Tomb of Theron

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The Tomb of Theron is a Roman funerary monument of the Hellenistic period, located in the archaeological area of the Valley of the Temples in Agrigento. It is part of the so-called Roman necropolis of Giambertoni, a cemetery located outside the walls of the ancient city of Akragas, dating from the first to the third century AD. The tomb of Theron can only be visited from the outside.

The Tomb of Theron: the origin of the name

Inside the Roman necropolis of Giambertoni is the monument commonly called the Tomb of Theron. This was a governor (tyrant) of the city of Akragas from 488 B.C. until 472 B.C., the year of his death. As with many other monuments in the Valley of the Temples, the attribution of this monument to the tomb of Theron is conventional. In fact, it is a figment of the imagination of the travelers of the Grand Tour, people like Goethe, Jean-Pierre Houël or Déodat de Dolomieu, who visited Sicily in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries and brought its beauty back to their countries of origin. Some recent studies speculate that it may be a mausoleum built in memory of the more than 30,000 Roman soldiers who fell during the siege of Agrigento in 262 BC.

The architecture of the monument

The Tomb of Theron is a small Roman funerary monument from the Hellenistic period. It is part of the so-called Roman necropolis of Giambertoni, located on the slopes of Temple Hill, outside the ancient walls of Akragas. The tomb of Theron consists of two overlapping parts. The lower part is a podium with a square base, built of square marble blocks and bordered by a cornice in the Hellenistic style. Above it is a temple with a cubic frame. In the walls of the temple there are imitations of square Doric doors, angular columns of Ionic-Attic type and parts of a Doric entablature. The building probably culminated in a third element in the form of a tall spire, as in African heroons of the 3rd century AD.

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