The horse of Marcus Aurelius

You are along the route: THE ZOO OF WONDERS. STONE ANIMALS


Piazza del Campidoglio
Always visible.

The statue of the Emperor Marcus Aurelius on horseback, in gold-plated bronze, reached us because it was believed that it actually represented Constantine, the first Christian Emperor. Located in piazza di Laterano, it was moved to the Campidoglio in 1538 by Pope Paul III on Michelangelo’s advice, as he had designed the new square. After tricky restoration, the original is now in the Capitoline Museums and has been replaced by a copy. Due to popular fantasy, a legend has arisen from the golden residues of the statue: one day the statue will return to being entirely golden and the little owl between the horse’s ears – actually the quiff of its mane – will start singing, announcing the end of the world.

Picture by permission from Roma Capitale-Sovrintendenza Capitolina ai Beni Culturali
Further reproduction prohibited

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