Platner, Samuel Ball; Ashby, Thomas
A topographical dictionary of ancient Rome — Oxford: Univ. Press [u.a.], 1929

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GYMNASIUM NERONIS

249

spoken of as ‘ in area Volcani ’ (Liv. ix. 46)—a statement that may mean
that the Graecostasis had been moved or had ceased to exist at all in
Pliny’s day. About 30 b.c. sacrifices were offered to Luna ‘ in Graeco-
stasi ’ (Fast. Pine., CIL i2. p. 219), and for the years 137, 130, 124 b.c., it is
recorded that it rained blood or milk on the Graecostasis (Obseq. de prod.
24, 28, 31). The Graecostasis was therefore an open platform between
the comitium and the forum, on the site afterwards occupied by the
arch of Severus, and eastwards. Cf. JRS 1922, 11, 25, where Van Deman
places it under and north of the rostra of Augustus. Hulsen (HC. pl. v.)
places it conjecturally to the west of the Lapis Niger (TF 64), but the
pavement here is probably the pavement of the Sullan rostra vetera
(JRS cit. 22). Nothing is known of its history after the Augustan age,
nor is its exact purpose certain. Other explanations have been given,
but it was probably the place where foreign ambassadors awaited their
summons into the senate (cf. Iustin. xliii. 5. 10 ; Mommsen, Hist. i. 534 ;
Bull. Univ. Wise. No. 99 (1904), 166-170 ; BC 1900, 128-130 ; Thed. 137).
For a theory that its place was taken by the Graecostadium see DR
383·3θ5·
Gymnasium Neronis : a building for gymnastic purposes, dedicated by
Nero in 62 a.d. (Suet. Nero 12 : dedicatisque thermis atque gymnasio
senatui quoque et equiti oleum praebuit; Tac. Ann. xiv. 47 : gymnasium
eo anno dedicatum a Nerone praebitumque oleum equiti ac senatui
Graeca facilitate), or in 60 after the establishment of the Neronia (Cass.
Dio lxi. 21. I : και e7r αυτω και το γυμνάσιου ωκοδόμησευ εΧαιόυ re εν
τη καθιέρωσα αυτόν κα'ι τοΐς βουλευταΐς κα'ι τοΐς ΐππευσι τρόικα ενειμε').
Later in 62 the gymnasium was burned and a bronze statue of Nero
melted (Tac. Ann. xv. 22). Philostratus (vit. Apoll. iv. 42) says that
it was one of the most wonderful buildings in the city.
There are no other references to this gymnasium, but it would be
natural to suppose that it was near or connected with the Thermae (q.v.),
which Nero is said to have dedicated at the same time (Suet. loc. cit.).
The language of Philostratus seems to make no distinction between
γυμνάσιου and βάΧαυεΐον, so that no inference can be drawn from it as
to the existence or non-existence of the gymnasium in his time. Hulsen
therefore assumes (HJ 590) that the gymnasium was an integral part of
the baths, and that gymnasium and thermae were names of the same
structure. In view of what is said of the burning of the gymnasium
(Tac. Ann. xv. 22), it is more probable that they were separate buildings.1
1 It is more correct to say that what Vitruvius (v. io) describes are baths pure and
simple, to which Nero added the Greek gymnasium. It is to be noted that Cass. Dio calls
the thermae of Nero, Trajan, and Licinius Sura -γυμνάσιον, and those of Agrippa
βαλανΐϊον or λακωνικόν (PT 26 ; RA 38, 82 ; Journ. Brit. Amer. Arch. Soc. Rome iv.
353 ; Mitt. 1920, 154-168).
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