Terrace of M. Nonius Balbus (Terrazza di M. Nonio Balbo) (Herculaneum)

Terrace of M. Nonius Balbus (Terrazza di M. Nonio Balbo) (Herculaneum)



Terrace of M. Nonius Balbus (Terrazza di M. Nonio Balbo) (Herculaneum)Terrace of M. Nonius Balbus (Terrazza di M. Nonio Balbo) (Herculaneum)Terrace M. Nonius Balbus was built after the earthquake of 62 years. Local proconsul politician M. Nonius Balbus gave part of his wealth to the construction of a number of public buildings. He did not forget about his family and built several statues dedicated to himself. So even today we can look at the face of this famous person in the life of Herculaneum.


Terrace of Marcus Nonius Balbus lies at the foot of the gangway that leads to Cardo IV. Entrance (a) opens onto a rectangular square that leads to Prigorodniy or Zagorodniy term (b) in its eastern part.

The majestic statue of Marcus Nonius Balbus dominates the terrace, along with a memorial altar, erected in his honor. A native of Nuceria, M. Nony Balbus at different times of his political career served as praetor and proconsul of the provinces of Crete and Cyrene, and became the tribune (leader) of the plebs (common people) in 32 BC. During the Civil War, he became a friend and an ally of Octavian, better known as Augustus.

Marcus Nonius Balbus was the main benefactor of the city of Herculaneum and gave a large amount of money for the repair of the city and the construction of a large number of public and religious buildings. After his death, he was made the patron saint of Herculaneum and was revered by the citizens. An inscription has been preserved on its funeral altar.

The inscription reads:
“Based on the proposal of Mark Ophilius Celer, twice duumvir, the dignity of the city requires recognition of the merits of Marcus Nonius Balbus, the City Council decided as follows:
In view of the fact that Marcus Nonius Balbus, while living here showed parental care and extraordinary generosity to individuals and the public of the city, the council decided that an equestrian statue would be erected in his honor at the expense of the state in the most visited place with the inscription:
"To Marcus Nonius Balbus, praetor, proconsul, patron, (of) the whole Council, the people of Herculaneum in recognition of his merits."

In addition, in the place where his ashes lie laid a marble altar. It must be made, erected, and publicly written words:
"Marcus Nonius Balbus to the son of Marcus"

and that the procession of parenterals should start from this place, sports games one day should be dedicated in his honor, and on the occasion of the performance in the theater, the seat should be reserved for him.
It is resolved.

An equestrian statue (pictured right) was installed in front of the Basilica of Nonius and was rediscovered during excavations of Bourbon. Today she can be seen at the National Archaeological Museum in Naples. In ancient times, the statues were painted brightly and brightly. Therefore, our modern statues would appear to them faded and gray. Unfortunately, the paint of this statue was not preserved, but most likely it was painted in natural tones.

The statue of a famous politician on the terrace itself stands on a marble foundation in front of the altar. It was erected by his freed slave Nonius Volusian. The statue was significantly damaged by the eruption. A volcanic wave demolished the statue from its pedestal. It was partially restored after discovery. The head of the proconsul was found during excavations led by Maiuiri while a significant part of the torso was restored in 1981.