Key to Umbria: Terni

Roman Monuments

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Roman Amphitheatre (1st century AD)

The substantial remains of the Roman amphitheatre reveal that this elliptical structure was built within the city, abutting its walls.  The longer diameter of the arena measured about 52 meters and that of the entire structure measured about 96 meters.  It could accommodate some 10,000 spectators in five concentric rows.  Only one storey survives, but the remains of an upper storey are depicted in a sketch (late 15th century) by Francesco di Giorgio Martini that is now in the Galleria degli Uffizi, Florence.
An inscription (CIL XI, 4170), which was found in the 16th century near the old campanile of the Duomo, records that Faustus Titius Liberalis financed the construction of an unspecified monument in 32 AD.  Until recently, this inscription was thought to refer to the amphitheatre, which is therefore sometimes called the Anfiteatro Fausto.  The inscription is now in the Museo Archeologico, and there is a copy of it on the amphitheatre wall (to the left in this photograph).

A new Palazzo Vescovile was built on foundations provided by part of the amphitheatre soon after the diocese was re-establised in 1218, and the rest of the site was used as the bishops’ garden.  The apse of church of Santa Maria del Carmine was built on part of it from 1602, and stones from the original structure were reused in the church.   The subsequent rebuilding of Palazzo Vescovile further encroached on the Roman structure.  Other structures on the site were demolished as part of a restoration in 1930.  The arena is sometimes used for cultural performances.

Roman Theatre (1st century AD)

Remains of the Roman theatre have been found in many of the houses in the “island” formed by Via XI Febbraio, Via Ludovico Aminale, Via Tre Colonne and Via del Teatro Romano.  The theatre itself still existed in fairly complete condition in the 15th century.

An inscription (1st century AD) which was found here, records that:
  1. Caius Dexius Luci, an aedilis curulis, built the arcade around the seating area of the theatre; and

  2. Titius Albius Cai  and his son, Caius Albius Titi, both of whom were quattuorviri, paid for its decoration.

This inscription is now in the Museo Archeologico. 

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