Giacobbe Giusti, Aquila (Roman)

Giacobbe Giusti, Aquila (Roman)

Relief showing aquilla from the Arch of Claudius.

Giacobbe Giusti, Aquila (Roman)

Detail of the central breastplate relief on the statue of Augustus of Prima Porta shows the return of the Aquilae lost to the Parthians. The return of the eagles was one of Augustus’s notable diplomatic achievements

Giacobbe Giusti, Aquila (Roman)

Augusto di Prima Porta, il re Fraate IV dei Parti restituisce le insegne (l’aquila) dei Romani sottratte durante la sconfitta di Carre forse a Tiberio, affiancato da una lupa

Giacobbe Giusti, Aquila (Roman)

Aquila esposta al Museo archeologico nazionale d’Abruzzo a Chieti. L’aquila è stata rinvenuta nell’area archeologica di Amiternum, in occasione di scavi eseguiti nel corso degli anni settanta del Novecento. Fusione piena e ritoccata con bulino semicircolare.

Giacobbe Giusti, Aquila (Roman)

“The Reliefs of Trajan’s Column by Conrad Cichorius. Plate number LXXII: Arrival of Roman troops (Scene XCVIII); The emperor sacrifices by the Danube (Scene XCIX); Trajan receives foreign embassies” {Aquilla at the upper left}

Giacobbe Giusti, Aquila (Roman)

A modern reconstruction of an aquila

An aquila, or eagle, was a prominent symbol used in ancient Rome, especially as the standard of a Roman legion. A legionary known as an aquilifer, or eagle-bearer, carried this standard. Each legion carried one eagle.

The eagle was extremely important to the Roman military, beyond merely being a symbol of a legion. A lost standard was considered an extremely grave occurrence, and the Roman military often went to great lengths to both protect a standard and to recover it if lost; for example, see the aftermath of the Battle of the Teutoburg Forest, where the Romans spent decades attempting to recover the lost standards of three legions.

No legionary eagles are known to have survived. However, a number of other Roman eagles, either symbolizing imperial rule or used as funeral emblems, have been discovered.[1]

CHistory

The signa militaria were the Roman military ensignsor standards. The most ancient standard employed by the Romans is said to have been a handful (manipulus) of straw fixed to the top of a spear or pole. Hence the company of soldiers belonging to it was called a maniple. The bundle of hay or fern was soon succeeded by the figures of animals, of which Pliny the Elder (H.N. x.16) enumerates five: the eagle, the wolf, the ox with the man’s head, the horse, and the boar.[2][3] In the second consulship of Gaius Marius (104 BC) the four quadrupeds were laid aside as standards, the eagle (Aquila) alone being retained. It was made of silver, or bronze, with outstretched wings, but was probably of a relatively small size, since a standard-bearer (signifer) under Julius Caesar is said in circumstances of danger to have wrenched the eagle from its staff and concealed it in the folds of his girdle.[4]

Under the later emperors the eagle was carried, as it had been for many centuries, with the legion, a legion being on that account sometimes called aquila (Hirt. Bell. Hisp. 30). Each cohort had for its own ensign the serpent or dragon, which was woven on a square piece of cloth textilis anguis,[5] elevated on a gilt staff, to which a cross-bar was adapted for the purpose,[6] and carried by the draconarius.[7]

Another figure used in the standards was a ball (orb), supposed to have been emblematic of the dominion of Rome over the world;[8] and for the same reason a bronze figure of Victoria was sometimes fixed at the top of the staff, as we see it sculptured, together with small statues of Mars, on the Column of Trajan and the Arch of Constantine.[9] Under the eagle or other emblem was often placed a head of the reigning emperor, which was to the army an object of worship or veneration.[10]The name of the emperor, or of him who was acknowledged as emperor, was sometimes inscribed in the same situation.[11] The pole used to carry the eagle had at its lower extremity an iron point (cuspis) to fix it in the ground, and to enable the aquilifer in case of need to repel an attack.[12]

The minor divisions of a cohort, called centuries, also each had an ensign, inscribed with the number both of the cohort and of the century. This, together with the diversities of the crests worn by the centurions, enabled each soldier to take his place with ease.[13]

In the Arch of Constantine at Rome there are four sculptured panels near the top which exhibit a great number of standards and illustrate some of the forms here described. The first panel represents Trajan giving a king to the Parthians: seven standards are held by the soldiers. The second, containing five standards, represents the performance of the sacrifice called suovetaurilia.[14]

When Constantine embraced Christianity, a figure or emblem of Christ, woven in gold upon purple cloth, was substituted for the head of the emperor. This richly ornamented standard was called labarum.[15] The labarum is still used today by the Orthodox Church in the Sunday service. The entry procession of the chalice whose contents will soon become holy communion is modeled after the procession of the standards of the Roman army.

Giacobbe Giusti, Aquila (Roman)

Eagle and weapons from an Augustan-era funerary monument, probably that of Messalla (PradoMadrid)

Even after the adoption of Christianity as the Roman Empire’s religion, the Aquila eagle continued to be used as a symbol. During the reign of Eastern Roman EmperorIsaac I Komnenos, the single-headed eagle was modified to double-headed to symbolise the Empire’s dominance over East and West.

Since the movements of a body of troops and of every portion of it were regulated by the standards, all the evolutions, acts, and incidents of the Roman army were expressed by phrases derived from this circumstance. Thus signa inferre meant to advance,[16]referre to retreat, and convertere to face about; efferre, or castris vellere, to march out of the camp;[17]ad signa convenire, to re-assemble.[18] Notwithstanding some obscurity in the use of terms, it appears that, whilst the standard of the legion was properly called aquila, those of the cohorts were in a special sense of the term called signa, their bearers being signiferi, and that those of the manipuli or smaller divisions of the cohort were denominated vexilla, their bearers being vexillarii. Also, those who fought in the first ranks of the legion, in front of the standards of the legion and cohorts, were called antesignani.[19]

In military stratagems it was sometimes necessary to conceal the standards.[20]Although the Romans commonly considered it a point of honour to preserve their standards, in some cases of extreme danger the leader himself threw them among the ranks of the enemy in order to divert their attention or to animate his own soldiers.[21] A wounded or dying standard-bearer delivered it, if possible, into the hands of his general,[22] from whom he had received it signis acceptis.[23]

Lost Aquilae

Arch of Constantine

South attic

Arch of Constantine showing carvings of Aquila

Ancient imagery

Detail of the central breastplate relief on the statue of Augustus of Prima Porta shows the return of the Aquilae lost to the Parthians. The return of the eagles was one of Augustus’s notable diplomatic achievements.
Relief showing aquilla from the Arch of Claudius.

 

 

 

 

 

 

References

  1. Jump up^ Roman eagle found by archaeologists in City of London
  2. Jump up^ The ox is sometimes confusingly described as a Minotaur. See Festus, s.v. Minotaur.
  3. Jump up^ Theodore Mommsen, History of Rome, vol. 3, p. 459.
  4. Jump up^ Flor. iv.12
  5. Jump up^ Sidon. Apoll. Carm. v.409
  6. Jump up^ Themist. Orat. i. p1, xviii. p267, ed. Dindorf; Claudian, iv. Cons. Honor. 546; vi. Cons. Honor. 566
  7. Jump up^ Veget. de Re Mil. ii.13; compare Tac. Ann. i.18
  8. Jump up^ Isid. Orig. xviii.3
  9. Jump up^ see Causeus de Sig. in Graevii Thes. vol. x p2529
  10. Jump up^ Josephus, B.J. ii.9 §2; Suet. Tiber. 48, Calig. 14; Tac. Ann. i.3941iv.62
  11. Jump up^ Sueton. Vespas. 6
  12. Jump up^ Suet. July 62
  13. Jump up^ Veget. l.c.
  14. Jump up^ Bartoli, Arc. Triumph.
  15. Jump up^ Prudentius cont. Symm. i.466, 488; Niceph. H.E. vii.37
  16. Jump up^ Caesar, B. G. i.25, ii.25
  17. Jump up^ Virg. Georg. i.108
  18. Jump up^ Caesar, B. G. vi.37
  19. Jump up^ Caesar, B. C. i.43, 44, 56
  20. Jump up^ Caesar, B. G. vii.45
  21. Jump up^ Florus, i.11
  22. Jump up^ Florus, iv.4
  23. Jump up^ Tac. Ann. i.42
  24. Jump up^ Res Gestae Divi Augusti, 29
  25. Jump up^ Res Gestae Divi Augusti, 29
  26. Jump up^ Cassius Dio 47, 35–36
  27. Jump up^ Cassius Dio, 54.11
  28. Jump up^ Velleius Paterculus, Vell. II – 97
  29. Jump up^ Tacitus Annales 1, 60
  30. Jump up^ Tacitus, ann. 2,25
  31. Jump up^ Cassius Dio 60,8,7
  32. Jump up^ TaciteDe vita et moribus Iulii Agricolae41.
  33. Jump up^ Dion CassiusHistoire romainelivre LXVIII, 9, 3.
  34. Jump up^ Peter Schäfer (2003) The Bar Kokhba War Reconsidered: New Perspectives on the Second Jewish Revolt Against Rome Mohr Siebeck ISBN 3-16-148076-7 p 118
  35. Jump up^ Cassius Dio LXXI.2
  36. Jump up^ Duncan B Campbell, The fate of the Ninth: The curious disappearance of Legio VIIII Hispana“, Ancient Warfare

