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Capitolo 8. L’apparato statuario


The section contains a detailed study of the twelve sculptural pieces that were found in the "Gymnasium" complex. These include, beside two "ideal" sculptures - a semicolossal torso of the goddess Rome, and a fragmentary head of a "Vatergottheit" of small scale-, several portrait statues. Two of them (a fragment of a togatus and a fragmentary togatus wearing a ceremonial "laena") date back to the julio-claudian period, like the abovementioned statue of the goddess Rome, and are not in their originary context. Most probably, the laenatus and the statue of the goddess, coming from an official cultic context, yet unrecognized, of Rome and Augustus(?), were reemployed or discarded in the area of the "Gymnasium" in a late or post-antique phase. The main group of iconic statues, of 2nd century AD, is identifiable as a family group, portraying the members of an important gens of equestrian order living in the city. The homogeneous sculptural program of the building gives some clue for interpreting the enigmatic Syracusan monument as a huge heroon, combined with a theatre building.