The Obelisco Esquilino (14.75 m) stands in Piazza dell' Esquilino, at the rear of the church of Santa Maria Maggiore. The obelisk dates back to the second century CE and once stood outside the Mausoleum of Augustus, where it was paired with the Obelisco Quirinale.
The obelisk was unearthed (broken into several pieces) in 1519, near the ruins of the mausoleum. However, it wasn’t until the reign of Pope Sixtus V (r. 1585-90) that it was re-erected. In 1587 the pope had it set up in the piazza in front of the entrance to his property, Villa Peretti Montalto. The villa was destroyed in the 19th century to make way for the building of Stazione Termini, Rome's main railway station.
The base sports four inscriptions, which were added at the behest of Pope Sixtus V.
South-west face: SIXTVS V PONT MAX / OBELISCVM / AEYGPTO ADVECTVM / AVGVSTO / IN EIVS MAVSOLEO / DICATVM / EVERSUM DEINDE ET / IN PLVRES CONFRACTVM PARTES / IN VIA AD SANCTVM / ROCHVM IACENTEM / IN PRISTINAM FACIEM / RESTITVTVM / SALVTIFERAE CRVCI / FELICIVS / HIC ERIGI IVSSIT AN D / MDLXXXVII PONT III.
South-east face: CHRISTVS / PER INVICTAM / CRVCEM / POPVLO PACEM / PRAEBEAT / QVI / AVGVSTI PACE / IN PRAESEPE NASCI / VOLVIT.
North-east face: CHRISTI DEI / IN AETERNVM VIVENTIS / CVNABVLA /LAETISSIME COLO /QVI MORTVI / SEPVLCRO AVGVSTI / TRISTIS / SERVIEBAM.