External links

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aquila_(Roman)

http://www.giacobbegiusti.com

Advertisements

Giacobbe Giusti, Römische Villa bei Lullingstone

Giacobbe Giusti, Römische Villa bei Lullingstone

Giacobbe Giusti, Römische Villa bei Lullingstone

 

Giacobbe Giusti, Römische Villa bei Lullingstone

 Giacobbe Giusti, Römische Villa bei Lullingstone

Die heutigen Reste der Villa

Bei Lullingstone(östlich von London in Kent) konnten die Reste einer reich ausgestatteten römischen Villaausgegraben werden. Vor allem die Fragmente von Wandmalereienmit christlichen Motiven erregten überregionales Interesse.

Lage

Die Villa von Lullingstone liegt in einem kleinen Tal, nahe bei dem Fluss Darent. Sie liegt an einem Abhang und ist besonders gut erhalten, da im Laufe der Jahrhunderte Erde vom oberen Teil des Abhanges nach unten rutschte und dabei auch die Ruinen der Villa bedeckte und damit auch schützte.

Geschichte des Baues

Plan der Villa um 125 n. Chr.

Reste einer Wandmalerei: Nymphen

Modell der Villa

Plan der Villa um 400 n. Chr.

Erste Siedlungsreste stammen aus der Zeit vor der römischen Eroberung Britanniens. Es fanden sich Scherben und Münzen, die um 1 bis 43 n. Chr. datieren. Gebäudereste sind aus dieser Zeit bisher nicht festgestellt worden.

Ein erster Bau aus Stein wurde hier um 100 n. Chr. errichtet. Dieser Bau ist architektonisch nur schwer zu fassen, da er durch spätere Umbauten verunklärt ist. Es war aber sicherlich eine einfache Portikusvilla mit Eckrisaliten. Das Gebäude bestand im unteren Teil aus vermauerten Feuersteinen. Der Aufbau war vielleicht ein Fachwerkbau. Zu diesem Bau gehörte auch ein Keller, der aus zwei Räumen bestand, der bis zum Ende der Villa in Betrieb blieb. Hinter der Villa (im Westen) wurde ein Küchengebäude errichtet.

Das Gebäude wurde zwischen 150 und 180 erweitert. Es wurden auf der Südseite ein Bad hinzugefügt. Der Keller hatte in der ersten Bauphase zwei Zugänge, wobei in der zweiten Bauphase eine dieser Türen zugemauert wurde. Die nun entstandene Nische erhielt eine Bemalung mit der Darstellung von drei Nymphen. Auch die restlichen Wände wurden bemalt, doch ist davon nur wenig erhalten. Die Umgestaltung deutet an, dass der Keller in einen Kultraum umgestaltet wurde. Der damalige Besitzer scheint recht wohlhabend gewesen zu sein, jedenfalls war er Eigentümer von zwei marmornen Büsten, eine Seltenheit in der britannischen Provinz. Sie fanden sich bei den Ausgrabungen im Keller. Im zweiten Jahrhundert wurde auch ein runder Bau etwas nördlich der Villa errichtet. Die Funktion ist unbekannt, doch wird vermutet, dass es sich um eine kleine Kapelle handelte.

Im Dritten Jahrhundert erlebte das ganze römische Reich eine Zeit wirtschaftlichen Niederganges. Die Villa scheint vernachlässigt worden zu sein, doch wurde sie nicht aufgegeben, wie noch die Ausgräber vermuteten. Münzen und Scherben deuten eine Siedlungskontinuität an. Am Beginn des vierten Jahrhunderts wurde ein Mausoleumwestlich der Villa erbaut. Es bestand aus einem zentralen Raum, um den sich ein Umgang befand. Der Bau ähnelt somit einem römischen-gallischen Umgangstempel. In einer Grube im zentralen Raum lagen zwei Bleisärge, in denen sich die Skelette von einem Mann und einer Frau befanden. Es fanden sich zahlreiche Beigaben, darunter ein Bronzegefäß, vier Glasflaschen, zwei Messer und zwei Löffel. Bemerkenswert ist ein Spielbrett mit 30 Spielsteinen aus Glas, die auf einem der Särge lagen.

Neben der Villa wurde in etwa zur gleichen Zeit ein Getreidespeicher errichtet. Er war 24,4 × 10,7 m groß und gehört damit zu den größten in Britannien. Der Bau hatte einen erhöhten Fußboden, damit Luft darunter zirkulieren konnte.

Um 350 erhielt das Speisezimmer der Villa eine Apsis und wurde mit einem Mosaik ausgestattet. Um 360/370 scheinen die Besitzer zum Christentum konvertiert zu sein. Ein Raum wurde zu einer christlichen Kapelle umgestaltet und erhielt Wandmalereien mit christlichen Motiven. Diese zeigen den Villenbesitzer und seine Familie in Bethaltung, sowie das christliche Chi-Rho. Kurz nach 400 brannte die Villa nieder und wurde nie wieder aufgebaut.

Die Wandmalereien

Giacobbe Giusti, Römische Villa bei Lullingstone

Wandmalerei auf der Westwand mit christlichen Adoranten

Die Villa hat ihre herausragende Bedeutung vor allem durch den Fund der Wandmalereien des vierten Jahrhunderts. Vereinzelte Malereifragmente stammen schon aus dem zweiten Jahrhundert. Im Bad fand sich ein Fragment, dass einen Fisch zeigt. Das Fragment fand sich im Frigidarium, das demnach vielleicht mit einer Seelandschaft, wie sie in Bädern beliebt waren, dekoriert gewesen. Andere noch an der Wand haftende Fragmente zeigen eine einfache Felderdekoration.[1] Aus dem zweiten Jahrhundert stammt auch die Nische im Keller mit der Darstellung von drei Wassernymphen.[2]

Die Malereien des vierten Jahrhunderts fanden sich im Keller verstürzt und schmückten einst zwei Räume einer Hauskapelle, deren Dekoration in groben Zügen rekonstruiert werden kann. Die best erhaltene Wand ist die Westwand. Der Sockel stellt wohl eine Marmorimitation dar. Darüber finden sich sechs Säulen zwischen denen wiederum einzelne Figuren auf weißen Grund stehen. Die Säulen sind von Farbbändern gerahmt. Die Figuren scheinen zu schweben und haben ihre Arme ausgebreitet. Nur eine Figur hebt ihre rechte Hand zum Gruß. Die zweite Figur von links ist die best erhaltene und ist darüber hinaus durch einen Vorhang, der hinter ihr erhalten ist, hervorgehoben. Bis auf die vorletzte Figur scheinen alle Männer darzustellen.

