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Bill Thayer

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 p141  Crypta Balbi

Article on pp141‑142 of

Samuel Ball Platner (as completed and revised by Thomas Ashby):
A Topographical Dictionary of Ancient Rome,
London: Oxford University Press, 1929.

Crypta Balbi: mentioned only in the Notitia (Reg. IX),º but probably built by Balbus in 15 B.C. at the same time as his theatre (q.v.). The  p142 name is best explained as a term used for a vaulted passage lighted from above (RE IV.1732), and this building may have been a sort of ambulatory round the cavea of the theatre. No traces of it have been found,a and the remains in the Via dei Calderari, formerly identified as the Crypta Balbi, belong to another structure (cf. Porticus Minucia; HJ 521, 545; Jord. II.534; Gilb. III.329).

Thayer's Note:

a The building was finally found, and to a large extent excavated, between 1981 and 2000 when an interesting museum was opened in part of it. It is more of a monumental complex than a mere building, covering about an hectare (two and a half acres), and including among other things a well-preserved Mithraeum.

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Page updated: 5 Aug 12