Frescoes of gods from different belief systems in domus that predates third-century Roman bath complex.
The visitor experience at the Baths of Caracalla in Rome has been further enriched with the opening to the public of a reconstructed ancient home housing a prayer room with frescoes dedicated to Roman and Egyptian deities.
The frescoes on display come from an early second-century "domus" which was unearthed in the 19th century, near the eastern gymnasium of the Baths, before being detached for conservation purposes in the 1970s.
Significantly, the frescoes from the two-storey home feature depictions of "Jupiter, Juno and Minerva together with Anubis, Isis and probably Serapis", said Mirella Serlorenzi, director of the Baths of Caracalla.
Serlorenzi says this is proof that the ancient Romans engaged in the practice of "religious syncretism", or worshipping gods of different cults at the same time, in their private homes.
The original building, constructed during the reign of Emperor Hadrian, was part of a neighbourhood that was partially demolished to make way for the Baths of Caracalla which opened in 216 AD.
"In addition to the beauty and interest of these paintings, visitors will be able to grasp a piece of history and the transformations of the ancient city", said Daniela Porro, Rome's archaeological superintendent.
Photos Fabio Caricchia
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Rome's Baths of Caracalla opens domus where the gods lived together
Viale delle Terme di Caracalla, 00153 Roma RM, Italy