Horti Lamiani

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Commodus as Hercules, well-known sculpture from the Horti Lamiani

The Lamian Gardens (Latin - Horti Lamiani) were a set of gardens located on the top of the Esquiline Hill in Rome, in the area around the present Piazza Vittorio Emanuele. They were based on the gardens of the consul Aelius Lamia, a friend of Tiberius, and soon (by the time of Caligula) became subsumed into the imperial property.

The immense building complex in the Gardens was brought to light in 19th-century excavations and then re-buried. Its decoration included frescoes, architectural elements in coloured marbles and innumerable bronze sheets with inset gemstones.

It has also produced important sculptural groups, like the well-known Esquiline Venus supported by two priests or Muses and the portrait of Commodus as Hercules bordered by tritons (both now in the Capitoline Museums collection).

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