Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Domitian's stadium

Just along and round to the right of this photo is Rome's Piazza Navona. The piazza is an elongated  shape, and what you can see here is part of the reason for that shape. The piazza is built on top of the Circus Domitianus - Domitian's stadium.

Domitian succeeded his brother Titus as Emperor in 81AD (a little over a month before his 30th birthday), and ruled until his murder in 96AD.

The stadium was completed in 86AD, and was part of the large rebuilding project that happened after the fire of 79AD. It was constructed of brick and concrete - fire retardant and cheap materials - and faced with marble.

There are at least two floors, supported by arches, under the present day ground floors of the buildings surrounding the piazza. Under the viewing stands for the games in the circus, various businesses were housed, including taverns and brothels.

There's so much to see at ground level in Rome, it's easy to overlook what's below - so much evidence of times past is in the city's basements and under the streets, with just glimpses such as this available to the visitor.

No comments:

Post a Comment