"Teatro di Marcello: Now, a Place to Call Home" Top 5 Page for this destination Theatre of Marcellus Tip by von.otter
Theatre of Marcellus, Rome: 24 reviews and 59 photos
“Whatever beauty there may be in a Roman ruin is the remnant of what was beautiful originally … If we ever build such noble structures as these Roman ones, we can have just as good ruins, after two thousand years, in the United States.”
— from the 1858 “French and Italian Note-Books” of Nathaniel Hawthorne
NEW VS. OLD How would we ever know what sort of ruins the United States would have? Very little is ever allowed to stay standing for more than 100 years, or much less. At the slightest sign of age, Americans tear down a building and put up another. That is not how things are done in Rome; after all it was not built in a day.
In 22 BC, Caesar Augustus resumed a building project begun by his uncle, Julius Caesar, in 44 BC, the year he was assassinated. This theater, the largest of the Roman Empire, was dedicated in 13 BC and named Theatrum Marcelli in memory of Marcellus, the son of Augustus’ sister Octavia. Marcellus was the intended heir of Augustus, but he died at a young age. When completed in 11 BC, the 98-foot high, semi-circular theater could accommodate more than 14,000 spectators.
By the 12th century, the theater was owned by the Favvi family, who turned it into a fortress. By the early 16th century, the Orsini family had transformed the building into a palazzo. Today the upper portion is divided into apartments (see photos #1 & #2); if we move to Rome, this would be the place to live.
The three columns (see photo #3), next to Theatre of Marcellus (Latin: Theatrum Marcelli, Italian: Teatro di Marcello), were part of the Temple of Apollo Sosianus. Its present name comes from the man in charge of its final rebuilding, Gaius Sosius. The current full-height columns were part of a reconstruction project undertaken during Augustus’s reign.
Address: Via d. Teatro di Marcello
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