ROMA ARCHEOLOGICA & RESTAURO ARCHITETTURA: Foro di Traiano – Basilica Ulpia – Pal. Roccagiovane: [Roma, terremoto di] (ca. 847 & 1349 A.D.); in: La Regina A, Scaroina, L (2012), Resti della basilica Ulpia sotto il palazzo Roccagiovine. In: Giornata di studi in onore di Lucos Cozza, British School at Rome, 28 Marzo 2012 (in press). Paolo Galli | (12/2012).


PDF = L. Scaroina, A. La Regina, “Resti della basilica Ulpia sotto il Palazzo Roccagiovine,” in: AA.VV., Scritti in onore di Lvcos Cozza, LTUR SUPP. VII (2014) [PDF], pp. 167-181. Foto: Basilica Ulpia | Scavi Fendi (2001-09). PDF =


ITALIANO = Paolo Galli, Foro di Traiano & Basilica Ulpia & Palazzo Valentini, in: “Tra fonti storiche e indizi archeologici. I terremoti a Roma oltre la soglia del danno.” RIASA (2013) [PDF], pp. 62-93

ENGLISH = Paolo Galli, Foro di Traiano & Basilica Ulpia & Palazzo Valentini, in: Beyond the damage threshold: the historic earthquakes of ROME, Bulletin of Earthquake Engineering (2013) [PDF], pp. 1-32.


PDF, pp. 18: = “…As Trajan’s Forum is still mentioned as being one of the most beautiful monuments of Rome by the Einsiedeln Itinerary at the end of the eighth century, whereas at the beginning of the eleventh century the author of the Mirabilia Urbis Romae (see in D’Onofrio 1988; Valentini and Zucchetti 1942) only notes Trajan’s Column where “fuit templum divi Traiani”,(29)  it would be logical to conclude that vast portions of the buildings of the Forum had collapsed between these two ancient guidebooks, possibly “pushed” by one or both of the ninth century earthquakes (the first one, according to Meneghini and Santangeli Valenzani 2007). This situation of incipient ruin could also be indirectly indicated by the building in the ninth century of Saint Nicholas church against the column base and by the contemporary spoliation of the Forum pavement slabs (i.e., at least those not buried by the rubbles), which occurred before the deposition of marshy levels during the first half of the ninth century (Meneghini and Santangeli Valenzani 2007). In order to challenge this hypothesis, we had the opportunity of studying the remains of the Basilica Ulpia recently discovered under the Roccagiovine Palace30 (La Regina and Scaroina 2012). Here we have found the abrupt collapse of the structural elements (columns, wall, concrete-vaults) of the eastern sector over the original pavement of the Basilica. Some charcoals sampled between themarble slabs and the wall rubbles provided an age of 670–780 AD (2 s calibrated age) which represents the post quem term for the cave-in of the building, matching effectively with both the ninth century earthquakes (see 1349 earthquake for further details).”

PDF, pp. 22 & 23 = :“…Analogously, the same earthquake could have affected some Roman buildings still standing in the Imperial Fora, such as those in Trajan’s Forum. Indeed, the study of some surviving collapses—which were not examined during the 1930s excavations—has shown that some pieces of the Basilica Ulpia vaults and columns fell down simultaneously, not only over the ancient pavement slabs but also over a ca. 0.5-m-thick abandonment level. The latter contained mainly pottery and glass shards spanning between the 9th and the fourteenth century, with rare fragments from the fourteenth to fifteenth century. Therefore, according to Meneghini (1989), the final collapse of the Basilica Ulpia could be related to the 1349 earthquake and to the successive looting of the ruins. A paradigmatic situation which supports this interpretation is still visible on the eastern side of the Basilica, under the above mentioned Roccagiovine Palace. Here the concrete vaults, walls, and architectural elements of one of the lateral naves fell directly on both the marble slabs and over a successive frequentation level which had developed on the previous rubble, testifying to successive episodes of abrupt collapses. The radiocarbon dating of charcoals that we sampled from on top of the pavement and within the successive frequentation horizon has made it possible to constrain the epoch of both collapse episodes (see Fig. 15). After the first cave-in occurred due to the 847 earthquake (and/or to the 801 event; i.e., post 670–780 AD), the building was partially ravaged (note in Fig. 15 the removal of the marble slabs that were not buried by the collapsed wall) and the rubble sealed by a frequentation level dated at 1150–1220 AD (2 s calibrated age of charcoal) that is rich in meal remnants (e.g. bird bones and clam shells of the species Donax trunculus). The abrupt and extensive collapse of the concrete vaults subsequently buried this level during a period that closely matches with the 1349 earthquake (i.e., post 1150–1220 AD).”

Foto / fonte / source:

“Fig. 15 Eastern sector of the Basilica Ulpia, under Roccagiovane Palace. Collapse of the structural elements of the building over the marble slabs and over a successive frequentation horizon. Stars indicate the radiocarbon dating of charcoals. Both earthquakes (847 and 1349) could have been responsible for the disruption of the Basilica [= in: La Regina A, Scaroina, L (2012), Resti della basilica Ulpia sotto il palazzo Roccagiovine. In: Giornata di studi in onore di Lucos Cozza, British School at Rome, 28 Marzo 2012 (in press)].” cited from: Paolo A. C. Galli & Diego Molin, “Beyond the damage threshold: the historic earthquakes of Rome”, in: Bulletin of Earthquake Engineering Official Publication of the European Association for Earthquake Engineering, December 2012 [Received: 4 April 2012 / Accepted: 8 December 2012].