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Ancient Roman porticus shows new splendour

Ancient Roman porticus shows new splendour

Exact size and shape of Porticus Minucia appears in hotel dig

ROME, 27 February 2024, 14:35

ANSA English Desk




An ancient Roman porticus where Romans got their free wheat until the third century AD is showing its new splendour after a restoration in the bowels of a Renaissance palazzo in the centre of Rome.
    The Porticus Minucia Frumentaria, in the foundations of Palazzo Lares Permarini, in via delle Botteghe Oscure, the southern part of the ancient Campus Martius or Field of Mars, has been restored in a project by Rome's archaeological superintendency with funding from Finint Investments.
    Among the elements brought to light are a sky blue band shining out in the darkness, a black and white mosaic, and two newly discovered imperial era lines of stone blocks that have enabled researchers to make a fresh assessment of the ancient building's three dimensions.
    The find was made during work to restructure the palazzo and turn it into a five-star hotel of the Radisson Collection line.
    "It's a discovery that gives us a new and fundamental piece f the mosaic in our knowledge of the Porticus, whose site was known thanks to the Forma Urbis (ancient city map) but which we can now reconstruct in an extremely reliable way, unveiling its appearance more than had ever before been possible".
    Erected by Marcus Minucius Rufus after his triumph over the Balkan Celtic tribe the Scordisci in 106 BCE, and among the buildings rebuilt by Emperor Domitian after the great fire of 80 CE, the Porticus Minucia was composed in the imperial era of a double colonnade surrounding a huge central square, with an imposing temple at its centre, where the bread part of the 'bread and circuses' recipe was distributed.


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