclaimed in the fourth of the inscriptions adorning the base, which is cast in the voice of the column itself: Once, by the command of Caesar, I sustained, in torment, the impure temple of a false god, now, joyful, supporting the mother of the true God, about you, O Paul, I will not be silent throughout the ages.104

As "successor of St. Peter, as true and lawful Vicar of Christ our Lord," as the Catechism of the Council of Trent defines the pope, Paul was the earthly representative of the Prince of Peace. His papacy was marked by his efforts to establish peace among the Catholic powers, for he considered it, as Pastor noted, "a sacred duty to collaborate with all who worked for its maintenance."105 Paul struggled to reconcile France and Spain and to avoid wars that loomed over the question of succession both in the lower-Rhine duchy and the duchy of Mantua. The interests of the Church, he believed, demanded the maintenance of peace, and he instructed all of his nuncios to work for the cause of peace with Emperor Rudolph II, King Philip III of Spain, and Archduke Albrecht of Austria.106 In his desire to be known as a pope of peace, Paul moved and re-erected the column from the so-called Templum Pacis to promote this view of his papacy.

Postscript

Following the dedication of Paul V's project in 1614, the honorific column with statue continued to serve as a favored type of monument throughout Europe and, later, in the New World. Many were created to honor political and military leaders, such as the Column of Sigismund (or Zygmunt) III Vasa, erected outside the Royal Castle in Warsaw in 1644 at the behest of King Wladyslaw IV (1595––1648) to commemorate his father and predecessor, who moved the capital from Cracow to Warsaw in 1596; the notorious Vendôôme Column in Paris with its crowning statue of Napoleon as a Roman emperor, completed in 1810, which celebrated Napoleon's defeat of Russian and Austrian forces at Austerlitz; the Column of Lord Nelson in Trafalgar Square in London, dedicated in 1843 in honor of the vice-admiral who died heroically at the Battle of Trafalgar; and the Washington Column in Baltimore, created between 1815 and 1829, which memorializes his dual role as general and first president of the United States. Others were erected to honor local patron saints, serving a religious and civic function, such as the Column of St. Dominic, raised in 1627 in Bologna's Piazza San Domenico, and the so-called Guglia di San Gennaro in Naples, erected between 1636 and 1660 as a votive offering to the city's patron saint for his protection from the eruption of Vesuvius in 1631.107 The Column of Alexander I, the tallest such column monument ever created, stands in Palace Square, St. Petersburg; dedicated in 1834 by Nicholas I to commemorate his predecessor's victory over Napoleon, it combines political and religious functions, with a pedestal adorned with military trophies and allegorical reliefs, and the column surmounted by a statue of Alexander in the guise of a cross-bearing angel.

Other Marian columns were also created. In 1687 the Commune of Lucca erected the Colonna della Madonna dello Stellario in front of the city's church of San Francesco; Palermo's Piazza San Domenico was adorned with the Colonna dell'Immacolata in 1728; the Jesuits erected the Guglia dell'Immacolata in Piazza del Gesùù Nuovo in Naples in the 1740s; in 1769 the Guglia dell'Immacolata was raised in the main square of the Apulian city of Nardòò; and perhaps the best known such monument was raised in the nineteenth century in Piazza di Spagna in Rome, opposite the Palazzo di Propaganda Fidei, which was dedicated in 1857 by Pius IX to commemorate his declaration of the Immaculate Conception as a dogma of the Catholic Church three years earlier.108 These examples notwithstanding, very few columns dedicated to the Virgin were erected in Italy following the example of Paul's monument.

The real progeny of Paul V's monument were the numerous Mariensääulen raised throughout the lands of the Holy Roman Empire.109 The earliest example is the Column of Mary in Munich's Schrannenplatz (now Marienplatz), erected on behalf of Maximilian I of Bavaria in 1638 (Figure 20). It celebrates the sparing of the city from Swedish invasion in 1631––32 and the victory over the Swedes at the battle of Nöördlingen in 1634. It was dedicated, conspicuously, on the anniversary of the battle of White Mountain in 1620, in which Catholic forces defeated the Protestant army. Like Paul's Column of the Virgin, which served as its direct and immediate model, Munich's Mariensääule has a Corinthian capital and a statue of the Virgin and Child that presents her as the Queen of Heaven, the Apocalyptic Woman, and the Immacolata. Like its Roman prototype, it too became the focus of pious devotion, with the faithful flocking to it to offer prayers to the statue of Mary. And just as Paul's monument emphasized Mary's role as protector and virtual patron saint of Rome, so did Maximilian's honor the Virgin as Munich's patron saint and Bavaria's protectress. Unlike its Roman model, however, Maximilian's column monument is a personal ex voto, a fulfillment of a vow he had made before the Swedish invasion of 1631.110 The effectiveness of Munich's Column of Mary as a religious and political monument was immediately recognized and imitated. In 1647 Emperor Ferdinand III dedicated a Mariensääule in Vienna's main plaza (Am Hof). Erected, like Maximilian's, in fulfillment of an oath the emperor had sworn in the face of Swedish attack, it proclaimed the Immaculate Virgin's role as vanquisher of heresy and as "Domina Austriae."111 This triumphalist message was reiterated in the Column of Mary erected on the Altstäädter Ring in Prague in 1650, again at the decree of Ferdinand III, which commemorated the liberation from the Swedes and, perhaps more significantly, symbolized the re-Catholicization of Bohemia by the Habsburgs.112 And a similar political and religious message was communicated by the more than 150 Marian columns erected in Bohemia and Moravia between 1650 and 1780, and the many dozens of Mariensääulen raised in other parts of the Holy Roman Empire.

Figure 20

Hubert Gerhard, Bernhard Ernst, et al., Mariensääule, Munich, Marienplatz, 1638 (author's photo)

Figure 20

Hubert Gerhard, Bernhard Ernst, et al., Mariensääule, Munich, Marienplatz, 1638 (author's photo)

All of these later Marian columns were directly or indirectly derived from Paul V's monument. Yet, whereas the majority of the Mariensääulen were created in the aftermath of the Thirty Years War and celebrated the Virgin's role in protecting Catholic lands and in helping to achieve military victories over Protestant forces, Paul's Marian column was a monument of peace. The inscriptions adorning its base make no reference to war or victory; they speak only of Mary's role as mother of the true God, mother of the true Prince of Peace. What distinguishes Paul's monument from all other Marian columns, extends its associative meanings and makes it the most eloquent signifier of peace, is its re-use of a unique ancient column, a consecrated relic and a sign of the Virgin from the Temple of Eternal Peace.

