Saturday, November 22, 2008


When GKC went to Rome, he found the Egyptian obelisks rather funny, and so did I. Chesterton said they sort of capped the pagan with the Christian (they all have crosses or saints up there on them now).

My impression was that they were sort of used as candle stands. Like you'd find an old stick, say to yourself, well, maybe in the past they used this for something, but I can stick a candle on it and make it work to light up this room.

Or maybe that's too old-fashioned of an example.

Maybe the obelisks are sort of tall statue bases. What's important about a statue-base/statue combination is not the statue base, although they do have some orphan statue bases hanging around the Vatican Museums, looking a bit forlorn. But what's important is what's on the statue base. There must be another word for statue base, but right now my jet-lagged brain can't come up with it. Our entire family woke up this morning at 5am--go figure! Thank goodness we didn't have this kind of jet lag on the other part of the journey.

So, my impression of the obelisks is that they are giant candle stands. They do still have their hieroglyphics on them, which was interested as a decorative kind of thing, but the cross or the statue was the important thing.


  1. I think the word you are looking for is "pedestal"

  2. Pedestal. Yes.
    It even has a reminder of the word for feet--ped, another reason the pedestal isn't the main thing you'd look at, although it is important, where would we be without feet?

    Thanks, OFL.


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