Thematic sections documents Roman culture in its various aspects, both those related to public life, and those belonging to the every day world. The numbering of the rooms presented here is not progressive, but reflects the current visit route; also in this case the listed materials are only a choice of the many present
The works contained in the rooms are made up of reproductions: casts of works of sculpture, inscriptions, parts of buildings, copied at full scale, and objects in daily use; reconstruction models of the monuments and architectural complexes of Rome and the provinces of the Roman Empire; reconstructions of situations and instruments of every type, based on archaeological finds, figured representations and the descriptions of the ancient authors.
The materials on display have great documentary and didactic worth, particularly so in the case of those materials whose originals have been lost or destroyed and in the re-composition of ancient works whose composite parts are separated among various museums.
Explanatory labels and reproductions of important monuments offer a rich documentation of the lay out of the schools and the methods of teaching in ancient Rome.
Inscribed herm dedicated by the ephebi to their kosmetes (official in charge of the ephebi) Sosistratos for his benevolence (141-142 A.D.)
Toy depicting a horse with a knight
Cast Toy depicting animals
Relief depicting a teacher among his pupils
Relief depicting a teacher seated in cathedra (on a chair set on a platform) among his pupils (late second – early third century A.D.)
Portrait statue of M. Mettius Epaphroditus (second century A.D.)
Scale reconstructions of various types of dwelling, illustrating the development of such structures, from the first huts to the villas of the imperial age. Also on display are life size models of various domestic objects and pieces of furniture.
Scale model of the House of the Tragic Poet in Pompeii (first century B.C. – first century A.D.)
Scale model (1:1000) of Diocletian’s palace in Split (late third – early fourth century A.D.)
Urna cineraria a forma di capanna
Urna cineraria circolare (X sec. a.C.)
The development of Roman rights, from the laws of the kings to the compilations of the emperor Justinian, is documented in this room by casts of the principle legal texts that have come down to us.
Reproduction of Carmen Arvale
Cippo del Quattorviro C. Otacilio Oppiano
Reproduction of the Laws of the Twelve Tables
Mosaic depicting the emperor Justinian (mid 6th century AD)
Reproduction of the Lex de Imperio Vespasiani 69-70 AD)
Portrait of Cicero
Statue of Arringatore (early decades of the 1st century BC)
Magistrate statue (second half of the 1st century BC)
As well as scale models of several Roman libraries, a small area has been reconstructed in this room which reproduces a private library at life size, with its architectural decorations, furnishings and objects.
Scale model of the Western Library in Trajan’s Forum (112 AD)
Funerary inscription of Himnus Denier (first century AD)
Riproduzione di wax tablet
The reproduction and reconstruction of various ancient musical instruments are illustrated on the descriptive panels, which also explain musical life and skills in the Roman period.
Scale model (1:20) of the stage (scaena) of the theater at Sabratha (ca. 175-200 A.D.)
Scale model (1:100) of the theater at Sabratha(ca. 175-200 A.D.)
Tomb inscription of Rusticus, with engraved picture of an air-powered organ (Fourth century A.D.)
Relief on the front of the sarcophagus of L. Atilius Artemas, depicting a dancer clacking castanets and another playing a tympanum (Second century A.D.)
Scale model (1:100) of the theater at Thugga (161-169 A.D.)
Literature and science
This room documents the development of scientific knowledge and literary life in the Roman world, making use of figured monuments and epigraphy.
Portrait statue of the Greek rhetor Helius Aristides (late second – early third century AD)
Tomb altar of the poet Petronia Musa (ca. 120 AD)
Epigraph of Pliny the Younger (early 2nd century AD)
Table with horizontal sundial and wind rose (second century AD)
Slab with the signs of the zodiac and planets
Mosaic depicting the poet Virgil (third century AD)
Reproduction of the solar dial
Hemispheric sundial (second century AD)
Medicine and drugs
The practice of medicine and surgery is illustrated by numerous casts of reliefs and inscriptions of doctors and many reproductions of surgical instruments. In the centre is a reconstructive model of a military hospital from the camp of Vetera, in Germany.
Anatomic votive offering shaped like the small intestine (third – second century B.C.)
Side of the Sosia family’s sarcophagus, with an eye-examination scene, shown between two cupping vessels (mid-third century A.D.)
Statue of Hygeia, goddess of health, holding a serpent and accompanied by a sleeping cherub who personifies Sleep (second half of the second century A.D.)
Testa del dio Esculapio
Statue of Aesculapius, god of medicine (second century A.D.)
Pinecone-shaped cippus with portrait of the doctor D. Sempronius Hilarus (early Augustan age)
In a long corridor casts of the reliefs of Trajan’s column can be seen close up. The column was erected in 113 AD in Trajan’s Forum to celebrate the victory of the emperor over the Dacians.
The casts of the sections of the long relief continue, turning round the column like a giant illustrated scroll, for a distance of about 200m in total. They were made in 1861 on the wish of Napoleon III; one of the three copies then made was given to the Lateran and subsequently donated the Museum of Roman Culture by Pope Pius XII.