Notes

This article is a much-expanded version of a paper presented at the XXXth International Congress of the History of Art (London, 2000) and, before that (in different forms), at the Annual Conference of the Art Historians of Southern California (Los Angeles, 1996) and the Sixteenth Century Studies Conference (San Francisco, 1995). I wish to acknowledge and thank Fabio Barry, Michael Cole, Maarten Delbeke, Jennifer Montagu, and Conrad Rudolph, whose comments and criticisms, bibliographic references, archival transcriptions, and assistance with translations from the Latin have greatly informed and improved this essay. Thanks also go to David B. Brownlee and the JSAH's anonymous reviewer for their critical feedback. As always, I am grateful to Noriko Gamblin for her careful editorial assistance and support.

On these projects, see especially Cesare D'Onofrio, Gli obelischi di Roma: storia urbanistica di una cittàà dall'etàà antica al XX secolo 3rd ed. (Rome: Romana Societàà Editrice, 1992), 143––280; Helge Gamrath, Roma Sancta Renovata: Studi sull'urbanistica di Roma nella seconda metàà del sec. XVI con particolare referimento al pontificato di Sisto V (1585––90) (Rome, "L'Erma" di Bretschneider, 1987); and Erik Iverson, Obelisks in Exile (Copenhagen: Gad, 1968), 11––46. See also Charles Burroughs, "Absolutism and the Rhetoric of Topography: Streets in the Rome of Sixtus V," in Streets: Critical Perspectives on Public Space, ed. Zeynep ÇÇelik, Diane Favro, and Richard Ingersoll (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1994), 189––202; Steven F. Ostrow, "The Counter Reformation and the End of the Century," in Rome, ed. Marcia B. Hall (Cambridge and New York: Cambridge University Press, 2005), 281––85; Michael W. Cole, "Perpetual Exorcism in Sistine Rome," in The Idol in the Age of Art: Objects, Devotions and the Early Modern World, ed. Michael W. Cole and Rebecca E. Zorach (Aldershot: Ashgate, 2008), 57––76.

Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana (hereafter BAV), Urb. lat. 1057, fol. 200: "Tra alcuni si dice . . . che si piantaràà nella piazza delle terme Diocletiane quella bella e gran colonna, che hora si vede nelle rovine di Campo Vaccino, detto Templum Pacis, ponendo in cima di quella mole la effigie di bronzo della gloriosissima Vergine." Transcribed in J. A. F. Orbaan, "La Roma di Sisto V negli avvisi," Archivio della R. Societàà Romana di Storia Patria 33 (1910), 309; D'Onofrio, Obelischi di Roma, 283––87, provides a brief but insightful overview of the project.

See Steven F. Ostrow, Art and Spirituality in Counter-Reformation Rome: The Sistine and Pauline Chapels in S. Maria Maggiore (Cambridge and New York: Cambridge University Press, 1996).

Howard Hibbard, Carlo Maderno and Roman Architecture 1580––1630 (University Park and London: Zwemmer, 1971), 52.

See Klaus Schwager, "Die architektonische Erneuerung von S. Maria Maggiore unter Paul V.," Röömisches Jahrbuch füür Kunstgeschichte 20 (1983), 241––312 and Ostrow, Art and Spirituality, chap. 3.

BAV, Urb. lat. 1081, fol. 301: "La Camera ha poi stabilito con alcuni muratori, che si sono obligati di calare, condurre et alzare la colonna del Tempio della Pace di Campo Vaccino a Santa Maria Maggiore per diece milia et settecento scudi oltre l'esentione di gabelle con altri privilegij circa il comprare et condurre legnami, canapi et ferramenti et in breve daranno principio all'opra." Transcribed in J. A. F. Orbaan, Documenti sul Barocco in Roma (Rome: R. Societàà Romana di Storia Patria, 1920), 210––11. For an overview of the project, focusing on its technical aspects, see Nicoletta Marconi, "Machine and Symbol: Between Tradition in the Execution and Technical Progress. The Erection of the Marian Column in Piazza Santa Maria Maggiore (1613––1614)," in Proceedings of the Second International Congress on Construction History (Queen's College, Cambridge University), ed. Malcolm Dunkeld, et. al. (Construction History Society: Ascot, 2006), 2077––93.

BAV, Urb. lat. 1081, fol. 429v: "1613 ottobre 26. Mercordìì si cominciòò a movere la colonna del Tempio della Pace et giovedìì fu calata in terra senza haver patito alcuno danno et hora si cominiciaràà a tirare per collocarla al luogo destinato davanti all porta di mezzo della facciata di Santa Maria Maggiore." Transcribed in Orbaan, Documenti, 212.

Giacinto Gigli, Diario Romano (1608––1670), ed. Giuseppe Riccioti (Rome: Tumminelli, 1958), 27––28: "finalmente doppo molti ordegni fu la detta colonna alli 23. di Ottobre sollevata in aria dal suo loco (perchèè stava alquanto sotto terra) da 60. cavalli, et il giorno seguente che fu alli 24. fu calata et colcata in terra sopra molti travi et legni apparecchiati per farla caminare a S. Maria Maggiore."

BAV, Urb. lat. 1082, fol. 244v––245r: "1614 aprile 9. Quella colonna del Templum Pacis, che, come si scrisse, fu fatta levare et condurre sopra la piazza di Santa Maria Maggiore, lunedìì fu con un mirabile artificio d'argani et di un castello tutto di legno, finita di alzare sopra la sua base di marmo et, posatasi, furno per allegrezza dell'opera felicemente compita donate mancie a tutti li lavoratori, attendosi hora a pulirla et a mettervi sopra il suo capitello, sopra il quale si ha da posare la statua della beatissima Vergine di bronzo indorato. . . ." Transcribed in Orbaan, Documenti, 217––18.

BAV, Urb. lat. 1082, fol. 238v: "1614 aprile 16. Lunedìì mattina si cominciòò ad alzare la colonna sopra la quale si deve collocare una statua della Madonna di metallo dorato avanti la chiesa di Santa Maria Maggiore et il popolo vi concorse numeroso per vedere porre in opra le machine et l'argani preparati per quest'effetto." Transcribed in Orbaan, Documenti, 217.

