Anaglypha Trajani. ROME. IH- Southern Quarters. 293
pire, by. the exarch Smaragdus, and was crowned with a gilded
statue of Phocas. The rude substructure of blocks of tufa (two
sides of which have been demolished) dates perhaps from the 7th
cent., but the monument itself, with its brick pedestal, was probably
erected in the 5th cent., while the column was taken from a stili
earlier building. The Column of Phocas, which long formed the
distinctive mark of the Forum (Byron's 'nameless column with a
buried base'), was at length disinterred in 1813 at the cost of the
Duchess of Devonshire.
On the travertine pavement to the E. of the Column of Phocas are
the remains of a long inscription, the letters of which were originally
filled in with bronze. The name '■L. Naevius L. f(ilius) Surdinus pr(aetor)'
occurring here is found also on the back of the relief of M. Curtius (p.
279), discovered on this spot in 1553, which belonged to the Tribunal
Praetorium, or elevated seat from which the praetors' dispensed justice
This relief refers to the so-called Lacus Curtius, a sacred precint dose
by,the remains of which were excavated in 1904. On a triangular sub¬
structure of grey tufa stands the lower part of a round puteal, or well-
head, which everi in the time of Augustus contained no water. This
marks the site of the deep gulf or chasm, which, according to the
legend, was closed up again by the heroic self-devotion of Marcus
Between the Lacus Curtius and the Anaglypha Trajani (see below)
lies a square space, which was originally unpaved and surrounded by a
railing, but in the middle ages was paved with fragments of marble, etc.
Here stood a vine-plant, an olive-tree, a fig-tree, and a statue of Marsyas
(see below), symbolizing jurisdiction over life and death.
Among the monuments now standing on the pavement of the
Forum, the first place in point of artistic execution and preservation
is taken by the Anaglypha Trajani, two marble balustrades
adorned with reliefs. These were found in 1872 incorporated in
the foundations of a mediaeval building. In antiquity they probably
stood in the centre of the side-balustrades of the Rostra. The re¬
liefs represent events that took place in the Forum itself, and their
architectural backgrounds are of great assistance in determining
its appearance in antiquity.
The First Relief (next the Capitol) alludes to Trajan's 'Alimenta',
or institution for poor children: on the right is the emperor, in front
of him is Italy, holding a child by the hand (destroyed), and another
in her arms ; on the left is the emperor with his lictors, proclaiming his
edict from the rostra. In the background are a Triumphal Arch (which
cannot, however, be more particularly identified), the Curia Julia (with
five Corinthian columns instead of six), a street, the Basilica ^Emilia, a
sacred fig-tree, and the statue of Marsyas (see above). Ali these were in
or near the N. part of the Forum. — The Second Relief represents
the remission of arrears of taxes, the records of which are being burned
in Trajan's presence. In the background are the buildings on the W.
and S. sides of the Forum : the Tempie of Concordia (with six Corinthian
columns), an arch (perhaps of the Tabularium), the Tempie of Saturn
(with six Ionie columns), and the Basilica Julia, the Marsyas, and the
fig-tree. On the inner (originally outer) side of each balustrade are a
boar, a ram, and a bull, the victims sacrificed at the public celebrations
of the Suovetaurilia. In the course of these purificatory ceremonies
(lustrationes) the three victims were led around the building that was
to be purified.