The exhibition Gladiators inside the arena. Between Colosseum and Ludus Magnus at the Colosseum Archaeological Park, curated by Alfonsina Russo, Federica Rinaldi, Barbara Nazzaro and Silvano Mattesini, consists of a permanent multimedia installation and a temporary exhibition that can be visited inside the Colosseum basement.
The idea of this initiative is linked to the recovery and enhancement of the eastern cryptoporticus of the Colosseum which in Roman times connected the Arena with the district of the gymnasiums built by the emperor Domitian, of which the largest and most famous is the Ludus Magnus, the only one in which part of the ancient structures are preserved: here the gladiators trained and prepared for the competitions.
In the 19th century, the construction of a sewage collector in the Esquiline district interrupted this ancient connection, which is now being restored again: in fact, thanks to a sophisticated multimedia presentation with holographic projection, perfectly oriented on the Colosseum-Ludus Magnus axis, the wall that interrupts the connection is virtually "demolished", thus giving the public a unified vision of the contemporary archaeological area, while the gladiators once again trample on the original opus spicatum floor of the cryptoporticus, advancing towards the Arena with their heavy armor.
The set-up, which winds through some of the underground rooms of the hypogea, combines original finds from the Roman age, which reproduce images of gladiators caught in the typical fighting positions, with life-size reconstructions of their armor, made according to the ancient technique of embossing and casting by Maestro Silvano Mattesini.
We can thus admire the complete armor of the Murmillo and the Thraex, alongside the original helmets of Pompeii from the National Archaeological Museum of Naples, the precious miniature helmets in amber from the National Archaeological Museum of Aquileia and the funerary stele of the murmillo Quintus Sossius Albus, also from Aquileia. The graffiti of the steps of the Colosseum cavea are also on display to the public, in which the public of the time had represented their favorite gladiators in combat, alongside the full armor of a Retiarius and a Secutor.
Photo credits: courtesy of the Colosseum Archaeological Park official site
21 luglio 2023 - 7 gennaio 2024
La mostra è visitabile tutti i giorni, sia in orario diurno con il biglietto Full Experience Arena e Sotterranei, sia in orario notturno nell’ambito de La Luna sul Colosseo (da martedì a sabato).