The name “Auditorium of Mecenate” dates back to the discovery of this building, which occurred during excavations required by the town-planning scheme in 1874. It was first thought to be an auditorium, a small covered theatre within the Gardens of Maecenas, but it is more likely to have been a summer nymphaeum-triclinium, meaning a banquet hall that was half-sunken into the earth and therefore somewhat cooler. It was once used for friendly get-togethers enlivened with water games and it consists of a hall with an apsis built at the end of the Republican Age on a tract of the Servian Walls. On the external wall of the semicircle the painting of anepigram by Callimacus alluded to the effects produced by wine during the symposium.
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