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A ''nymphaeum'' or ''nymphaion'' ( grc, νυμφαῖον), in
ancient Greece Ancient Greece ( el, Ἑλλάς, Hellás) was a civilization belonging to a period of History of Greece, Greek history from the Greek Dark Ages of the 12th–9th centuries BC to the end of Classical Antiquity, antiquity ( AD 600). This era wa ...
and
Rome , established_title = Founded , established_date = 753 BC , founder = King Romulus , image_map = Map of comune of Rome (metropolitan city of Capital Rome, region Lazio, Italy).svg , map_caption = The te ...
, was a
monument A monument is a type of structure A structure is an arrangement and organization of interrelated elements in a material object or system A system is a group of Interaction, interacting or interrelated elements that act according to ...

monument
consecrated Consecration is the ritual, solemn dedication to a special purpose or service. The word ''consecration'' literally means "association with the sacred". Persons, places, or things can be consecrated, and the term is used in various ways by differen ...

consecrated
to the
nymph A nymph ( grc, νύμφη, nýmphē, el, script=Latn, nímfi, label=Modern Greek Modern Greek (, , or , ''Kiní Neoellinikí Glóssa''), generally referred to by speakers simply as Greek (, ), refers collectively to the dialects of the Gree ...

nymph
s, especially those of
springs Spring(s) may refer to: Common uses * Spring (season), a season of the year * Spring (device), a mechanical device that stores energy * Spring (hydrology), a natural source of water * Spring (mathematics), a geometric surface in the shape of a heli ...
. These monuments were originally natural
grotto A grotto is a natural or artificial cave A cave or cavern is a natural void in the Earth#Surface, ground, specifically a space large enough for a human to enter. Caves often form by the weathering of rock and often extend deep underground. ...

grotto
es, which tradition assigned as habitations to the local nymphs. They were sometimes so arranged as to furnish a supply of water, as at Pamphylian
Side Side or Sides may refer to: Geometry * Edge (geometry) In geometry, an edge is a particular type of line segment joining two vertex (geometry), vertices in a polygon, polyhedron, or higher-dimensional polytope. In a polygon, an edge is a line ...
. A nymphaeum dedicated to a local water nymph,
CoventinaCoventina was a Romano-British goddess of wells and springs. She is known from multiple inscriptions at one site in Northumberland Northumberland () is a ceremonial counties of England, ceremonial county and Historic counties of England, hist ...
, was built along
Hadrian's Wall Hadrian's Wall ( la, Vallum Aelium), also known as the Roman Wall, Picts' Wall, or ''Vallum Hadriani'' in Latin, is a former defensive fortification of the Roman province The Roman provinces (Latin: ''provincia'', pl. ''provincia ...

Hadrian's Wall
, in the northernmost reach of the Roman Empire. Subsequently, artificial grottoes took the place of natural ones.


Roman period

The nymphaeum in
Jerash Jerash ( ar, جرش ''Ǧaraš''; grc, Γέρασα ''Gérasa'') is a city in northern Jordan. The city is the administrative center of the Jerash Governorate, and has a population of 50,745 as of 2015. It is located north of the capital city ...

Jerash
,
Jordan Jordan ( ar, الأردن; tr. ' ), officially the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan,; tr. ') is a country in Western Asia Western Asia, West Asia, or Southwest Asia, is the westernmost subregion A subregion is a part of a larger region In ge ...

Jordan
(''illustration, above right''), was constructed in 191 AD. The fountain was originally embellished with marble facing on the lower level, painted plaster on the upper level, and topped with a half-dome roof, forming a giant
niche Niche may refer to: Science *Developmental niche{{third-party, date=October 2020 The developmental niche is a theoretical framework for understanding and analyzing how culture Culture () is an umbrella term which encompasses the social behav ...
. Water cascaded through seven carved lion's heads into small basins on the sidewalk. The nymphaea of the Roman period, which extended the sacral use to purely recreational ones, were borrowed from the constructions of the
Hellenistic The Hellenistic period spans the period of History of the Mediterranean region, Mediterranean history between the death of Alexander the Great in 323 BC and the emergence of the Roman Empire, as signified by the Battle of Actium in 31  ...

Hellenistic
east. The majority of them were rotundas, and were adorned with statues and paintings. They served the threefold purpose of
sanctuaries violates Cassandra's sanctuary at the Palladium: tondo of an Attic cup, ca. 440–430 BCE A sanctuary, in its original meaning, is a sacred place, such as a shrine. By the use of such places as a haven, by extension the term has come to be u ...

sanctuaries
, reservoirs and assembly-rooms. A special feature was their use for the celebration of marriages. Such nymphaea existed in
Corinth Corinth ( ; el, Κόρινθος, Kórinthos, ) is the successor to an ancient city, and is a former municipality A municipality is usually a single administrative division Administrative division, administrative unitArticle 3(1). ...

Corinth
,
Antioch Antioch on the Orontes (; grc, Ἀντιόχεια ἡ ἐπὶ Ὀρόντου, ''Antiókheia hē epì Oróntou''; also Syrian Antioch) grc-koi, Ἀντιόχεια ἡ ἐπὶ Ὀρόντου; or Ἀντιόχεια ἡ ἐπὶ Δάφνῃ ...
and
Constantinople la, Constantinopolis ota, قسطنطينيه , alternate_name = Byzantion (earlier Greek name), Nova Roma ("New Rome"), Miklagard/Miklagarth (Old Norse Old Norse, Old Nordic, or Old Scandinavian is a stage of development of North Germa ...

Constantinople
; the remains of some twenty have been found in Rome and many in
Africa Africa is the world's second-largest and second-most populous continent A continent is any of several large landmass A landmass, or land mass, is a large region In geography Geography (from Greek: , ''geographia'', ...

