Colombario di Pomponio Hylas, Rome

4.9
#245 of 524 in Historic Sites in Rome
The Columbarium of Pomponius Hylas is a 1st-century AD Roman columbarium, situated near the Porta Latina on the Via Appia, Rome, Italy. It was discovered and excavated in 1831 by Pietro Campana.Though its name derives from Pomponius Hylas, who lived in the Flavian period (69-96 AD), the building itself has been dated to between 14 and 54 AD due to inscriptions on two of its niches (one dedicated to a freedman of Tiberius and the other to a freedman of Claudia Octavia, daughter of Claudius and Messalina). It was later bought by Pomponius Hylas for himself and his wife, and he added the mosaic panel over the entrance steps, which is decorated with griffins and reads:The inscription also has a V (meaning vivit) over Pomponia's name, showing she was alive when the panel was added.Further reading Nash, Ernest. Pictorial Dictionary of Ancient Rome. London: A. Zwemmer, 1962.Sourceshttp://www.nerone.cc/nerone/archivio/arch80.htmEugene Strong, Apotheosis and After Life: Three Lectures on Certain Phases of Art, 1969JSTOR: Proposta per una Classificazione del Terzo Stile Pompeiano
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Colombario di Pomponio Hylas Reviews

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  • We had read about this unusual burial crypt and realized it was difficult to arrange. We contacted our guide Silvia Prosperi and she was about to obtain the permit and arrange for the appoint with...  more »
  • We went to a little park where there was a little building which covered the entrance to the Columbarium of Pomponius Hylas. This highly coloured and rare communal tomb was only open to private...  more »
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  • This site isn't often open to the public and to make it more complicated, you have to go with a 'cultural association', not just a guide, but if you get the chance it's an interesting place. Built several meters below ground, the 'colombario' is an ancient burial site where people could 'rent' a niche in which to bury the ashes of their loved ones. At some point the site was full and closed off, so the ceiling frescoes haven't been hacked to pieces and plundered like at other sites.
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