Via di Porta Latina
Rione Celio (Terme di Caracalla) (Roma centro)
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Via di Porta Latina - Ingresso Parco degli Scipioni (il colombario è situato all'interno del Parco degli Scipioni)
Adults: € 4,00;
Concessions: € 3,00;
Please note: The price of the ticket does not include guided tours organized by Cultural Associations.
Phone Booking required;
Groups and schools: tel. +39 060608 (daily from 9.00 am to 9.00 pm).
This colombarium is a burial chamber whose walls are covered with rows of niches where cinerary urns, smallterracotta vases that contained the ashes of the dead, were kept. These rooms look like colombaria, thus the origin of the name given to this type of tomb. The colombarium of Pomponius Hylas was discovered in 1831 and is situated within the park on the via Latina, next to the Aurelian Walls. Thoughsmall in size, it is very significant due to its exceptional state of preservation. It consists of a rectangular room with a vaulted roof that finishes with an apsis that presents an aedicule (small temple) in the middle. Its construction can be dated back to the period between emperors Tiberius and Claudius (14-54AD). On the wall in front of the entrance steps there is a mosaic with an inscription that shows the names of two spouses, Pomponius Hylas and his wife. Two griffins faced by a cither are depicted below the inscription. The ashes of the two spouses are contained in cinerary urns, one of which is currently locatedin the Cathedral of Ravello, where it was transferred following a sack during the Middle Ages. The mosaic can be dated back to the Flavian Age (69-96 AD) and belongs to a successive reconstruction of the tomb. At the end of the stairs an underground room opens on the right. Vine shoots, birds and cupids are painted on the vault. Two subjects, Granius Nestor and Vilileia Hedone, who probably were the founders of the tomb, are depicted in the aedicule at the bottom of the apsis, formed by two small columns, a frieze and a tympanum. A naked youngster, identified as Dionysus, is depicted in the tympanum of the aedicule. The most important scene painted on the architrave is referred to the episode of Orpheus among the Thracians. The apsis is decorated with pomegranate shoots and three female figures identified as the three Victories. On the other walls of the colombarium there are smaller niches, with scenes of Orpheus descending to Ades, Hercules holding Cerberus, the torment of Ocnus and Achilles with the centaur Chiron. The colombarium continued to be used until the second century AD, as shown by an urn with an inscription dedicated to a freed man of emperor Antoninus Pius, now at the Capitoline Museums. The perfectly preserved body of a woman was found in a sarcophagus under the floor, but it immediately turned into dust the very moment the sarcophagus was opened.