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IL MAUSOLEO DI CECILIA METELLA E IL CASTRUM CAETANI


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Cecilia Metella’s Mausoleum, the Caetani Castle-
Left of the via Appia, shortly after Maxentius’ complex rises Cecilia Metella’s
mausoleum, the best known sepulchre on the via Appia, a symbol of the “regina
viarum”. On a tall square concrete base now lacking its travertine stone block
cladding, rests a cylindrical figure 30 m. in diameter, faced with slabs of travertine
cut with fake bosses. The upper part of the tambour bears a freize in Greek marble
decorated with bulls’ heads alternated with garlands. This decoration gave rise to the
name “Capo di Bove” “Bull’s Head” in the middle ages. On the Appia side of the
building beneath a trophy of arms recalling the glorious battles of the family, there is
an inscription dedicated to Cecilia Metella, daughter of Q. Metello Cretico conqueror
of Crete, and wife of M. Licinio Crasso who was victorious in Gaul with Caesar, the
monument is dated at the early imperial period, between 25 and 10 B.C.
The funeral cell is a round room tiled with laterite brickwork, which rises to the
ceiling: it contained the urn with her ashes, probably removed in very early times.

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Additional Photos by Giorgio Clementi (Clementi) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3694 W: 437 N: 9370] (52514)
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