A funerary monument on the Capitoline: architecture and painting in mid-Republican Rome, between Etruria and Greece
Pier Luigi Tucci
|Published in:||Journal of Roman Archeology, 2018, v. 31|
The debate on the relationships between Rome, Italy, and the Mediterranean world in the Archaic and mid-Republican periods remains very lively. Complementing the most recent discoveries and interpretations, I present two unknown mid-Republican documents from the Arx, the N summit of the Capitoline hill (fig. 1). Excavations for the Monument to Victor Emmanuel II brought to light after 1887 many walls and artifacts, which have been studied almost exclusively to produce archaeological maps or catalogues of objects, but the structures sealed beneath the basilica of Santa Maria in Aracoeli toward the end of the 13th c., rediscovered in the 1980s and surveyed by the present author since 2001, shed new light on a number of religious, historical, topographical, architectural and art-historical issues.
The new archaeological evidence may be summarized as follows. In the 1st c. B.C., an aristocraticdomusset on three levels occupied the NW sector of the Arx; it was remodeled in the Flavian and Severan periods (figs. 2-3). Apparently a location of the temple of Juno Moneta on the site of the Aracoeli must be ruled out. Among the structures still preserved beneath the basilica, which include an Imperial-era wall with huge curvilinear spurs that can be associated with the Iseum Capitolinum, we may mention an ashlar wall in blocks of Grotta Oscura tuff (a stone available after the defeat of Veii in 397 B.C.) that constituted the façade of a monument with a false arch dating from the 4th c. B.C. (fig. 2).
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