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Curiosities of ancient Rome (Monuments)

The world of ancient Romans abounded in a number of amazing curiosities and information. The source of knowledge about the life of the Romans are mainly works left to us by ancient writers or discoveries. The Romans left behind a lot of strange information and facts that are sometimes hard to believe.

Goddess joke – Venus Cloacina

Forum Romanum is a place where every stone tells a story. Today I will tell you about one of the most inconspicuous relics of Roman civilization that can be found in the Forum – the shrine of Venus Cloacina.

Forum Romanum - remains of the shrine of Venus Cloacina

Pantheon and secrets of its creators

Pantheon seems to be a perfect building – entire volumes have been written about the perfection of its dome. Next: about the proportions of its rotunda. When we stand close to a temple, we usually do not pay attention to certain irregularities in its shape. Yet some experts note that during the construction of the Pantheon, not everything probably went according to the architects’ intentions.

Pantheon | Author: Tomasz Podkowa

Forgotten hippodrome of mad emperor

When we think of chariot races in ancient Rome, the first thing that comes to mind is Circus Maximus. But the “Great Circus” was not the only racetrack existing in ancient Rome. Many of you probably remember that Emperor Caligula also started building his hippodrome in the Vatican (the work was finally completed by Nero). A memento of him is the obelisk currently standing on pl. St. Peter. Recently, I also wrote about the Maxentius Hippodrome on the Appian Way.

Circus Varianus in Rome visible preserved foundations of the north-western end of the racetrack

Roman amphitheater in Pompeii

Roman amphitheater in Pompeii was built in 70 BCE and is the oldest object of this type that has survived to our times. Characteristic, externally located stairs led to the upper stands. The amphitheater was originally wooden; later, however, a stone structure was built. The object measures 135 by 104 meters.

Roman amphitheater in Pompeii

Empress Livia’s white hens

Ad Gallinas Albas: Few people know this name today, but two thousand years ago things were different. Known under it was a town nowadays called Prima Porta – near Rome, on Via Flaminia.

Ad Gallinas Albas

Underground of ancient Neapolis

Contemporary Naples is a city where ancient monuments are much more difficult to find than in Rome, but that does not mean that they are not there. After all, it is a city as old as Rome. Founded by Greek colonists, the settlement already had an urban character when Rome was still a small village.

Macellum under Naples

Agrippa’s villa on Tiber

In 1880, during the construction of the Tiber embankments near Villa Farnesina in Trastevere, a very interesting discovery was made: large fragments of a luxurious residence from the reign of Emperor Augustus were excavated. It is a fascinating building: breaking with the typical architectural layout of the Roman “domus” (and with its canonical sequence of rooms: vestibule-atrium-tablinum-peristyle), reminiscent of the more refined suburban villas of Roman patricians. Its location on the very bank of the Tiber must have been captivating.

Fresco from Agrippa's villa

Punic walls in Cartagena

In Cartagena (south-eastern Spain) there are remains of the Punic walls of Cartagena, which date back to the 3rd century BCE. Scientists have found traces of fire, which proves that a battle and probably looting really took place here.

Punic walls in Cartagena

Roman theater in Cartagena

Roman theater in Cartagena (southern Spain) was built in the late 1st century BCE. The facility is hidden among the modern buildings of the city.

Roman theater in Cartagena

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