Decumanus and Via dei Vigili

various dates

Portico del Tetto Spiovente (The Portico of the Sloping Roof), first half of 2nd century CE

The north side of the Decumanus (before one reached the theater) had shops with monumental porticos in front of them. These were built during Hadrian's reign.

The Portico of Neptune, built in the Hadrianic period

Again, along the Decumanus, there was a monumental portico, behind which there were shops. Only the lower parts of the piers remain.

Mosaics from a bath, 30-50 CE (determined by the date stamped on the bricks) near the Via dei Vigili

The Barracks of the Fire fighters (Vigili) are nearby, thus giving the street its name. Various levels of strata also help to determine dating, as here, where the mosaic is at a lower level. This black and white mosaic is bordered by a Greek meander design within which are squares, the external ones of which have shields while the central squares have more representational (but still symbolic) designs. These include the 4-square design with four dolphins, alluding of course to the sea while various heads represent winds and personifications of provinces. These are provinces important to the economy of Rome.

Left: heads representing clockwise from top left--a wind, Africa, wind and Egypt; center: square with three legs, representing Sicily, because it was characterized by three promontories

The winds are heads with wings; Africa is a head with a elephant ears and trunk as a headdress while Egypt has a crocodile head at the neck of the figure

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© 2007 Mary Ann Sullivan. I have photographed (on site), scanned, and manipulated all the images on these pages. Please feel free to use them for personal or educational purposes. They are not available for commercial purposes.