Gli auditoria di piazza Madonna di Loreto
In: Bullettino della Commissione Archeologica Comunale di Roma: 122, 2021
The discoveries that took place between 2007 and 2010 in piazza Madonna di Loreto highlighted a cross-section of the urban planning prior to the construction of the Forum of Trajan and the completion of the complex with Hadrian, who was responsible for the auditoria. These are defined to the west by the tabernae lined up on the path parallel to the Via Flaminia; to the east by a curved street that influenced the fan-shaped arrangement of the classrooms due to the probable presence of an imposing structure whose semicircular shape seems to refer to an auditorium; to the south is a front found in 1932 which seems to constitute the articulated southern elevation of the complex, overlooking the continuation of the curved street. The front aligns with the orientation of the Forum, with an architectural solution that hides the singular arrangement of classrooms developed within an irregularly shaped space compressed between four road paths: the eastern curved street, the path parallel to the Flaminia to the west, the road overlooked by an insula to the north, the continuation of the road curving to the south. The building, about 15 meters high, included at least two upper floors. At full capacity, the three classrooms could contain a number of auditores ranging from a minimum of 480 to a maximum of 540. Numerous considerations prevent the suggestive proposal to identify the building with the Athenaeum built by Hadrian after his return from Palestine in 135, based above all on three passages by Sidonius Apollinaris.