Hadrian's Villa--page 4 (of nine pages)

Architect unknown; it is likely that Hadrian participated in the design and planning of his villa
early 2nd century CE

Included on this site are the following areas of the villa:
page 1: the Pecile and the Heliocaminus Bath
page 2: areas of or near the Imperial Palace, including the Building with Doric Pillars
page 3: Maritime Theater
page 4: Philosophers' Chamber and Greek and Roman Libraries
page 5: Piazza d'Oro
page 6: Building with Fishpond and Large Baths
page 7: Praetorium, Small Baths and Vestibule, Nymphaeum with three Exedra
page 8: the Canopus
page 9: the Serapeum and the Temple of Venus

All of the buildings on this page are northeast of the Pecile. See the map.

Exterior of the Philosphers' Chamber

Because scholars believe the seven niches (only 6 are visible in the photograph below) contained statues of philosophers, this apsidal chamber was given this modern name. This structure adjoins the Pecile on one side and the Maritime Theater on the other.

Interior of the Philosphers' Chamber

This room was richly embellished with a porphyry walls and floor and with a coffered ceiling. It is suggested that the room was used for important council meetings and that the niches would then have held imperial family sculpture.

The Imperial Palace


The Greek Library


The Latin Library

It is by no means certain that either of these buildings were libraries--their traditional designation based on the fact that they had niches, presumably for scrolls. They have also been interpreted as "summer triclinia, due to their orientation toward the north where the garden lies; as towers that indicated the dwelling place of the emperor, . . . or, more recently, as the monumental entrance to the palace" (Adembri 64).

Continue to page 5.

Work Cited and/or Consulted:
Benedetta Adembri. Hadrian's Villa [official guidebook]. Milan: Electa, 2000.
Nicoletto Lanciano. Hadrian's Villa: between heaven and earth. Rome: Apeiron, 2005.

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© 2005 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.

Page created by Mary Ann Sullivan