House of Romulus (Capanne di Romolo/ Casa di Romolo)

"House of Romulus (Capanne di Romolo/ Casa di Romolo)" submitted by RomeTour Editorial Team and last updated on Thursday 30th June 2011

A number of excavations conducted in this zone of Palatine Hill revealed an inhabited area compound of huts, which existed here since 9th-8th centuries b.C., the time of foundation of Rome and legend about Romulus and Remus, its founders. Not far from this primitive village were discovered the ruins of some wells and two archaic cisterns (6th century b.C.).

House of Romulus (Capanne di Romolo/ Casa di Romolo) on the Palatine Hill
(Photo Credit: Flickr

Also in this part of the hill, cave at the foot of Palatine, was the Lupercal, which traces were not found yet. This was the sanctuary of the she-wolf, an animal sacred to Rome, where according to a legend two twins, suckled by her, were found. Here the feast of Lupercalia was celebrated every year on February 15 (lupa =she-wolf).

Next to the Casa di Augusto is the Casa di Romolo (House of Romulus), where it is thought Romulus and Remus were brought up after their discovery by the shepherd Faustulus. Circular foundations of early Iron Age huts dating to the mid 8th century. Until the end of the 4th century it was believed that the dwelling of Rome's founder Romulus was located here. Nearby was the LUPERCAL, the cave shrine of the she-wolf which suckled the abandoned twins Romulus and Remus. However, no modern archaeologist has found remains pertaining to that house; however, Imperial edifices are quite abundant and obvious that hill.

At the southern part of the hill was the site of Scala di Caco, on of the three gates of the Palatine. Caco was the giant who stole the oxen from Hercules, and had his den down the hill, where was killed by him.

Always in this zone are the ruins of the Tempio della Magna Mater (or Cibele) covered by a little forest of ilex. The temple was built in 204 b.C. to preserve the black stone of a goddess Cybele from Phrygia, which helped Roman to win the 2nd Punic War. Cybele or Magna Mater, mother of the gods, was the great Asiatic goddess of fertility. She was worshipped in the town of Pessinus in Phrygia (Asia Minor). Together with her young lover Attis, she was served by eunuch priests, who believed that their sexual sacrifice will purify the world, and the festival of Cybele and Attis was celebrated annually with self-flogging of the priests and castration of the novices.

The temple was reconstructed two times after two fires in 111 b.C. and in 3 A.D.. The statue of the Cybele without head and hands have been placed under an arch of the Domus Tiberiana close to the temple. There is a dedication to Cybele on the marble base of the temple with the abbreviation "MDMI", i.e. Mater Deaum Magna Idaea, i.e. Great Mother of Gods. Also See:

The Palace of Domitian or Flavian Palace (Domus Flavia) [official palace]
the Domus Augustana (Augustus’ house/ Casa di Augusto) [Imperial residence]
the Stadium of Domitian (Stadio di Domiziano)

Address:
House of Romulus (Capanne di Romolo/ Casa di Romolo)
Piazza Santa Maria Nova, 53 (Via di San Gregorio, 30)
00186 , Rome, Lazio, Italy
Zone: Rione Campitelli (Foro Romano - Campidoglio-P.Venezia) (Roma centro)/ Rione Celio (Terme di Caracalla) (Roma centro)
House of Romulus (Capanne di Romolo/ Casa di Romolo) is Shown By "Map K Zone" As "31"

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