De Gli Obelischi di Roma is the title of the book. The title is written in Italian, as the whole book, and translated it means “About the Obelisks in Rome”. In the book, “Mercati, Michele Basa”, the author of the book, goes into the specialties, origins, backgrounds, differences and other aspects of the obelisks in Rome. I think the book was written as a handbook for architectural historians and those interested. So people who are really enthusiastic about this topic and already have prior knowledge. That’s why there are no pictures in the book, the book has a rather handy size and no decorations on the cover. Mercati has divided his book into two parts.
In the first part he goes into the shape, names and materials of the obelisks. He describes common features like “Red Granite” and their typical shape. He also explains why these obelisks have these similarities. And describes in the first part that the construction of an obelisk is always directly related to express “power”. They were built for a ruler or in a religious context.
In the second part, Mercati goes into detail and first analyzes and describes the differences that the obelisks have. Then he presents one after the other the different obelisks and their corresponding ruler or religion.
Mercati, Michele Basa was a polymath and was interested in fossils, minerals, prehistoric stone tools and travel companions. He collected these objects. I can well imagine that he was inspired by the obelisks in Rome and therefore published a book about his collected knowledge.