Monument of Prusias II

Delphi, Greece

182 BCE

9.70 meters

The stele of Prusias is located to the northeast of the entrance of the temple of Apollo. It has been restored in situ. The monument has been identified through an inscription mentioning that it was dedicated by the Aetolian League to honour king Prusias II of Bithynia, in northwestern Asia Minor: «Βασιλέα Προυσίαν, βασιλέως Προυσία, τò Κοινò τῶν Αἰτωλῶν, ἀρετᾶς ἔνεκεν καὶ εὐεργεσίας τάς ἐς αὑτούς».(To the king Prusias, son of king Prusias, the Aetolian League for his virtue and the benefactions he bestowed upon them).

Τhe monument consists of a tall base made of rows of rectangular blocks, whereas on its upper part it bears a decoration in relief depicting garlands and bucraniums; the decoration included also a low molding with supports (geisipodes). Its total height reached 9.70 meters. At the top stood the statue of king Prusias on horseback. On the upper part of the monument rows of rectangular slits are possibly related to the entire composition, as they might have been used to fasten floral motifs, such as crops, which probably alluded to the benefaction of the king. They could also have contained bronze blades aiming at protecting the monument against the birds.