Vulcanal - Roma, Italy
Posted by: Groundspeak Regular Member denben
N 41° 53.563 E 012° 29.072
33T E 291318 N 4640924
Quick Description: The original Vulcanal or Volcanal, was an 8th-century BC sacred precinct on the slopes of the Capitoline Hill in Rome in the area that would later become the Comitium and Roman Forum.
Location: Lazio, Italy
Date Posted: 7/13/2019 6:13:23 PM
Waymark Code: WM10YQT
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member bluesnote
Views: 2

Long Description:
In addition to its function as a place of worship, the Vulcanal became the Assembly place during the Roman monarchy in the days before the Comitium and Old Rostra (Rostra Vetera) existed. According to longstanding Roman tradition, the Vulcanal served as the speaker's platform at this time, a function much later assumed by the immediately adjacent Rostra. The archaic site had long been reverently preserved when, in 9 AD, the Emperor Augustus refurbished it with a new marble altar (discovered in 1548 and now in the Naples Museum). The Emperor Domitian (r. 81-96 AD) did likewise, presenting a new marble-faced altar and sacrificing a red calf and boar. Later in the Imperial period, the Vulcanal area suffered by being very much narrowed and partly done away with altogether by building operations associated with the enlargement of the Temple of Concord, the construction of the adjacent Arch of Severus, and other public works.

The precise location of the Vulcanal within what is now the west end of the Roman Forum is not completely settled. Two sites have been seriously proposed.

Giacomo Boni, who excavated extensively in this area in 1899-1905, established a site about 40 meters to the southwest of the Lapis Niger as the Vulcanal. This is just behind the Umbilicus Urbi and the (future) New Rostra (Rostra Augusti). Boni uncovered a small shrine here that had been cut directly out of the natural tufa and had tufa blocks defining a precinct area (identified from literary sources as the Area Volcani. This excavated site is about 13 by 9 feet, but the original Vulcanal is thought to have been somewhat larger. Boni's identification of this spot as the Vulcanal stood virtually unchallenged for over 80 years.

In 1983, however, Filippo Coarelli associated the Vulcanal with the site (also uncovered by Boni decades before) that by Imperial times had become known as the Lapis Niger. This archaic (8th century BC) sacred site may have been more or less contemporary with the Vulcanal. An altar (known as "Altar G-H" to archeologists) had also been found here and Coarelli suggested that the Vulcanal may not only have been associated with it, but may have been identical with this shrine. (According to him, the altar identified by Boni as the Vulcanal was actually the Ara Saturni, or Altar of Saturn). Coarelli's hypothesis has received a mixed reception. While a number of authorities believe he is correct, other experts continue to insist that Boni's site is the correct one.

Source: Wikipedia (visit link)
Most Relevant Historical Period: Roman Empire > 27 B.C.

Admission Fee: €12

Opening days/times:
Every day: 8:30am until one hour before sunset; 25 December and 1 January: closed

Web Site: [Web Link]

Condition: Some remaining traces (ruins) or pieces

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