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Ancient Roman Mausoleums Posted by on Jun 12, 2011 in Uncategorized

There are some remarkably well-preserved mausoleums that date back to Roman antiquity. The ancient Romans made great efforts to respect their dead by erecting splendid mausoleums.

One example of such a mausoleum is the Mausoleum of Helena. The Mausoleum of Helena is located in Rome. Emperor Constantine I originally build the mausoleum so that he could be buried there, but after his mother Helena died, he dedicated the mausoleum to his mother instead. The Sarcophagus of Helena is no longer in the Mausoleum. To see it, you’ll have to go to the Vatican Museum. The exterior of the Sarcophagus is carved with military scenes. That’s because it was originally meant for Constantine.

 

The Mausoleum of Lucius Emilio Lupus is a mausoleum that can be found in Spain. It dates back to the second century A.D. The Mausoleum was built in the form of a classical ancient Roman temple. The columns and the metal bars that lock the blocks in place are still intact. No mortar was used to hold the mausoleum together. The blocks of sandstone were carved with perfect precision so that they would fit neatly together.

 

The Mausoleum of Augustus is currently in ruins. The Mausoleum houses the remains of Augustus, his wife, his grandsons, and other members of the royal family. However when Rome was sacked by the Goths, the ashes of the dead were scattered and some of the urns holding the ashes were stolen. It wasn’t until Mussolini that the mausoleum was protected from further decay. In an effort to link himself to Augustus, he made the mausoleum an archeological landmark.

 

The Mausoleum of Hadrian is now a museum, but it was originally built to bury the remains of Hadrian and his family. Before the Mausoleum was converted to a museum, several popes made additional changes to the Mausoleum. For instance Pope Leo X made a chapel in the Mausoleum and Pope Paul III created additional living quarters. At one point the Mausoleum was used as a prison and execution area. Somehow the Mausoleum has managed to survive all these years, but not in its original form.

 

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