Ancient Roman Gardens Posted by on Jul 29, 2011 in Uncategorized

The aristocrats of ancient Rome were fond of retreating to their horti or gardens. The gardens were a place where people could withdraw from the busy and noisy life of the city. There are still traces of what some of these gardens may have looked like that still remain. For example there is the Horti Sallustiani. For several centuries the Gardens were under the care of the Roman Emperors. After the Goths sacked Rome, the Gardens were neglected and over the centuries very little of the original Gardens remained.


The Horti Liciniani was a large garden owned by the Licinia clan. The nymphaeum was a part of the Horti Liciniani and can still be seen today. The nymphaeum was a monument erected to honor the nymphs. The nymphaeum was excavated and found to contain many valuable statues and sculptures. One of them is a giant statue of the Emperor Gallienus, who was a member of the Licinia clan and at one point owned these Gardens.


The Horti Maecenatiani was formerly owned by Maecenas. Maecenas was a patron of the arts in the Augustan Era. When he died the Gardens became imperial property. There is some speculation as to the exact dimensions of the Gardens, but some aspects of the Gardens can still be seen today; especially the Auditorium of Maecenas, which was probably a part of the Horti Maecenatiani. The Horti Maecenatiani were recorded to have terraces, water fountains and libraries. It was a garden of pure leisure.


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