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Anchored at Last

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Gaeta: Mausoleo di Lucio Munazio Planco.

When asked what he did during the French Revolution, Talleyrand is reported to have said, "I survived." L. Munatius Plancus did much the same: a more shifty, mobile sort of person is hard to imagine, but by changing sides often enough in the civil wars, he eventually wound up on the right one, honored friend to the emperor Augustus.

Plancus' tomb survived nicely too, but by making up in sheer bulk and solidity for the mercurial qualities of its owner: his Mausoleum on Monte Orlando, over­looking the city of Gaeta on the Mediterranean, is considered to be the best-preserved Roman tomb in all of Italy. Curiously, it was dedicated to the Virgin Mary in the late nineteenth century.

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The exterior zzz

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The interior, unfortunately, has been completely swept out over the centuries, and the visitor must not expect to find the mortal remains or even the sarcophagus of Plancus there; instead, the bare architecture of it, and a small Roman lapidary collection.

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As for Lucius Munatius Plancus himself, a biographical sketch of him is at this point pretty much inevitable; illustrated with a photo of his statue (sort of).

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Page updated: 2 Apr 16