Friday, February 21, 2014


Second century AD, six or maybe even more floors: ground floor with tabernae (shops), mezzanine and three floors, with traces of a sixth which maybe was not even the last one
It was inhabited until 1929
It is estimated that originally it housed about 380 people
Augustus had established a law according to which the dwellings should not have exceeded 21 m (69 feet) and Trajan imposed a limit of 18 m (59 feet): hence numerous insulae in Rome were six or seven floors high, with exceptions such as the monstrous INSULA FELICLES of the second century AD, famous throughout the empire for its dizzying height. We do not know how high it was but we must assume it must have been pretty tall for the stupefied reactions in front of this ancient skyscraper. It was located in the area between the Pantheon and The Column of Marcus Aurelius
According to the Cataloghi Regionari (list of monuments and buildings of Rome in the fourth century) the insulae under Septimius Severus (193/211) were 46,602, a ratio of 1 to 26 with the domus
Insulae was the name given to these units by Guido Calza obtained from ancient sources, but recently it was established that the insula was a unit of property projected on the ground and it was not really a specific type of building
In the Middle Ages the church of S. BIAGIO MERCATELLO was built on the insula of which are visible the bell tower and, in an arched niche, a fresco of "Christ between the Virgin and St. John the Evangelist" of the Lazio school dating back to the early fifteenth century. It was rebuilt in 1643 as S. RITA DA CASCIA IN CAMPITELLI, by Carlo Fontana (1634/1714) and then moved in 1929 near the Marcellus Theater

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