Un μουσεῖον per M. Fulvio Nobiliore: origini, tipologie e funzioni del museum romano
In: Bullettino della Commissione Archeologica Comunale di Roma: 120, 2020
This paper focuses on the shrines dedicated to the Muses (musea) in the Roman world. This topic has been recently investigated in the Greek world, whereas it has been quite neglected by scholars of Roman antiquities, with the exception of the Aedes Herculis Musarum that was founded by M. Fulvius Nobilior in the Campus Martius. This has been matter of interesting studies, which investigated its historical, architectural and ideological aspects. Nevertheless, a comparative study with similar shrines has never been undertaken. This is the approach used by the author, who considers Greek and Roman exempla in the attempt to better understand origin, peculiarities, and extent of Nobilior’s Aedes Musarum.The peculiarities of the Greek sanctuaries of the Muses (μουσεῖον) are described as first, pointing out typologies, architectural layout, contexts, and functions. Secondly, the three meanings of the Roman word museum (artificial grotto, private villa, locus Musis sacer) are examined through literary, epigraphic and archaeological sources. The Aedes dedicated by M. Fulvius Nobilior proves to be the earliest and most composite case among Roman sanctuaries devoted to the Muses, as it borrows some features from the Greek μουσεῖον (such as the naturalistic environment, the exedra, the artistic performances and the function of saving memory), while other features come from the Italic religious tradition (such as round temples for Hercules and the cult of the Camenae). Eventually, the Aedes is revealing of Nobilior’s final attempt of self-celebration.