The 'Pinciano' Obelisk (9.25 m), which stands in Viale dell' Obelisco on the Pincian hill, was commissioned by the emperor Hadrian (r. 117-38) and erected at his villa in Tivoli for the tomb of Antinous. It was moved to Rome by the emperor Elagabalus (r. 218-22) to decorate the spina of the Circus Varianus.
The obelisk was unearthed in the 16th century near the Porta Maggiore. It was first moved to the Palazzo Barberini and later to the Vatican. Hadrian's obelisk was finally erected in 1822 on the Pincian hill, at the behest of Pope Pius VII (r. 1800-23).