Saturday, August 13, 2011

Piramide Cestia

Most definitely one of the weirder things I saw in Rome:

Another site memorialized by Assassin's Creed Brotherhood.

I had come across this curious structure in Assassin's Creed Brotherhood and was particularly interested in seeing it for myself.  Hard to, though.  It's small, not open to the public and on a busy street corner along an even busier roundabout (note to Carmel: I hate roundabouts).  Not surprisingly, we didn't stop to see it and I had little warning it was coming, so I had to grab what I could from the bus.  Not bad, considering.

This is the Pyramid of Cestius, or as Assassin's Creed calls it in Italian, the Piramide Cestia.  The pyramid was built very late in the 1st Century BC for Caius Cestius, the guy who provided alcoholic beverages for Rome's parties.  When it was built, it was outside the city walls, known as the Severan Walls, but when Aurelian built his new circuit of walls around the city, he incorporated the pyramid, supposedly because the project was over budget.  I don't know how incorporating the pyramid helped in this regard, but since it helped ensure the pyramids preservation, we can be thankful.

Rather odd shape for a pyramid.  Scholars can't decide if this was based on the Nubian pyramids or on a bad drawing of the Great Pyramid.

The Piramide Cestia was included in this diagram comparing the world's largest pyramids or "pyramid-like structures."  This comparison was done by a guy on Wikipedia.  Pretty cool stuff.

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