Optimo clementiss[imo piissi]moque / principi domino n[ostro] / F[ocae imperat]ori / perpetuo a d[e]o coronato, [t]riumphatori / semper Augusto / Smaragdus ex praepos[ito] sacri palatii / ac patricius et exarchus Italiae / devotus eius clementiae / pro innumerabilibus pietatis eius beneficiis et pro quiete / procurata Ital[iae] ac conservata libertate / hanc sta(tuam maiesta)tis eius / auri splend(ore fulge)ntem huic / sublimi colu(m)na(e ad) perennem / ipsius gloriam imposuit ac dedicavit / die prima mensis Augusti, indict[ione] und[icesima] / p[ost] c[onsulatum] pietatis eius anno quinto
[Translation: To the best, most clement and pious ruler, our lord Phocas the perpetual emperor, crowned by God, the forever august triumphator, did Smaragdus, former praepositus sacri palatii and patricius and Exarch of Italy, devoted to His Clemency for the innumerable benefactions of His Piousness and for the peace acquired for Italy and its freedom preserved, this statue of His Majesty, blinking from the splendor of gold here on this tallest column for his eternal glory erect and dedicate, on the first day of the month of August, in the eleventh indiction in the fifth year after the consulate of His Piousness]
Phocas, apart from returning to Roman rulers wearing beards, declared the extent of Papal power in 608AD. He declared the universal bishopric of the Pope from Rome and confirmed and expanded the Justinian legal primacy of the Pope.
The book of Judges gives a detailed picture of the history of the Papal opposition of the truth in Judges 9:22-49 which is then followed with a description of the overthrow of the papal system in Judges 9:50-57. In the opening of this section Abimelech (King-father) a description of the Pope (Papa-father) whose self designated rule as king on a throne in his own temple is encompassed within this name. Having come from apostate Judaism (a son of Gideon out of wedlock) this man leads the opposition of Jotham (The upright or perfect of Yah). After reigning for three years (3 x 360 = 1080) there is a violent outburst against the men of Shechem, and the drunk leader Gael (Heb loathing or to abhor) representing both the protestant and political rebellion against the Pope. History would have this event at the revocation of the edict of Nantes in 1685 which was 1077 years after the decree of Phocas!!
The scriptures also speak of a period of 1260 days or 42 months in which the Roman system would think to change times and laws, the area of state politics. Rev 11:2; Daniel 7:25 which would follow from the time of the declaration of the sovereign right of the Pope. In 1870 the Italian government commenced the governing of Italy from Rome, after much strutting by Garibaldi and his red-shirts, and the Pope was removed from being the head of state for the Italian states.
Such design was in the compass of the divine hand from ancient times. The column of Phocas in Rome is a small reminder of the trust men can have in the reliability of bible prophecy. That Christ will intervene in world events and overthrow the last vestiges of Rome is equally as certain.