Orologio Solare di Augusto (The sundial of emperor Augustus), Rome

"Orologio Solare di Augusto (The sundial of emperor Augustus), Rome" submitted by RomeTour Editorial Team and last updated on Friday 29th April 2011

Orologio Solare di Augusto (The sundial of emperor Augustus), Rome

Behind the church of S.Lorenzo in Lucina and its convent, is a zone where the Sun Clock built by Augustus must had been located. All the district of Campo Marzio was arranged by Augustus in form of gardens and in their center was this clock. In 1980 the remains of the sun clock constructed by Domitian over the one of Augustus were discovered. Nevertheless, already in the 16th century it was known that the mechanism of Augustus was made of a platform of white marble with two long hollow sides (110m) and two short linear sides (60m), signed with the bronze letters and lines, and an obelisk in the middle which shadow was showing the time, the day and the month. The obelisk was brought for Augustus from Egypt together with the one, which was erected in Circus Maximus. At present the obelisk from the Orologio Solare is in Piazza Montecitorio.

Orologio Solare di Augusto (The sundial of emperor Augustus) consisted of a large travertine-paved trapezoid-shaped square on whose surface hours, seasons, months, and signs of the zodiac were indicated with bronze gilded letters. It was built in the area that currently stretches from Palazzo Montecitorio up to the Church of San Lorenzo in Lucina where some of its ruins can still be seen in the basements.

The position of the sundial was connected with the Ara Pacis, towards which the shadow of the gnomon was pointed on Augustus’s birthday (September 23). Recent excavations have brought to light part of the surface in a basement in Via di Campo Marzio, but it probably belongs to a successive version that can be dated back to emperor Domitian, that shows the names of four signs of the zodiac (Virgo, Leo, Taurus, and Aries), the beginning of summer and the indication that "the Etesiae winds become calm" are written in Greek.

Notes: Part of the monument is in the cellars of the builiding in Via di Campo Marzio n. 48 and cannot be seen. Guided tours at the sundial under the church of S.Lorenzo in Lucina take place the last Sat of the month at 4.30pm. The site is closed until further notice.

Address:
Orologio Solare di Augusto (The sundial of emperor Augustus)
Via di Campo Marzio, 48
00186, Rome, Lazio, Italy
Zone: Rione Colonna (Pantheon-Montecitorio-Barberini) (Roma centro)
Orologio Solare di Augusto (The sundial of emperor Augustus) is Shown By "Map E Zone" As "29"
Second Entrance: Via In Lucina, 16/a

To Reach Orologio Solare di Augusto (The sundial of emperor Augustus): Find Nearby Bus Station, Underground Metro, Train Station, Tourist Information Points of Church/Chiesa San Lorenzo in Lucina (Via In Lucina)

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