A document in the Archivio di Stato di Roma (ASR), Camerale I, Fabbriche, 1537, fols. 259, accounts for the "marmo novo di carrara quale hanno da servire per fare le foglie del capitello della colona." I thank Jennifer Montagu for bringing this document to my attention and for providing all of the transcriptions of documents from the ASR. The capital was extensively restored, with almost all of its foliage added and re-carved by the stonemason Tullio Solari. A concise overview of Maderno's work on the column monument and fountain (including archival references) is in Hibbard, Maderno, 201––3; see also Marconi, "Machine and Symbol," 2080––88. On the fountain, see Cesare D'Onofrio, Le fontane di Roma (Rome: Staderini editore, 1957), 158––59. Payments to Maderno for the monument and fountain are cited in Carlo Fea, Miscellanea Filologica Critica e Antiquaria (Rome: Puccinelli, 1836), 2: 12––14; Antonino Bertolotti, Artisti lombardi a Roma nei secoli XV, XVI e XVII (Milan: U. Hoepli, 1881), 2: 13; Anna Maria Corbo and Massimo Pomponi, eds., Fonti per la storia artistica romana al tempo di Paolo V (Rome: Istituto Polografico e Zecca dello Stato, 1995), 81.

On Berthelot, a native of Havre, see Giovanni Baglione, Le vite de' pittori scultori et architetti dal pontificato di Gregorio XIII del 1572 in fino àà tempi di Papa Urbano Ottavo nel 1642 (Rome, 1642), facsimile edition, ed. Valerio Mariani (Rome: R. Istituto d'Archeologia e Storia dell'Arte, 1935), 327, 338––39; Andrea Bacchi (with Susanna Zanuso), Scultura del '600 a Roma (Milan: Longanesi, 1996), 786; and Franççoise de La Moureyre, "Guillaume Bertelot (1583––1648). Les annéées romaines et la restauration du Gladiateur Borghèèse," Bulletin de la Sociéétéé de l'art francais Annéée 2003 (2004), 119––34 (with additional bibliography).

For the documentation pertaining to both Berthelot and Ferreri, see Fea, Miscellanea Filologica, 2: 12––13; Antonino Bertolotti, Artisti bolognesi, ferraresi ed alcuni altri del giàà stato pontificio in Roma nei secoli XV, XVI e XVII (Rome: Regia Tipografia, 1886), 188, 197––98; Antonino Bertolotti, Artisti francesi a Roma nei secoli XV, XVI e XVII (Mantua: Mondovi, 1886), 163; Hibbard, Maderno, 202; Corbo and Pomponi, Fonti, 56, 73, 108. Although Baglione (Le vite, 327, 338––39) states that Orazio Censore collaborated with Ferreri in the casting of the statue, he is not mentioned in the documents in connection with the statue.

Orbaan, Documenti, 12: "1614 Julii 18. Fuit collocata et accomodata imago aenea beatissimae Virginis Mariae supra columnam ante basilicam Sanctae Mariae Majoris superioribus diebus erectam, quarum unam benedixit juxta ritum pontificalis et alteram exorcizavit reverendissimus dominus de Curtis episcopus Iserniensis, senior vicarious basilicae Sanctae Mariae Majoris." The placing of the statue is also recorded in Francesco Cerasoli, "Diario di cose romane degli anni 1614, 1615, 1616," Studi e documenti di storia e diritto 15 (1894), 277.

BAV, Urb. Lat. 1082, fol. 400: "1614 luglio 23. L'istesso giorno di sabato [18 July] fu posta sopra la colonna eretta avanti la chiesa di Santa Maria Maggiore la statua della Madonna gettata di metallo et hora si daràà opra ad indorarla." Orbaan, Documenti, 223.

The documents, in ASR, Camerale I, Fabbriche 1537, fols. 297v, 300, refer to the "indoratura della mad.a di metallo in cima [at the top] della colona." See also Corbo and Pomponi, Fonti, 67.

ASR, Camerale I, Fabbriche 1537, fol. 2892v: [10 June 1614] "A M.o fabritio baldelli scrittore . . . a bon conto dell'Inscrittioni fatte a tutte le Quattro faciate del Piedestallo della colona . . . scudi 30."

The documents for Berthelot and Laurentiano's eagles and dragons, and their gilding by Corradini and Boiani are cited in Fea, Miscellanea Filologica, 2: 13; Bertolotti, Artisti francesi, 163; Hibbard, Maderno, 202; Corbo and Pomponi, Fonti, 57, 67, 80. Baglione, Le vite, 325 writes that Laurentiano was responsible for the models of both the eagles and dragons; the documents, however, clearly show that Berthelot made the model for the dragons.

Ludwig von Pastor, The History of the Popes from the Close of the Middle Ages, trans. and ed. Ernst Graf, 40 vols. (St. Louis: B. Herder, 1893––1953), 26: 411.

Giovanni Severano, Memorie sacre delle sette chiese di Roma e di altri luoghi, che si trovano per le strade di esse (Rome: Mascardi, 1630), 711. Sixtus V had granted an indulgence of fifteen years to those who prayed to the cross atop the obelisks.

On this little-studied aspect of Paul's urbanism, see especially Augusto Roca De Amicis, "L'area di Santa Maria Maggiore all'epoca di Paolo V Borghese: Canonici, privati e strategie di riqualificazione urbana," in Cittàà & Storia (La cifra della cittàà: Architetture ed economie in trasformazione), ed. Roberta Morelli and Maria Luisa Neri (Rome: Universitàà degli Studi Roma Tre), 1, no. 1 (2006), 79––91. See also Italo Insolera, Roma: Immagini e realtàà dal X al XX secolo (Rome: Laterza, 1980), 217––22, and Schwager, "Die architektonische Erneuerung," 263, note 117. Documents in the Archivio Capitolare di S. Maria Maggiore (ACSMM), Fondo dei Canonici, Atti Capitolari, 1611––1639, fols. 55 and 66 refer to the via Paolina as "la strada nova incontro al inscrittione di d[ett]a Cappella [Paolina]," and, with respect to improvements made to the present-day via Panisperna, "la strada . . . al Monte Magnanapoli conforme alla mente de Sua Beatitudine."

BAV, Urb. lat. 1081, fol. 429v: "1613 ottobre 26. . . . della qual colonna sino alla porta di San Giovanni si apriràà una strada nuova dirita di maniera, che quelli ch'entranno per la detta porta portranno vedere er riverire la statua della gloriosa Regina de Cieli, che si deve collocare làà sopra detta colonna." Transcribed in Orbaan, Documenti, 212––13.

