Left side of the pedestal of the Antoninus Pius’ column: Decursio Equitum
White Italian marble.
161 CE.
Inv. No. 5115.Rome, Vatican Museums, Cortile delle CorazzePhoto by Egisto Sani

Left side of the pedestal of the Antoninus Pius’ column: Decursio Equitum.

White Italian marble.
161 CE.
Inv. No. 5115.

Rome, Vatican Museums, Cortile delle Corazze
(Roma, Musei Vaticani, Cortile delle Corazze).

Two sides of the column base show almost identical scenes related to the funeral ceremonies of Faustina (140 AD) and Antoninus Pius (161 AD). Both scenes record the consecration of the imperial couple; the bas-reliefs show the members of the equestrian rank celebrating the “decursio” or “decursius”, the joust on horseback, foreseen during the funeral ceremonies of the high rank personalities.

This rite took place around the “ustrino”, the area where the ceremony of cremation was held. The “Decursio” were arranged in two stages: before the procession on foot and then the horsemen carousel. Here the carved bas-reliefs place the two stages in the same time, one inside the other: the horsemen carousel, with their standard-bearers, is moving around a group of armed praetorians standing on the center of the scene.

(cc) 2011. Photo, text: Egisto Sani (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0).
Keywords: γλυπτική sculptura sculpture sculptural scultura skulptur ρωμαϊκό roman romana romano romani römisch römische römisches römischen römischer romain romaine romains romaines ανακούφιση relief rilievo column of antoninus pius colonna di antonino pio antoninus-pius-säule colonne d’antonin le pieux antonine left side the pedestal pius’ white italian marble apotheosis and faustina decursio equitum funerbis decursius decursus high base rider horseman horse cavalry horses bridle soldier fighting man warrior oval shield standard sign legion signum armour helmet headpiece standard-bearer signifer vexillum sagum praetorian commander commanding officer leaves leaf acanthus apophysis cymatium inv no 5115