Columns from Early Times to the Twenty-First Century. An Architectural History and Illustrated Catalog.

Author: Janina K. Darling, Daniel D. Reiff
This 5 Volume set of book’s purpose is to rediscover an aspect of art and architectural history that has been by-passed by earlier scholars. The five-volume set includes 740 black and white photos.


"… the history, social context, iconography, and style of more than 400 commemorative columns are investigated. The arrangement is roughly chronological to allow for the observation of trends and influences across time. Opinions of critics of the artists and architects who designed and built the columns are also included. Many of the columns have interesting back-stories; some are sincere profession of faith; others are follies of eccentric patrons. Yet all of columns speak to the human condition and reveal the desire of ephemeral mortal beings for the imperishable memory that transcends time and is thus a form of immortality."

“They were central artistic and urban features of a great many cities, commemorated events and people that – at one time – were considered of major and lasting importance. And many of them of them were by architects and artists of renown.”

Table of Contents

Volume I

Foreword by Daniel D. Reiff

Foreword by Janina K. Darling


1. Merenptah Column, Heliopolis, 1206 BCE

2. Naxian Sphinx Column, Delphi, 570-60 BCE

3. Serpent Column, Delphi, 479-78 BCE

4. Nike of Paionias, Olympia c. 420 BCE

5. Acanthus Column, Delphi, 335-25 BCE

6. Ptolemaic Statue Columns, Olympia, c. 270 BCE

7. Early Honorific Columns in Rome, c. 439-36 BCE

8. Early Roman, and Antecedents; Pompeii, to 32 CE

9. Jupiter Column, Mainz, 54-68

10.Trajan's Column, Rome, c. 113

11. Column of Antoninus Pius, Rome, 161

12. Column of Marcus Aurelius c. 193

13. Last Columns in the Roman Forum, 303-608

14. "Pompey's Pillar," Alexandria, 298-302

15. Columns of Constantinople, 330-c. 540

16. Interlude: Columns in Art, 4th - 15th Centuries

17. Hildesheim Column, 1020

18. Piazetta Columns, Venice, 1126 and 1172

19. Donatello's Dovizia, Florence, c. 1430

20. "Colonna della Guistizia," Florence, 1570-81