See Schwager, "Die architektonishe Erneuerung," 262––63. ACSMM, Fondo dei Canonici, Atti Capitolari 1596, 1606, 1608, 1610, fol. 92r––v: "15 Xbre 1609. Decreta di butare a terra tutte le case in faccia alla chiesa."

ACSMM, Fondo dei Canonici, Atti Capitolari 1611––1639, fol. 33: "A di 14 di Giugno 1613. Che il S.r Hieronimo Abrusca et S.r Marcello Vitelleschi vadino quanto p[rim]a àà parlare al Papa et trattar con S. S.ta destram[en]te del desiderio che ha il cap[ito]lo di poter condur[re] l'acqua nella piazza di S.ta maria Magg[io]re per beneficio publico, et privato." Cited also in Schwager, "Die architektonishe Erneuerung," 263, n. 118.

A capitular decree of 1 June 1612 (ACSMM, Fondo dei Canonici, Atti Capitulari 1611––1639, fol. 21) refers to "N'ro Sig're [Pope Paul V] che si facci piazza."

ACSMM, Fondo dei Canonici, Atti Capitolari 1611––1639, fol. 64: "A di 27 di febraro 1615. Che li SS.ri Camerlenghi et Il S.r Vitelleschi vadino a ringratiare N.ro Sig.re . . . dell'acqua che ci fa condurre nella piazza avanti la colonna marmorea." As Roca De Amicis, "L'area di Santa Maria Maggiore," points out, the conducting of water to the fountain——as well as the clearing of the piazza and carving out of new streets in the Suburra——was in reality a collaborative effort on the parts of the pope, the basilican chapter (Capitolo Liberiano), and the city of Rome.

Leon Battista Alberti, On the Art of Building in Ten Books, trans. Joseph Rykwert, Neil Leach, and Robert Tavernor (Cambridge: MIT Press, 1988), Book VI, 13, 183––84.

John Raymond, An Itinerary Contayning aVoyage Made through Italy in the Yeare 1646, and 1647 (London: Humphrey Moseley, 1648), 82––83.

Pliny, Natural History, trans. H. Rackham (Cambridge and London: Harvard University Press, 1948), 9: Book 34.27, 149. The fundamental study of honorific columns in Italy is Werner Haftmann, Das italienische Sääulenmonument (Leipzig and Berlin: Teubner, 1939).

After the fire of 283, Diocletian erected a set of five honorific columns along the western end of the Forum, and seven more were added along the southern edge in the early fourth century. None is still standing, but most of the pedestals and foundations survive. A concise discussion of the Columns of Trajan, Marcus Aurelius, Phocas, and the other columns erected in Rome can be found in Amanda Claridge, Rome: An Oxford Archaeological Guide (Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press, 1998).

See Cyril Mango, "Constantine's Column," in Cyril Mango, Studies on Constantinople (Aldershot: Ashgate, 1993), chap. 3. After the statue fell to the ground in 1106 it was replaced with a cross by Manuel I Komnenos.

See Cyril Mango, "The Columns of Justinian and His Successors," in Mango, Studies, chap. 10. Other columns with statues erected in Constantinople include the Column of the Goths (most likely erected by Constantine); the Column of Theodosius I (r. 379––95), and the Column of Theodosius II (r. 408––50).

Haftmann, Das italienische Sääulenmonument, 42.

Alice-Mary Talbot, "The Restoration of Constantinople under Michael VIII," Dumbarton Oaks Papers 47 (1993), 254––55, 258––61; Thomas Thomov, "The Last Column in Constantinople," Byzantinoslavica 59, no. 1 (1998), 80––91.

See Haftmann, Das italienische Sääulenmonument, 125––27, 135; Luisa Sartorio, "San Teodoro, statua composita," Arte Veneta 1 (1947), 132––34; and especially Guido Tigler, "Intorno alle colonne di Piazza San Marco," Atti dell'Istituto Veneto di scienze, lettere ed arti, Classe di scienze morali, letter ed arti 158, no. 1 (1999––2000), 1––45, who argues that the statue of St. Theodore was likely erected before that of Mark's lion.

See David G. Wilkins, "Donatello's Lost Dovizia for the Mercato Vecchio: Wealth and Charity as Florentine Civic Virtues," Art Bulletin 65, no. 3 (September 1983), 401––22; Margaret Haines, "La colonna della Dovizia di Donatello," Rivista d'arte 37, ser. 4 (1984), 348––59; Sarah Blake Wilk, "Donatello's Dovizia as an Image of Florentine Political Propaganda," Artibus et Historiae 7, no. 14 (1986), 9––28. After much deterioration, Donatello's statue was replaced in the early eighteenth century by a figure of the same subject carved by Giovanni Battista Foggini. Both column and Foggini's statue were removed in the late nineteenth century. The column now stands in the Piazza della Repubblica.

On Cosimo's three column monuments, see Detlef Heikamp, "Die Sääulenmonumente Cosimo I," in Boboli 90: Atti del Convegno Internazionale di Studi per la salvaguardia e la valorizzazione del Giardino (Florence: Edifir, 1991), 1: 3––17; Suzanne Butters, The Triumph of Vulcan: Sculptors' Tools, Porphyry, and the Prince in Ducal Florence (Florence: Olschki, 1996), 1: 80––83; Gianluca Belli, "Un monumento per Cosimo I de' Medici. La colonna della Giustizia a Firenze," Annali di architettura. Rivista del Centro internazionale di Studi di Architettura Andrea Palladio di Vicenza 16 (2004), 57––78.

The statue (3.5 meters tall) was raised into place in 1581, under Grand Duke Francesco. Before that a terracotta model of the statue stood at the top of the column from 1565 to 1577.

The poem, by Ser Giovanbattista Giordani, is quoted in Butters, Triumph of Vulcan, I, 94.

The column, along with the canopy erected above it, were severely damaged in 1744 and restored by Benedict XIV, who at that time dedicated the column to the Virgin. The canopy and column were dismantled in 1875 and the column re-erected in the courtyard flanking S. Maria Maggiore, where it remains today. The most complete discussion of this monument is Giuseppe Tomassetti, "Della colonna detta di Enrico IV sull'Esquilino," Bullettino della Commissione Archeologica Comunale di Roma 10 (1882), 73––93. For illustrations, see Carlo Pietrangeli, ed., Santa Maria Maggiore a Roma (Florence: Nardini, 1988), 62 and 67. The bronze Christ and Madonna and Child adorning the front and back of the cross are, I believe, later additions; neither is mentioned by any of the early (late sixteenth- and seventeenth-century) sources.

The monument's place in this tradition was clearly articulated by Andrea Vittorelli, Gloriose Memorie della B.ma Vergine Madre di Dio; Gran parte delle quali sono accennate, con Pitture, Statue, & altro nella maravagliosa Capella Borghesia dalla Santitàà di N. S. PP. Paolo V. edificata nel Colle Esquilino (Rome: Facciotto, 1616), 419––22, who discusses the Greek, Roman, and Byzantine practice of honoring men of valor with columns and statues, citing, inter alia, the columns of Trajan, Marcus Aurelius, and Constantine.

Andrea Palladio, L'Antichitàà di Roma (Venice: Matthio Pagan, 1554), 23. Although the column was not in danger of falling, had Paul V not removed and reutilized it, it may well have been used for sculpture and building materials, as was the earlier fate of the Basilica's other columns.

I am unable to ascertain the precise height of the shaft; published measurements range between 14 and 16.7 meters.

Vincenzo Scamozzi, Discorsi sopra l'antichitàà di Roma (Venice, 1582), intro. L. Olivato (Milan: Edizioni Il Polifilo, 1991), caption to plate 5: "le maggiori furono forsi che fussero gia mai in Roma." Similarly, Aegidius Sadeler, Vestigi delle antichitàà di Roma Tivoli Pozzuolo et altri luochi (Rome: De Rossi, 1606), caption to plate 5, referred to the "colonna di marmoro in opera d'ordine corintio con li suoi membri, la maggiore de gli altri che si vedi in Roma."

Ottavio Panciroli, I tesori nascosti nell'alma cittàà di Roma (Rome: Zannetti, 1600), 280: "si vede una si gran colonna, ch'a pena si puòò abbracciare da tre huomini."

M. Bernardo Gamucci, Le antichitàà della cittàà di Roma (Venice, 1569), facsimile edition (Rome: Centro Editoriale Internazionale, 1993), 36r––v: "la quale resto stupefatto a pensare, come sia rimasta, essendo bellissima, & una delle maggiori che si ritrovino nella cittàà; & questa essendo tutta scannellata dimostra ventiquattro strie, c'hanno di larghezza un palmo."

Vittorelli, Gloriose Memorie, 416, 429.

Scamozzi, Discorsi sopra l'antichitàà, caption to plate 5: "resta ancora intera, che porta grandissima maraviglia;" Pietro Martire Felini, Trattato nuovo delle cose maravigliose dell'alma cittàà di Roma (Rome: Franzini, 1610), 385: "una bellissima [colonna] intiera, la maggiore che si trova." The word intera (or intiera) can be understood to refer to its being a monolith and to its undamaged state. See Salvatore Battaglia, Grande Dizionario della Lingua Italiana (Turin: Unione Tipografico-Editrice Torinese, 1973), 8: 250, s.v. "Intero," definition 1: "Che non manca di alcuna parte, completo;" definition 4. "Che èè in un pezzo unico, non diviso." Baglione (Le vite, 95) also praises the column for being "tutta di un pezzo."

Antonio Nibby (1792––1839) served as a fellow of the Pontifical Academy of Archaeology and, from 1812, was in the service of the Vatican excavating the ancient monuments of Rome. In 1820 he was appointed Public Professor of Archaeology at the Universitàà di Roma. He published his discovery of the true identity of the Basilica of Maxentius and Constantine in 1819 in a volume entitled Del Tempio della Pace e della Basilica di Costantino. On the Basilica, see Udo Kultermann, Die Maxentius-Basilica: Ein Schlüüsselwerk späätantiker Architektur (Weimar: VDG, 1996).

Nibby provided a summary of his arguments in his Roma nell'anno MDCCCXXXVIII (Rome: Tipografia delle Belle Arti, 1838––41), 2: 238––49.

The Marvels of Rome: Mirabilia Urbis Romae, trans. Francis Morgan Nichols, 2nd ed. with intro., gazetteer, and bibliography by Eileen Gardiner (New York: Italica Press, 1986), 9. Cf. Master Gregorius: The Marvels of Rome, ed. and trans. John Osborne (Toronto: Pontifical Institute of Mediaeval Studies, 1987), 24, which speaks of a hall that housed many statues and where there was "an inextinguishable fire;" and when the artist of one of the statues "was asked how long it would burn, he replied that it would last until a virgin gave birth. I'm told that the hall and the [statue] collapsed in a great heap in the night that Christ was born of the Virgin." Further on this early legend, see Fedor Schneider, Rom und Romgedanke im Mittelalter: Die geistigen Grundlagen der Renaissance (Munich: Drei Masken Verlag, 1926), 165, 167––68; Roberto Valentini and Giuseppe Zucchetti, ed., Codice topografico della cittàà di Roma, II (Rome: Tipografia del Senato, 1946), 21.

Jacobus de Voragine, The Golden Legend, trans. W. G. Ryan (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1993), 1: 38––39. See also Arturo Graf, Roma nella memoria e nelle immaginazioni del medio evo (Turin: Chiantore, 1923), 253––55.

As noted by Philip J. Jacks, "Baronius and the Antiquities of Rome," in Baronio e l'arte, ed. Romeo De Maio (Sora: Centro di Studi Sorani "Vincenzo Patriarca", 1985), 81. Further on Biondo and Rucellai, see Jacks, The Antiquarian and the Myth of Antiquity: The Origins of Rome in Renaissance Thought (Cambridge and New York: Cambridge University Press, 1993), 113––22, 157––61.

Francesco Albertini, Opusculum de mirabilibus novae et veteris urbis Romae (Rome, 1510) in Five Early Guides to Rome and Florence, ed. Peter Murray (Farnborough: Gregg International Publishers, 1972), n.p.

Andrea Fulvio, L'antichitàà di Roma [. . .] con le aggiuntioni & annotationi di Gerolamo Ferrucci Romano (Venice: Francini, 1588), 162v––163r: "Dicesi volgarmente che ogni anno la notte di Natale rovina qualche particella del detto Tempio, & nella notte nella quale nacque nostro Signore, rovinòò la maggior parte di quello, il che per modo alcuno non èè da credere, per esser tale opinione al tutto varra, & fuori di ragione, conciosia cosa che esso fusse edificato ottanta anni dopo l'avenimento di Christo da Vespasiano Imperatore."

