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Pyramid of Cestius

The Pyramidof Caius Cestius is the only existing example of funerary artbuilt according to the Egyptian fashion in the Ancient Rome during the first century BC.

Rome indeed conquered Egypt in 31 BC and Caius Cestius- influential Roman politician who died in that period - asked in his will that his urn was kept just in a pyramid, according to usage of Egyptians. The construction should have been built in 330 days and the burial chamber had to be walled just at the time of burial.

36,40 meters high with a square base of 29.5 meters, the pyramid is constituted by a cement heart covered with marble. The burial chamber, about 23 sqm with vaulted ceilings, unfortunatelydoes not contain anymore the urn and most significant portions of decorations, stolen in medieval times through a tunnel that was dug sideways.

Even today, however, there are beautiful visible ornaments: in the middle of the vault had to be represented Cestius in apotheosis. At the corners there are flying Victorias carrying a crown and a ribbon, while the side panels are decorated with nymphs and lustral vases.

Informationand opening hours:
2ndand 4th Saturday of the month at 11 am for the individual, for groups at 10 am and 12 am. You can visit the monument only accompanied (info and reservations Pierreci 06 39967700).

 

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