Die Ostwand ist schlechter erhalten und deren Rekonstruktion bereitet Schwierigkeiten. Die Sockelzone wird wiederum von Marmorimitationen eingenommen. Darüber befindet sich ein Feld mit sechs Säulen. In der Mitte befindet sich ein Kreis mit dem christlichen Chi-Rho. Zwischen den Säulen scheinen Personen dargestellt zu sein, die auf das Zentralfeld zugehen. Die Rekonstruktion der dritten Zone bleibt schließlich reine Spekulation, hier könnten sich eventuell Säulen aber auch Ornamentbänder befunden haben. Beide Dekorationselemente fanden sich, doch können keiner Wand mit Sicherheit zugeordnet werden.

Die Nordwand zeigt die Sockelzone mit Marmorimitationen und darüber zahlreiche Säulen, in deren Mitte sich offensichtlich eine figürliche Szene befand. Im Oberfeld gab es die Darstellung einer Landschaft mit Gebäuden.

In der Südwand befand sich die Tür des Raumes. Rechts von ihr befand sich über der Sockelzone wiederum ein Feld mit einer von Säulen gerahmten Mittelszene. Im Oberfeld befand sich ein Chi-Rho.

Der Vorraum war einfacher gestaltet, nur an einer Wand befand sich ein Chi-Ro, in einem Kreis und von einem geometrischen Muster gerahmt.

Die Malereien sind von besonderer Bedeutung, da es nur wenige Zeugnisse christlicher Wandmalerei aus dem vierten Jahrhundert gibt. In Britannien sind sie bisher einmalig. Der Stil ist einfach bis unbeholfen. Es gibt kaum Andeutungen von Licht und Schatten oder Perspektive.

Das Mosaik

Giacobbe Giusti, Römische Villa bei Lullingstone

Speiseraum mit Mosaik

Das Mosaik im Speisesaal der Villa zeigt zwei Szenen. In der eigentlichen Apsis ist die Entführung der Europa durch Jupiter als Stier dargestellt. Europa, halbnackt, sitzt auf dem Stier. Die Szene wird von zwei Eroten flankiert. Der hintere zieht am Schwanz des Stieres und versucht offensichtlich die Entführung zu verhindern. Über der Szene befindet sich eine lateinische Inschrift, die übersetzt lautet:

Wenn die eifersüchtige Juno den schwimmenden Stier gesehen hätte, dann wäre sie mit größerer Gerechtigkeit auf ihrer Seite wiederhergestellt in den Häusern des Aeolus

Dieser Spruch ist eine Anspielung aus das erste Buch der Aeneis, in dem Juno, die Gattin des Jupiter, den Windgott Aeolus überredet, einen Sturm zu entfachen, um Aenas auf seiner Reise nach Italien zu besiegen. Diese Szene belegt deutlich das hohe Bildungsniveau des Villeninhabers.

Die zweite Szene des Mosaik zeigt Bellerophon wie er auf Pegasusreitet und die Chimära mit einem Speer tötet. Dieses Bild wird von vier runden Medaillons gerahmt in denen sich wiederum Darstellungen in Büstenform der vier Jahreszeiten befinden.

Funde

Giacobbe Giusti, Römische Villa bei Lullingstone

Marmorbüste

Marmorbüste

In der Villa fand sich eine Reihe bemerkenswerter Objekte. An erster Stelle sind zwei Marmorbüsten zu nennen, die sich im Keller fanden. Sie können stilistisch in das zweite Jahrhundert datiert werden und sind Arbeiten aus dem östlichen Mittelmeerraum. In der früheren Forschung wurde oftmals angenommen, dass es sich hier um Vater und Sohn handelt, die nacheinander Besitzer der Villa waren. Die besser erhaltene zeigt einen bärtigen Mann, in einem militärischen Gewand mit einer runden Fiebel.[3] Eine neuere Theorie besagt jedoch, dass hier der spätere Kaiser Pertinax und dessen Vater Publius Helvius Successusdargestellt sind.[4] Pertinax war Statthalter von Britannien, bevor er zum Kaiser erhoben wurde. Demnach ist die Lullingstonevilla der Landsitz des Statthalters gewesen.

Ein weiterer Fund ist eine Gemme, die geflügelte Victoria mit einem Schild und vor einem Brustpanzer, der Teil einer Trophäe ist, zeigt. Die Gemme gehört zu den besten, die jemals in Britannien gefunden wurden. Sie besteht aus Karneol. Es wurde argumentiert, dass es sich um das Amstsiegel von Pertinax handelte als er als Statthalter in Britannien amtierte. [5]

Ausgrabungen

Die Villa wurde 1939 entdeckt, obwohl es schon seit dem späten achtzehnten Jahrhundert Vermutungen gab, dass es hier Reste eines römischen Gebäudes gibt. Ausgrabungen fanden seit 1949 statt und dauerten 12 Jahre. Die Villa ist heute für Besucher hergerichtet.

Anmerkungen

  1. Hochspringen Liversidge, in: Meates: The Roman villa at Lullingstone, S. 5, Tafel 1, fig. 1 auf S. 6
  2. Hochspringen Liversidge, in: Meates: The Roman villa at Lullingstone, Tafeln IV–V
  3. Hochspringen Neal: Lullingstone, Roman Villa., 22
  4. Hochspringen T. Ganschow/M. Steinhart: The Roman portraits from the villa of Lullingstone: Pertinax and his father, P Helvius Successus.In: Otium: Festschrift für Volker Michael Strocka. Remshalden 2005, S. 47–53.
  5. Hochspringen Martin Henig: The Victory-Gem from Lullingstone Roman Villa, in: Journal of the British Archaeological Association, 160 (2007), 1-7

Literatur

  • Geoffrey Wells Meates: The Roman villa at Lullingstone, Kent. Vol. 1, The site. Kent Archaeological Society, London 1979, ISBN 0-85033-341-5.
  • Geoffrey Wells Meates: The Roman villa at Lullingstone, Kent. Vol. 2, The wall paintings and finds. Kent Archaeological Society, London 1987, ISBN 0-906746-09-4.
  • David S. Neal: Lullingstone, Roman Villa. London 1998, ISBN 1-85074-356-8.

Weblinks

 Römische Villa bei Lullingstone – Sammlung von Bildern, Videos und Audiodateien

https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/R%C3%B6mische_Villa_bei_Lullingstone

http://www.giacobbegiusti.com

Giacobbe Giusti, Hadrian’s Villa

Giacobbe Giusti, Hadrian’s Villa

 

 

Giacobbe Giusti, Hadrian’s Villa

 

Giacobbe Giusti, Hadrian’s Villa

 

Giacobbe Giusti, Hadrian’s Villa

Giacobbe Giusti, Hadrian’s Villa

 Giacobbe Giusti, Hadrian’s Villa

Giacobbe Giusti, Hadrian’s Villa

Villa adriana.jpg
UNESCO World Heritage Site
Location Tivoli, Italy Edit this at Wikidata
Coordinates 41°56′31″N 12°46′31″E
Criteria Cultural: (i), (ii), (iii) Edit this on Wikidata
Reference 907
Inscription 1999 (23rd Session)
Hadrian's Villa is located in Italy

Hadrian's Villa
Location of Hadrian’s Villa

Hadrian’s Villa (Villa Adriana in Italian) is a large Roman archaeological complex at Tivoli, Italy. It is the property of the Republic of Italy, and has been directed and run by the Polo Museale del Lazio since December 2014.

ContentsHistory

The villa was constructed at Tibur (modern-day Tivoli) as a retreat from Rome for Roman Emperor Hadrian during the second and third decades of the 2nd century AD. Hadrian is said to have disliked the palace on the Palatine Hill in Rome, leading to the construction of the retreat. It was traditional that the Roman emperor had constructed a villa as a place to relax from everyday life, previous emperors and Romans with wealth such as Trajan had also constructed a villa. Many villas were also self sustaining with small farms and did not need to import food.

The picturesque landscape around Tibur had made the area a popular choice for villas and rural retreats. It was reputedly popular with people from the Spanish peninsula who were residents in the city of Rome. This may have contributed to Hadrian’s choice of the property – although born in Rome, his parents came from Spain and he may have been familiar with the area during his early life.

There may also have been a connection through his wife Vibia Sabina (83–136/137) who was the niece of the Emperor Trajan. Sabina’s family held large landholdings and it is speculated the Tibur property may have been one of them. A villa from the Republican era formed the basis for Hadrian’s establishment.

