Saturday, September 21, 2013


First half of the first century AD. It was discovered accidentally in 1917 under the railroad tracks near the Porta Maggiore
The building, whose present entrance on Via Prenestina is not the ancient one, has a structure with two rooms, the hall known as Basilica, and the square vestibule which precedes it
It was built with a special technique whereby trenches and wells are dug in the tufa stone within which the mass of cement was thrown. The vault was built supported by the natural ground, and finally the interior was emptied of the natural terrain
The function is completely unknown and none of the various assumptions made, tomb or funerary basilica, nymphs, neopythagoric temple, solves all the problems of the matter
However, the hypothesis that considers it a funerary basilica is the most likely
The dating is based on the style of stucco decoration of the monument
It was looted and abandoned shortly after construction. A wealth of architectural decorations: mosaic floors in black and white tiles, walls and ceilings entirely decorated with polychrome plaster and stucco, some of which are well preserved
12 x 9 m (39 x 29 feet) with figurative mythological cycle in stucco, which culminates in the apse in a rare performance of "Sappho jumping from the cliff of Lefkada welcomed by Leucotea". This latter subject has driven some scholar to the interpretation of the building as a neopythagorean sanctuary

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