Colonna Traiana: Dacian city or fortress inside which a war council is held
Trajan’s Column: A Roman ties the hands of a captive Dace, while others heal injured comrades
Colonna Traiana: Traiano harangue the troops in front of the legionary insignia
Trajan’s Column: Dacians attack a fortified place with the help of the Sarmatic cavalry
Trajan’s Column: The Romans build a circular fort inside the camp
Trajan’s Column: Soldiers build a camp under the surveillance of the emperor
Colonna Traiana: The soldiers prepare an artillery position with tree trunks
Trajan’s Column: Soldiers bring the severed heads of two Dacians to Trajan, who with his retinue is on a rise in the ground
Industry and craft
In this room are collected documents which illustrate the work and production of Roman craftsmen, grouped into professional unions (collegia) who took care of their interests.
Stele of the cartwright Eutychides, depicting a wheel, a two-bladed ax and a plane (third century A.D.)
Side of the altar of the cutler L. Cornelius Atimetus, showing the interior of his shop (second half of the first century A.D.)
Altar dedicated by master mason P. Ferrarius Hermes to his family, depicting measuring instruments and toiletry articles (late first – early second century A.D.)
Statue of a man wearing a toga (third century A.D.)
Agriculture, herding and land management
Agricultural life in the Roman period and the various theories pertaining to it are illustrated in this room through casts of figures representations and epigraphy, as well as reproductions and reconstructions of tools and implements. The Roman system for dividing land is also documented.
Reproduction of a plow
Mosaic with rural life scenes
Detail of the reconstructive model of a rustic villa in Boscoreale (Naples)
Relief with allegorical scene (114-117 AD)
Reproductions of three millstones
Hunting, fishing and food
As well as reproductions of figures monuments which show the activities of hunting and fishing, the room documents the food stuffs that made up everyday meals in the Roman period.
Monumento raffigurante una nave con carico di vino
Sarcophagus of C. Ostilius Sertorianus, with funerary inscription and the figures of the two people laid inside. (second quarter of the third century A.D.)
Fragment of a floor mosaic depicting a boar hunt (fourth century A.D)
Tavola lusoria (game board), showing the dinner dishes served in the tavern
Hadrianic roundel showing a boar hunt (ca. 121 A.D.)
Relief with scene in a shop selling poultry, rabbits and pork (reign of Hadrian, 117-138 A.D.)
Commerce and economic life
This room documents the most important aspects of Roman economic life and finance, from the laws which regulated it to the reliefs and models which reproduces the markets, shops and warehouses. A section is devoted to Roman money.
Scale model (1:20) of the Arch of the Argentarii (203-204 AD)
Relief depicting men thought to be merchants thanking the emperor Trajan (114 AD)
Hadrianic round with scene of sacrifice to Apollo (Hadrianic age)
Scale weight in the shape of a woman’s bust; the eyelet on top was used to hang it up (first century AD)
Stone slab with a tabula nundinalis (calendar of market days) for the cities of Latium and Campania (first century AD)
Here are illustrated the most important aspects of figurative Roman art, from the Republican era to the late empire, especially through portraits and historical reliefs. The case in the center of the room displays the collection of galvanized plastic reproductions of famous treasures from the Roman silversmiths.
Fountain in the shape of a drinking horn (rhytón) signed by Pontios (early Augustan age)
Relief with scene of submission of barbarians (Antonine age)
Curved lintel with four portraits (1-20 AD)
Ammendola Sarcophagus (second half of the 2nd century AD)
Relief with depiction of Saturnia Tellus (9 BC)
Capital with trophies (3rd century AD)
Relief fragment from the Ara Pietatis
Museum of Roman Civilization
The Museum of Roman Culture unites in its halls and extraordinary and rich display of various aspects of ancient Rome, documented in their entirety, through the combination of casts, models and reconstructions of works conserved in museums throughout the world and of monuments from all over the Roman Empire.
The Museum of Roman Civilization is located in Rome, in the EUR district. It documents the various aspects of Roman civilization, including habits and customs, through a very rich collection of copies of statues, casts of bas – reliefs, architectural models of individual works and monumental complexes, including large plastic models; all artifacts are made with an accuracy that makes them real works of art. Among the works on display, two stand out: the complete series of the casts of the Trajan ‘s Column and the large model of imperial Rome, made by Italo Gismondi. It is part of the “Shared museums” system of the municipality of Rome.
The course is divided into two sectors, one chronological and one thematic. The first, which is divided into twelve rooms, offers a historical summary of Rome from its origins to the 6th century AD; the thematic sector runs along twelve other rooms and documents the various aspects of daily life and material culture. The series of casts of the Trajan ‘s Column is exhibited within the thematic sector and at the end of it there is the large model of imperial Rome.
The visit to the museum is complementary to the observation of the ancient monuments of the capital, given that thanks to the very accurate models on display, the visitor can better understand their structure and original appearance. In addition, the museum excellently completes the visit to the city also because it allows you to get to know the most important works of the lands in which Roman civilization has spread and to know its many aspects of daily life. For these reasons, despite the almost total absence of original finds, the museum has a great didactic and documentary value.