During the later years of his reign, Hadrian actually governed the empire from the villa. Hadrian started using the villa as his official residence around AD 128. A large court therefore lived there permanently and large numbers of visitors and bureaucrats would have to have been entertained and temporarily housed on site. The postal service kept it in contact with Rome 29 kilometres (18 mi) away, where the various government departments were located.

It isn’t known if Hadrian’s wife lived at the villa either on a temporary or permanent basis – his relations with her were apparently rather strained or distant, possibly due to his ambiguous sexuality. Hadrian’s parents had died when he was young, and he and his sister were adopted by Trajan. It is possible that Hadrian’s court at the villa was predominately male but it’s likely that his childhood nurse Germana, to whom he had formed a deep attachment, was probably accommodated there (she actually outlived him).

After Hadrian, the villa was occasionally used by his various successors (busts of Antoninus Pius (138–161), Marcus Aurelius (161–180), Lucius Verus (161–169), Septimius Severus and Caracalla have been found on the premises). Zenobia, the deposed queen of Palmyra, possibly lived here in the 270s.

During the decline of the Roman Empire in the 4th century, the villa gradually fell into disuse and was partially ruined as valuable statues and marble were taken away. The facility was used as a warehouse by both sides during the destructive Gothic War (535–554) between the Ostrogoths and Byzantines. Remains of lime kilns have been found, where marble from the complex was burned to extract lime for building material.

In the 16th century, Cardinal Ippolito II d’Este had much of the remaining marble and statues in Hadrian’s Villa removed to decorate his own Villa d’Este located nearby. Since that period excavations have sporadically turned up more fragments and sculptures, some of which have been kept in situ or housed on site in the display buildings.

Structure and architecture

Hadrian’s Villa is a vast area of land with many pools, baths, fountains and classical Greek architecture set in what would have been a mixture of landscaped gardens, wilderness areas and cultivated farmlands.

The buildings are constructed in travertine, brick, limepozzolana, and tufa. The complex contains over 30 buildings, covering an area of at least a square kilometre (250 acres) of which much is still unexcavated.

The site was chosen due to its abundant waters and readily available aqueducts that passed through Rome, including Anio Vetus, Anio Nobus, Aqua Marcia, and Aqua Claudia.[1] The area was known as the location of villas before Hadrian obtained the property – it was, and still is, a picturesque area conveniently close to Rome but seemingly detached and separate.

The villa was the greatest Roman example of an Alexandrian garden, recreating a sacred landscape.

Giacobbe Giusti, Hadrian’s Villa

The ruins of Hadrian’s Villa in their present state

The villa shows echoes of many different architectural styles, mostly Greek and Egyptian. Hadrian, a very well-traveled emperor, borrowed these designs, such as the caryatids by the Canopus, along with the statues beside them depicting the Egyptian dwarf and fertility god, Bes. A Greek so called “Maritime Theatre”, also known as the Island Enclosure, exhibits classical ionic style, whereas the domes of the main buildings as well as the Corinthian arches of the Canopus and Serapeum show clear Roman architecture. Hadrian’s biography states that areas in the villa were named after places Hadrian saw during his travels. Only a few places mentioned in the biography can be accurately correlated with the present-day ruins.

One of the most striking and best preserved parts of the Villa consists of a pool named Canopus and an artificial grotto named Serapeum. An Egyptian city named Canopus was where a temple named Serapeum was dedicated to the god Serapis. However, the architecture is Greek influenced (typical in Roman architecture of the High and Late Empire) as seen in the Corinthian columns and the copies of famous Greek statues that surround the pool. The pool measured 119 by 18 metres (390 by 59 ft). Each column surrounding the pool was connected to each other with marble.[2] One anecdote involves the Serapeum and its peculiarly-shaped dome. A prominent architect of the day, Apollodorus of Damascus, dismisses Hadrian’s designs, comparing the dome on Serapeum to a “pumpkin”. The full quote is “Go away and draw your pumpkins. You know nothing about these [architectural] matters.”

Hadrian’s Pecile located inside the Villa was a huge garden surrounded by a swimming pool and an arcade. The pool’s dimensions measure 232 by 97 metres (761 by 318 ft). Originally, the pool was surrounded by four walls with colonnaded interior. These columns helped to support the roof. In the center of the quadriportico was a large rectangular pool. The four walls create a peaceful solitude for Hadrian and guests.

One structure in the villa is the so-called “Maritime Theatre”. It consists of a round portico with a barrel vault supported by pillars. Inside the portico was a ring-shaped pool with a central island. The large circular enclosure 40 metres (130 ft) in diameter has an entrance to the north. Inside the outer wall and surrounding the moat are a ring of unfluted ionic columns. The Maritime Theater includes a lounge, a library, heated baths, three suites with heated floors, washbasin, an art gallery, and a large fountain.[2] During the ancient times, the island was connected to the portico by two wooden drawbridges. On the island sits a small Roman house complete with an atrium, a library, a triclinium, and small baths. The area was probably used by the emperor as a retreat from the busy life at the court.

The villa utilizes numerous architectural styles and innovations. The domes of the steam baths have circular holes on the apex to allow steam to escape. This is reminiscent of the Pantheon, also built by Hadrian. The area has a network of underground tunnels. The tunnels were mostly used to transport servants and goods from one area to another.

In 1998, the remains of what archaeologists claimed to be the monumental tomb of Antinous, or a temple to him, were discovered at the Villa.[3] This, however, has subsequently been challenged in a study noting the lack of any direct evidence for a tomb of Antinous, as well as a previously overlooked patristic source indicating burial in Egypt at Antinopolis, and treating the possibility of a sanctuary of Antinous at Hadrian’s Villa as plausible but unproven.[4]

Giacobbe Giusti, Hadrian’s Villa

Grand Thermae

In September 2013, a network of tunnels was investigated, buried deep beneath the villa – these were probably service routes for staff so that the idyllic nature of the landscape might remain undisturbed. The site housed several thousand people including staff, visitors, servants and slaves. Although much major activity would have been engaged in during Hadrian’s absence on tours of inspection of the provinces a great many people (and animals) must have been moving about the Tivoli site on a daily basis. The almost constant building activity on top of basic gardening and domestic activities probably led to subterranean routes being resorted to.

The villa itself has been described as an architectural masterpiece. A team of caving specialists has discovered that it is even more impressive than previously thought.[5]

Sculptures and artworks

Giacobbe Giusti, Hadrian’s Villa

The Warwick Vase. From Hadrian’s Villa at Tivoli. 2nd century CE. 18th century reconstruction. The Burrell Collection, Glasgow, UK
Giacobbe Giusti, Hadrian’s Villa

Theatrical masks of Tragedy and Comedy in refined mosaic, from the villa (Capitoline Museum, Rome)

Many beautiful artifacts have been unearthed and restored at the Villa, such as marble statues of AntinousHadrian‘s deified lover, accidentally drowned in Egypt, and mosaics from the theatre and baths.[citation needed]

A lifelike mosaic depicted a group of doves around a bowl, with one drinking, seems to be a copy of a work by Sosus of Pergamon as described by Pliny the Elder. It has in turn been widely copied.[6]

Many copies of Greek statues (such as the Wounded Amazon) have been found, and even Egyptian-style interpretations of Roman gods and vice versa. Most of these have been taken to Rome for preservation and restoration, and can be seen at the Musei Capitolini or the Musei Vaticani. However, many were also excavated in the 18th century by antiquities dealers such as Piranesi and Gavin Hamilton to sell to Grand Tourists and antiquarians such as Charles Towneley, and so are in major antiquities collections elsewhere in Europe and North America.

Artworks found in the villa include:

Present-day significance

Hadrian’s Villa is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and important cultural and archaeological site. It is also a major tourist destination along with the nearby Villa d’Este and the town of Tivoli. The Academy of the villa was placed on the 100 Most Endangered Sites 2006 list of the World Monuments Watch because of the rapid deterioration of the ruins.

Giacobbe Giusti, Hadrian’s Villa

The Maritime Theatre

References

External video
Isis-Sothis-Demeter MGEg Inv22804.jpg
 Hadrian’s Villa: A Virtual TourSmarthistory[7]
  1. Jump up^ “The Emperor’s Abode: Hadrian’s Villa”Italia. Retrieved 3 November 2015.
  2. Jump up to:a b “View Article: Hadrian’s Villa: A Roman Masterpiece”.
  3. Jump up^ Mari, Zaccaria and Sgalambro, Sergio: The Antinoeion of Hadrian’s Villa: Interpretation and Architectural Reconstruction, American Journal of Archaeology, Vol 3, No 1, Jan 2007.
  4. Jump up^ Renberg, Gil H.: Hadrian and the Oracles of Antinous (SHA,Hadr. 14.7); with an appendix on the so-called Antinoeion at Hadrian’s Villa and Rome’s Monte Pincio Obelisk, Memoirs of the American Academy in Rome, Vol. 55 (2010) [2011], 159-198.
  5. Jump up^ “Deep inside tunnels revealed under Hadrian’s Roman villa”BBC News.
  6. Jump up^ Drabble, Margaret (2009-09-16). The Pattern in the Carpet: A Personal History with Jigsaws. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. p. 292. ISBN 978-0-547-24144-9. Retrieved 2012-10-24.
  7. Jump up^ “Hadrian’s Villa: A Virtual Tour”Smarthistory at Khan Academy. Retrieved April 30, 2013.

Further reading

  • A. Betori, Z. Mari, ‘Villa Adriana, edificio circolare noto come Sepolcro o Tomba: campagna di scavo 2004: breve sintesi dei resultati’, in Journal of Fasti Online, http://www.fastionline.org/docs/2004-14.pdf
  • Hadrien empereur et architecte. La Villa d’Hadrien: tradition et modernite d’un paysage culturel. Actes du Colloque international organise par le Centre Culturel du Pantheon (2002. Geneva)
  • Villa Adriana. Paesaggio antico e ambiente moderno: elementi di novita` e ricerche in corso. Atti del Convegno: Roma 23-24 giugnio 2000, ed. A. M. Reggiani (2002. Milan)
  • E. Salza Prina Ricotti, Villa Adriana il sogno di un imperatore (2001)
  • Hadrien: tresor d’une villa imperiale, ed. J. Charles-Gaffiot, H. Lavagne [exhibition catalogue, Paris] (1999. Milan)
  • W. L. MacDonald and J. A. Pinto, Hadrian’s Villa and its legacy (1995)
  • A. Giubilei, ‘Il Conte Fede e la Villa Adriana: storia di una collezione d’arte’, in Atti e Memorie della Società Tiburtina di Storia e d’arte; 68 (1995), p. 81-121
  • J. Raeder, Die Statuarische Ausstattung Der Villa Hadriana Bei Tivoli (1983)
  • R. Lanciani, La Villa Adriana (1906)[1]

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hadrian%27s_Villa

http://www.giacobbegiusti.com

Giacobbe Giusti, Villa Romana del Casale (Sicilian: Villa Rumana dû Casali)

Giacobbe Giusti, Villa Romana del Casale (Sicilian: Villa Rumana dû Casali)

Giacobbe Giusti, Villa Romana del Casale (Sicilian: Villa Rumana dû Casali)

Giacobbe Giusti, Villa Romana del Casale (Sicilian: Villa Rumana dû Casali)

Vestibolo Di Polifemo room

 

Giacobbe Giusti, Villa Romana del Casale (Sicilian: Villa Rumana dû Casali)

 

Giacobbe Giusti, Villa Romana del Casale (Sicilian: Villa Rumana dû Casali)

Giacobbe Giusti, Villa Romana del Casale (Sicilian: Villa Rumana dû Casali)

 

Giacobbe Giusti, Villa Romana del Casale (Sicilian: Villa Rumana dû Casali)

Giacobbe Giusti, Villa Romana del Casale (Sicilian: Villa Rumana dû Casali)

Giacobbe Giusti, Villa Romana del Casale (Sicilian: Villa Rumana dû Casali)

 

Giacobbe Giusti, Villa Romana del Casale (Sicilian: Villa Rumana dû Casali)

Giacobbe Giusti, Villa Romana del Casale (Sicilian: Villa Rumana dû Casali)

Giacobbe Giusti, Villa Romana del Casale (Sicilian: Villa Rumana dû Casali)

Giacobbe Giusti, Villa Romana del Casale (Sicilian: Villa Rumana dû Casali)

Giacobbe Giusti, Villa Romana del Casale (Sicilian: Villa Rumana dû Casali)

Giacobbe Giusti, Villa Romana del Casale (Sicilian: Villa Rumana dû Casali)

Giacobbe Giusti, Villa Romana del Casale (Sicilian: Villa Rumana dû Casali)

Giacobbe Giusti, Villa Romana del Casale (Sicilian: Villa Rumana dû Casali)

 

Giacobbe Giusti, Villa Romana del Casale (Sicilian: Villa Rumana dû Casali)

Giacobbe Giusti, Villa Romana del Casale (Sicilian: Villa Rumana dû Casali)

Giacobbe Giusti, Villa Romana del Casale (Sicilian: Villa Rumana dû Casali)

Giacobbe Giusti, Villa Romana del Casale (Sicilian: Villa Rumana dû Casali)

 

Giacobbe Giusti, Villa Romana del Casale (Sicilian: Villa Rumana dû Casali)

 

Giacobbe Giusti, Villa Romana del Casale (Sicilian: Villa Rumana dû Casali)

Giacobbe Giusti, Villa Romana del Casale (Sicilian: Villa Rumana dû Casali)
Villa romana di Piazza Armerina - Sicilia - tigre.JPG

mosaic from the Big Game Hunt
Villa Romana del Casale is located in Italy

Villa Romana del Casale
Shown within Italy
Location Piazza ArmerinaProvince of EnnaSicilyItaly
Type Roman villa
Area 8.92 ha (22.0 acres)
History
Founded First quarter of the 4th century AD
Abandoned 12th century AD
Periods Late Antiquity to High Middle Ages
Cultures Roman
Site notes
Archaeologists Paolo Orsi, Giuseppe Cultrera, Gino Vinicio GentiliAndrea Carandini
Ownership Public
Website www.villaromanadelcasale.it
Official name Villa Romana del Casale
Type Cultural
Criteria i, ii, iii
Designated 1997 (21st session)
Reference no. 832
Region Europe and North America

The Villa Romana del Casale (SicilianVilla Rumana dû Casali) is a large and elaborate Roman villa or palace located about 3 km from the town of Piazza ArmerinaSicily. Excavations have revealed one of the richest, largest and varied collections of Roman mosaics in the world,[1] for which the site has been designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.[2] The villa and artwork contained within date to the early 4th century AD.

The over 3000 sq. metres of mosaic and opus sectilepavement are also almost unique in their excellent state of preservation due to the landslide and floods which covered the remains.

Although less well-known, an extraordinary collection of frescoes covered not only the interior rooms but also the exterior walls.

History

Plan of the villa

The visible remains of the villa were constructed in the first quarter of the 4th century AD on the remains of an older villa rustica, which are the pars dominica, or master’s residence, of a large latifundium or agricultural estate.[3]

Three successive construction phases have been identified; the first phase involved the quadrangular peristyle and the facing rooms. The private bath complex was then added on a north-west axis. In a third phase the villa took on a public character: the baths were given a new entrance and a large latrine, and a grand monumental entrance was built, off-axis to the peristyle but aligned with the new baths entrance and in a formal arrangement with the elliptical (or ovoid) arcade and the grand tri-apsidal hall. This hall was used for entertainment and relaxation for special guests and replaced the two state halls of the peristyle (the “hall of the small hunt” and the “diaeta of Orpheus”). The basilica was expanded and decorated with beautiful and exotic marbles.

The complex remained inhabited for at least 150 years and a village grew around it, named Platia(derived from the word palatium (palace).

Peristyle

In the 5th and 6th centuries, the villa was fortified for defensive purposes by thickening the perimeter walls and by closing of the arcades of the aqueduct to the baths. The villa was damaged and perhaps destroyed during the domination of the Vandalsand the Visigoths. The outbuildings remained in use, at least in part, during the Byzantine and Arab periods. The settlement was destroyed in 1160-1 during the reign of William I. The site was abandoned in the 12th century AD after a landslide covered the villa. Survivors moved to the current location of Piazza Armerina.

