The Legacy of Obelisks: Linking the Power of the Papacy to Great Civilizations of the Past

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The city of Rome is home to one of the largest collections of obelisks in the world.  With thirteen in total, located in iconic sites across Rome, the seemingly simplistic obelisks link two of the most powerful civilizations to the Roman Papacy.  Obelisks were harnessed as tools of propaganda by influential and renowned leaders through the course of three formidable reigns of power: the Egyptians, the Holy Roman Empire, and Christian Rome. Through the strategic placement of obelisks, leaders boasted of their war-time glory, and promoted themselves as politically and socially prominent figures.  The liniage of the power of a civilization and the strength of leadership is evident through the mapping of the obelisks, which served as forms of papal propaganda, from their provenance in Egypt to their present-day locations in Rome.