The Emperors' Needles
Egyptian Obelisks and Rome
Distributed for Liverpool University Press
Obelisks—the ubiquitous, four-sided monuments with pyramid tops that dotted the landscapes of ancient Egypt—reached their heyday between 2000 and 1500 BC, when they transformed from emblems of the sun cult to everyday objects proclaiming the splendor of the pharaohs. Today, only twenty-seven Egyptian obelisks remain standing, long ago dispersed to various locales throughout the world; Rome, with thirteen—each of which is in a different corner of the Eternal City—possesses more than anywhere else, including Egypt. This fascinating volume is a comprehensive guide to these remarkable objects, as well as the history of their construction and transmission.
Aimed both at the scholar and culturally interested traveler, The Emperors’ Needles links two of our greatest ancient civilizations, for the first time, through an in-depth account of their standing monuments. Tracing the interest of Roman emperors in the obelisk as an object of prestige and power, as well as discussing each monument in detail, the individual histories and remarkable accounts presented in this highly illustrated volume are not to be missed by any enthusiast of Roman or Egyptian culture.