The villa was almost entirely forgotten, although some of the tallest parts of the remains were always above ground. The area was cultivated for crops. Early in the 19th century, pieces of mosaics and some columns were found. The first official archaeological excavations were carried out later in that century.[4]

The first professional excavations were made by Paolo Orsi in 1929, followed by the work of Giuseppe Cultrera in 1935-39. Major excavations took place in the period 1950-60 led by Gino Vinicio Gentili, after which a cover was built over the mosaics. In the 1970s Andrea Carandini carried out excavations at the site and work has continued to the present day by the University of Rome, La Sapienza. In 2004 the large mediaeval settlement of the 10-12th centuries was found. Since then further sumptuous rooms of the villa have also been revealed.

The latifundium and the villa

Ambulatory of the Big Game Hunt

In late antiquity the Romans partitioned most of the Sicilian hinterland into huge agricultural estates called “latifundia”. The villa’s latifundium is cited in the Itinerarium Antonini and is known as the Filosofiana. The villa’s pars rustica, or agricultural section, has been discovered to the west of the entrance area, as shown by a room divided in three parts by pillars for storage of agricultural products. The size of the villa and the amount and quality of its artwork indicate that it was the pars dominica of such a latifundium.

The owner’s identity has long been discussed and many different hypotheses have been formulated. The owner was probably a member of senatorial class if not of the imperial family itself, i.e. the absolute upper class of the Roman Empire. The most probable owner is of the Constantinian period, Lucius Aradius Valerius Proculus, governor of Sicily between 327 and 331 and consul in 340. The games he organised in Rome in 320 as praetor were so glorious that their fame lasted for a long time, and perhaps the depictions on some mosaics (the “Great Hunt” in corridor 25 and the “Games of the circus” in the baths) recall this event.

The villa was so large as to include multiple reception and state rooms which reflects the need to satisfy a number of different functions and to include spaces for the management of the estate as well as of the villa. This transformed the villa into a city in miniature. The villa would likely have been the permanent or semi-permanent residence of the owner; it would have been where the owner, in his role as patron, received his local clients.

The villa was a single-story building, centred on the peristyle, around which almost all the main public and private rooms were organised. The monumental entrance is via the atrium from the west. Thermal baths are located to the northwest; service rooms and probably guest rooms to the north; private apartments and a huge basilica to the east; and rooms of unknown purpose to the south. Somewhat detached, and appearing almost as an afterthought, is the separate area to the south containing the elliptical peristyle, service rooms, and a huge triclinium (formal dining room).

Palaestra – Two apses room

The overall plan of the villa was dictated by several factors: older constructions on the site, the slight slope on which it was built, and the path of the sun and prevailing winds. The higher ground to the east is occupied by the Great Basilica, the private apartments, and the Corridor of the Great Hunt; the middle ground by the Peristyle, guest rooms, the entrance area, the Elliptical Peristyle, and the triclinium; while the lower ground to the west is dedicated to the thermal baths.

The whole complex is somewhat unusual, as it is organised along three major axes; the primary axis is the (slightly bent) line that passes from the atrium, tablinum, peristyle and the great basilica (coinciding with the path visitors would follow). The thermal baths and the elliptical peristyle with the triclinium are centred on separate axes.

Little is known about the earlier villa, but it appears to have been a large country residence probably built around the beginning of the second century.

Recent excavations have found a second bath complex close to the storerooms at the entrance dating to the late antique phase and showing rare wall mosaics belonging to a basin or a fountain.

Monumental Entrance

Polygonal court mosaic

Access to the villa was through a three-arched gateway, decorated with fountains and military paintings, and closely resembling a triumphal arch. This gave onto the horseshoe courtyard surrounded by marble columns with Ionic capitals with a square fountain at the centre. On the west side of the courtyard was a latrine, and also separate access was given to the baths and to the rest of the villa.

The peristyle garden and the southern rooms

Diaeta of Orpheus

The elegant peristyle garden is decorated with a three-basin fountain, in the centre of which decoration featuring fish swimming among the waves can be seen. Rooms 33 and 34 were dedicated to service functions and have mosaics with geometric motifs while room 34 also features a mosaic installed above the original floor showing female athletic competitions giving it the name “the room of the palestriti”.

Also on the south side is the so-called diaeta of Orpheus, an apsidal room adorned with a remarkable mosaic featuring Orpheus playing the lyre beneath a tree and taming every kind of animal with his music. This room was probably used as a summer dining room or, considering its floor subject, for the enjoyment of music.

Basilica with marble panels

The Basilica

This grand apsidal hall was an audience hall and the most formal room in the villa, accessed through a grand monumental entrance divided by two columns of pink Egyptian granite. An exceptionally elaborate polychrome opus sectile floor consisting of marbles coming from all over the Mediterranean lies at the entrance and is the richest decoration in the villa; it also covered the walls. This type of marble, rather than mosaic, constituted the material of greatest prestige in the Roman world.

The excavations showed that the apse vault was decorated with glass mosaics.

Opus sectile floor – Basilica

Triclinium and elliptical peristyle

On the south side of the villa is an elliptical peristyle, the Xystus, with a semi-circular nymphaeum on the west side. In the open courtyard were fountains spurting from the mosaic pavement.

The Xystus forms a spectacular introduction to the luxurious tri-apsidal triclinium, the great hall that opens to the east. This contains a magnificent set of mosaics dominated in the centre by the enemies encountered by Hercules during his twelve labours. In the north apse is his apotheosis crowned by Jupiter, while to the east are the Giants with serpentine limbs and in their death throes, having been struck by Hercules’ arrows. In the south apse is the myth of Lycurgus who tried to kill the nymph Ambrosia, but was encircled by grapevines and attacked by a crowd of Maenads.

Mosaics

Bikini girls

The “bikini girls” mosaic, showing girls playing sports. To the left, a girl in a toga offers a crown and victor’s palmfrond to “the winner”

In 1959-60, Gentili excavated a mosaic on the floor of the room dubbed the “Chamber of the Ten Maidens” (Sala delle Dieci Ragazze in Italian). Informally called “the bikini girls”, the maidens appear in a mosaic artwork which scholars named Coronation of the Winner. The young women perform sports including weight-lifting, discus throwing, running and ball-games. A girl in a toga offers a crown and victor’s palm frond to “the winner”.[5]

The Little Hunt

Another well-preserved mosaic shows a hunt, with hunters using dogs and capturing a variety of game.

The Little Hunt mosaic

Gallery

References

Sources

  • Petra C. Baum-vom Felde, Die geometrischen Mosaiken der Villa bei Piazza Armerina, Hamburg 2003, ISBN 3-8300-0940-2
  • Brigit Carnabuci: Sizilien – Kunstreiseführer, DuMont Buchverlag, Köln 1998, ISBN 3-7701-4385-X
  • Luciano Catullo and Gail Mitchell, 2000. The Ancient Roman Villa of Casale at Piazza Armerina: Past and Present
  • R. J. A. Wilson: Piazza Armerina, Granada Verlag: London 1983, ISBN 0-246-11396-0.
  • A. Carandini – A. Ricci – M. de Vos, Filosofiana, The villa of Piazza Armerina. The image of a Roman aristocrat at the time of Constantine, Palermo: 1982.
  • S. Settis, “Per l’interpretazione di Piazza Armerina”, in Mélanges de l’École française de Rome, Antiquité 87, 1975, 2, pp. 873–994.

