The invention of the plinth is usually credited to Quintessentiallian, a Roman senator in Republican times who came up with the idea of standing on a large block of marble so that people could easily see him when he spoke, and also look up his toga. When he died, a statue was erected in his memory, showing him standing on his marble block. The idea soon caught on among dead people, and soon it was pretty much essential to your Hades-cred that your statue should be on a pointless bit of marble. This occasioned the famous remark of Caesar's, "Post coitus flaccidus sum". The decline of the Roman Empire has sometimes been attributed to a shortage of plinths in the reign of Trajan.