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Roman Insula (Rome)

Roman Insula (Rome)

 

 

 

 

 

Description of Roman Insula

Roman Insula (Rome)

Piazza d'Aracoeli

Tel. 06-0608
Bus: 40, 62, 63, 64, 110, 170.
Trolleybus: 8
Open by appointment only: call first.

Roman insula is tucked between the monument to Victor Emmanuel and the Aracoeli stairs. This ruined Roman tenement building dates back to the times of imperial Rome, when thousands of people from all over the Mediterranean tried to find themselves in the Eternal City. Most of them lived in the cramped rooms of apartment buildings with which they built up neighborhoods. In terms of their size, these houses became known as "islands" or insulin in Latin. The owners poorly supported these buildings and they often burned. Nevertheless, the apartments in the city were very expensive. This multi-unit block of the 2nd century is the only surviving similar building in Rome from this era. The fourth, fifth and part of the sixth floor remain above the current ground level, and the first three floors below ground level. In the Middle Ages, part of these upper floors was converted into a church. Today, its 14th-century bell tower and Madonna are visible in a niche from the street.

In the fascist years, the area around the Roman Insula was cleared, and for the first time archaeologists studied the three lower floors. Approximately 380 people lived in this apartment building, in the squalid conditions described by satirical writers of the 1st century AD. e., Martsialom and Juvenal. The latter mentions that he needed to climb 200 steps to get to his attic. This insula may have more floors. The higher the citizens of Roma lived, the more gloomy the conditions were, as indicated by the close spaces of the upper floors of the building.

 

 

 

 

Roman Insula (Rome)

Roman Insula (Rome)

 

 

 

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