A rostral column (Colonna Rostrata) was erected in Gaius Duilius’ honor after he won the naval Battle of Myla and sent back captured ships to Rome.
A ship’s rostrum was its bronze ram at the prow and it was these that were used to adorn the column that was placed in the forum.
John Evelyn mentions the Column during his visit to Rome:
“At the foot of the steps toward the left hand is that Colonna Miliaria, with the globe of brass on it, mentioned to have been formerly set in Campo Vaccino. On the same hand, is the palace of the Signiori Conservatori, or three Consuls, now the civil governors of the city, containing the fraternities, or halls and guilds (as we call them), of sundry companies, and other offices of state. Under the portico within, are the statues of Augustus Caesar, a Bacchus, and the so renowned Colonna Rostrata of Duillius, with the excellent bassi-relievi.”
In Evelyn’s time, the column was located in the Roman Forum.
- Encyclopedia Britannica