Palladio, L'Antichitàà di Roma, 23: "edificato da Vespasiano 80. anni dopo l'avvenimento di Christo, & arse in un subito al tempo di Commodo . . ., & non ruino (come crede il volgo) la notte di Natale."

Cesare Baronio, Annales ecclesiastici (Rome: Typographia Vaticana, 1593), 1: 46––48. The historical reconstruction is quite accurate, but it pertains to the actual Temple of Peace, not to the Basilica of Maxentius and Constantine. On the Temple of Peace, see Nibby, Roma nell'anno, 2: 688––91; Claridge, Rome, 153––55.

This according to Gamucci, Le antichitàà della cittàà di Roma, 36v, Scamozzi, Discorsi sopra l'antichitàà di Roma, caption to plate 8, and Giacomo Lauro, Splendore dell'antica e moderna Roma (Rome: Fei, 1641), 38v.

Giovanni Antonio Dosio, Urbis Romae aedificiorum illustriumquae supersunt reliquiae summa cum diligentia a Ioanne Antonio Dosio stilo ferreo ut hodie cernuntur descriptae et a Io. Baptista de Cavaleriis aeneis tabulis incisis repraesentatae (Rome: s.n., 1569), caption to plate 8; Felini, Trattato nuovo, 386.

Panciroli, I tesori nascosti, 280––81: "Da certi denari antichi si scorge ancora, che nella facciata del portico di questo Tempio stavano scritte queste due parole, PACI AETERNAE, perche havendo Tito figlio di Vespasiano vinto Gerosolima, e trionfato della natione Hebrea, che aspettava un Re, della cui pace molte cose predissero i Profeti, si pensòò d'esser egli quello, ma tant'arroganza non potendo soffrire il nostro Christo lo fece con un terremoto, & un lampo venuto dal Cielo in una notte abbrusciare, e cadere àà terra, e fùù sotto Commodo Imperatore l'anno di nostro salute 180 in circa." See also Robert Stalla, "La navata di S. Pietro sotto Paolo V. La tradizione della forma architettonica," in L'architettura della basilica di San Pietro: Storia e costruzione, ed. Gianfranco Spagnesi (Rome: Bonsignori, 1997), 273, where this passage is cited in the context of an argument that Paul modeled the nave of St. Peter's on that of the so-called Temple of Peace.

Guy de la Béédoyèère, ed., The Diary of John Evelyn (Woodbridge: Boydell Press, 1995), 49––50.

Abraham Bzovius, Paulus Quintus Burghesius P.O.M. (Rome: Typographia Stephani Paulini, 1624), 16.

Paolo de Angelis, Basilicae S. Mariae Maioris de Urbe a Liberio Papa I usque as Paulum V Pont. Max (Rome: Zannetti, 1621), 63.

Giuseppe Castiglione, De Pacis Templo unde Columna exempta in Exquilinium est translata ad Sanctissimum D. N. Paulum V. Pont. Max (Rome, 1614) in Johannes George Graeve, Thesaurus Antiquitatum Romanorum (Rhen: Franciscum Halman, 1697), 4: cols. 1843––56. The column is also called a "relic" in Alfonso Ciaconnio, Vitae, et res gestae Pontificum Romanorum et S. R. E. Cardinalium [. . .], ed. Augustino Oldoino (Rome: De Rossi, 1677), 4: col. 383. See Figure 14.

Vittorelli, Gloriose Memorie, 409––13.

On the relics of Christ's birth housed in the basilica and on its dedication to Mary as Theotokos, see Ostrow, Art and Spirituality, 25, 91.

Vittorelli, Gloriose Memorie, 429, writes: "Io direi della Vergine; ch'èè [la] Colonna di bianco marmo, per la puritàà inesplicabile della mente & del corpo verginale."

PAVLVS V PONT MAX/COLVMNAM/VETERIS MAGNIFICENTIAE/MONVMENTVM/INFORMI SITV OBDVCTAM/NEGLECTAMQVE/EX IMMANIBVS TEMPLI RVINIS/QVOD VESPASIANVS AVGVSTVS/ACTO DE IVDAEIS TRIVMPHO/ET REIPVB: STATV CONFIRMATO/PACI DICAVERAT/IN HANC SPLENDIDISSIMAM/SEDEM/AD BASILICAE LIBERIANAE/DECOREM AVGENDVM /SVO IVSSV EXPORTATAM/ET PRISTINO NITORI RESTITVTAM/BEATISSIMAE VIRGINI/EX CVIVS VISCERIBVS/PRINCEPS VERAE PACIS GENIT[VS] EST DONVM DEDIT/AENEAMQ[UE] EIVSDEM VIRGINIS/STATVAM FASTIGIO IMPOSVIT/ANNO SAL MDCXIIII PONTIF. IX. Although the avviso of April 9, 1614 (cited above, n. 9) names Attilio Amalteo as the author of this inscription, all the other early sources credit this inscription to Ansidei.

VASTA COLVMNAM MOLE/QVAE STETIT DIV/PACIS PROFANA IN AEDE/PAVLVS TRANSTVLIT/IN EXQVILINVM QVINTVS/ET SANCTISSIMAE/PAX VNDE VERA EST/CONSECRAVIT VIRGINI. I am grateful to Conrad Rudolph for his assistance in translating all of the inscriptions. On Querenghi and his epigraphic work for Paul V, including a philological analysis of the inscriptions, see Umberto Motta, "Tra Paolo V e la Bibbia: La produzione epigrafica di Antonio Querenghi," Italia medioevale e umanistica 37 (1994), 137––69, and Motta, Antonio Querenghi (1546––1633). Un letterato padovano nella Roma del tardo Rinascimento (Milan: Vita e Pensiero, 1997), esp. 246––48.

As noted by Motta, "Tra Paolo V e la Bibbia," 150.

See Ostrow, Art and Spirituality, 91.

This point was made by Hans Ost, "Studien zu Pietro da Cortonas Umbau von S. Maria della Pace," Röömisches Jahrbuch füür Kunstgeschichte 13 (1971), 271––72. For a different, although complementary, reading of the column, see Gerhard Wolf, "REGINA COELI, FACIES LUNAE, 'ET IN TERRA PAX': Aspekte der Ausstattung der Cappella Paolina in S. Maria Maggiore," Röömisches Jahrbuch der Bibliotheca Hertziana 27––28 (1991––92), 314––17.

