Last ancient reference to the temple of Sol

An article at Lacus Curtius on the temple of Sol Invictus in Rome contains the following interesting statement:

The last reference to it in antiquity is in the sixth century (Anon. de Antiq. Cpl. IV.66, ed. Banduri) when eight of the porphyry columns were sent to Constantinople for the church of S. Sophia…

These abbreviated references in older literature can be a bit of a pain.  Who can guess precisely what “de Antiq. Cpl.” is?

Some Google searching reveals that it is Imperium Orientale sive Antiquitates Constantinopolitanae, edited by Anselmo Banduri and published in Paris in 1711.  A copy is being sold at auction somewhere for doubtless significant money. A google book search reveals evidence of the book’s existence, but sadly no copies.  I would have liked to see what the text actually said.

But a further search for a title of “imperium orientale” did bring up some interesting things:

So not entirely wasted effort; but I would like to see all the data on the Temple of Sol Invictus tabulated, pictures of whatever remained at the renaissance — so much was destroyed during this period! — all on one web page.

It is remarkable how little Google images gives us, if you search for pictures online of classical topics.  The same few scanty images of Mithras represent the vast body of sculpture; likewise with Sol.  Someone ought to go down to a museum with a camera and just mass upload images!  (Although I notice that if you add them to Picasa, Google images does not pick them up!)


18 thoughts on “Last ancient reference to the temple of Sol

  1. On the last point, I’ve put online at quite a few pictures (British Museum, Museo Nazionale Palazzo Massimo, Capitol hill museum, Palazzo Altemps, Museo Nazzionale Napoli, National Museum Athens, Rheinische Landesmuseum Bonn, Rheinische Landesmuseum Trier, Römische Museum Köln,…) but tagging them properly takes a lot of time… Also I presume most people simply don’t know what they took on camera… and thus a lot of unamployed material simply sits around. One should spend days on Picasa of Flickr going through pictures and adding comments giving identifications in order to help Google and Bing on that subject.

  2. The New World Encyclopedia porphyry article:

    ‘….the eight monolithic columns of porphyry that support exedrae (semicircular niches) in Hagia Sophia. Justinian’s chronicler, Procopius, called the columns “a meadow with its flowers in full bloom, surely to make a man marvel at the purple of some and at those on which the crimson glows” (Werner 1998).’

  3. Bryaxis, thanks for your suggestion. I’ve shoved some photos of Libya online last night, following that idea. But the labelling IS a pain, isn’t it?!

  4. “Someone ought to go down to a museum with a camera and just mass upload images!”

    I have, by now, some 35,000 photos – labeled and ready for use. If uploading etc could be done automatically, I might make something once I’ve migrated to a CMS. I do not know much about software, but advise is always welcome.

  5. I don’t know either, but I uploaded 100+ photos to Picasa last night without pain here. I’m waiting to see if they appear in Google image search – they haven’t as of this morning! How to auto-upload captions is something I’ve not worked out, tho. I had to go and enter them manually.

  6. Interesting – I’ll give it a go.

    I’ve been watching as “Google groups” search has been falling apart. It just doesn’t work reliably.

    Likewise Google books search doesn’t work correctly if you’re outside the US. It’s not just that you can’t see some items; they don’t even appear in the search results, and items that should appear do not.

    I suspect Google is on its way down.

  7. Thanks for completing some of the informations on a few of my pictures, and thanks for putting your’s online. About how best put pictures online, I’ve found Coppermine to be a most powerful tool because it allows to put a single picture in multiple categories (i.e. the picture of a statue in the category of the museum exposing it, of the city of discovery and in a “sculpture” category, even going so far as to distinguish between marble statues and bronze statues for exemple, and also class them by date… I’m currently working on my pictures’ collection to put them all in this program before putting it online but it is a most daring goal since right now, with only a few percents of my collection in it, I’m already at 676 pictures, 61 albums and 148 categories with a full taxonomy…

  8. It’s seductive, sitting there searching and adding in notes; but a great absorber of time. I think I spent way too much time doing that last night!

    Thanks for the tips. Disappointingly none of the material I uploaded is showing up in Google images.

  9. From a footnote by Bury (History of the Later Roman Empire, Vol. I Chap. 3, note 5) on my site: “The Πάτρια Κωνσταντινοπόλεως, a work of the end of the tenth century, first published by Banduri, and known as the Anonymus Banduri, but recently edited critically by Preger.”

    This is Theodore Preger, and we might probably find it in Scriptores originum Constantinopolitanarum (Bibliotheca scriptorum Graecorum et Romanorum Teubneriana), Leipzig, Teubner, 1901-1907.

  10. So this is a critical edition of the “Banduri” publication? Again the text is in four books. I wonder how to relate that to the reference (Banduri IV, 66)? p. 193 of the PDF is the start of book 4. But it goes no higher than paragraph 35.

  11. Banduri is discussed on p.xv (p.22 of the PDF) and xxi (p.28). The latter says Migne reprinted it in t.157, from the Bekker edition in the Corpus Scriptorum Historiae Byzantinae (which is also online).

  12. OK, in Migne, vol. 157, col. 538 (where there is a 66 in the text), there is a reference to “Helenae matris Constantini tres inter eas erant statuae, una ex marmore porphyretico, altera ex crustis argenteis supra columnam aeream, tertia ex ebore, quam posuit Cyrus rhetor”. (Atrocious copy that I have)

    But I am not at all sure I am lookin at or for the right thing.

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