New fragment from dispersed plan of Ancient Rome on view at Ara Pacis

These are the last days to see the recently discovered fragment of the dispersed 1800-year-old marble plan of Ancient Rome, exceptionally on display in the Sala Paladino at Museo dell’Ara Pacis, together with other pieces, which once probably belonged to the same slab n. 31 of the Forma Urbis Romae.

Forma Urbis Romae, Fragments belonging to slab n. 31, ca. 203-211 AD, proconnesio marble, Musei in Comune, Rome

Set-up of the fragments belonging to the slab n. 31 of the Forma Urbis Romae, ca. 203-211 AD, proconnesio marble, Rome, Museo dell'Ara Pacis (25 February - 17 March 2016).

The Forma Urbis Romae, also referred to as the Severan Forma Urbis, was a large architectural plan of Ancient Rome, carved on 150 marble slabs at the times of Septimius Severus, perhaps in substitution of an older one, and hung on the still visible wall of the aula at the Forum Pacis, which was then incorporated in the complex of the basilica dei Santi Cosma e Damiano.

Giuseppe Vasi, Palazzo Maffei Marescotti alla Pigna, Rome, 1746, engraving.

Giuseppe Vasi, Palazzo Maffei Marescotti alla Pigna, Rome, 1746, engraving. The palace located along via della Pigna is property of the Holy See, so the City of Rome has been granted the Vatican fragment to safeguard as much as possible the unity of the rest of the collection of fragments in Rome, belonging to the Musei in Comune network.

Found on the occasion of the restoration works performed on Palazzo Maffei Marescotti in the latest years, the Vatican fragment is a precious addition to the still incomplete panorama of Ancient Roman topography.

This discovery fosters a more thorough historical-archaeological study of the monumental area near the Theatre of Marcellus and the Porticus Octaviae, as it looked like in Antiquity. It’s a great emotion realizing how perfectly the Vatican fragment fits into the original context of the plan, finally completing the inscription “Circus Flaminius” with the adjacent left piece of this old “marble puzzle”.

Forma Urbis Romae, Vatican fragment, ca. 203-211 AD, proconnesio marble, Musei in Comune, Rome

The Vatican fragment, reporting the inscription "[C]VS [N]IVS" which completes the name "Circus Flaminius", perfectly fits into the original context of the Forma Urbis marble plan, surrounded by the pieces already known and discovered around 1562.

You find it here

Opening time: Daily, 9.30 am - 7.30 pm; 24 and 31 December, 9.30 am - 2.00 pm; 1 January, 1 May, 25 December, closed; last admission 1 hour before closing time. Check the notice page for temporary changes.

Until: 17 March 2016

Tickets: 6.50 € -  10.50 €

Organization: Musei in Comune

Website

Digital Forma Urbis Romae Project by Stanford University curates an online database of the 1186 surviving fragments of the Forma Urbis Romae (10%-15% of the original extension), digitized with the aim of developing matching algorithms and easing the analysis of the map.

Rodolfo Lanciani, Forma Urbis Romae, plate XXI

Rodolfo Lanciani, Forma Urbis Romae (Milan, 1893-1901), plate XXI. (C) Courtesy, Rodrigo Abela, via iath.virginia.edu

Giacomo Lauro, Circus Flaminius, part of the series Antiquae Urbis Splendor, 1641, engraving

Giacomo Lauro, Circus Flaminius, part of the series Antiquae Urbis Splendor, 1641, engraving (17.9 x 23.3) cm, Harvard Art Museums / Fogg Museum, Gift of Max Falk. Inscriptions top center: CIRCUS FLAMINIUS Inter S. Catharinae de funarij et Palatium Mattheorum.

Wall once belonging to the Forum Pacis, now incorporated into the complex of the basilica dei Santi Cosma e Damiano, Rome.

Wall once belonging to the south-west aula of the Forum Pacis, now incorporated into the complex of the basilica dei Santi Cosma e Damiano, Rome.

Supposed set-up of the Forma Urbis Romae on the wall of the Forum Pacis

Supposed set-up of the Forma Urbis Romae on the wall of the Forum Pacis. The 150 slabs of the Forma Urbis Romae, made of proconnesio marble, hung up the wall belonging to an aula of the Forum Pacis thanks to metal pins (the holes are still visible today). The plan occupied an area of about 18 x 13 meters and it represented the architectures of Rome at a scale of 1:240, orientated according to the south-east on the top, as opposed to the current use nowadays.

Milestone Rome
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