Further reading

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Villa_Romana_del_Casale

https://giacobbegiusti9.wordpress.com/category/villa-romaine-du-casale/

http://www.giacobbegiusti.com

Giacobbe Giusti, Villa of the Papyri

 

Giacobbe Giusti, Villa of the Papyri

Giacobbe Giusti, Villa of the Papyri

 

Giacobbe Giusti, Villa of the Papyri

 

Giacobbe Giusti, Villa of the Papyri

Giacobbe Giusti, Villa of the Papyri

The Villa of the Papyri (Italian: Villa dei Papiri, also known as Villa dei Pisoni), is named after its unique library of papyri (or scrolls), but is also one of the most luxurious houses in all of Herculaneum and in the Roman world.[1] Its luxury is shown by its exquisite architecture and by the very large number of outstanding works of art discovered, including frescoes, bronzes and marble sculpture[2] which constitute the largest collection of Greek and Roman sculptures ever discovered in a single context.[3]

It is located in the current commune of Ercolano, southern Italy. It was situated on the ancient coastline below the volcano Vesuvius with nothing to obstruct the view of the sea. It was perhaps owned by Julius Caesar‘s father-in-law, Lucius Calpurnius Piso Caesoninus.[4]

Plan of Herculaneum and the location of the Villa

In AD 79, the eruption of Vesuvius covered all of Herculaneum with some 30 m of volcanic ash. Herculaneum was first excavated in the years between 1750 and 1765 by Karl Weber by means of underground tunnels. The villa’s name derives from the discovery of its library, the only surviving library from the Graeco-Roman world that exists in its entirety.[5] It contained over 1,800 papyrus scrolls, now carbonised by the heat of the eruption, the “Herculaneum papyri“.

Most of the villa is still underground, but parts have been cleared of volcanic deposits. Many of the finds are displayed in the Naples National Archaeological Museum.

The Getty Villa is a reproduction of the Villa of the Papyri.

Layout

Ground Plan showing location of tunnels(brown)

Drunken Satyr, villa dei papiri

Aeschines, villa dei papiri, museo archeologico, Napoli

Sited a few hundred metres from the nearest house in Herculaneum, the villa’s front stretched for more than 250 m along the coastline of the Gulf of Naples. It was surrounded by a garden closed off by porticoes, but with an ample stretch of gardens, vineyards and woods down to a small harbour.

It has recently been ascertained that the height of the main floor in antiquity was no less than 16 metres above sea level, and the villa had four architectural levels underneath the main floor, arranged in terrasses overlooking the sea.[6]

The villa’s layout is faithful to, but enlarges upon, the architectural scheme of suburban villas in the country around Pompeii. The atrium functioned as an entrance hall and a means of communication with the various parts of the house. The entrance opened with a columned portico on the sea side.

The first peristyle had 10 columns on each side and a swimming pool in the centre. In this enclosure were found the bronze herma of Doryphorus, a replica of Polykleitos‘ athlete, and the herma of an Amazon made by Apollonios son of Archias of Athens.[7] The large second peristyle could be reached by passing through a large tablinum in which, under a propylaeum, was the archaic statue of Athena Promachos. A collection of bronze busts were in the interior of the tablinum. These included the head of Scipio Africanus.[1]

Dancers, da villa dei papiri, peristilio quadrato

The living and reception quarters were grouped around the porticoes and terraces, giving occupants ample sunlight and a view of the countryside and sea. In the living quarters, bath installations were brought to light, and the library of rolled and carbonised papyri placed inside wooden capsae, some of them on ordinary wooden shelves and around the walls and some on the two sides of a set of shelves in the middle of the room.[1]

The grounds included a large area of covered and uncovered gardens for walks in the shade or in the warmth of the sun. The gardens included a gallery of busts, hermae and small marble and bronze statues. These were laid out between columns amid the open part of the garden and on the edges of the large swimming bath.[1]

Resting Hermes

Ptolemy Apion

fresco, Villa dei Papiri

Works of Art

The luxury of the villa is evidenced not only by the many works of art, but especially by the large number of rare bronze statues found there, all masterpieces. The villa housed a collection of at least 80 sculptures of magnificent quality,[8] many now conserved in the Naples National Archaeological Museum.[1] Among them is the bronze Seated Hermes, found at the villa in 1758. Around the bowl of the atrium impluvium were 11 bronze fountain statues depicting Satyrs pouring water from a pitcher and Amorini pouring water from the mouth of a dolphin. Other statues and busts were found in the corners around the atrium walls.[1]

Five statues of life-sized bronze dancing women wearing the Doric peplos sculpted in different positions and with inlaid eyes are adapted Roman copies of originals from the fifth century BC. They are also hydrophorai drawing water from a fountain.

Epicureanism and the library

The owner of the house, perhaps Calpurnius Piso, established a library of a mainly philosophical character. It is believed that the library might have been collected and selected by Piso’s family friend and client, the Epicurean Philodemus of Gàdara – although his conclusion is not certain[4][9] Followers of Epicurus studied the teachings of this moral and natural philosopher. This philosophy taught that man is mortal, that the cosmos is the result of accident, that there is no providential god, and that the criteria of a good life are pleasure and temperance. Philodemus’ connections with Piso brought him an opportunity to influence the young students of Greek literature and philosophy who gathered around him at Herculaneum and Naples. Much of his work was discovered in about a thousand papyrus rolls in the philosophical library recovered at Herculaneum. Although his prose work is detailed in the strung-out, non-periodic style typical of Hellenistic Greek prose before the revival of the Attic style after Cicero, Philodemus surpassed the average literary standard to which most epicureans aspired. Philodemus succeeded in influencing the most learned and distinguished Romans of his age. None of his prose work was known until the rolls of papyri were discovered among the ruins of the Villa of the Papyri.[4]

Papyrus recovered from Villa of the Papyri.[1]

At the time of the eruption of Vesuvius in AD 79, the valuable library was packed in cases ready to be moved to safety when it was overtaken by pyroclastic flow; the eruption eventually deposited some 20–25 m of volcanic ash over the site, charring the scrolls but preserving them— the only surviving library of Antiquity— as the ash hardened to form tuff.[1]

Excavation

The Bourbon excavations were halted in 1765 due to complaints from the residents living above. The exact location of the villa was then lost for two centuries.[10] In the 1980s work on re-discovering the villa began by studying 18th century documentation on entrances to the tunnels and in 1986 the breakthrough was made through an ancient well. The backfill from some of the tunnels was cleared to allow re-exploration of the villa when it was found that the parts of the villa that survived the Bourbon robbers were still remarkable in quantity and quality.

Excavation to expose part of the villa was done in the 1990s and revealed two previously undiscovered lower floors to the villa[11] with frescoes in situ. These were found along the southwest-facing terrace of about 4 metres height. The first row of rooms lying below the arcade was eveidenced by a series of rectangular openings along the façade.

Limited excavations recommenced at the site in 2007 to preserve the remains when beautifully carved parts of wood and ivory furniture were discovered. Since then limited public access became available.

As of 2012, there are still 2,800 m² left to be excavated of the villa. The remainder of the site has not been excavated because the Italian government is preferring conservation to excavation, and protecting what has already been uncovered.[12] David Woodley Packard, who has funded conservation work at Herculaneum through his Packard Humanities Institute, has said that he is likely to be able to fund excavation of the Villa of the Papyri when the authorities agree to it; but no work will be permitted on the site until the completion of a feasibility report, which has been in preparation for some years. The first part of the report emerged in 2008 but included no timetable or cost projections, since the decision for further excavation is a political one.[13] Politics involve excavation under inhabited areas in addition to unspecified but reported[14] references to mafia involvement.

Using multi-spectral imaging, a technique developed in the early 1990s, it is possible to read the burned papyri. With multi-spectral imaging, many pictures of the illegible papyri are taken using different filters in the infrared or in the ultraviolet range, finely tuned to capture certain wavelengths of light. Thus, the optimum spectral portion can be found for distinguishing ink from paper on the blackened papyrus surface.

Non-destructive CT scans will, it is hoped, provide breakthroughs in reading the fragile unopened scrolls without destroying them in the process. Encouraging results along this line of research have been obtained, which use Phase-contrast X-ray imaging. [15] [16] [17] [18] According to authors, “this pioneering research opens up new prospects not only for the many papyri still unopened, but also for others that have not yet been discovered, perhaps including a second library of Latin papyri at a lower, as yet unexcavated level of the Villa.”[19]

J. Paul Getty Museum

Bronze bust of Scipio Africanus, mid 1st century BC, found in the Villa of the Papyri

The original “Getty Villa“, part of the J. Paul Getty Museum complex at Pacific Palisades, California is a free replication of the Villa of the Papyri, as it was published in Le Antichità di Ercolano. This museum building was constructed in the early 1970s by the architectural firm of Langdon and Wilson. Architectural consultant Norman Neuerburg and Getty’s curator of antiquities Jiří Frel worked closely with J. Paul Getty to develop the interior and exterior details. Since the Villa of the Papyri was buried by the eruption and much of it remains unexcavated, Neuerburg based many of the villa’s architectural and landscaping details on elements from other ancient Roman houses in the towns of Pompeii, Herculaneum, and Stabiae.[20]

With the move of the Museum to the Getty Center, the “Getty Villa” as it is now called, was renovated; it reopened on January 28, 2006.

