Mausoleum of Cecilia Metella | Attraction Guides | History Hit

Mausoleum of Cecilia Metella

Rome, Lazio, Italy

Peta Stamper

28 Jul 2021
Image Credit: Shutterstock

About Mausoleum of Cecilia Metella

The Mausoleum of Cecilia Metella (Mausoleo di Caecillia Metella) is a large well-preserved tomb along Rome’s Via Appia. Built during the reign of Emperor Augustus to honour the daughter of a Roman Consul, this circular mausoleum stands on the spot where the rebellious Spartacus died.

Mausoleum of Cecilia Metella history

The Mausoleum of Cecilia Metella is thought to have been built in the late 1st century BC and incorporated into a medieval fort in the 14th century.

Whilst little is known about its namesake, the inscription on the Mausoleum of Cecilia Metella indicates that she was from a prominent Roman family. Her father, Quintus Caecilius Metellus Creticus was a senior magistrate who played an important role in the capture of the island of Crete. Cecilia Metella’s husband Marcus Licinius Crassus the Younger was also an important political figure in the time of Caesar.

The tomb gained importance during the middle ages when Pope Bonifacio VIII donated it to his own family – the Caetano’s – who used the tower to control the passage of merchants into the city.

Mausoleum of Cecilia Metella today

Vast, cylindrical and turret-like, the Mausoleum of Cecilia Metella is visible from around Via Appia. There is little to see inside the mausoleum, although there is a frieze depicting, amongst other things, the skulls of oxen.

Getting to the Mausoleum of Cecilia Metella

Found along the Via Appia Antica, the Mausoleum of Cecilia Metella is along a stretch of other ancient monuments and so is easily found when exploring on foot. Otherwise, the 660 bus stops just down the road at the stop Cecilia Metella.

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