The excavations at Hadrian’s Athenaeum in Rome’s Piazza Venezia were unveiled earlier this week.
Excavation director Rossella Rea told The Guardian that the recently completed excavation of Hadrian’s Athenaeum, a massive arts center built in 123 C.E., is “the biggest find in Rome since the Forum was uncovered in the 1920s.” The three massive performance halls in Piazza Venezia were uncovered in preparation for the construction of a new underground railway in Rome, and visitors will soon be able to visit the brick-walled and marble-floored structures. The site fell into disrepair after the collapse of the Roman Empire, but the performance space–which would have been used for poetry, speeches and philosophy–serves as a reflection of Hadrian’s passion for the arts and Roman example of the large-scale building projects that he financed across the broader empire.
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