Hadrian's Villa, Italy, Mythology, Roman art, Roman Mosaic, Roman villa

Art and sculptures from Hadrian’s Villa: Three mosaic panels with bucolic scenes

This month’s masterpiece from Hadrian’s Villa is a series of heavily restored mosaic panels depicting bucolic scenes with animals. The first panel depicts a rocky landscape with a flock of goats peacefully grazing by a stream. A standing bronze statue dressed in a long tunic is standing on a rock. It holds a bunch of grapes… Continue reading Art and sculptures from Hadrian’s Villa: Three mosaic panels with bucolic scenes

Antinous, Hadrian, Italy, Roman art, Roman Portraiture, Rome

The Hadrianic Tondi on the Arch of Constantine

The Arch of Constantine, dedicated on 25 July 315 AD, stands in Rome between the Colosseum and the Palatine Hill, at what was once the beginning of the Via Triumphalis. As described on its attic inscription, it commemorates Constantine’s victory at the Battle of the Milvian Bridge on 28 October 312 AD over the tyrant… Continue reading The Hadrianic Tondi on the Arch of Constantine

Hadrian's Villa, Italy, Museum, Roman art

Art and sculptures from Hadrian’s Villa: Headless statue of Athena

This month’s sculpture from Hadrian’s Villa is a headless statue of Athena of the Vescovali-Arezzo Type and made of Luna marble. The goddess is depicted wrapped in a himation (cloak). She wears her aegis bordered with small snakes over the shoulders. She stands with her left hand resting on her hip and would have carried a… Continue reading Art and sculptures from Hadrian’s Villa: Headless statue of Athena

Archaeology Travel, Frontiers of the Roman Empire, Italy, Julius Caesar, Roman Army

Crossing the Rubicon

On this day (10th January) in 49 BC, Julius Caesar and his troops famously crossed the Rubicon, the river marking the boundary between the province of Cisalpine Gaul and Italy. Taking the 13th Legion over this forbidden frontier constituted an act of treason and triggered civil war in Rome. According to the historian Suetonius, Caesar… Continue reading Crossing the Rubicon

Archaeology Travel, Italy, Museum, Roman art, Rome

When in Rome… a visit to the Centrale Montemartini

During a recent trip to Rome, I paid a long overdue visit to the Centrale Montemartini, an annexe of the Capitoline Museums located on the Via Ostiense just beyond Porta San Paolo. Centrale Montemartini was Rome's first electrical power station when it opened in 1912, and was later converted into a museum of ancient Roman… Continue reading When in Rome… a visit to the Centrale Montemartini

Augustus, Italy, Roman art, Roman Frescoes, Roman villa, Rome

When in Rome… visiting the House of Livia on the Palatine Hill

I recently wrote on the series of special events that took place in Rome last year in celebration of the 2000th anniversary of Emperor Augustus’ death. My last post focussed on the 'House of Augustus' (see here) and today I will concentrate on the ‘House of Livia’ in this follow-up piece. First excavated in 1839,… Continue reading When in Rome… visiting the House of Livia on the Palatine Hill

Augustus, Italy, Roman art, Roman Frescoes, Roman villa, Rome

When in Rome… visiting the House of Augustus on the Palatine Hill

Last year Rome celebrated the 2000th anniversary of Emperor Augustus’ death. To commemorate the date, a series of special events and openings were launched in the Italian capital, including the opening of new parts of the ‘House of Augustus’ and ‘House of Livia’ on the Palatine Hill. After years of restoration works, new lavishly frescoed… Continue reading When in Rome… visiting the House of Augustus on the Palatine Hill

Hadrian's Villa, Italy, Mythology, Roman art, Roman villa

Art and sculptures from Hadrian’s Villa: Marble head of Hypnos

This month’s sculpture from Hadrian’s Villa is a marble head of Hypnos, the Greek god of Sleep. Hypnos is represented as a young man with wings attached to his temples (now lost). The head must have been part of a full length statue showing Hypnos running forwards, holding in his hands poppies and a vessel… Continue reading Art and sculptures from Hadrian’s Villa: Marble head of Hypnos

Archaeology Travel, Italy, Roman Bridges, Roman engineering, Sardinia

Looking for Roman bridges in Sardinia

When I was planning my archaeological trip to Sardinia I discovered, thanks to vici.org (an Archaeological Atlas of Antiquity I have mentioned here before), that there were many Roman bridges still standing all across the country. Some are left abandoned and almost completely covered with vegetation but others are perfectly preserved. Ancient Roman bridges are an… Continue reading Looking for Roman bridges in Sardinia

Hadrian's Villa, Hellenistic Art, Italy, Museum, Mythology, Roman art

Art and sculptures from Hadrian’s Villa: Marble head of a companion of Odysseus

This month’s sculpture from Hadrian’s Villa is a marble head of a companion of Odysseus, copied after a famous work of the Hellenistic period. This head shows the face of a man that probably belonged to a multi-figure group depicting Odysseus with his twelve companions blinding the one-eyed giant and the most famous of the Cyclopes,… Continue reading Art and sculptures from Hadrian’s Villa: Marble head of a companion of Odysseus