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  • S. Croce in Gerusalemme
  • Roma
  • Italy
  • Lazio
  • Rome
  • Rome



  • The Italian Database is the result of a collaboration between:

    MIBAC (Ministero per i Beni e le Attività Culturali - Direzione Generale per i Beni Archeologici),

    ICCD (Istituto Centrale per il Catalogo e la Documentazione) and

    AIAC (Associazione Internazionale di Archeologia Classica).

  • AIAC_logo logo

Summary (English)

  • The great Imperial palace where Helen, the mother of Constantine, lived following the victory at the Milvian Bridge (312A.D.) is still little known. She created this palace by altering and enlarging the residence that had belonged to the Severan emperors a century earlier. In particular, Heligobalus had built imposing structures for games known as the Anfiteatrum Castrensis and the Circus Varianus. Of the residence itself, known in the Christian sources as the Sessorium, remain the aula, converted into a chapel to house the Cross, the great absidal hall wrongly known as the Temple of Venus and Cupid and the substantial remains of a number of domus with mosaics and frescoes. The scant remains of the Severan baths, which were restored by Constantine’s mother, do not seem to have belonged to the Imperial property but were for public use. The successive transformations of this complex and the partial conservation of the archaeological site are the work of the Carthusian and Cistercian orders. In the post-unification period the site became a military property where the “Umberto I Principe di Piemonte” garrison was built.
    Recent financing for the Jubilee year paid for the demolition of all illegal and degrading structures on the site, the restoration of some of the most important elements from antiquity and the recovery of the ex-garrison service buildings which will house the new museum of the Soprintendenza Archeologica di Roma.
    The so-called Temple of Venus and Cupid and the mosaic pavements of the two Constantinian domus have been restored and consolidated. Trenches excavated up against the Acqueduct brought to light other domus of Roman date, whilst outside the complex in Piazza S. Croce and in via Eleniana the remains of the façade of an Imperial palace have been uncovered. A previous excavation on the site of the Anfiteatrum Castrensis, within the Garden of the Cistercian Convent, had already revealed the precision of Palladio’s drawings and shed new light on the technical characteristics and perfection of this building’s architectural forms. (Mariarosaria Barbera)



  • Claudia Paterna
  • D. Colli - Techne s.r.l., assistenza scavi archeologici
  • Elisabetta Borgia
  • Sergio Palladino
  • A. Di Bene
  • A. Tomasello
  • L. Vergantini
  • Mariarosaria Barbera - Soprintendenza Archeologica di Roma
  • A. Gallo - Soprintendenza Archeologica di Roma
  • P. Gaudino - Soprintendenza Archeologica di Roma
  • Laura Leoni - Soprintendenza Archeologica di Roma

Research Body

Funding Body

  • Soprintendenza Archeologica di Roma


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