DETAILS  AND  PHOTOS  OF  THE  REMAINS  OF  THE                  CONSTANTINE  COLOSSUS  AT  THE  CAPITOLINE                                              MUSEUM   IN  ROME

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The Head from the colossal statue of Constantine that once stood in the west apse of the Basilica of Maxentius.   Portions of the Colossus now reside in the Courtyard of the Palazzo dei Conservatori of the Musei Capitolini, on the Capitoline Hill, above the west end of the remains of the Roman Forum in Rome.  The Basilica of Maxentius, on the northern boundary of the Roman Forum, was begun in 307AD by Co-Emperor Maxentius, who had a colossal statue of himself erected in the west apse.  Constantine completed the Basilica after he defeated Maxentius at the Milvian Bridge (Saxa Rubra / Red Stones) in 312 AD and the statue was re-carved to represent Constantine.  It was an "acrolith", in that the head, arms and legs were carved from marble; while the rest of the body was of a less precious material, probably gilded bronze.  Based on the size of the remaining pieces, the statue would have been about 35 feet high.  The colossus was later pillaged, most likely for the bronze body portion.  The marble remains of the statue were brought to light in 1487, of which the head, along with the hands, arm, leg parts and feet survive.   These photos were taken in August of 2002 after the colossus parts underwent restoration during the years 2000 and 2001.  The Musei Capitolini is the oldest museum in the world, founded in 1471 when Pope Sixus IV donated a number of bronze statues to the City of Rome.  It was enriched by subsequent Popes and opened to the public by Pope Clement XII in 1734.  The Museum is housed in two of the three Palazzo (palace) buildings comprising the Piazza del Campidoglio designed by Michelangelo in the 1530's to crown the Capitoline (Capitol) Hill.  

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Overall view of the Colossus parts in the Palazzo dei Conservatori Courtyard.   Left to right are:  Right Elbow (in shadow beyond head), Head of Constantine, Right Knee Cap, Right Hand (behind furthest column), Left Lower Leg (behind foot, in front of  column), Right Foot, Left Knee Cap, an ornamented column remnant and the Left Foot. 

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The view above more clearly shows the positions of the Elbow, Head, Knee Cap, Right Hand with an upraised indexed finger, columned entrance to museum galleries and Lower Leg.  -  At right is a close-up of the knee cap. 


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                Right   Arm                             Right  Hand                                 Left   Leg 


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                                  Left  Foot                                                Right   Foot  


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A large bronze bust of Constantine within the Musei Capitolini.  This bust was not a part of the Basilica Colossus.  Constantine was one of the most popular and well known Roman Emperors due to his embracing of Christianity.  A statue of Marcus Aurelius on horseback escaped being melted down for its bronze content during the Middle Ages due to a mistaken identification of the figure as Constantine and is on display at the Musei Capitolini.


Emperor Constantine thanks you for being the

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to view his Colossus body parts.  Remember you saw them here first !