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Art and sculptures from Hadrian’s Villa: Herms of Tragedy and Comedy

This month’s sculptures from Hadrian’s Villa are a pair of marble herms whose heads are traditionally identified as Tragedy and Comedy. According to the Italian archaeologist Giovanni Battista Visconti, both herms were found in 1735 by the owner of the Villa, Giuseppe Fede, near the entrance of the Greek Theatre. It was acquired in 1777 by Conte… Continue reading Art and sculptures from Hadrian’s Villa: Herms of Tragedy and Comedy

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

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

Aqueduct, Archaeology Travel, Italy, Photography

Exploring Minturnae, a forgotten ancient city on the Appian Way

On a recent trip to Italy, I visited the Archaeological Area of Minturnae, a little-known but impressive archaeological site along the Appian Way. Minturnae was originally an Auruncian city (of which no archaeological traces have been found), one of the three towns of the Aurunci which allied themselves with the Samnites and made war against… Continue reading Exploring Minturnae, a forgotten ancient city on the Appian Way

Hadrian, Hadrian's Villa, Italy

Picture of the day: The circular temple dedicated to the Venus of Knidos, Hadrian’s Villa (Tivoli, Italy)

The temple dedicated to the Venus of Knidos is a small circular temple with doric columns situated on the Temple Valley at Hadrian's Villa.  It belongs to the latest building phase at the villa, between AD 133 and 138. The circular plan of the central structure, the use of the Doric order, and the discovery of… Continue reading Picture of the day: The circular temple dedicated to the Venus of Knidos, Hadrian’s Villa (Tivoli, Italy)