Tuesday, January 14, 2020


Piazza Navona

About 85 AD, 275 x 106 m (902 x 348 feet)

There were two superimposed sectors (maeniana) and four entrances
It used to contain about 30,000 spectators

No documents proves the use of this stadium for naval battles that were instead held in the Naumachiae, stadiums specifically built for those kind of shows

However, from 1600s until the end of 1800s Piazza Navona was sometimes flooded with about 60 cm (2 feet) of water in the summer months to bring freshness to the Romans

Here maybe was found the sculptural group “Ajax with the body of Achilles” (or “Menelaus with the body of Patroclus”), today known as Pasquino

It was the seat of the market from mid-1400s until 1869 with the brief exception of the papacy of Innocent X Pamphili (1644/55) when the market was moved to Campo de' Fiori to give more nobility to the square where the Palace of the Pamphilj family stood

In 86 AD Domitian (81/96) established here the Certamen Capitolinum:
They were athletic games coupled with musical competitions that were held in the almost contemporary ODEON OF DOMITIAN on the area of today's Palazzo Massimo alle Colonne which was built on the curve of the auditorium

According to the Regional Catalogues the Odeon contained 10,600 spectators
The only visible remain is the “Monolithic column in cipolin marble” on Piazza dei Massimi

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