Here the Roma Five sat and enjoyed a funny form of entertainment

Here the Roma Five sat and enjoyed a funny form of entertainment

Here we see parts of the production room and wine cellar at Villa dei Quintili.

This villa was probably the scene of the production of very fine wines.

On the outskirts of present-day Rome lie the remains of a gigantic Roman villa known as Villa dei Quintilly – the villa of the Quintilius brothers.

The villa escaped destruction for nearly 2,000 years and has been excavated several times — most recently in 2017 and 2018, according to a new study in the journal Antiquity.

This may have been an important and opulent property for centuries. There are archaeological ruins here dating back to the 20th century BC, but the villa dates back to the 20th century AD.

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The Quintilius brothers, after whom the villa is named, are said to have been consuls in Rome around the year 150. At this time, the emperor of Rome elected two consuls to rule together each year—the consuls being the highest-ranking officials. in Rome, According to Store norske lexikon.

Both brothers were members of an ancient aristocratic family in Rome. The patricians were the elite and aristocratic families of Rome.

Inscriptions on the villa’s water pipes, among other things, link them to the aristocratic brothers, but the family lost the property when it was seized by the Roman Emperor Commodus around 182.

He ruled Rome between 180 and 192. He is now best known as the inspiration for the role of Emperor Joaquin Phoenix in the 2000 film “The Gladiator”.

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It is said that Commodus killed the Quintilius brothers and confiscated the property, so that it belonged to the emperor.

Now archaeologists have been excavating here, but what have they found?

Runes from Villa dei Quintili. As it appears today – it is now a museum.

Producing wine as entertainment?

Researchers believe they have discovered a wine production facility dating back to the 20th century AD. in the villa.

The Romans were large consumers and producers of wine and it was relatively common to have wine making facilities, but this is not a natural production of wine.

In the new research article, the researchers describe a very special facility. The winery consisted of several rooms typical of wine production – for example, a large room where the grapes were trampled.

This is a study, and the walls were usually covered with a type of Roman concrete that could stand up to water. Here you can read more about the special properties of Roman concrete.

This type of concrete wall is known in many other vineyards.

But not at Villa de Quintili. During the excavations, it turned out that this room, and many others in the production facility, were covered with various types of marble. The researchers found remains of white marble and the so-called red Brescia marble, among other things in the stairs leading to the basement.

The juice flowed further through channels and into other rooms where it was processed and finally into the cellar where the wine was stored in large buried vats called Dolia Defusa.

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This staircase to the wine cellar still has white marble on the steps.

This staircase to the wine cellar still has white marble on the steps.

View of wine

Also around the production plant are several elevated rooms which are linked by a corridor. These rooms have been renovated several times, and archaeologists have found remains of beautiful tiled floors here.

They think there may be talk of using wine production as a kind of display, perhaps while the elite sit and dine in the rooms that overlook the production plant.

They simply call it a kind of theater for wine production, although real wine is made here too. Scholars compare it to other large, stately villa complexes that were also located directly under the emperor, and where wine production also took place.

One of the rooms overlooks the wine production.

One of the rooms overlooks the wine production.

Scholars believe that this display of wine production was a way for the upper class to show off, romanticize, and look down on the agricultural work that was the basis for much of Rome’s prosperity.

But it happened in a wine production room that was very ornate and unusual in many ways.


Dodd et al.: Production Scene: A Roman Imperial Winery at Villa Quintili, Rome. Antiquity, 2023. DOI: 10.15184/aqy.2023.18. summary

Dalila Awolowo

Dalila Awolowo

"Explorer. Unapologetic entrepreneur. Alcohol fanatic. Certified writer. Wannabe tv evangelist. Twitter fanatic. Student. Web scholar. Travel buff."

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