The Obelisk of Theodosius

The Obelisk of Theodosius was originally erected by the 18th dynasty Pharaoh Thutmose III in ancient Egypt to the great temple of Karnak as was tradition. The Roman emperor Constantius II however take 2 of them from the temple, transported them along the river Nile to Alexandria, and finally, he erected one of them to the Circus Maximus in Rome that year for the celebration of his 20 years on the throne, known as the Lateran Obelisk too. However, the other obelisk remained in Alexandria until 390 AD till Theodosius I had it transported to Constantinople to its place today, since then, throughout the centuries it is in Hippodrome.


On the faces of the obelisk, the hieroglyphs tell the story about Thutmose III's victory over Mitanni around the Euphrates (1450 BC) and thankfulness to the sun god Ra. At the bottom side of the obelisk, the reliefs are describing Theodosius' I and his family's life. The Obelisk of Theodosius was made from red granite from Aswan as usual in Eygpt and it was originally 30m tall like the Lateran Obelisk, now around 19m.

The Obelisk of Theodosius The Obelisk of Theodosius The Obelisk of Theodosius

Tours that you can visit on The Obelisk of Theodosius