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Bill Thayer

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 p545  Ustrinum Antoninorum

Article on p545 of

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

Ustrinum Antoninorum: the name given by Bianchini in 1703 to the remains of a structure discovered in that year under the Casa della Missione, just north-west of the Piazza di Monte Citorio. This building, with an orientation like that of the columns of Antoninus and Marcus Aurelius, consisted of three square enclosures, one within another. The two inner enclosure walls were of travertine; the outer consisted of a travertine kerb, on which stood pillars of the same material with an iron grating between them. The innermost enclosure was 13 metres square, the second 23, and the outer 30 metres square. A free space, 3 metres wide, was left between the first and second walls and between the second and third. The entrance was on the south.

According to the usual view, this was the funeral pyre on which the bodies of the Antonines were burned. It is also possible that it may have been a great altar, attached to the column of Antoninus, on which sacrifices were offered at the deification of the emperors (for Bianchini's description, still in MS., see Mitt. 1889, 48‑64). Lanciani suggests (RL XIII.1908, 92) that this may have been the ustrinum Antonini Pii et Faustinae, while another similar structure, of which the ruins were found in 1907 just a little to the north-east of the first, was the ustrinum M. Aurelii Antonini (NS 1907, 525‑528, 681; 1909, 10‑11; 1915, 322; BC 1907, 326‑327; 1908, 86; 1909, 113; BA 1910, 315; SR 1913, 1‑13; AA 1913, 140‑143; PT 60, 75, 76).

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Page updated: 27 Apr 02