Roman temple of the Neapolitan Isolympic Games to be hosted in Naples subway station
The Roman temple of the Neapolitan Isolympic Games, found during the excavations for the construction of Duomo subway station, is set to become the calling card of the new train station in Naples.
|The Duomo station project with the podium of the temple [Credit: Napoli da Vivere]|
Although buried under layers of tufa and cement, the temple of the Neapolitan Isolympic Games was well known to the archaeological community which has been awaitng its rediscovery for centuries.
|Architectural fragments from the temple [Credit: Museo Archeologico Nazionale di Napoli]|
|Podium of the Temple [Credit: Museo Archeologico Nazionale di Napoli]|
They were held every five years and included several disciplines, from boxing and the pentathlon to running and equestrian events, as well as competitions in acting and singing.
|Statue of Nero found in the porch of the temple [Credit: Museo Archeologico Nazionale di Napoli]|
The remains of the temple itself, which has only been partially excavated, will adorn the hall of the new metro station, becoming a real tourist attraction.
|Inscribed marble stele with the names of winners [Credit: Museo Archeologico Nazionale di Napoli]|
Once construction works have been completed (it is hoped by 2020) the temple will be partially rebuilt with the relocation of columns and collapsed elements..
The importance of Neapolis and of this historic building is summed-up by renowned Italian archaeologist Amedeo Maiuri as follows: "Naples was the only city of the Western Roman world to host games in honour of Augustus. This was not so much due to the Emperor's personal influence or for any political agenda, but rather to the city's intact Greek culture. In fact, during the general decline of Hellenism in Magna Graecia and Sicily, the town of Neapolis was still using the Greek language, institutions, cults, rites and customs. As such Neapolis could be considered the metropolis of Western Hellenism during the first period of the Roman Empire."
Source: Il Vaporetto [February 28, 2017]