Rostral column

A rostral column is a type of victory column originating in ancient Greece and Rome, where they were erected to commemorate a naval military victory. Its defining characteristic is the integrated prows or rams of ships, representing captured or destroyed enemy ships. The name derives from the Latin rostrum meaning the bow of a naval vessel.[1]

Reproduction of the Rostral Column of Gaius Duilius (c. 260 BC) at the Museum of Roman Civilization
Rostral columns in Saint Petersburg
The two rostral columns of the place des Quinconces in Bordeaux, France.
Rostral columns of the place des Quinconces, Bordeaux, France
rostral column, Grand Basin, World's Columbian Exposition, Chicago, Illinois, 1893
Torre de Cristal in Recife, Brazil.

Rostral columns of the modern world include the Columbus Monument at Columbus Circle in New York City,[2] and the paired Saint Petersburg Rostral Columns.[3]

List of notable rostral columnsEdit



See alsoEdit

  • Rostra, the raised platforms in ancient Rome, also adorned with the beaks of captured warships, from which orations and pleadings were delivered


  1. ^ Harris, Cyril M., ed. (28 February 2013). Illustrated Dictionary of Historic Architecture. Courier Corporation. Retrieved 24 May 2021.
  2. ^ "New York - Columbus Monument". Retrieved 12 June 2017.
  3. ^ "Images of the Saint Petersburg Rostral Columns". Archived from the original on 20 October 2007. Retrieved 12 June 2017.
  4. ^ Columna Rostrata C. Duilii in Samuel Ball Platner and Thomas Ashby: A Topographical Dictionary of Ancient Rome (1929).
  5. ^ "Latin Honorary Inscriptions". Retrieved 12 June 2017.
  6. ^ "Tripoli Monument at the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland by Giovanni C Micali". Retrieved 12 June 2017.
  7. ^ Grant Park Conservancy. "Grant Park History & Timeline from 1804 to 2014". Retrieved 2 Feb 2021.
  8. ^ Robinson Iron. "Union Station Rostral Columns". Retrieved 20 March 2021.

Other sourcesEdit

External linksEdit