Africa
. The so-called exedra of
Herodes Atticus Herodes Atticus ( grc-gre, Ἡρώδης; AD 101–177) was an Athens, Athenian rhetorician and philanthropic magnate, as well as a Roman Senate, Roman senator. Counted as "one of the best-known figures of the Nerva–Antonine dynasty, Antonine P ...
(which corresponds in all respects to a nymphaeum in the Roman style), the nymphaeum in the palace of
Domitian Domitian (; la, Domitianus; 24 October 51 – 18 September 96) was Roman emperor The Roman emperor was the ruler of the Roman Empire during the History of the Roman Empire, imperial period (starting in 27 BC). The emperors used a v ...

Domitian
and those in
Hadrian's Villa Hadrian's Villa ( it, Villa Adriana) is a UNESCO World Heritage Site comprising the ruins and archaeological remains of a large Roman villa, villa complex built c. AD 120 by Roman Emperor Hadrian at Tivoli, Italy, Tivoli outside Rome. The site is ...
in
Tivoli Tivoli may refer to: Buildings * Tivoli (Baltimore, Maryland), a mansion built about 1855 * Tivoli Building (Cheyenne, Wyoming), a historic downtown building * Tivoli Hotel in Pirie Street, Adelaide#History and notable buildings, Pirie Street, A ...
(''Tibur'') — five in number — may be specially mentioned.


Mosaics

Nymphaea were important in the architectural movement of
mosaic A mosaic is a pattern or image made of small regular or irregular pieces of colored stone, glass or ceramic, held in place by plaster/mortar, and covering a surface. Mosaics are often used as floor and wall decoration, and were particularly pop ...

mosaic
from floor to walls and ceiling vaults in the 1st century. Initially they were often decorated with geometrical mosaics often incorporating shells, but by the end of the century could contain ambitious figure subjects.


Later periods

The term ''nymphaeum'' was also applied to the fountains of water in the atrium of the
Christian Christians () are people who follow or adhere to Christianity, a monotheistic Abrahamic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus in Christianity, Jesus Christ. The words ''Christ (title), Christ'' and ''Christian'' derive from the Koi ...

Christian
basilica In Ancient Roman architecture, a basilica is a large public building with multiple functions, typically built alongside the town's Forum (Roman), forum. The basilica was in the Latin West equivalent to a stoa in the Greek East. The building ...

basilica
, which according to
Eusebius Eusebius of Caesarea (; grc-gre, Εὐσέβιος τῆς Καισαρείας, ''Eusébios tés Kaisareías''; AD 260/265 – 339/340), also known as Eusebius Pamphili (from the grc-gre, Εὐσέβιος τοῦ Παμϕίλου) ...

Eusebius
were symbols of purification. Phiale is an equivalent Greek term. A nymphaeum for ''al fresco'' summer dining featuring artificial grottoes with waterflows was designed by
Bartolomeo Ammanati Bartolomeo Ammannati (18 June 151113 April 1592) was an Italian architect An architect is a person who plans, designs and oversees the construction of buildings. To practice architecture means to provide services in connection with the design ...
(1550–1553), and was reintroduced at the
Villa Giulia The Villa Giulia is a villa in Rome, Italy. It was built by Pope Julius III in 1551–1553 on what was then the edge of the city. Today it is publicly owned, and houses the National Etruscan Museum, Museo Nazionale Etrusco, a collection of Etrusc ...

Villa Giulia
, Rome.John Coolidge, "The Villa Giulia: A Study of Central Italian Architecture in the Mid-Sixteenth Century" ''The Art Bulletin'' 25.3 (September 1943:177–225).


Gallery

File:Nymphenbad 1.JPG, The ''Nymphenbad'' of the Zwinger palace in
Dresden Dresden (, ; wen, label=Sorbian languages, Upper and Lower Sorbian, Drježdźany) is the capital city of the Germany, German States of Germany, state of Saxony and its second most populous city, after Leipzig. It is the List of cities in German ...

Dresden
, Germany File:Villa Giulia (13).jpg, Nymphaeum of the
Villa Giulia The Villa Giulia is a villa in Rome, Italy. It was built by Pope Julius III in 1551–1553 on what was then the edge of the city. Today it is publicly owned, and houses the National Etruscan Museum, Museo Nazionale Etrusco, a collection of Etrusc ...

Villa Giulia
in Rome File:Villa Barbaro Maser ninfeo 2009-07-18 f01.jpg, The nymphaeum at
Villa Barbaro Villa Barbaro, also known as the Villa di Maser, is a large villa at Maser in the Veneto it, Veneto (man) it, Veneta (woman) , population_note = , population_blank1_title = , population_blank1 = , demographics_type1 ...
in
Maser, Veneto Maser is a ''comune The (; plural: ) is a Administrative division, local administrative division of Italy, roughly equivalent to a township or municipality. Importance and function The provides essential public services: Civil registry, ...
, Italy


See also

*
Roman gardens Roman or Romans usually refers to: *Rome , established_title = Founded , established_date = 753 BC , founder = King Romulus , image_map = Map of comune of Rome (metropolitan city of Capital Rome, region Lazio, ...


Notes


References

*
(LacusCurtius website) S.B. Plattner and T. Ashby, ''A Topographical Dictionary of rome'', 1929:
"Nymphaeum" {{Authority control Ancient Greek religion Ancient Roman religion Types of monuments and memorials Architectural elements Garden features Fountains Grottoes
Nymphs In Greek mythology Greek mythology is the body of myths originally told by the Ancient Greece, ancient Greeks, and a genre of Ancient Greek folklore. These stories concern the Cosmogony, origin and Cosmology#Metaphysical cosmology, nature of ...