Description of the Palaestra (Reg VIII, Ins 7, 29)
number of the Doric
columns are still standing.
Because of their slender nature it seems unlikely that there would have
been a stone entablature; more likely the roof rested directly on a
inscription was found on the site
which stated that the building was erected by the duumvir
Vinicius with money which Vibius Adiranus had left for the good of
Opposite the entrance near the colonnade on the
south side is a pedestal of tufa, before which stands a small table
(pictured right and lower right). The pedestal is reached by a narrow
flight of steps. According to August Mau the pedestal held the statue of
the patron divinity of the palaestra while the table held wreaths for
the victors of athletic contests; the successful contestant would take a
wreath and dedicated it to the deity by mounting the steps and placing
it on the head of the statue. No trace of the missing statue has been
A second statue stood at the foot of one of the columns on the south
side. A copy of the doryphorus of Polyclitus (pictured above), it is
now in the Naples Archaeological Museum.
At the west end of the court are dressing
rooms (C) and a side entrance from the Triangular Forum (E) (both in the
picture on the right).
|The Samnite Palaestra lies on the south side of the Via del
Tempio d'Iside (pictured below) between the entrance to the Triangular
Forum and the Temple of Isis. The entrance (A) opens onto a court which
was originally entirely surrounded by a colonnade (B) with ten columns
on the sides and five at each end.
At a comparatively late date,
probably soon after the earthquake of AD62, the columns at the east end
of the court were removed and the space thus gained added to the
neighbouring Temple of Isis.
* Images ©Jackie and Bob Dunn are
reproduced by permission from their website at
(Su concessione del Ministero per
i Beni e le Attività Culturali:
Soprintendenza Speciale per i Beni Archeologici di
Napoli e Pompei)