The key stanza reads: "Or tu pastor divino/Porti a doppiar suo pregio/Dal tempio de la Pace altero fregio./Come ben si conface/A Libera Magion Trofeo di Pace!" Cited in Alessandro Ademollo, La Bell'Adriana ed altre virtuose del suo tempo all corte di Mantova (Cittàà di Castello: S. Lapi, 1888), 244––45. Basile was the brother of the famous singer Adriana.

"Columna ex veteri Pacis templo, Pauli V iussu, in Exquilinum translata," in Antonio Querenghi, Hexametri carminis libri VI (Rome, 1621), 137––39, reproduced and discussed in Motta, "Tra Paolo V e la Bibbia," 162––68.

Vittorelli, Gloriose Memorie, 408: "Con molta prudenza, il vivente Sommo Pontefice ha voluto honorare la Vergine, con Colonna, gia profana, hora sacra;" 428: "Maria apportatrice di pace, tutta pace, & Genetrice del Prencipe della Pace;" 431: "Dal tempio della finta Pace èè stata trasportata la nobile Colonna; perche fatta sacra, serva àà trionfi verginali di Maria, Colonna santissima di dui augusti Templi, di vera Pace, della Chiesa, che guerreggia, & di quella, che trionfa."

Payment to Moro on 16 October 1613 for "cento medaglie . . . di metallo . . . per il fondamento della colonna di marmo" is accounted for in ASR, Camerale I, Fabbriche 1537, fol. 261v. See also Corbo and Pomponi, Fonti, 69. Fea, Miscellanea Filologica, 2: 14 records this payment, but erroneously names the medalist as Francesco Antonio Mori.

Vitruvius, Ten Books on Architecture, trans. Ingrid D. Rowland, commentary by Thomas Noble Howe (Cambridge and New York: Cambridge University Press, 1999), 25 (I.2.5) and 55 (IV.1.8). There is ample evidence that from the Hellenistic period onward the Corinthian was considered to be the most sacred of the orders. See J. J. Pollitt, Art in the Hellenistic Age (Cambridge and New York: Cambridge University Press, 1986), 248. In the sixteenth century, architectural theorists embraced this notion as well, seeing the Corinthian as a divine order. Some, including Hans Bloom, in his Quinque columnarum exacta descriptio et delineatio (Zurich: Christophorum Froschoverum, 1550), argued that Solomon had constructed the Temple of Jerusalem using the Corinthian order. See Stefania Tuzi, Le Colonne e il Tempio di Salomone: La Storia, la leggenda, la fortuna (Rome: Gangemi Editore, 2002), 136––39.

Sebastiano Serlio, On Architecture: Books I––V of 'Tutte l'opere d'architettura et prospetiva', trans. and commentary by Vaughan Hart and Peter Hicks (New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 1996), 254, 340.

Giuseppe Cugnoni, "Agostino Chigi il Magnifico: Note al Commentario di Alessandro VII sulla Vita di Agostino Chigi," Archivio della Societàà Romana di Storia Patria, 2 (1879), 58: "la secondo Cappella èè di Agostin Chigi . . . [et èè] di ordine (se ho la mente) Corintio che tale si conviene al Titolo ella Madonna con veritàà, come era dagli Antichi usato alle loro favolose Dee." Further on the Christian interpretation of the Corinthian order and its association with the Virgin, see John Onians, Bearers of Meaning: The Classical Orders in Antiquity, the Middle Ages, and the Renaissance (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1988), 59––65, 235, 253––54, 273; and Joseph Rykwert, The Dancing Column: On Order in Architecture (Cambridge and London: MIT Press, 1996), 27, 30, 349.

By, for example, St. Bonaventure, Speculum B. Mariae Virginis, cited in Anselm Salzer, Die Sinnbilder und Beiworte Mariens in der deutschen Literatur und lateinischen Hymnenpoesie des Mittelalters (Darmstadt: Wiss. Buchgesellschaft, 1967), 553. The Speculum is almost certainly the work of the thirteenth-century Franciscan writer Conrad Holzinger of Saxony; see also Thééophile Raynaud, Opera, VII. Marialia (Lyon: Boissat, 1665), 349, s. v. "columna."

See Helen S. Ettlinger, "The Iconography of the Columns in Titian's Pesaro Altarpiece," Art Bulletin 61, no. 1 (March 1979), 59––67, esp. 59––62. As Ettlinger points out, Ecclesiasticus 24 became a major text in support of the Immaculate Conception.

Cited in Ernst Guldan, Eva und Maria: Eine Antithese als Bildmotiv (Graz: Bööhlau, 1966), 112.

Franz Joseph Mone, ed., Lateinische Hymnen des Mittelalters (Freiburg: Scientia Verlag, 1853––54), 2: 415, no. 601.

Pseudo-Hugh, Sermones Centum, cited in Salzer, Die Sinnbilder, 548.

IGNIS COLVMNA/PRAETVLIT LVMEN PIIS/DESERTA NOCTV/VT PERMEARENT IN VIA/SECVRI AD ARCES/HAEC RECLVDIT IGNEAS/MONSTRANTE AB ALTA SEDE/CALLEM VIRGINE ("The column of fire that held forth its light to the pious by night in the desert so that they might make their way, confident, along the road. This [column] reveals the path to fiery eminences, shown by the Virgin from her high place.")

Vittorelli, Gloriose Memorie, 423––435; the key passages read: "La colonna èè geroglifico palesante dell'eccelenza, senza esempio, della Vergine;" "Di marmo bianco èè la Colonna del profano tempio della Pace, consecrata alla Vergine; èè alta, ferma, diritta, scavata àà canali, inalzata verso il Cielo; in tutto èè simbolo della Signora del mondo, ferma per fede, per fortezza di animo, & per altre virtùù, alta per la contemplatione delle cose Divine; diritta per la sinceritàà della intentione, & per la pienezza della gratia; . . . scavata, per la humiltàà."

On the vision and cult of NuestraSeññora del Pilar, see Anna B. Jameson, Sacred and Legendary Art, 2 vols. (London and New York: Longmans, Green & Co., 1905), 1: 231––32; Jose Augusto Anchez Perez, El Culto Mariano en Españña (Madrid: Instituto "Antonio de Nebrija," 1943), 321––25; Roy Abraham Varghese, God-Sent: A History of the Accredited Apparitions of Mary (New York: Crossroad, 2000), 70; for Poussin's painting of 1629––30, see Christopher Wright, Poussin Paintings: A Catalogue Raisonnéé (New York: Hippocrene Books, 1985), cat. no. 29.

