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Regio III - Insula X - Caseggiato del Serapide (III,X,3)

The Building of Serapis forms an entity with the Terme dei Sette Sapienti and the Caseggiato del Serapide (III,X,2 and 3), and was built in the Hadrianic period. Shops flanking a vestibule open off Via della Foce. More shops are arranged around a courtyard with high arches. Two staircases led to upper floor apartments. Between two piers in the south-west part of the courtyard a cult-room (c. 2 x 2 m.) was built in the Severan period. In a niche in the back wall is a stucco relief of Serapis, sitting on a throne. On the side walls are paintings of Isis holding a sistrum, and of Isis-Fortuna with cornucopiae and rudder (yellow on a purple background). In the centre of the room is a brick altar. Next to the shrine is a passage to the Baths of the Seven Sages. It is decorated lavishly with a tympanum, and stucco reliefs of bucrania and garlands.

In a shop in the north-east part of the building a lime-kiln was installed at an unknown point in time (hence the modern name of the road to the east, Via della Calcara). Inside portraits were found of Trajan and Hadrian.

Plan of the building. After SO I.

Photographs and drawings

Reconstruction drawing of block III,X by Italo Gismondi. From the north-west.
From left to right: Cas. del Serapide, Terme dei Sette Sapienti, Cas. degli Aurighi.

The ruins of the building seen from the north, from Via della Foce.
Photograph: Jan Theo Bakker.

The entrance corridor from Via della Foce, seen from the north.
Photograph: Jan Theo Bakker.

The north-east corner of the courtyard.
Photograph: Jan Theo Bakker.

The stucco-relief of Serapis in the cult-room. Ostia neg. B2549.

Detail of the porch with stucco reliefs of bucrania, leading to the Baths of the Seven Sages.
Photograph: Jan Theo Bakker.

The lime-kiln in the east part of the building, seen through the entrance, from the east.
Photograph: Jan Theo Bakker.

[jthb - 4-Mar-2007]