The Imperial ‘Villa of the Antonines’ at Ancient Lanuvium


Deborah Chatr Aryamontri
Research Associate,
Center for Heritage & Archaeological Studies,
Montclair State University

Wednesday, February 13, 2013, 7:00 P.M., Cohen Lounge, Dickson Hall, Montclair State University*

Ancient texts and the discovery in 1701 of marble busts of several Antonine imperial family members in modern Genzano di Roma (part of the territory of ancient Lanuvium) suggest that a group of archaeological remains in this area of Genzano belong to a villa complex that was the family property of emperors Antoninus Pius (ruled 138-161 CE), Marcus Aurelius (ruled 161-180 CE), and Commodus (ruled 180-192 CE).  Since 2010 Montclair State’s Center for Heritage and Archaeological Studies, with the aid of students from MSU and from across North America, has been carrying out excavation and geophysical survey next to the prominent ruins of bathing facilities there.  These investigations have brought to light hundreds of fragments of imported marble floor and wall decoration, evidence for lavish, colored glass mosaics, and an elliptical, amphitheatre-like structure that may be connected with Commodus’s interests—problematic for traditional Roman taste where rulers were concerned--in performing in the arena. 

This talk was originally scheduled for Thursday, November 8, 2012, but due to the effects of Hurrican Sandy has been rescheduled.

*Parking available in Red Hawk Deck. Exit to Dickson Hall on Level Five.