NAPLES

The ancient core of the town  can be related to he Greek-Roman city (Rettifilo – Street Foria – Street Tribunali). Roads following the ancient main road of the city, (composed of vertical axes “Decumani” and horizontal axes “stenopoi” characterizing the  Greek town-planning  of the fifth century.)  The area where Neapolis arose was fortified by  tuff walls.

Later there was the need to reinforce the walls and partly rebuild some new ones. (IV century).

Due  to the adjustment of  the wall circle, the city managed to withstand the attack by Hannibal. Remains of these fortifications are still present in Piazza Bellini.

During Roman age  the walls restoration led to cover them with plaster,  and in  440 they were extended to the west for the defense of the port from the Goths.

Some remains are still visible in Piazza Bellini, they  are composed of tuff blocks in double curtain with double system of spurs. Due to its tufa quality and the construction technique and especially considering   the quarry signs, we can date these findings in the fourth century and it is possible that this line of walls belonged to a defensive tower.

scavi archeologici di Piazza Bellini

archeological escavations under piazza Bellini

Under the hospital of the Incurable there is another stretch of wall dating back to the fifth century. Built in grainy tuff blocks, 10.50 meters high. The wall is firmly built in the hill,  thanks to  series of spurs beds at about 3 meters from each other.

Rare are the signs of the quarry, which are ofte seen  on the blocks of the fourth century.

The  Dioscuri Temple.

Father Gods  of the city were Apollo, Demeter and the Dioscuri. The worship of the god Apollo, is due to the Apollo founder of the motherland Cuma. Demeter was worshiped as Altaea in Naples and in her honor was celebrated the feast of lamps. Of Castor and Pollux, we preserve the remains in the church of San Paolo Maggiore. The church of San Paolo Maggiore was built between the eighth and ninth centuries exactly above the pre-existing temple dedicated to the Dioscuri.

The old structure was preserved until 1538 when it was partially demolished by fathers Teatini to build the present church with the facade and appearance that we see today. Of the  ancient look,   only the Renaissance drawings by Palladio still remain.

Thanks to these drawings it was possible to reconstruct the architecture and style of the temple, which stood on a podium with hexastyle front, with two Corinthian columns on the lapels. The few remains are from the Roman period and almost certainly have been modified by a restoration which  took place around the first century.

The ancient Theatre.

We have only a few remains about the ancient theater. The few findings  are of Roman age.
The inability to make excavations, makes the hypothesis of the presence of the ancient greek theater, just under  the ruins of the  known theatre , unverifiable.

The literary evidence  telling us about the theater are exclusively of Roman age, related to the passion of some emperors for the theater. Claudius Nero considered the Neapolitan play,  the only one to  be considered worthy of being seen by an emperor of his importance. Nero was responsible for the invention of “Claque” or  a group of persons appointed to loudly express their appreciation for the play  in progress.

Well preserved is the building of the scene. The external fasade was divided into three orders, each of 23 arches, on pillars which stood against semicolumns.

The seat capacity was for about 8000 people. The absence of excavations makes  difficult  the  dating of the remains, which appear to be of the first century.

We know with certainty  it was damaged by several earthquakes and the eruption of Vesuvius in 79, but it remains unknown,  although plausible,  the possibility that  the remains  we see  today have undergone some  restoration work.

Next to the theater there was the Odeion.  We have some proofs about it  from the Neapolitan poet Statius, who lived in the time of Domitian.

Today of this building there are very few remains embedded in modern buildings. About other nearby buildings ,as the thermal bath and caesareum (art gallery)   only some literary memory remains.

Statue of the Nile

Nile Square is named after the statue of a river god.

The statue is an old man lying, resting with his left side on a rock from which water flows. He is anteriorly covered by a mantle  and posteriorly naked. Under his feet  there is  a crocodile, and the presence of the sphinx alludes to Egypt. It was found in  1500 and only in 1734 it was placed on the current stand.

Following several and important  renovations, very  little remains of its original appearance.

Statua del Nilo

Nile statue

 

Tomb of Virgil

Near  the church of Piedigrotta you can see the tomb of the poet Virgil. It is a funerary monument standing on a cubic base, the wall structure is made of concrete.

Inside the base there is the burial chamber, a square plan with a barrel vault lighted by three slots.

Agnano

In front of the new  Spa, some ruins were found  allowing  us to determine with certainty the existence of a  much older spa complex.

The main building was built on a terrace supported by wall buttressed by pillars, another wall with 9 exedras stretched to the west.

Due to the long use during the Middle Age, the plant got altered in its original structure. Among the findings, great importance has the statue of the  Sea Venus, now preserved in the new spa.

Posillipo

Submerged in the sea, because of bradyseism, there  are some inaccessible ruins of the villas  which  from the first century  stood at the foot of the  Posillipo hill.

Near Gaiola remains have been found of an Odeion.

The monuments found in the area confirm that the hill was considered a magnificence, especially thanks to the extraordinary view it allows to admire the gulf.

The  most famous villa is the one by Vedio Pollio, a complex called pausilypon.

Also we can watch and still cross the cave of Sejanus, a  800m long pass,   crossing the hill and reaching the area of Coroglio.

Grotta di Seiano

Grotto of Sejano

Annunci
Categorie: Archeology, English | Tag: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Lascia un commento

Navigazione articolo

Rispondi

Inserisci i tuoi dati qui sotto o clicca su un'icona per effettuare l'accesso:

Logo WordPress.com

Stai commentando usando il tuo account WordPress.com. Chiudi sessione / Modifica )

Foto Twitter

Stai commentando usando il tuo account Twitter. Chiudi sessione / Modifica )

Foto di Facebook

Stai commentando usando il tuo account Facebook. Chiudi sessione / Modifica )

Google+ photo

Stai commentando usando il tuo account Google+. Chiudi sessione / Modifica )

Connessione a %s...

Blog su WordPress.com.

%d blogger hanno fatto clic su Mi Piace per questo: