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Event Date: 2022/11/29



✅ Presentation by Marina De Franceschini during the Cultural Astronomy Evening, organized by the Unione Astrofili Napoletani
November 29, 2022, 9 pm.

👉 👉 Request the Zoom Link to access the meeting

✅ The meeting will be on the Zoom platform. The waiting room will be open from 8:30 pm to allow everyone to attend.
Participation is free and open to all, but it is necessary to log in with Name, Surname and with  youer webcam turned on.

✅ Since several years, the Unione Astrofili Napoletani has been organizing the Meetings of Cultural Astronomy, where scholars of various backgrounds (archaeologists, astrophysicists, anthropologists, etc.) united by a passion for Cultural Astronomy, present the results of their studies.

✅ Marina De Franceschini will present one of her discoveries of Roman Cultural Archaeoastronomy: the astronomical orientation of Hadrian's Mausoleum, today's Castel Sant'Angelo.

✅ It is the great dynastic tomb that Emperor Hadrian had built near the Tiber, starting in 130 AD. It was completed in 139 AD, a year after his death.

✅ At the end of the Fifteenth century the Mausoleum was transformed into a fortress, revetting it with bricks, adding battlements, altering the original structures with new rooms. However, it seems that 70-80% of the Roman structures have been preserved within this modern 'shell'.

✅ Imitating the Mausoleum of Augustus, the Mausoleum of Hadrian was cylindrical, revetted with travertine blocks. It had an earth mound with a central temple, on top of which probably was a colossal bronze Quadriga of the Sun, led by the emperor Hadrian, depicted as Sol Invictus. A first indication of a possible archaeoastronomical meaning.

✅ Spectacular hyerophanies still occur today in the most important room of the building: the so-called Hall of the Urns, i.e. the burial chamber. It had three niches oriented towards east, north and west. It was lit by window-tunnels, built in such a way as to capture the Sun's rays only on the days of the summer Solstice.

✅ Those illuminations had a precise symbolic meaning, linked to the imperial cult, the dynastic succession and the divinization after the death of Hadrian and subsequent emperors.

‼️ Rectangles of Light in Hadrian's Mausoleum.

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