Monday, September 7, 2015


Foundations of a temple (60 x 40 m - 197 x 131 feet) of uncertain identification, but by many considered the Temple of the Sun, built by Emperor Elagabalus (218/222)
It must have been originally surrounded by an area with portico

Inside the temple Elagabalus were kept many sacred objects including the Palladium of Troy, the aniconic image of Cybele, the fire of Vesta and the ancilla or shields of Mars preserved in the Regia
Recent excavations have revealed the nature of garden of the area, perhaps the “Gardens of Adonis”. The building stood until the late empire as evidenced by mentions of various ancient authors
Recently, in the northeast corner structures have been excavated belonging to Nero's Domus Aurea, most likely including the famous ROUND ROOM WITH ROTATING FLOOR described by Suetonius

Maybe remains of the monumental entrance with five arches that used to give access to the colonnade of the Temple of the Sun

Square area paved with stones and ruins of an arch of the imperial period
It was perhaps the monumental entrance to the Imperial Palace

Semi-underground corridor 130 m (427 feet) long, illuminated by narrow windows, which united the Domus Aurea with the imperial palace
The attribution to Nero (54/68) is arbitrary
In the stretch leading to the house of Livia, is visible on the vault a copy of a stucco decoration with geometric panels surrounded by cupids and floral motifs. The original is in the Palatine Museum

Structures built by Domitian (81/96) on the remains of the House of Caligula (37/41) or Atrium Gai, where in the sixth century the church of S. Maria Antiqua was built


Remains of brick walls parallel and perpendicular to the axis of the Sacred Way identified by Rodolfo Lanciani as a large porch that was built around rows of stone pillars and was given the name Porticus Margaritaria according to the Chronograph of 354 AD (an illustrated calendar) that mentions it among the buildings located in the Forum

The structure with portico was actually begun by Nero (54/68) shortly before the fire of 64
After the fire the construction of a grand portico with pillars began
It should have been used as access to the Domus Aurea, but it was never finished: after the death of Nero, the Flavian emperors stopped the work and the completed part was destined for public and commercial use until the late empire

Ancient road that connected the Palatine, the Forum and the Capitoline Hill
It owed its name to the functions and ceremonial processions that used to follow this road
According to ancient tradition, the sanctity of the street derives from the legendary pact of peace between Romulus and Titus Tatius, or from the fact that priests walked on it monthly during the sacred ceremonies of the Ides and Nonae
Until the beginning of the imperial age it would have had a first flat section from the Roman Forum, namely the Comitium, up the slopes of the Velia, more or less where the Basilica of Maxentius is, passing next to the Basilica Emilia

A second section uphill (summa Sacra Via) would have reached the Shrine of the Strenia Carinae, passing through the Velia
After the fire in 64 AD the second section was modified and brought to the atrium of the Domus Aurea, where later the Temple of Venus and Rome was built
One can categorically exclude that the Via Sacra is the one that passes under the Arch of Titus

Maybe part of the basement of the porch that surrounded the entrance hall of the Domus Aurea, the Golden House of Nero (54/68)

ARCH OF TITUS (see Roman Forum)

Rectangular base east of the Arch of Titus in flakes of flint, which were attached to some blocks of travertine and lava stone. Its function is unknown
Before the recent excavations, it was believed that it was the base of the Temple of Jupiter Stator, consecrated by Romulus in the Roman-Sabine war
In the Middle ages over the remains of the basement the Turris Chartularia was built, which owed its name to its supposed proximity to the imperial Chartularium (archive), later used as an archive of the popes

Next to the Sacred Way there are the remains of a complex that was perhaps used as baths and has been identified by some as the Baths of Elagabalus, by others as the Curiae Veteres, a temple that the written tradition attributed to Romulus, and that Tacitus mentions as the third corner of the pomerium (border) of the Palatine city
It is more probable that it is the Sacrarium of Augustus erected in the place where the emperor was born
The area is still being excavated, but a room with apse and fountains is visible, probably intended to use as baths but later used as a place of worship

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