Language variant : Dikilitaş
Architect : n/a
Locality : Istanbul
Country : Turkey
Building style :
Project on the map (green arrow)
“The obelisk of the Emperor Theodosius still stands in the centre of the old racetrack (Hippodrome), rising from the plinth where it was placed in the 430s. A carving on the side shows the cat’s-cradle of ropes and pulleys, which was used to raise it. On another face is carved a picture of the Emperor in the imperial baldachin overlooking the races; these are illustrated at the base with a series of small relief carvings of what look like horse-drawn bathtubs.
Between the Emperor and the charioteers stand his bodyguard, a remarkably effeminate gaggle of fops with long floppy 1970s fringes, every bit as willowy as St John Damascene’s blood-and-fire sermons might have led one to expect. Certainly these gentle cosmopolitans not only look remarkably unthreatening, they appear to be much more interested in the races than in guarding the Emperor. Here could lie part of the explanation for the large number of successful assassination attempts in Byzantine history.”
William Dalrymple, From the Holy Mountain: A Journey Among the Christians of the Middle East, Henry Holt and Company, New York, 1998, p. 39.
Ed. Adzhoa Makkonen