Xenodochivm aniciorum

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Filippo Coarelli

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Abstract





In late antique Rome there existed a particular type of building, usually connected with the great domus of the Christian aristocracy, known as xenodochium whose aim was to provide hospitality for pilgrims. Some recent studies by R. Santangeli Valenzani on this argument provide a wider range of data (in particular regarding the archaeological evidence) and today allow us to confront the problem of the identification of one of these, the Xenodochium Aniciorum. Some inscriptions, from a small area of the Campus Martius, around Via delle Botteghe Oscure, once the site of the small church, which no longer exists, of S. Lucia in Calcarario (identified by Hülsen with S. Lucia in Xenodochio Aniciorum), suggests that it was located in this area, occupied in antiquity by the two porticus Minuciae (vetus and frumentaria), corresponding respectively to Largo Argentina and to the colonnaded area imme- diately to the east of the latter. The detailed study of the late antique and early medieval remains preserved in the ‘sacred area’ of Largo Argentina, realized for the first time by Santangeli Valenzani, has permitted the reconstruction of the building complex, which the author identifies with a monastery. Nevertheless, given the pres- ence in the immediate surroundings, within the ancient building of the Diribitorium, of a large, late antique aristocratic residence, which can be recognized as one of the domus of the Anicii, it is more probable that the complex of Largo Argentina is to be identified with the Xenodochium Aniciorum itself.





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