See Remigius Bääumer and Leo Scheffczyk, ed., Marienlexikon V (St. Ottilien: EOS, 1993), 633, s.v. "Sääule;" Ilene H. Forsyth, The Throne of Wisdom: Wood Sculptures of the Madonna in Romaneque France (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1972), 31––32, 49––50, 95––100, with additional bibliography.

This visual tradition is the subject of the article by Güünter Bandmann, "Hööhle und Sääule auf Darstellungen Mariens mit dem Kinde," in Festschrift füür Gert von der Osten (Cologne: DuMont Schauberg, 1970), 130––48.

On the column monument in Udine, see Haftmann, Das italienische Sääulenmonument, 140; on that in Regensburg, see Christopher S. Wood, "Ritual and the Virgin on the Column: The Cult of the Schööne Maria in Regensburg," Journal of Ritual Studies 6 (1991), 87––107, with extensive bibliography.

Louise Rice, The Altars and Altarpieces of St. Peter's: Outfitting the Basilica, 1621––1666 (Cambridge and New York: Cambridge University Press, 1997), 40; Chiara Savettieri, "La Madonna dell Colonna," in La Basilica di San Pietro in Vaticano, ed. Antonio Pinelli (Modena: F. C. Panini, 2000), 601.

In the words of Wood, "Ritual and the Virgin on the Column," 100. This subject has been exhaustively studied by Michael Camille, The Gothic Idol: Ideology and Image-Making in Medieval Art (Cambridge and New York: Cambridge University Press), 1989.

The literary source for this image is the Apocryphal Gospel of Pseudo-Matthew; see Camille, The Gothic Idol, 1––7, 354, notes 1––2.

See Cole, "Perpetual Exorcism," which primarily addresses the issue of idolatry in relation to Sixtus's obelisks and column monuments.

Wood, "Ritual and the Virgin on the Column," 89, 103.

See Ostrow, Art and Spirituality, 233––34.

See Frits Scholten, "Bronze, The Mythology of a Metal," in Bronze: The Power of Life and Death (Leeds: Henry Moore Institute, 2005), 20––35, esp. 30––33.

Here my argument is indebted to Cole, "Perpetual Exorcism."

Documentation concerning the cannon and other bronzes melted down for the statue (and eagles and dragons) has been published in Bertolotti, Artisti bolognesi, 197––98; Emmanuel Rodocanachi, Le Chââteau Saint-Ange (Paris: Hachette & cie, 1909) 195––96; D'Onofrio, Le fontane di Roma, 159; Corbo and Pomponi, Fonti, 71. There is, of course, a long history of weapons——usually captured from an enemy——being melted down and recast as symbols of victory and glory, and also of bronze works of art being melted down and recast as weapons. See Scholten, "Bronze, The Mythology of a Metal," in Bronze: The Power of Life and Death (Leeds: Henry Moore Institute, 2005), 32; and Michael Cole, "Under the Sign of Vulcan," in ibid., 44––45.

The statue is closely connected to the Immaculate Queen of Heaven in Cigoli's dome fresco in the pope's chapel in S. Maria Maggiore, unveiled in 1613, on which——as well as for a discussion of the interrelatedness of these types——see Ostrow, Art and Spirituality, 236––39.

Voragine, Golden Legend, 1: 40. For the version of the legend as recounted in the Mirabilia and other early texts, see Christian Huelsen, "The Legend of Aracoeli," Journal of the British and American Archaeological Society of Rome 4 (1907), 39––48. See also Philippe Verdier, "La naissance àà Rome de la vision de l'Ara Coeli," Méélanges de l'ÉÉcole Franççaise de Rome. Moyen ââge, temps modernes 94 (1982), 85––119.

See, for example, The Vision of Augustus, attributed to Paolo Veneziano, in the Stuttgart Museum, illustrated in Huelsen, "The Legend," fig. 3; and The Vision of Augustus, in the fourteenth-century Speculum Humanae Salvationis in the Bibliothèèque royale, Copenhagen, Ms. Ghs. 79, fol. 30r, illustrated in Odile Kammerer, "Recherches sur l'iconographie des Sibylles en Allemagne du Sud, en Rhéénanie et en Flandres àà la fin du Moyen Age," L'information d'histoire de l'art 18 (1973), fig. 2.

Cf. the images reproduced in Huelsen's and Verdier's articles cited in n. 101.

IMPVRA FALSI TEMPLA/QVONDAM NVMINIS/IVBENTE MOESTA/SVSTINEBAM CAESARE/NVNC LAETA VERI/PERFERENS MATREM DEI/TE PAVLE NVLLIS/OBTICEBO SAECVLIS.

Pastor, History of the Popes, 25: 387.

Ibid., 387––423.

Guglia, literally "spire," is the Neapolitan term for a tall, obelisk-like monument, a variant of the column.

See D'Onofrrio, Obelischi di Roma, 450––57.

See Susan Tipton, "'Super aspidem et basiliscum ambulabis . . .'. Zur Entstehung der Mariensääulen im 17. Jahrhundert," in Religion und Religiositäät des Barock, volume 25 of Wolfenbüütteler Arbeiten zur Barockforschung, ed. Dieter Breuer (Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz Verlag, 1995), 375––98.

On Munich's Mariensääule, see Michael Schattenhofer, Die Mariensääule in Müünchen (Munich: Schnell & Steiner, 1971), esp. 3––20; Tipton, "'Super aspidem,'" 376––79; Hubert Glaser and Elke Anna Werner, "The Victorious Virgin: The Religious Patronage of Maximilian I of Bavaria," in 1648: War and Peace in Europe, ed. Klaus Bussmann and Heinz Schilling (Müünster: Bruckmann, 1999), 3: 146––51, with additional bibliography.

On the column in Vienna, see Josef Kurz, Zur Geschichte der Mariensääule Am Hof und der Andachten vor derselben (Vienna: H. Kirsch, 1904); Tipton, "'Super aspidem,'" 379––80 and passim.

On Prague's column, see Tipton, "'Super aspidem,'" 380––81 and passim; on the political meaning of its destruction in 1918, see Cynthia Paces, "The Fall and Rise of Prague's Marian Column," Radical History Review 79 (Winter 2001), 141––55.