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The History

Discover the origin of the ‘Aquae Patavinae’ and the history of the Euganean thermal area...

 

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Religion in the Roman Age

Le testimonianze relative alla religiosità nel comprensorio termale euganeo sono molteplici e sfaccettate, come dimostra la varietà di miti, leggende e tradizioni riferibili ad un arco cronologico esteso dall’età protostorica all’alto medioevo, con significative “riscoperte” ancora in età medievale e moderna.

 

The written documentation

Roman religion can be approached thanks to written (literary and epigraphic) and archaeological documentation, this latter consisting predominantly in sporadic artifacts, which anyway offer interesting elements to understand the complexity of the ancient symbolic system. Finally, the post-classic traditions sedimented in these areas offer useful suggestions.
From the cultual point of view, many healing gods are attested in these places: Geryon, known in the Euganean area for its oracular ability, Aponus, deity whose name could refer to a sacralized source, and Apollo, who appears alongside and sometimes replaces Aponus with Romanization.
Finally, votive objects and/ or inscriptions referring to Jupiter, Mercury, Isis, Vulcano and perhaps Fortuna are documented. All these deities show the multiplicity and complexity of the forms of worship in this particular thermomineral context, as in other thermal sites in Italy.
From a mythological point of view, the literary sources recall the passage in these territories of Heracles on his return from the lands in the far West, and according to some studies it is again here, in a place characterized by a strong and persistent smell, where Phaeton fell after his race on the solar chariot.

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Archaeological documentation

As of today there is no material evidence to identify a real sacred building in Montegrotto, but thanks to the archaeological documentation and the discovery of religious objects it was possible to recognize a sanctuary, active between the seventh and third centuries B.C., which was brought to light in the area between Monte Castello and the hill of San Pietro Montagnon .
For the Roman period, sporadic votive artifacts were discovered occasionally around the city and could be linked to forms of worship near the sources and/ or the water pools. It should also be remembered that not far from the hill of Montirone a deposit of drinking vessels , che sono stati riferiti a un’area commerciale (“emporium”) probabilmente posta nelle vicinanze di un luogo di culto. was identified in relation to a commercial area (“emporium”) probably placed near a worship place. The structure found at Monteortone seems to be a sanctuary.
Finally, it is not possible to determine whether the seventeen bronze pieces interpreted as responses of oracular deities (“sortes”), which were published during the Renaissance by Aldo Manuzio and that are now largely dispersed, are actually relevant to Montegrotto.

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