The Crypta Neapolitana is an ancient Roman tunnel near Naples. It was built in 37 BC, and is over 700 metres long.
The tunnel passes beneath the Posillipo hill and connects Naples with the so-called Phlegrean Fields and the town of Pozzuoli along the road known as the via Domiziana.
The eastern Piedigrotta entrance is now enclosed within an archaeological park, and the site of the villa of Vedius Pollio, and later imperial villa. The site is also noteworthy for the presence of the so-called Virgil's tomb, as well as the tomb of the Italian poet Giacomo Leopardi. Three secondary tunnels end in openings overhanging the bay, providing light and ventilation.
The name Grotta Seiano (Sejanus's cave) comes from the infamous Lucius Aelius Sejanus, prefect of Tiberius, who according to tradition, commissioned its enlargement in the first century AD. The first tunnel was built by the architect Lucius Cocceius Auctus for Agrippa during the civil war between Octavian and Sextus Pompeius in c.37 BC to connect the villa of Vedius Pollio and other patrician villas of Pausilypon (ancient Posillipo) to the ports of Puteoli and Cumae. The tunnel is one of a number of such works in the Naples area built by Cocceius.
The tunnel was still in use as a roadway until superseded by two modern tunnels in the early 20th century, and shows extensive restoration done by the architects of the Bourbon dynasty of Naples. During the Second World War it was used as a bomb shelter for the inhabitants of Bagnoli; the war and some landslides during the fifties put it back into a state of neglect. Today it has been restored as an archaeological site.References:
Heraclea Lyncestis was an ancient Greek city in Macedon, ruled later by the Romans. It was founded by Philip II of Macedon in the middle of the 4th century BC. The city was named in honor of the mythological hero Heracles. The name Lynkestis originates from the name of the ancient kingdom, conquered by Philip, where the city was built.
Heraclea was a strategically important town during the Hellenistic period, as it was at the edge of Macedon"s border with Epirus to the west and Paeonia to the north, until the middle of the 2nd century BC, when the Romans conquered Macedon and destroyed its political power. The main Roman road in the area, Via Egnatia went through Heraclea, and Heraclea was an important stop. The prosperity of the city was maintained mainly due to this road.
The Roman emperor Hadrian built a theatre in the center of the town, on a hill, when many buildings in the Roman province of Macedonia were being restored. It began being used during the reign of Antoninus Pius. Inside the theatre there were three animal cages and in the western part a tunnel. The theatre went out of use during the late 4th century AD, when gladiator fights in the Roman Empire were banned, due to the spread of Christianity, the formulation of the Eastern Roman Empire, and the abandonment of, what was then perceived as, pagan rituals and entertainment.
In the early Byzantine period (4th to 6th centuries AD) Heraclea was an important episcopal centre. A small and a great basilica, the bishop"s residence, and a funerary basilica and the necropolis are some of the remains of this period. Three naves in the Great Basilica are covered with mosaics of very rich floral and figurative iconography; these well preserved mosaics are often regarded as fine examples of the early Christian art period.
The city was sacked by Ostrogoth/Visigoth forces, commanded by Theodoric the Great in 472 AD and again in 479 AD. It was restored in the late 5th and early 6th century. When an earthquake struck in 518 AD, the inhabitants of Heraclea gradually abandoned the city. Subsequently, at the eve of the 7th century, the Dragovites, a Slavic tribe pushed down from the north by the Avars, settled in the area. The last coin issue dates from ca. 585, which suggests that the city was finally captured by the Slavs. As result, in place of the deserted city theatre several huts were built.
The Episcopacy Residence was excavated between 1970 and 1975. The western part was discovered first and the southern side is near the town wall. The luxury rooms are located in the eastern part. The 2nd, 3rd and 4th rooms all have mosaic floors. Between the 3rd and 4th rooms there is a hole that led to the eastern entrance of the residence. The hole was purposefully created between the 4th and 6th century.