The expert believe to have found the Athenaeum built by emperor Hadrian.
The archeological area consists of three main chambers connected by corridors. One of the halls is well preserved. It has large marble steps on both side that could accommodate some 200 spectators.
Hadrian was fascinated by the auditorium within Athena’s temple in Athens and decided to build a similar structure in Rome. The floor decoration is very similar to the one of the Trajan forum libraries located close by. The bricks are dated 123AD. Emperor Hadrian aimed to re-establish in Rome the tradition of public recitation, conferences and poetry contests as in classical Greece.
In the 3 halls authors and rhetoricians declaimed, recited or taught lessons.
The site is preserved because it was covered by the earthquake of 849.