In modern literature

Several scenes in Robert Harris‘ bestselling novel Pompeii are set in the Villa of the Papyri, just before the eruption engulfed it. The villa is mentioned as belonging to Roman aristocrat Pedius Cascus and his wife Rectina. (Pliny the Younger mentions Rectina, whom he calls the wife of Tascius, in Letter 16 of book VI of his Letters.) At the start of the eruption Rectina prepares to have the library evacuated and sends urgent word to her old friend, Pliny the Elder, who commands the Roman Navy at Misenum on the other side of the Bay of Naples. Pliny immediately sets out in a warship, and gets in sight of the villa, but the eruption prevents him from landing and taking off Rectina and her library — which is thus left for modern archaeologists to find.

Sculpture from the Villa

Giacobbe Giusti, Column of Marcus Aurelius

Giacobbe Giusti, Column of Marcus Aurelius

 

Giacobbe Giusti, Column of Marcus Aurelius

 

Giacobbe Giusti, Column of Marcus Aurelius

 

Giacobbe Giusti, Column of Marcus Aurelius

Eretta nel 180 d.C. dall’imperatore Commodo (161-192) in onore del padre, l’imperatore Marco Aurelio, la Colonna Antonina presenta numerosi rilievi di cui alcuni dettagli sono stati fotografati in questa immagine: i soldati romani sono qui raffigurati nell’atto di un rituale per la pira funeraria. Marco Aurelio (121-180), noto per aver combattuto i parti, i quadi e i marcomanni (166-180), fu anche un filosofo stoico, difatti ci ha lasciato i Ricordi (o Colloqui con se stesso ). Sulla Colonna Antonina ci sono scolpiti gli episodi delle sue imprese.

The Column of Marcus Aurelius (Latin: Columna Centenaria Divorum Marci et Faustinae, Italian: Colonna di Marco Aurelio) is a Roman victory column in Piazza Colonna, Rome, Italy. It is a Doric column featuring a spiral relief: it was built in honour of Roman emperor Marcus Aurelius and modeled on Trajan’s Column.

Construction

Because the original dedicatory inscription has been destroyed, it is not known whether it was built during the emperor’s reign (on the occasion of the triumph over the Marcomanni, Quadi and Sarmatians in the year 176) or after his death in 180; however, an inscription found in the vicinity attests that the column was completed by 193.

In terms of the topography of ancient Rome, the column stood on the north part of the Campus Martius, in the centre of a square. This square was either between the temple of Hadrian (probably the Hadrianeum) and the temple of Marcus Aurelius (dedicated by his son Commodus, of which nothing now remains – it was probably on the site of Palazzo Wedekind), or within the latter’s sacred precinct, of which nothing remains. Nearby is the site where the emperor’s cremation occurred.

The column’s shaft is 29.62 metres (97.2 ft) high, on a ca. 10.1-metre (33 ft) high base, which in turn originally stood on a 3 metres (9.8 ft) high platform – the column in total is 39.72 metres (130.3 ft)[1] About 3 metres of the base have been below ground level since the 1589 restoration.

The column consists of 27 or 28 blocks of Carrara marble, each of 3.7 metres (12 ft) diameter, hollowed out whilst still at the quarry for a stairway of 190-200 steps within the column up to a platform at the top. Just as with Trajan’s Column, this stairway is illuminated through narrow slits into the relief.

Relief

German council of war – considered an early evidence to what would become known as the Thing (assembly).

The spiral picture relief tells the story of Marcus Aurelius’ Danubian or Marcomannic wars, waged by him from 166 to his death. The story begins with the army crossing the river Danube, probably at Carnuntum. A Victory separates the accounts of two expeditions. The exact chronology of the events is disputed; however, the latest theory states that the expeditions against the Marcomanni and Quadi in the years 172 and 173 are in the lower half and the successes of the emperor over the Sarmatians in the years 174 and 175 in the upper half.

One particular episode portrayed is historically attested in Roman propaganda – the so-called “rain miracle in the territory of the Quadi”, in which a god, answering a prayer from the emperor, rescues Roman troops by a terrible storm, a miracle later claimed by the Christians for the Christian God.[2]

In spite of many similarities to Trajan’s column, the style is entirely different, a forerunner of the dramatic style of the 3rd century and closely related to the triumphal arch of Septimius Severus, erected soon after. The figures’ heads are disproportionately large so that the viewer can better interpret their facial expressions. The images are carved less finely than at Trajan’s Column, through drilling holes more deeply into the stone, so that they stand out better in a contrast of light and dark. As villages are burned down, women and children are captured and displaced, men are killed, the emotion, despair, and suffering of the “barbarians” in the war, are represented acutely in single scenes and in the figures’ facial expressions and gestures, whilst the emperor is represented as protagonist, in control of his environment.

The symbolic language is altogether clearer and more expressive, if clumsier at first sight, and leaves a wholly different impression on the viewer to the whole artistic style of 100 to 150 as on Trajan’s column. There, cool and sober balance – here, drama and empathy. The pictorial language is unambiguous – imperial dominance and authority is emphasized, and its leadership is justified. Overall, it is an anticipation of the development of artistic style into late antiquity, and a first artistic expression of the crisis of the Roman empire that would worsen in the 3rd century.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Column_of_Marcus_Aurelius

http://www.bdp.it/cgi-bin/diapftcgi3?dbnpath=/isis3/dati/dia/immag&mfn=14096&formato=Completo&unico=1&file_header=/archivi/dia/header.php

http://www.giacobbegiusti.com

 

 

Giacobbe Giusti, Head of a statue of emperor Augustus

Giacobbe Giusti, Head of a statue of emperor Augustus

Giacobbe Giusti, Head of a statue of emperor Augustus

Augustus.JPG

 

The bronze head of Augustus from Meroë on display in the British Museum
Material Bronze
Size 46.2 cm high
Created 27-25 BC
Present location British Museum, London
Identification 1911,0901.1

The Meroë Head, or Head of Augustus from Meroë is a larger-than-life-size bronze head that was found in the ancient Nubian site of Meroë in Sudan. Long admired for its striking appearance and perfect proportions, it is now part of the British Museum‘s collection.[1][2]

Discovery

The head was excavated by the British archaeologistJohn Garstang in December 1910 at Meroë, which had been the capital of the Kingdom of Kush for several centuries. The sculpture was found buried beneath a monumental stairway that lead to an altar of victory. This intended insult of burying the statue resulted in the head being well presented[3] after being buried for over 1900 years. The bust was donated to the British Museum by the Sudan Excavation Committee with the support of the National Art Collections Fund in 1911.[4]

Kushite raids

The head had clearly been hacked off a large statue made in honour of the Roman Emperor Augustus. The Greek historian Strabo mentions in his chronicles that numerous towns in Lower Egypt were adorned with statues of Augustus before an invading Kushite army looted many of them in 25 BC. Although the Roman military successfully invaded Kushite territory and reclaimed many statues, they were unable to reach as far south as the Kushite capital itself. The placing of the Emperor’s head below the shrine’s steps was designed to symbolically denigrate the reputation of Augustus in the eyes of the Meroitic aristocracy.[5]

Description

The Meroë Head is larger than life-size and mimics Greek art by portraying Augustus with classical proportions; it was clearly designed to idealise and flatter the Emperor. Made of bronze, the eyes are inset with glass pupils and calcite irises. It is the preservation of the eyes (which are frequently lost in ancient bronze statues) which makes this statue so startlingly realistic. The emperor’s head turns to his right and gazes powerfully into the distance. His hair falls onto his brow in waves that are typical of Augustus’s portraits.[5] The British Museum has several other notable bronze heads of Roman Emperors including an image of Claudius. The heads are thought to have been made locally but based on moulds created in Rome.[5]

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mero%C3%AB_Head

http://www.giacobbegiusti.com