The sunbeam …
an obelisk is a rough stone, rising to a great height, shaped like a pillar in the stadium; and it tapers upwards in imitation of a sunbeam, keeping its quadrilateral shape, till it rises almost to a point, being made smooth by the hand of a sculptor.
Though, he failed to mention this deed in his testament, the first Augustus brought two to Rome after taking Egypt. But left the greatest …
Augustus Octavianus had brought two obelisks from Heliopolis, … he yet did not venture to touch or move this one … being alarmed at the greatness of such a task
After he took the east, Constantine decided to raise that one in
the temple of the whole world …
had it torn up from its place … let it lie on the ground for some time while arrangements for its removal were being prepared. And when it had been carried down the Nile, and landed at Alexandria, a ship of a burden hitherto unexampled, requiring three hundred rowers to propel it, was built to receive it.
Constantine died then and his son finished the move to the Circus Maximus twenty years later. But this, the last obelisk moved to Rome, resonates more with the father.
Its inscription dedicated this greatest of Obelisks to the
the immortal son of the Sun …
The Sun to Ramestes the king—I have given to thee to reign with joy over the whole earth; to thee whom the Sun and Apollo love … whom the Sun has chosen above all men, the valiant warlike King Ramestes. Under whose power, by his valour and might, the whole world is placed.
The Sun to Constantine the King?
And this greatest of Obelisks now? A pope moved it to front the
Sacred … Church Mother and Head of All Churches of the City and the World, the Lateran Basilica, itself a donation of Constantine.