Roma caput mundi

Eighteenth century picture of the Colloseum. Unknown artist. Photo: Wikipedia.

This exhibition spreads across the Colosseum, the Curia Julia and the Temple of Romulus in the Roman Forums, telling the story of the origins of Rome to the conquest of Italy, as well as of Rome’s provinces, cultural and religious influences, slavery and ethnic diversity, ancient and modern visions. The exhibition’s title ,“Rome, capital of the world” reprises the ancient metaphor for seeing the city as a global power. Romans were fixated on an idea: Rome as an ‘open city’ for other peoples. They practised an integration policy that has never been repeated anywhere on the same scale: purity of line was considered irrelevant, citizenship was easily granted, they were able to liberate slaves with a minimum of fuss, and freed slaves were seen as ‘near-citizens’. Some contemporary historians follow the line taken by ancient authors, rightly asserting the importance of the moral, cultural and military contribution made over the centuries by this constant enrichment of the population. As such, dominance in war was only one of the facets of Roma caput mundi.

The exhibition reflects all these concepts, expressing them across all three sites through sculpture, reliefs, mosaics, frescos, bronzes and coins, divided as follows: Curia: the manifesto of Roman integration, exotic origins, Rome, Etruscan city. Colosseum: the two faces of Rome, the Italy of the Romans, the revolt of the Italic people, romanisation, Rome, Greek city, the world in Rome, the repression of the Bacchanalia, jews and Romans, from possessions to citizens. Temple of Romulus: the Roman breed: inventions of Rome and Romans, from politics to cinema. (Further information: