The north side of the Circus Flaminius, erected in 221 BC and now demolished, was bounded by a number of great porticoes. The only one to survive is the Portico of Octavia (Porticus Octaviae): originally erected in 146 BC by the future consul Quintus Caecilius Metellus Macedonicus, it was rebuilt in the Augustan period.
During its reconstruction between 33 and 23 BC—formally attributed to Augustus’s sister Octavia—the portico was enlarged to its present dimensions by incorporating the Curia and library of Octavia. Among the works of art that decorated the portico there was the statue of Cornelia, the mother of the Gracchi (the first likeness of a woman to be exhibited publicly at Rome, in around 100 BC).
There were also thirty-four equestrian statues by the Greek sculptor Lysippus, taken by Metellus from the shrine of Dion in Macedonia. They portrayed Alexander the Great and those of his knights who died at the battle of the Granicus.
Ancient Rome Tours: