The Roman Archaeology Blog is concerned with news reports featuring Roman period archaeology. If you wish to see news reports for general European archaeology, please go to The Archaeology of Europe Weblog.
Thursday, August 15, 2013
Mini-Colosseum of 'Gladiator' Emperor Found
The Roman emperor Commodus might have cultivated the skills showcased in Ridley Scott’s blockbuster film “Gladiator” in a personal miniature Colosseum on his estate near Rome.
Archaeologists from Montclair State University, in New Jersey, believe that a large oval area with curved walls and floors made of marble is, in fact, the arena where the emperor killed wild beasts, earning the nickname “the Roman Hercules,” as recorded in historical writings.
Found in Genzano, a village southeast of Rome which overlooks Lake Nemi, a crater lake in the Alban Hills, the oval structure measures 200 feet by 130 feet and dates to the 2nd century.
It was found by the U.S. team as they excavated thermal baths at an estate known as the Villa of Antonines.