The foot of the Tetrarch: a concrete link between Venice and Byzantium

A porphyry fragment, discovered about 45 years ago and now on display in a small case in Istanbul Archeological Museum, is the concrete symbol of the historical and ideological link between the second Rome and Venice, the capital city that, after the Fourth Crusade, presents itself as the heiress to the power of the Roman Empire.

The Tetrarchs, a sculpture group in porphyry, wedged into a corner on the façade of the St. Mark’s Basilica (detail)

BIO | Monica Centanni is a classical philologist and a scholar of Classical Tradition, devotes her main scientific research interests to ancient theatre. Since 2002 she has been Associate Professor at the University Iuav of Venice, where she teaches Classical Archaeology and the Classical Tradition, Greek and Latin sources for the History of Art and Architecture, Iconology. She also teaches Ancient Dramaturgy at the University of Catania, and is a member of the Ph.D. Faculty board of the History of Architecture in Venice. She coordinates ‘classicA-IUAV’ (the Centre for Research and Studies on Architecture and Classical Tradition) in Venice and directs the online journal “Engramma. The Classical Tradition in Western Memory”.


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