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Point of interests in Rome

TitleSantuario Siriaco
Address00153 Lazio Roma 47 Via Dandolo via
TimeIV-V sec. d.C.
DescriptionNear the modern day Villa Sciarra, on the southeastern slope of the Janiculum Hill, a sanctuary arose in the IV century dedicated to the eastern cult of the divine triad of Heliopolis formed by the god Baal (the Jupiter of Heliopolis), the goddess Atargatis (the Roman Venus Syria) and Simios (corresponding to the god Mercury). The complex developed on an existing building from the Imperial era dating from between the I and II centuries A.D.The layout of the sanctuary reflected the requirements of the rituals, unfolding around a large courtyard that accommodated the faithful.The courtyard was divided into a series of areas: to the west was a building for daily worship and to the east, two areas with a central rhomboidal room, perhaps for initiation rites. At the centre, there was a triangular altar. In a ditch, a bronze idol was discovered, still covered with votive offerings (eggs, flowers and seeds). The statue depicted a masculine figure wrapped in the coils of a snake, representing the seven celestial spheres, and has been identified with the Syriac Adonis, a divinity who dies and is reborn, linked to the cycles of the seasons and the renewal of life. In the lateral naves in two niches, the effigies of Atargatis and Simios were placed.


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