Thursday, October 22, 2009

Hadrian's Athenaeum latest "Metro" discovery in Rome

Following a grand stairway made with sheets of granite andantique yellow marble, Archaeologists trying to locate a relatively "sterile" area of the Piazza Venezia to construct a subway station for the new Metro C line in Rome have uncovered what they think is Emperor Hadrian's "Athenaeum" -- an auditorium ancient writers say he built at his own expense on his return from Palestine around A.D. 135. Hadrian, an avid fan of Greek theater and literature sponsored plays, speeches and political debates in the covered rectangular structure.

The amphitheater is just one of a number of significant archaeological finds that have been discovered during excavation for the new Metro line. Other discoveries include the Greek gymnasium that the Emperor Nero had built near his baths, and a section of a Roman canal built to drain the marshy land Rome was built upon.